Treasures From the Academy’s Mineral Vault Go on Display in November
October 19, 2016
All that glitters is not gold, but sometimes golden translucent quartz (with the light striking it just so) can be just as pleasurable. A new exhibit opening this fall at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University offers a diverse array of quartz and other earth eye candy as rare beauty to behold.
Specimen Spotlight: Treasures From the Mineral Vault opening Saturday, Nov. 5, is an intimate exhibit featuring 50 minerals from the Academy’s famous collection. Each specimen was hand-picked, literally from a vault, by Academy scientists, not so much for their storied history, but mostly for their other-worldly colors, varied shapes and forms, and ability to convey the awesome force and output of the planet itself.
“You don’t have to be a geologist to appreciate and enjoy examining minerals,” said Ted Daeschler, PhD, a geologist, Academy vice president for collections and the library, and a Drexel University professor. “The vivid yellows, deep reds, forest greens, and radiant purples are really something to see—and to learn how they were formed millions of years ago deep in the earth.”
Treasures From the Mineral Vault is organized into four large cases featuring different varieties of quartz, calcite, fluorite and feldspar. Visitors will learn why some minerals are shaped like cubes
and others like prisms on a chandelier.
They’ll discover why some minerals sparkle and others come in varied colors even though they are the same mineral. The exhibit also answers the burning question: What’s the difference between a rock and a mineral?
The Academy’s mineral collection contains thousands of specimens and dates to the earliest days of the institution in 1812, when it was the most important collection of its kind in the young nation. This is the first time some of these minerals will be on display in decades. Treasures From the Mineral Vault will be on view until November 2017.
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