About Julian Gray

Julian Gray is a geologist and curator of the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro, Oregon.

FREE admission during Smithsonian magazine’s annual Museum Day Live! September 26, 2015

Smithsonian-Magazine-Museum-Day-LiveThe Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals will open its doors free of charge on Saturday, September 26, 2015, as part of the Smithsonian magazine’s eleventh annual Museum Day Live! A nationwide event, Museum Day Live! offers free admission to visitors who present a Museum Day Live! ticket at a participating museum or cultural institution.

Get your Museum Day Live! ticket at Smithsonian.com/museumdaylive Each ticket will allow two guest to be admitted at no charge. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address. The Rice NW Museum is just one of 29 participating Oregon Museums.  For more information about Museum Day Live! 2015 and a list of other participating museums and cultural institutions, please visit: Smithsonian.com/museumdaylive/venues. And remember, the Rice Northwest Museum is open Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Faceting Classes 2015 – 2016 Schedule

Columbia-Willamette_Faceters_Guild_logo.

The Columbia Willamette Faceters Guild has released its schedule of classes for Beginning Gemstone Faceting at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals for the 2015-2016 year. If you would like information on these and future classes, please contact the museum directly.

Participants and students are introduced to the theory and techniques of faceting gemstones. During the course, students will facet one or two gemstones with material and equipment provided by the Faceter’s Guild. Students gain sufficient knowledge to continue faceting on their own.

The classes are held in the Rice Northwest Museum’s Faceting Lab. The classes offer 20 hours of instruction across 4 or 5 classes (depending on session chosen) with 5 day  sessions taught from 1 to 5 PM and 4 day sessions from 12 PM until 5 PM. All equipment and materials are provided and students get to keep all stones completed in the class. Continue reading

Northwest Fossil Fest at the Rice Northwest Museum

2015 NW Fossil Fest FlierThe Northwest Fossil Fest sponsored by the North America Research Group (NARG) will take place at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals on Saturday, August 8, 2015, from 10 AM to 5 PM.

The Theme for the 10th Annual Northwest Fossil Fest is The Pleistocene Epoch!

The event is free for families to learn about fossils, fossil collecting, preparation, identification, and display. The event includes lectures and demonstrations, including presentations by Mike Full and Dave Ellingson.  Mike will discuss some of his recent important discoveries from the Yamhill River Pleistocene Project and will have some of his Ice Age mammal bone discoveries on display.  Dave, a science teacher at Woodburn High School, will talk about major fossil discoveries from a bog deposit on grounds of the Woodburn Campus.  The Woodburn discoveries are part of the exciting Willamette Valley Pleistocene Project.  The lecture schedule will be published soon.

Paleontologists will be on hand identify fossils and to show kids of all ages how to clean and prepare fossils.  There will be lots of hands on activities and this is a great event for families and fossil fans.  Attendance for the Fossil Fest includes free admission to the museum.

For more information and up-to-the-minute information see Northwest Fossil Fest.

IMPORTANT ROAD CONSTRUCTION ALERT:  Please note that Helvetia Road will be closed August 8, 2015 because of construction.  Please follow our detour instructions and be alert for detour signs to guide you to the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals and the 2015 NW Fossil Fest.

2015 Summer Festival August 1-2

2015 Summer Fest FlierJoin us for the 12th Annual Summer Festival on Saturday and Sunday, August 1-2, 2015, 10AM to 5PM, at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals. The weekend event includes vendors with minerals, fossils, gems, jewelry, gold panning, lapidary demonstrations, geode cutting, and a variety of activities for the young and old.

There will be local food available for purchase and live music, and the famous Flintstones Mobile will make an appearance. On Saturday only, from 11 AM to 1 PM, Mrs. Delicia Wistrand, Mrs Oregon America will be attending Summer Fest.

A silent auction, raffles, and door prizes will be held throughout the day.

Admission is $5 for adults, free for students 17 years old and under. A great experience for the whole family!

