Behind the Scenes: Gems and Minerals at the NHMLA

Hello!

Just thought we would share a quick note on how one of our field trips went last week. We had a great time, and send many thanks to the Natural History Museum of Los Angles for having our club members!

We began our tour outside, where our guides pointed out the fascinating ‘Living Wall’ that IMG_0307_2surrounds the museum and its gardens. It is made out of slate, and has over the years oxidized and organically become home to many plants and insects that live in the nooks and crannies.

After entering the museum, we passed through the Gem and Mineral Hall, and began our ‘behind the scenes’ tour. We were shown the new lab area that has been built, after the museum suffered some water damage a few years ago. The lab area is visible through large windows, with the intent of allowing the public into the area once the renovation is complete so that they can see all of the activity going on in the lab. New cutting edge equipment in the lab allows the Geologists on staff to analyze and identify samples without destroying them.

Further into the back we were able to check out their security room that is reinforced, video surveilled, and filled with precious rocks that we were able to take a peek at! This room is where the museum is able to bring dealers, or hold objects on loan from other museums in a secure location.

IMG_0274Of all the things we were able to see, some of our favorites had to be the beautiful Tourmalines that were some of the biggest that we have ever seen!

Another favorite was a beautiful strand of pearls that are currently in the process of being reappraised, and have some of the largest natural pearls that are known.IMG_0269

We also saw an amazing piece of Opalized petrified wood that knocked our socks off- the Opal looked as if it had been dripped onto the log like hot fudge on a sundae!

After the tour, we all spent some time wandering through the Gem and Mineral hall, checking out their flawless specimens, fantasizing about owning some of their one in a million pieces of jewelry, and trying not to drool on all of the cases! If you are at all interested in Geology and live in the Southern California area, the collection at the NHMLA is not one to miss.

While at the museum, our club members were also able to see the temporary exhibit on Pterosaurs now at the museum until October 2nd. If you want to read more about this exhibition, you can click here to go to my personal blog page and check out my exhibition review.

Thanks so much for reading, and be sure to check our more photos from our visit down below!

Jamie Erickson

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