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March-April 2009

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Museum Notes

Triceratops “Cliff,” now on display at the Boston Museum of Science.

Last November a 65-million-year-old Triceratops went on display at Boston’s Museum of Science. The 23-foot-long, 2-ton dinosaur, discovered in the Hell Creek Formation of the Dakotas in 2004, is one of only four nearly complete Triceratops skeletons on public display in the world.

The dinosaur made international headlines in April 2008 when it became the first Triceratops to go on public auction. It was purchased by an anonymous American collector at Christie’s in Paris. Wishing to have the skeleton displayed for the education and enjoyment of the public, the collector donated it on a long-term basis to the museum, naming it Cliff after his grandfather.

A variety of colors of garnet gemstones.

Paraíba parrot brooch, a 7-carat faceted Paraíba-type tourmaline, with diamonds and 119 other tourmalines, totaling 31 carats.

“Rainbow” calcite, reflecting a spectrum of colors.

The Oppenheimer Diamond, 254 carats, from South Africa and gifted to the Smithsonian Institution by Harry Winston.

The Aurora Butterfly of Peace, a suite of 240 diamonds representing every variety of fancy colored diamonds and a range of cut styles.

The Incomparable Diamond, 407.48 carats, the third largest cut diamond in the world.

Serandite with analcime, 18 cm tall, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Rouville County, Quebec, Canada.

Gypsum, 21 cm tall, Vieja mine, Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua, Mexico.

Beryl, variety aquamarine, 15 cm tall, Brazil.

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), in Toronto, unveiled the Teck Suite of Galleries: Earth’s Treasures in December of last year. Divided into the Vale Inco Limited Gallery of Minerals, the Gallery of Gems and Gold, and The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame Gallery, the combined galleries occupy 6,900 square feet and showcase the ROM’s exceptional specimens of minerals, gems, meteorites, and rocks. Adding to the educational value are more than forty interactive touch-screen stations, video exhibits, and graphics, and information on Canada’s mining industry.

The Gallery of Gems and Gold, an 800-square-foot room, is specially des-igned to highlight gems, crystals, and precious metals. Its inaugural exhibition is Light & Stone: Gems from the Collection of Michael Scott, featuring more than two hundred specimens of precious stones, gem crystals, jewelry, and gem artworks. This is arguably the most important private collection in North America and has few rivals in the world, outside of the royal families. The exhibit runs through mid-December 2009.

Another temporary exhibit is The Nature of Diamonds, the most wide-ranging exhibition ever developed on the allure of diamonds; it runs through 22 March 2009. Highlights include the Gem Vault, the Historical Galleries, the Mining Tunnel, Star Artifacts, and Crystal Clear: Diamonds from Canada’s North, a mining video. For more information on these new galleries, see
Rocks & Minerals welcomes museum news items and related photographs for this column. Correspondence should be directed to the managing editor, 5341 Thrasher Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45247;

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