ALMA ROSE ON EXHIBIT IN TUCSON-See this iconic specimen and many more!

A photo of the Alma Rose rhodochrosite specimen, it is a black rock with gray and yellow crystal formations and 6 large rhodochrosite cubes. Featured on a black background.

The Alma Rose, Photo by Jeff Scovil

We’re headed to Tucson, Arizona for the biggest mineral event of the year! We’re proud to be the featured collector at the Westward Look Fine Mineral Show and and will also be exhibiting at the 2017 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®.

 

The Alma Rose rhodochrosite specimen made the trip! See it and more of our amazing collection on Saturday, February 4, from 10AM-4PM, and meet & greet with Executive Director Julian C. Gray and Curator Leslie Moclock at:

The Westward Look Resort
245 East Ina Road
Tucson, Arizona 85704

Learn more about the Fine Mineral Show here.

The Alma Rose will also be exhibited at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® from February 9-12. Learn more here!

Tucson Convention Center
260 S Church Ave
Tucson, AZ 85701

If you can’t make it to Tucson and are headed to the museum, the Alma Rose will be back on exhibit in Hillsboro on 2/16/17. Even though we miss the Alma Rose, the Rice Museum is open our regular hours of 1PM-5PM Wednesday-Friday and 10AM-5PM Saturday-Sunday.

Rhodochrosite – The Inca Rose Stone

Among our many Exhibits in the Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum is our popular Rhodochrosite specimens. Rhodochrosite is also known as Inca Rose Stone, Raspberry Spar, and Manganese Spar.

Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate (MnCO3). The carbonates are a group of minerals that contain the anion group CO32-, and are subdivided into the calcite, aragonite, dolomite or hydrated carbonate subgroups. Rhodochrosite belongs to the calcite subgroup. These carbonates are known for having rhombohedral symmetry, which results in the formation of rare rhombohedron shaped crystals.

The name rhodochrosite is derived from the Greek for rose-colored. Rhodochrosite is most commonly pink or red, but may sometimes occur as yellow, grey or brown crystals. Pink and red colors occur when the rhodochrosite has a high manganese content, but some substitution of iron in place of manganese causes other colors. Its density also depends on the amount of manganese present, with a lower density associated with low iron content. Continue reading

Rare John Veevaert Collection of Benitoite at Rice Northwest Museum

Benitoite Cyclosilicate - Veevaert Collecton at Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum2The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals is proud to announce the John Veevaert Collection of Benitoite will be on exhibit June 27th, 2012 until March 18, 2013. This is the first time a portion of the Veevaert collection has been on public exhibition.

Benitoite is a cyclosilicate. Cyclosilicates are also known as ring silicates because the silicate components in their structure are linked together in rings. Benitoite has hexagonal symmetry, so it can form perfect dipyramidal (double pyramids) crystals.

The name benitoite comes from San Benito County in California, where the first specimen was discovered in 1907. Benitoite is most commonly sapphire blue with hints of violet, but may sometimes occur as colorless, white, pink, reddish-brown or greenish-gray crystals. Benitoite is white when powdered (white streak), and has a vitreous luster. Its hardness ranges from 6 to 6.5 on Moh’s scale. It sometimes occurs as twinned specimens. It fluoresces bright blue in short-wave ultra-violet light. This has proved to be a particularly useful property for identifying benitoite when mining. Benitoite is commonly found with neptunite and natrolite. A relatively rare mineral, benitoite has been found in California, Arkansas, Montana, Czech Republic and Japan. Gem quality benitoite is only found in California. Benioite was declared California’s State Gem in 1985.

Benitoite cyclosilicate 1 - Veevaert Collecton at Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral MuseumThere are 55 specimens in the exhibit, representing only 20 percent of Veevaert’s entire collection, assembled during the past thirty-two years via field collecting and purchases.

There will be a variety of themes in the exhibition including the twinning of benitoite and neptunite, localities in addition to the Benitoite Gem mine (found in Japan, Arkansas, and California), four specimens showing the range of “straight from the mine” look to a finished specimen with stages in between, odd habits and rare crystal faces for benitoite, faceted benitoite and uncut gem rough, exceptional specimens, and an idealized wooden crystal model made in Germany.

Specimens in Veevaert’s collection range from micro-sized to some in excess of 30 cm, but those in the museum display average about 8 cm.

The museum is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 1-5PM. Members admission is free. Adults are $8, Seniors $7, Students under 17 are $6, and children 4 and under are free.