Meteorite and Family Fun Day this Saturday, June 4

Come join us this Saturday for talks and activities about rocks from outer space. Dick Pugh of the Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory will be bringing an extensive collection of meteorites for visitors to touch after his talks at 11 AM and 1 PM.

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Ever wonder where meteorites come from, or why they make fireballs in the sky? Do you want to go meteorite hunting, or do you perhaps already have a rock you suspect might be a meteorite? Learn the answers to these questions and more. Talks are great for families and people of all ages.

Kids’ activities will also be taking place throughout the day.

Admission is reduced to $5 for all ages and includes entrance to the museum all day (10 AM – 5 PM).

Thunder-Egg-Stravaganza is March 26

It’s almost here! Join us for our annual egg hunt at the museum on Saturday, March 26, between 10 AM and 5 PM. Win real thundereggs and other treasures as prizes. We will have saws running to cut your thunderegg open right in front of you, for no additional charge. This is one egg hunt that is unique and not to be missed!

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Enjoy a reduced admission of $5 for all ages (children under five are still free). During this event, you can also explore the museum and learn about the thunderegg with short talks by our curator and assistance from expert volunteers.

(By the way–we will have eggs and prizes available all day! We are happy to see you when our gates open at 10, but you can come have a great time at any point during the day.)

Limit two thundereggs and one thunderegg cutting per visitor. No outside thundereggs will be cut.

What’s in the Box: You’re ripped, Eurypterid!

Just back from Tucson, this little fellow is an extinct critter called a eurypterid. It’s one of the acquisitions from this year’s enormous Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, where we join other national and international museums annually to show off our specimens, make new purchases, and talk shop.

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The long tail spike has led some to call the eurypterid a “sea scorpion,” though we don’t know whether it was venomous. This specimen has one of two distinctive paddle-like arms remaining, and the frilly appendages sprouting off the head are its walking feet. These creatures lived in Silurian seas over 415 million years ago.

This specimen is headed to a box for now, but we should be putting it out on display before long! Anyone have any good ideas for a nice nickname?

Bring your mysteries to the museum this Saturday

Mystery Mineral Day is happening this Saturday, February 27, from 10 AM to 2 PM at the museum. A panel of experts will be ready and waiting for you to bring your unknown rocks, minerals, fossils, gems, and potential meteorites for identification!

Have you always wondered what to call that cool crystal you picked up on a hike that one day? Did you inherit a collection, but it’s missing some labels? Do you think you may have found a fossil bone or a rock from outer space? Our experts are volunteering at this event just for you, so don’t be shy. Come on by!

This event is free with general admission (and, of course, free to members).

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New Display from Columbia-Willamette Faceters’ Guild

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

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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.

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?

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