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Geology

Rocks and the minerals are the building blocks of the earth. Modern technology and our society as a whole depend upon rocks and minerals as raw materials. In fact, rocks and minerals have supported the development of societies and civilizations throughout human history. The scientific study of rocks and minerals is crucial to understanding the earth’s dynamic geologic processes, and illuminates new and better ways to both utilize and conserve our natural resources. Gemstones have been prized since antiquity for adornment and as symbols of status and wealth. Meteorites are some of the oldest pieces of our solar system and are keys to unraveling its origin.  Our lapidary collection of polished stones and faceted gems covers both natural and synthetic materials. Specimens have been collected from around the world and with some dating back to the 1930’s, the collections are historical as well as scientific. Private collections, most notably Fujii, Thiel, and Clark Collections, donated to the museum have greatly enhanced the collection.