Bring your inner rock hound and join us for a fabulous Summer Festival.

Belong to a local school or rock club? Download and print and share the Rice NW Museum 2015 Summer Fest Flyer.

IMPORTANT ROAD CONSTRUCTION ALERT:  Please note that Helvetia Road will be closed August 8, 2015 because of construction.  Not to worry!  Just follow our detour instructions and be alert for detour signs to guide you to the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals and the 2015 Summer Festival.

Rice Museum wins Educational Award at 2015 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show

The national organization Friends of Mineralogy awarded the Rice Museum with a top honors for “Best Educational Exhibit by an Institution” at the 2015 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® (TGMS) for our display, “Lead Minerals.”

FM President awards Rice Museum Edcuational Case Award

Friends of Mineralogy President Alex Schauss presents Rice Museum Curator Leslie Moclock with the award for Best Educational Exhibit by at Institution during the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show Banquet February 14, 2015. (Photo by Al Leibetrau)

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®, the World’s largest such show, draws an estimated 50,000 visitors each year. The show invites museums, private collectors, and clubs from around the world to create display cases with their best specimens related to the annual theme. The TGMS began as a club show housed in a local elementary school in 1954, and today is a premiere international event that gives visitors a chance to view specimens from some of the world’s finest mineral collections.

This year’s show theme was “Minerals of Western Europe.” Mineral science as we know it today has its roots in European scholarship and mining development, and this theme inspired many displays focused on historical collections and famous European localities.

The Rice Museum display combined superb mineral specimens from well-known localities with mineral science education. The display theme, minerals containing the element lead, was chosen to demonstrate how useful and beautiful lead minerals can be. The vibrant green pyromorphite, yellow mimetite, and lustrous red wulfenite on display contrast with the popular notion of lead as nothing but a dull metal. The display also discussed how the crystal structures in some lead minerals contribute to their crystal shapes, and the importance of lead ores and mining in ancient history.

Rice Museum Tucson Educational Case

Rice Museum exhibit case at the 2015 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show featuring lead minerals.

Tying in with the show theme, European specimens in the display included a green pyromorphite plate from Les Farges Mine, France (center); green and brown pyromorphite from Friedrichssegen Mine, Germany; green pyromorphite from Chaillac Mine, France; vitreous white anglesite from Monteponi Mine, Italy; and one of the world’s largest phosgenite crystals, also from Monteponi Mine, Italy.

Education is at the heart of all that we do at the Rice Museum, and we are thrilled to be recognized for our efforts at the 2015 TGMS.

Mystery Mineral Day, Saturday February 28, 2015

If you have any rock, mineral, fossil, gem, or meteorite that you have wanted identified, then you are in luck.  A panel of experts will be on hand on Saturday, February 28, 2015 from 10 AM to 2 PM to not only identify your stone, but tell you its history and other important facts about it. This event is free with regular admission.

Mystery Mineral Day 2015 Flier

Mystery Mineral Day at the Rice NW Museum, February 28, 2015 from 10 AM to 2 PM

January 21 is #MuseumSelfie Day

Wednesday January 21 is an unofficial holiday, #MuseumSelfie Day. This event is a fun and lighthearted way to celebrate your favorite museum, which of course is the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals.

Rice NW Museum Director Julian Gray with USGS Volcanic Hazards poster

Rice Museum Executive Director Julian Gray selfie with USGS Geologic Hazards at Volcanoes poster. This is also a great example of a lava dome.

Visit the Rice NW Museum Wednesday and take a selfie with your favorite rock, fossil, gem, museum sign, exhibit case, or gallery. Post your pictures with #MuseumSelfie and follow @RiceNWMuseum and @MuseumSelfieDay. More instructions, suggestions, and ideas are on Cultural Themes.

