New Display from Columbia-Willamette Faceters’ Guild

We would like to welcome the Columbia-Willamette Faceters’ Guild’s new club display!


Members of the CWFG will be displaying their own cut gemstones in two cases located by the Fred Van Sandt faceting display in the Master Gallery. This materials in this display will be rotated every six months in order to showcase new works.

The word “gemstone” often conjures up the image of a round brilliant-cut diamond or one of a few other simple shapes. But many other faceting designs exist, and more are being dreamed up every day. CWFG members are inventive practitioners of the craft and we are delighted to show off their innovative stones.

The CWFG joins four other regional rock & lapidary clubs who showcase their members’ work at the museum. Be sure to look for other display cases by the Oregon Agate & Mineral Society, Tualatin Valley Gem Club, Mt. Hood Rock Club, and the Clackamette Mineral & Gem Society.

There is still time to make your 2015 contribution to help the Rice NW Museum

Without you, the educational programs of the Rice NW Museum would not be possible. If you have not yet made your contributions to the Rice NW Museum this year, there is still time.

Cash contributions by mail

All cash contributions are 100% deductible.  You can mail your check to the museum and as long as the letter is post marked by December 31, 2015 you can deduct the donation for 2015.

Cash contributions online

Making your contribution is easy and safe to do online.  Just click our DONATE button on any page of our website.

In person

We love to see our supporters. Stop by the museum Gift Shop and make your contribution in person.  You  can also call and we can take your contribution over the phone.

IRA transfer

If you are at least 70-1/2 years old, you can make a charitable contribution to the Rice NW Museum by rolling over any amount of an IRA up to $100,000 tax free. Contact your investment adviser to ask how to do this.  This is retroactive to January 1, 2015 and is now permanent so consider doing this in 2016 as well.

Shop and contribute

If you shop at Fred Meyers, register your shopping card online through their Community Rewards Program. You can also shop through the Amazon Smile program. Doing either of these things cost you nothing extra and Fred Meyers and Amazon will contribute a portion of your purchase to the Rice NW Museum.


Become a member of the Rice NW Museum. You will get unlimited free admission to the museum and other museums in the Portland area (details will be announced next week). You will also get invited to special events at the museum that will be announced throughout 2016.  Already a members?  Renew, extend your membership, or upgrade your membership level.

Other ways to support us

There are many other ways to support us:

  • In-kind donations of rocks and minerals
  • Volunteer your time or services
  • Adopt-a-mineral
  • Sponsor an exhibit or event

2015 has been a great year of growth for the museum and 2016 looks even brighter. Please consider supporting us so that we can further our mission.

Support the Rice Northwest Museum on #GivingTuesday

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 is #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Please keep the Rice Northwest Museum in your giving plans for this year.

On Thanksgiving, we give thanks. On Black Friday, we get deals. On Cyber Monday, we get online. On Giving Tuesday, we give back.

And here’s the coolest part about this whole movement: It doesn’t matter how you give, or how much you give, only that you give. Join in. Be part of the movement. Celebrate an attitude of gratitude. Give.

GivingTuesday 2015 logoYou can give to the museum by:

It takes just a few dollars or hours to make a huge difference in the museum’s ability to offer free and low cost programs for school children from around the Pacific Northwest; local, national, and international educational outreach programs; extraordinary, award-winning exhibits and special programs; and to introduce thousands of people (kids of all ages) to the wonders of earth science.


Veterans and Active Military receive FREE admission Veteran’s Day

To honor those who have or are serving in our nation’s military, the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks an Minerals will admit all veterans and active military free of charge on Veteran’s Day (Wednesday, November 11, 2015).  We thank all the brave men and women who serve our country to preserve the freedoms we enjoy.

The museum will be open to the public regular business hours, which are 1:00 to 5:00 PM.  Please remember to bring your military ID with you.

Rice Northwest Museum Featured on Carl in the Morning on

Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals’ executive director, Julian Gray, was interviewed on radio’s “Carl in the Morning” show by Carl Wolfson and Kate Bush on Friday November 6, 2015.

In the interview, Carl noted that the Rice NW Museum was highlighted in a recent New York Times article. During their lively conversation they talked about the diverse, beautiful exhibits at the museum including petrified wood, gemstones, thundereggs, and more. They also talked about the museum’s educational programs and events.

Have a listen:

Birthstone Day Upgrade

Longtime followers already know that we offer a promotion called “Birthstone Day,” where any visitor can get free admission to the museum on the first Saturday of his or her birth month. This promotion is getting an upgrade!

Now, any visitor is entitled to one free admission on any day during his or her birth month. So if you were born in the month of November, choose any day this month to come see our exhibits at no charge. It’s a little bit more “happy birthday,” just for you.

Faceted topaz gemstones.

Faceted topaz gemstones. Image from Michelle Jo, Wikimedia Commons.

This offer is only good for one general admission per calendar year, during the visitor’s birth month. It does not apply to admission for special events or party packages. Visitors over 17 must present an ID with date of birth to redeem this offer.

See you at the museum!

What’s in the Box? Quicksilver

Halloween has passed, but the scares continue with this slippery substance: mercury! The faded label on this vial, acquired in a recent donation, says, “Mercury from thermometer.” Inside, a silver blob bounces back and forth when the vial is shaken. But what is this toxic liquid doing in a blog post from a mineral museum?

Mercury in vial

Continue reading

New York Times article calls attention to the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals

In a November 1, 2015 article in the New York Times, Quentin Hardy calls attention to five noteworthy museums around the United States.  The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals is one of the museums highlighted in the article.  Other unique museums mentioned include the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York; the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the Ringling in Sarasota, Florida; the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota; and Walt’s Barn in Los Angeles, California.

Image of the New York Times article featuring the Rice NW MUseum