hometown impressions

A mineral gathering

Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum hosts open house

Posted 9/21/15

The Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum was packed with people for its annual open house.

Coinciding with the Denver Gem and Mineral Show, people traveled to Golden from across the U.S.—Oregon, Texas, California, New York. Others came from …

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hometown impressions

A mineral gathering

Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum hosts open house

Posted

The Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum was packed with people for its annual open house.

Coinciding with the Denver Gem and Mineral Show, people traveled to Golden from across the U.S.—Oregon, Texas, California, New York. Others came from as far away as Moscow and China.

“It's a great way to get people together,” said the museum's curator Bruce Geller.

It was a variety of people—retired and career geologists, mine owners, dealers, collectors, mineral experts an museum curators. Even Smithsonian representatives came.

“It's prestigious to host them,” Geller said. But not only that, “the public gets to interact with them.”

Although the open house lasted just three hours, one could have spent at least double that amount of time gazing at the approximate 1,200 specimens on display.

Some minerals are well-known, such as gold, silver, quartz and copper. But others are unfamiliar to the general population—cerussite, sphalerite, vesuviante, rhodochrosite and molybdenite, just to name a few.

But there were plenty of people around to answer questions.

“Probably 90 percent of the people here are involved in the mineral community,” Martin Meskill of Denver said. “It's a good vibe.”

Rosa Macias' boyfriend, Charlie Black, both of Idaho Springs, owns a couple of the pieces on display — minerals and gold coins, she said. But her favorites are the mining displays.

They're so interesting, she said. “It amazes me how they managed to cross all over the country, on foot, to look for gold.”

Along with minerals, there were old mining supplies and scientific instruments—microscopes, carbide lamps, a miner's hard hat, candle holders and surveyors' compasses and levels, some dating back to the late 1800s.

There were fossils, arrowheads and meteorites. And a crowd favorite, Miss Colorado's crown. Made in 1976, the gemstones formed little patterns of columbine flowers, aspen leaves and mountains.

Jamie Newman, a collections manager at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, is always impressed with the exhibit at the School of Mines.

“Even a little jealous,” she added, jokingly.

It is a great display, agreed Stanley Korzeb, an economic geologist with the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology who has attended for years.

“Right now," Korzeb said, "it's about the best it's ever been.”

Now that they're retired, geologists Dick and Mary Pat Weber of California travel the world looking at geology.

“Nature is just so wonderful,” Dick Weber said. “You need to enjoy it.”

CSM, School of Mines, geology, Bruce Geller, Hometown Impressions

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