USA Smithsonian Institution Museum.
The Smithsonian Institution Museum
Established in 1846 “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” is a group of museums and research centers administered by the Government of the United States. Originally organized as the “United States National Museum,” that name ceased to exist as an administrative entity in 1967. Termed “the nation’s attic for its eclectic holdings of 138 million items, the Institution’s nineteen museums, nine research centers, and zoo include historical and architectural landmarks, mostly located in the District of Columbia. Additional facilities are located in Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York City, Virginia, and Panama. A further 170 museums are Smithsonian Affiliates The Institution’s thirty million annual visitors are admitted without charge. Funding comes from the Institution’s endowment, private and corporate contributions, membership dues, government support, as well as retail, concession and licensing revenues. Institution publications include Smithsonian and Air & Space magazines.
The Smithsonian Gem and Mineral Collection.
Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals. Dedicated to the earth sciences, it houses one of the world’s largest gem and mineral collections, including such world-famous gems as the Hope diamond, Logan sapphire, and Rosser Reeves star ruby, along with countless thousands of less-famous but equally spectacular gem and mineral specimens.
Research collection houses about 375,000 mineral specimens from around the world. It’s one of the largest collections of its kind, with great value to the scientific community
The Smithsonian’s minerals are arranged in long banks of drawers, with all similar kinds of minerals grouped together.
In 1907 the famous Steamboat Tourmaline was unearthed by Frank Barlow Schuyler in San Diego County in a rich tourmaline-bearing pocket zone in the mine which was named the Tourmaline King. It was then sold by Schuyler to Washington A. Roebling and it is now housed at the Smithsonian Institution
The collection’s main secure storage area, which they call the Blue Room, is where they store the more high-value portions of the mineral collection. The Blue Room and the nearby Gem Vault contain about 20,000 mineral specimens
It’s from an opal-mining area near a small town called Yowah in Queensland, Australia. He describes it as “a curious-looking object” that locals call a Yowah Nut. Of course, it’s not a nut—it’s actually an ironstone concretion. When miners break one open, they sometimes find opal inside.
YouTube Video. On Gemstones. Smithsonian Museum.