About Us

The University of Arizona Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum (formally known as the Mineral Museum) is a non-profit organization through the University of Arizona Foundation. The museum occupies one wing of the Historic Pima County Courthouse in downtown Tucson, AZ. 

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Alfie Norville

Alfena Norville (Alfie) was widely known as Tucson's Diamond. She was the founder and catalyst, in 1993, for the Gem & Jewelry Xchange Show (GJX). At a time when there was serious talk of Tucson losing the gem show, her vision and foresight provided key elements and an outstanding venue for the globe's top gem dealers. GJX is now the leading wholesale gem and jewelry show and showcases many of the world's finest dealers in gems and jewelry.

The love that Alfie had for the Tucson Community was exemplified by her numerous philanthropic endeavors and volunteer work. For all of these reasons it is appropriate and fitting, to carry on and respect her memory, that Tucson's new state-of-the-art gem & mineral museum be named "The Alfie Norville University of Arizona Gem & Mineral Museum".

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Pima County Court House History

The University of Arizona was founded in 1885, and a portion of the mineral collection dates back to 1892 when it was the core of the Territorial Museum. The Mineral Museum was officially recognized in 1919. The Mineral Museum first started conducting tours during the 1950s. The museum is a 100% donation and loan-based collection. We are extremely grateful for our donors and supporters. 

The museum's collection was recently moved from the basement of Flandrau Science Center and Space Planetarium into the newly renovated Pima County Courthouse at 115 N Church Ave Tucson, AZ 85701. The museum has 12,000 square feet of exhibit space with 3 major galleries: Mineral Evolution, Arizona Gallery, & Gem Gallery. The museum has many interactive, touchable, and digital content (video, photos, audio, and visuals).