All-New Halls of Gems and Minerals Announced

News posts

A 12-foot-tall, sparkling amethyst geode from Uruguay—one of the world’s largest—was unveiled today at the Museum during an event to announce that the Halls of Gems and Minerals will undergo a complete redesign to transform the 11,000-square-foot space into a gleaming showcase for its world-renowned collection.

 


The redesigned halls will be named for Roberto and Allison Mignone, long-standing Museum supporters and volunteers. Roberto Mignone currently serves as a Museum Trustee, and Allison Mignone is the Vice Chair of the Museum's Campaign.

 

Adult and child gaze up at tall geode specimens while other visitors examine additional displays in the Hall.

Visitors to the new Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals will be greeted by two amethyst geodes: a 9-foot tall specimen that faces south and, facing north, the 12-foot-tall geode now on temporary view in the Grand Gallery.

Courtesy of Ralph Appelbaum Associates


In addition to the 12-foot-tall geode, the Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals will feature several other large-scale specimens and redesigned exhibits that will tell the story of how approximately 4,500 minerals arose on our dynamic planet, how geologists classify them, and how humans have shaped them into gems and used them throughout history for personal adornment, tools, and technology. 

A dramatic feature of the new Halls will be a stunning Crystalline Pass on the north side, which will be a link to the new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation.

 

 A group of people look at crystals embedded in the wall.

While the Halls of Gems and Minerals previously formed a cul-de-sac, they will feature a dramatic link, via a stunning Crystalline Pass on the north side of the halls, to the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, the new facility scheduled to open in 2020.

Courtesy of Ralph Appelbaum Associates


In addition to the amethyst geode now on view in the Grand Gallery, specimens in the new hall will also include a second, 9-foot-tall amethyst geode and a massive panel of fluorescent rock, which will be the centerpiece of a new fluorescence and phosphorescence gallery. Other special galleries will include a gem gallery and a space for rotating exhibitions.

 

Person stands in front of a large expanse of brightly glowing rock mounted on the wall.

This conceptual rendering shows a fluorescence and phosphorescence gallery in the new Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, which will feature a massive panel of fluorescent rock from the Sterling Hill Mining Museum in Ogdensburg, New Jersey.

Courtesy of Ralph Appelbaum Associates


Favorites from the current galleries and from the Museum’s collections—such as the Star of India blue sapphire, the 632-carat Patricia Emerald, and the so-called "subway garnet"—will return to view in the new Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals.

Along with the multi-year project to update, restore, and conserve the Northwest Coast Hall, which was announced last month, the renovation of the Halls of Gems and Minerals is part of a series of physical and programmatic enhancements to historic parts of the institution leading up to its 150th anniversary and the opening of the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. 

The 12-foot-tall amethyst geode will remain on view in the Grand Gallery throughout the 2017 holiday season. Construction on the new Mignone Halls of Gems of Minerals will begin with the closure of the current halls on October 26.

 

 

Tags: Minerals