Monday, January 5, 2015

The Gem and Mineral Collections

 I was saving it for an adventure with Mr. 9, but he went with The Wonderfuls last week.
It's a hidden gem (pun intended.... and a weak one at that....) on the UofA campus.
I stumbled upon it the first time I visited the Flandreau Planetarium.
I suppose I glossed over the Science Center appended to the name on the signage.
I had no idea that the University of Arizona Mineral Museum was hiding there, too.
There was a gallery of extraordinary stones collected by local amateurs.
Those were housed in a gallery just off the main entrance and entranced us
(I'm sorry.... I can't seem to stop)
when Scarlett and Miss Vicki and I were there in November.
It has fancy lighting and elaborate display cases.
It's a special exhibit and is meant to feel that way.
Boxing Day found TBG and Big Cuter and me in the basement, wandering through rows and rows of minerals, less elaborately displayed but no less magnificent.
 These were cases filled with the life treasures of people like this couple
who agreed to share just some of their personally collected rocks.
The room was filled with meticulously labeled specimens.
We were there for an hour.
I was interested in the composition of the rocks.
I know that iron makes the Sedona rocks red (think rust), but what created that orange or that yellow?
Amidst all these colors,
the gold didn't seem all that wonderful
The walls were adorned with WPA-era paintings of the miners who brought these ores to the surface.

It put it in perspective.
My brain was spinning from imagining the physical forces which squeezed particles or heated goo or crushed or pushed or mangled atoms into collectibles.
I went to my favorite exhibit and Pressed. 
They all shined back at me as I took my new mantra - Press to Fluoresce - into the star show. 


  1. I just love going to the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum. The gems and minerals section is my favorite. My girls love that section too. My little man loves the dinosaurs. I'm always mesmerized by the gems and minerals and was so fascinated when one mineral was mined very close to my house. Loved being able to have a connection to the mineral on display. I've always been fascinated by gems and minerals--so much so that I wanted to be a geologist (amongst a bunch of other professions).

    Thanks for sharing the awesome pictures.

    Happy new year too!

    Megan xxx

    1. And the Museum of Natural History also has a beautiful exhibit of gems and minerals in NYC.
      My boy liked the dinosaurs too......

  2. I love Tucson's gem and mineral show which we have only managed to hit a few times. My folks were big rock hounds and had a sizable collection of fluorescent rocks which they took around and did shows to illustrate the colors they can change into. I still have not figured out somewhere to donate all those minerals where they will stay together as their collection.

    1. "Their Collection" was how this museum displayed their wares. It might be worth a phone call, Rain.


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