For Educators

An array of precious and ornamental stones — some uncut, polished, or in elaborate settings — is on exhibit in this hall. Specimens are organized by mineral group, and several cases feature decorative objects and jewelry. 

Educator's Guide & Activities 

Guided Exploration 



Guided Exploration: Gems

Explore an array of precious and ornamental stones, some uncut, polished, or in elaborate settings. 

More Resources 

Howard Lee Belsky Memorial Exhibit of Microminerals

Many mineral specimens hold a world of hidden beauty and detail that only a microscope can reveal.

Profile: George Harlow

George Harlow, Curator in the Division of Physical Sciences, is a geologist specializing in mineralogy and crystallography.

If Rocks Could Talk

Whether 4.5 billion or 900 years old, every rock has a story to tell, giving us clues about the history of the Earth. Explore these stories by looking at igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks.


Jade has been used by people for thousands of years — first to make tools, later to create precious works of art. Take a peek into mineralogist George Harlow's scrapbook to see why he thinks this rock is so special.

Listing Thumbnail: Zircons

Zircons: Time Capsules from the Early Earth

Ancient crystals reveal Earth's earliest era.