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. The long tail spike has led some …

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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?

What’s in the Box? Opal

October’s birthstone can be a bit confusing: what is “precious” opal, anyway? Is it different from fire opal? And what kinds of opals are “common”? This post is a short primer for all your opal terminology needs.

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