Rice Rock and Mineral Museum Rated #1 on TripAdvisor

Thundereggs on exhibit at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals.The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals has earned a Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor and is rated the #1 attraction in Hillsboro.  Read the reviews on TripAdvisor to find out why, out of 52 things to see and do in Hillsboro, they said:

“You absolutely need to take time to see this museum if you are in the Portland area.”

Visitors were impressed with the “unbelievable collection and friendly staff,” and said it’s “perfect for all members of the family.”

“Birdguy” wrote:

Our group of six visited here because two of us are very interested in rocks and minerals. Well, it turned out to be a trip favorite for everyone. The collection is simply amazing and very well displayed. The history and architecture of the house are interesting as well. The staff was very welcoming and the grounds are beautiful, with some local wildlife making appearances. It’s hard to describe how surprisingly fascinating this place turns out to be.

Like many of us rock lovers, we have families who tolerate our enthusiasm. Read this from “maxpaste:”

Being the only rockhound in the family, my suggestion of visiting this museum was greeted with a healthy bit of skepticism by the family. However, when we were done everyone agreed it was well worth the stop. This is an amazing collection of rocks and minerals. In fact I can’t recall another museum I have visited that contained anything close to this. The fact that it’s all maintained in a house from the 1950s adds to the charm. We spent an hour here, which was the right amount of time for non-rockhounds. I could have spent another hour.

Better yet, come visit the museum and see for yourself!

Thanks to all who’ve taken time to give us such great reviews. If you’d like to join the chorus, you can review us on TripAdvisor, Yelp, or Google Reviews.

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Julian Gray Featured on KUIK Radio

Executive Director, Julian Gray, was recently interviewed on KUIK Radio by Hillsboro, Oregon, Chamber of Commerce President, Deanna Palm.

Julian discussed the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals and why it is so popular and recognized internationally. He spoke about the history of the museum and how it inspires children today to become rockhounds, collectors, geologists, and scientists through its school tours and educational programs and events.

This is an excerpt from the full show featuring Julian Gray on YouTube.

Here is the full show.

Rice Northwest Museum Featured on Carl in the Morning on XRAY.fm

Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals’ executive director, Julian Gray, was interviewed on XRAY.fm 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:

Rice Northwest Museum Featured on What’s Hot in Tucson 2015

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals’ exhibit at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show(R) was featured in “What’s Hot in Tucson 2015,” documentary produced by Blue Cap Productions.  Each year Blue Cap Productions produces a feature length documentary of the Tucson show, the world’s largest show of its kind.

Host Bob Jones is a long-time fan of the Rice Northwest Museum. He interviewed Leslie Moclock, our curator, about the uniqueness of the exhibit. The theme of the event was minerals from western Europe. The Rice Northwest Museum exhibit broadened the scope focusing on Lead Minerals from Europe featuring pyromorphite found in Germany in 1894, the largest known sample of phosgenite, and other rare lead crystals, winning the Friends of Mineralogy Educational Award for best educational exhibit by an institution. Lead is typically thought of as a dull grayish substance used in batteries and solder, and the goal of this exhibit was to show off the beauty of classic minerals that contain lead.

Executive Director Julian Gray talked about the history and development of the museum, and its change from a private to public non-profit, expanding the scope and future of the museum.

This is a great look at the many outreach programs Rice Northwest Museum offers at various rock, gem, and mineral shows around North America as well as the educational programs we offer, expanding your ideas on rocks, gems, and minerals.

Rice Northwest Museum and Smithsonian Affiliation Featured on The Oregonian

The Oregonian got a sneak peak at our press release and published “Rice NW Museum of Rocks and Minerals announces new affiliation with Smithsonian” to help us honor and celebrate the museum’s new affiliation with the Smithsonian.

Screenshot of Oregonian article on Rice NW Museum and Smithsonian affiliation.

Speaking for the Smithsonian, Harold A. Closter, director of Smithsonian Affiliations, is quoted as saying, “The museum has a well-deserved reputation for engaging generations in earth sciences through its scholarship, exhibitions, and education programs. Our partnership offers the opportunity to underscore the importance of science as a source of inspiration in our daily lives and in the years ahead.”

Since the museum appointed Julian Gray as executive director in late spring of 2014, it has drawn a number of awards for its traveling exhibits. Most recently, it won top honors for its exhibit “Lead Minerals” at the 2015 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show.

The new relationship between the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals and Smithsonian Institution has the potential to bring specimens and exhibits from the Smithsonian and provide opportunities for collaboration with scientists on research projects, exhibitions, lectures and programs.

We will keep you updated with more news about this exciting affiliation on our social media channels: @RiceNWMuseum, on Google+, and the Facebook Page for Rice NW Museum.

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

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.

Rice Northwest Museum Featured on Grant’s Getaways

The Rice Northwest Museum was featured recently on Travel Oregon’s Grant’s Getaways program for KGW-TV (Portland) as a “Gem Of A Museum.”

The video and article by Grant McOmie explores the Williamette Valley’s unique geological history, and how the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals not just preserves that history but helps you understand its beauty and magic.

Gigantic, glacial Missoula Lake (in what is now Montana), backed up by an ice dam several miles wide and half a mile high, burst through its western wall and raced across the plains and valleys between Montana and the Pacific Ocean.

Geologists say some five hundred cubic miles of floodwater and icebergs roared across the Northwest, carrying away anything and everything in its path. As the ice flowed, it broke into thousands of pieces, and many of the pieces ended up stranded along the flood route.

These “erratics”–a geological term that describes a rock found a considerable distance from its place of origin–range from pebble- to baseball- to car-size boulders that still dot the Willamette Valley.

…There’s more geologic drama based at one of the most interesting historic homes of the Portland area; a home that houses one of the most magnificent collection of rocks and minerals in the region. The Rice NW Museum of Rocks and Minerals has been a drawing card for rock hounds for more than forty years – it provides even the casual visitor a stunning visual treat.

To read the article and see reviews of the museum from Travel Oregon and Trip Advisor, see their Rice Northwest Museum Of Rocks And Minerals highlights and reviews.