Time is running out to see the Spann Exhibit

Don’t miss out – our exhibit of the worldwide collection of fine minerals owned by Gail and Jim Spann will be leaving in a few short months.

Thousands of people have already been wowed by this exhibit, but if you haven’t seen the it yet you should make plans soon. This spectacular display of world-class specimens will only be at the museum until January 20, 2020. That means in five short months they’ll be headed home to Texas.

Until then, you still have time to check them out. Here’s a few favorites

Photo of some of the Gail and Jim Spann collection

Blue Cap Tourmaline

One of only abut 35 museum-grade specimens in the world from the famous “Blue-Cap Pocket”, this giant is one of the best representatives you’ll ever see of pink elbaite tourmaline with a blue cap top. Hailing from the famed Pala-area mines of San Diego, it has splendid color zoning.

The Blue Cap Pocket was unearthed in late December, 1972 and is the most famous tourmaline pocket in U.S. history. Collectors consider the pocket with an almost reverent respect. Only under 100 pieces were found, of any quality. This is one of the top specimens, and stands front and center in the display.

Blue cap tourmaline from the Gail and Jim Spann Collection

Rose Quartz crystal ring

Rose quartz is uncommon in a crystal habit, and it’s even more rare to find it circling a pristine quartz crystal like this. The girdle of crystalline rose quartz is striking, and gives the specimen a striking look. Some call this a “Friar Tuck” display. This specimen is from Lavra da Ilha, a granite pegmatite on a small island north of Taquaral in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The bright luster and rich pink color are rare, and provide a striking contrast to the crystalline quartz it adorns.

Rose quartz ring around a quartz crystal

Malachite “Sorcerer’s Hat” Stalagmite

This striking ‘finger’ of malachite sits atop a plate of similar malachite, giving it the appearance of a tall witch hat, according to the many Harry Potter fans who have seen it here. Found at the L’Etolle du Congo (the “Star of Congo”) mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it has a slightly drusy, or sparkly exterior. The whimsical nature of the piece draws remarks from crowds, as the taper at the top is unique from most malachite specimens that formed as stalactites and stalagmites. It shows no surface bruising that is common to similar specimens, and is dramatic even in an unpolished state.

Malachite stalagmite

Hematite, Horse Tooth Habit

This specimen was the elegant star of our promotional poster back in March. The dramatic edges, striated surfaces, and shiny luster are typical of this form of hematite, which is usually found in rounded, botryoidal masses or red, rusty chunks. Typical of a Morocco hematite, it is lustrous and almost appears sculpted, but it is completely natural.

Horsetooth hematite

These are a few of the nearly eighty amazing specimens from the collection of Gail and Jim Spann. The exhibit can be viewed during normal hours of operation and there is no additional charge for this rare opportunity.

New Cases Arrive to Hold Upcoming Spann Exhibit

Noted mineral collectors Jim and Gail Spann of Dallas, Texas, have generously agreed to loan the Museum a selection of about 75 of their finest mineral specimens for one year, starting on March 23, 2019. The loaned minerals were selected from the Spann’s personal collection of more that 15,000 minerals. To properly display the care for and exhibit such an important new collection, the Museum has been working hard behind the scenes.

For example, the Museum recently acquired two new cases to hold the gems and minerals. These cases were built by It’s West Display and Lighting of Golden, Colorado, to the museum’s specification. The cases use state of the art LED lighting that will show off the Spann minerals – each case has more that 50 lights! When the cases arrived in Portland they were moved to our facility thanks to a pair of experienced ‘case wranglers’ from All Service Moving.

The two new cases were securely shipped in wooden “coffins” and strapped to a pallet.

After removal from their shipping containers, the 500 pound cases were moved individually to the Main Gallery in the basement of the Museum. This involved strenuous use of straps, a few raised voices, and considerable care to get down the long flight of stairs, but the professionals handled the move without incident.

The second case makes it safely down the stairs.

Once the cases are completely unwrapped and powered up, Curator Julian Gray will work with Jim and Gail Spann to perform the happy task of planning the layout for the exhibit.

Watch this space…

The international range of the specimens we plan to exhibit is impressive – you’ll see material that originated in Uraguay, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Brazil, and China, to name a few. Mark your calendars – March 23, 2019 through February 2020 – this exhibit is sure to draw a crowd!

Plumbogummite from China (photo courtesy of Gail Copus Spann)

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.

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