Rock and Gems Magazine Features the Rice NW Museum

The need to support the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals was the focus of the lead article in the January 2015 issue of Rock and Gem magazine this week. The article was written by Bob Jones, a personal friend of founders Richard and Helen Rice as well as Bill and Sharleen Rice Harvey, captured much of the history and lore of the collection. Bob highlighted some of the major minerals in the museum and the stories of how they came to be in the collection.

This museum actually far exceeds in quality many publicly supported mineral museums, due to the combination of a wide range of superbly crafted lapidary materials and an astounding collection of priceless minerals. The collections were originally assembled by Richard and Helen Rice, who began collecting in 1938.

These were what I call the “halcyon years” of rockhounding, when quantities of superb minerals were available at reasonable prices. Richard and Helen continued to collect right into the 1990s, an amazing length of time for any serious collector. The quality of their collections was so good they chose to establish a museum so the public could enjoy the fruits of their efforts. Thousands of visitors come to the museum each year.

Page 17 from the January 2015 Rock and Gem Magazine article on the Rice NW Museum.Page 18 from the January 2015 Rock and Gem Magazine article on the Rice NW Museum.

The article covers not only the birth and development of the Rice Northwest Museum, but the impact of its founders on mineral collectors and lapidary hobby by organizing local groups and national organizations to support encourage and educate future geologists and rockhounds. Continue reading

Give to the Rice NW Museum on #GivingTuesday

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 is international #GivingTuesday, a day to give back. Please keep the Rice Northwest Museum in your giving plans for this year.

The event is the day after Cyber Monday and is designed to encourage giving to others. The supporters recommending giving freely of your time volunteering, giving to charity, and giving back.

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

And you know what the greatest, coolest, most innovative part about this whole movement is? It doesn’t matter how much you give, or how much you give, only that you give. Join in. Be part of a movement.

You may give to the museum by:

It takes 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, to offer extraordinary exhibits and special programs, and introduce thousands of people to the joy of rock collecting and preservation and natural sciences.

The project is a United Nations Foundation program.

Antique Trader’s Guide to Fine Mineral Collection Recommends Rice Museum

Print version of Antique Trader Magazine Article on Fine Mineral Collection featuring the Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum.The Antique Trader magazine recently featured the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals as one of their favorite resources in their article, “Digging for Information: 10 Things to Consider Before Collecting Fine Minerals.”

The article is a step-by-step guide for those considering if fine mineral collecting is right for you, offering helpful information and resources, like our museum, to learn more about the art of collecting.

Fine Mineral Collecting is the collecting of one-of-a-kind natural minerals such as the red rhodochrosite that represents the Rice NW Museum on display in the museum’s Main Gallery downstairs, alongside many other rare and unusual minerals including tourmaline, benitoite, paravauxite, legrandite, and papagoite.

Fine mineral collectors collect as much for the beauty, shape and form, as well as their rarity, quality, and value. For many, finding and displaying a piece of natural history, a precious mineral formed over millions of years in a “combination of fluid, heat, and pressure,” is reward enough.

As mentioned in the article, by becoming a fine mineral collector, you would be in good company.

Who knows, your piece may have been owned by Andrew Carnegie, Washington Roebling (builder of the Brooklyn Bridge) or even famous pianist Roger Williams or [Oscar-winning composer of “Titanic”] James Horner, all of whom were avid Fine Mineral collectors.

Other famous fine mineral collectors include Colonel Washington A. Roebling, the inventor of wire cable and builder of the famous Brooklyn Bridge, Pauline Armstrong of the Schlitz-Anheuser-Bush family, famous Spanish photographers José Manuel Sanchez and Francisco Piña, Sir Arthur Russell, 6th Baronet of England, Gene Meieren of Intel, Frau Dr. Erika Pohl of Wella Balsam Cosmetics, Michael Scott of Apple Computers, and Dr. Edward David Jr., former Nixon era science adviser.

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals offers workshops, lectures, and help to get you started on your own fine mineral collecting hobby. Come by for a visit and learn more about how you, too, can start exploring the exciting and beautiful world of minerals.