A gem surrounded by the Perot Museum logo.

The one with all the sparkle

Lyda Hill

Gems and Minerals Hall

Good for

All Ages

Location

Level 3

Brain Juice Focus

Gems and Minerals

 

Gaze at natural beauty

Your eyes will be amazed by Earth's original rock stars as they glisten, glimmer, and glow. Explore both the practical and beautiful aspects of these complex structures that serve as the building blocks of our planet. High-definition videos, digital puzzles, and touchable specimens will help you discover the astounding variety of colors, shapes, and hardnesses of minerals found across the globe.

Don't Miss!
A view of large crystal photos.

A 5-foot-tall geode filled with shimmering purple crystals

Crack open a giant geode and discover the extraordinary beauty that can be hidden inside an ordinary looking rock! Look closely — amongst all of the mesmerizing purple are specs of white calcite.

Did you know? The grape jelly amethyst geode was the very first exhibit installed at the Museum — the gallery was quite literally built around it

Patrons looking over The Eyes of Africa display.

The Eyes of Africa and its backstory that includes diapers and a white Mercedes

Unearthed 10 years ago by a miner in Namibia, the enormous and intensely beautiful specimen had an interesting beginning. When the miner realized his discovery was incredibly rare, rather than sell it right away, he toted it around in the trunk of his car. As word spread, two collectors spend days searching for this infamous mineral-toting Mercedes. Once they tracked down the miner, the car, and the mineral, they made a deal to acquire the piece, shipping it back to the U.S. protected by 400 diapers!

A father and son looking at minerals.

Compare different minerals

Halite and calcite may look exactly the same, but taste completely different. Pyrite and gold are easy to confuse, but when you look closely pyrite has cubes all over it! Look closely to find the unique differences in minerals that seem to masquerade as something else.

A father and son looking over a mineral display.

Understand the origin of minerals

Minerals are like a recipe comprised of different elements found right here on Earth. They aren't just one element — each are special recipe of elements that help form colors, shapes, and hardnesses.

A 5-foot-tall geode filled with shimmering purple crystals

The Eyes of Africa and its backstory that includes diapers and a white Mercedes

Compare different minerals

Understand the origin of minerals

Gems and Mineral Hall Scavenger Hunt

  • We have specimens from six of the seven continents - can you find a gem from each?
  • Find our newest gem, The Eyes of Africa, and ask one of our helpful museum volunteers about its unique history!
  • Our specimens are constantly changing, so there's always something new to see! Can you find a specimen of every color of the rainbow?
A view of the interior of the Gem and Mineral Hall.
Two young women engage with a museum display.

What to do next

Since you appreciate the beauty of a polished gem, step out into the Dynamic Earth Hall and discover our world in a different natural form. Learn all about Earth's history as you visualize how the continents have shifted over millions of years, understand geological dating techniques used by scientists, and see water and air in new ways.

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