What does the legendary Star of India (a golf ball-sized 563 carat star sapphire) have in common with a petrified redwood slab 35 million years ago? A huge cluster of sword-like crystals that appear to come from the Game of Thrones. And a 5 ton (4.5 metric ton) stone pillar that can be “sung”.
You can see them all along with the other 5,000 wonderful stones that have been newly refurbished Mignone Hall of Gems and Minerals It will reopen at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City after being closed for four years on Saturday (June 12). There, unique and precious gemstones appear beside strange rocks that are uniquely distorted and twisted by extreme temperatures and pressures. Some of them are billions of years old.
Individually and together, these objects tell the story of the diverse geological processes that shape minerals. Of earth From a young age to the present day, on the surface and depth of our planet, museum representatives told live science.
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The Indian star, formed about a billion years ago, was discovered in Sri Lanka in the 18th century. It is one of the most famous gems in the world because it was famously and bravely stolen from AMNH in 1964 along with the precious stones of the museum by a thief named Jack “Murf the Surf” Murphy.And Alan Kuhn, Smithsonian report 2014, the 50th anniversary of robbery. (A unique sapphire was recovered and exhibited in 1965).
However, the museum has more sapphires on display alongside the Star of India, shining in bright iridescent colors derived from the chemical composition and formation of individual gems, said AMNH Exhibition Department Vice President. Lauriharderman said.
The exhibit will also showcase two towering amethyst geodes full of purple crystals. They are one of the largest in the world, formed from deposits carried by geothermal hot water about 135 million years ago. One is about 9 feet (2.7 meters) high and weighs about 11,000 pounds (5,000 kilograms), and the other is about 12 feet (3.6 m) high and weighs 9,040 pounds (4,100 kg).
Another giant slab is the so-called singing stone. It is a nearly five ton pillar of blue azurite and green malachite ore exhibited at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893. According to AMNH, a change in humidity in the exhibition hall (before temperature control) caused some of the ore to vibrate and “sing”, so it came to the museum after the trade fair closed and was named after it.
In a temporary exhibit, the hall has spotlighted fine gems built into wildlife-like jewelery over the last 150 years. Curated by jewelery historian Marion Facel, “Beautiful Creatures” features over 100 gem-studded land, air and water animals, including birds, insects, fish, lizards and spiders. According to AMNH, the ornate crocodile necklace has a 60.02 carat yellow diamond and a 66.86 carat emerald, while the winding snake necklace is set with a 178.21 carat diamond.
George Harlow, a curator and professor at AMNH’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said that the first elements formed particles of dust that gathered around the Sun and crushed together to form a planet. Since then, minerals have been part of the evolution of the Earth. At the museum’s Richard Guilder Graduate School. After the Earth has differentiated into planets with cores, mantles, and crusts, sodium, potassium And lithium Harlow said, “It started to appear on the surface and became more concentrated. When they reach a certain concentration, they get new minerals.” For billions of years, with water Of oxygen Appearance on Earth produces more minerals, Plate tectonics More has been created, according to Harlow.
Some of Hall’s minerals come from places you might not expect, such as 9 pounds. (4 kg) Subway garnet. A deep purple Armanding Garnet that emerged in New York City in 1885 during the construction of a sewer on 35th Avenue. Other specimens have unusual, strange shapes and colors, like agate, which looks like a bunch of purple grapes. A pale yellow plaster that resembles a messy pile of potato chips. Zinc ore mine slabs in Sterling Hill, NJ shine in vibrant neon red and green stripes under short-wave UV light.
“Everywhere you look, there are dazzling and beautifully exhibited specimens of minerals and gems,” says Halderman. “Looking at the specimens is intriguing. How do you find them, how they are formed, and what do you know? Some stories are human and some are scientific. We tried to bring them all in. A story to the foreground. “
AMNH’s Mignone Hall of Gems and Minerals and the temporary exhibition “Beautiful Creatures” will be open to the public on June 12th. “Beautiful Creatures” will be on display until September 19th.
Originally published in Live Science.
See “Star of India” decades after being robbed
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