New Permanent Exhibit of Rare Myrickite on Display

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, in Hillsboro, Oregon, is proud to announce a new permanent exhibit featuring myrickite carvings, slabs, jewelry, and polished specimens, all donated by John Li of Portland, Oregon.

Myrickite is a lapidary term that refers to agatized or opalized cinnabar (a mercury mineral). It is the small quantity of mercury that gives the stone its beautiful red coloring. Myrickite is a lapidary arts term that refers to agatized or opalized cinnabar. It is named after the prospector Francis Marion “Shady” Myrick who first discovered it in California’s Death Valley in 1911. It is very similar to Chinese Chicken Bloodstone in color, but myrickite is much harder than the cinnabar stained serpentine (Chicken Bloodstone). Both myrickite and Chicken Bloodstone are considered precious materials for carvings, chops and jewelry. But myrickite is rare, and to date, less than one ton has been found and used in art stones. Continue reading

Special Malachite Lapidary Exhibit from Congo on Display

malachite carved face of woman - special exhibit at Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral MuseumWe are excited to feature some malachite lapidary work from the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) in our Lapidary Arts Room for only the month of March 2012. Make time to visit this rare and special collection at the Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum.

malachite carved face - special exhibit at Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral MuseumOn loan from the Ziemer Family, the collection was built between 1975 and 1976 after Mr. Raymond Ziemer was given some pieces as a gift from a local tribe.

Carbonates are a group of minerals that contain the anion group CO32. They can be subdivided into the calcite, aragonite, dolomite or hydrated carbonate groups. The mineral malachite belongs in the hydrated (OH-bearing) carbonate group. It is a copper (Cu) bearing mineral and has the chemical formula Cu2CO3(OH)2. Continue reading