See 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 configurations of minerals found across the globe.

The Year of Mineralogy

April 27, 2022 – April 24, 2023

The International Mineralogical Association has chosen 2022 as a worldwide celebration of the history, development and study of mineralogy. The goal of this yearlong event is to promote public interest in mineral studies by showing how this field has guided the growth of both technology and society. By understanding mineral characteristics, we are able to find solutions to many modern industrial problems and improve our overall well-being. Showcasing amazing minerals, this exhibit represents only some of their properties – there is so much more to discover.

The Lapis Lazuli (pictured above - front center) is made up of minerals including pyrite, lazurite and calcite (pictured in background).
Don't Miss!
A view of large crystal photos.

The Grape Jelly Amethyst Geode

See the very first exhibit installed at the Museum – the gallery was quite literally built around it! – when you crack open this giant geode. Discover the extraordinary beauty of the mesmerizing purple crystals with specs of white calcite that are be hidden inside an ordinary looking rock.

The Eyes of Africa

Follow the incredible journey of this two-foot-tall quartz (white) and fluorite (green) specimen – from its discovery in Namibia to riding in the trunk of a car to being shipped to the U.S wrapped in 400 diapers. Let The Eyes of Africa captivate your imagination with its extraordinary adventure.

The Lavinsky Ammonite

Marvel at the iridescent colors and 2 feet in diameter of this eye-catching ammonite. A type of shelled cephalopod that went extinct about 66 million years ago, ammonites are discovered all over the world, and this exquisite specimen is right here in the Museum thanks to the generous donation of the Lavinsky family.

Gigantic Gold

With a combined weight of more than 110 pounds, be amazed by two rare gold pieces glitterering for all to see. Unearthed in Austrilia, the Dragon’s Lair (right) tips the scales at 63 pounds and its smaller lustrous companion, the Ausrox Nugget, weighs in at a whopping 51.29 pounds.

The Grape Jelly Amethyst Geode

The Eyes of Africa

The Lavinsky Ammonite

Gigantic Gold

Gems and Minerals Hall Scavenger Hunt

  • We have specimens from six of the seven continents — can you find a gem from each?
  • Look for The Eyes of Africa and ask one of our helpful Museum volunteers about its unique history!
  • Find a specimen of every color of the rainbow.
A young girl engages with the museum display.

What to Do Next

Get energized and learn all about how we harness natural resources to power our world. Head to the Tom Hunt Energy Hall and dive into the possibilities of energy.

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