Past Exhibits

The Hubert C. de Monmonier Collection

See the beautiful, the classic, the rare, and the worldwide scope of Hubert C. de Monmonier’s unique mineral collection, on display for the very first time. The extraordinary exhibit includes precious metals from gold to platinum, unusual quartz specimens, and 16th century classic texts in mineralogy.

See the bottom of this page for a recording of a presentation on Hubert C. de Monmonier given by Terry Wallace on February 8, 2008.

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A Tribute to Richard Bideaux

The exhibit featured displays of many beautiful minerals, along with memorabilia, from the collection of Richard Bideaux, a prominent mineralogist and author. Richard, a native of Tucson and graduate of The University of Arizona, was an avid mineral collector and long-time friend of the Museum.
Contributors included: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, the Geo-Literary Society, the GIA Library, Harvard Mineralogical Museum, Les and Paula Presmyk, Phelps Dodge Mining Company along with many other friends and family.

The Many Faces of Copper

The Many Faces of Copper exhibit featured more than one hundred natural copper mineral specimens from Arizona and around the world along with a spectacular collection of historic and modern copper artifacts.
The exhibit displayed naturally occurring, native copper specimens, along with spectacular deep blue azurite, rich green malachite pieces, and other copper minerals that came from private collections, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and The University of Arizona Mineral Museum.

See the bottom of this page for a recording of a talk Dick Graeme gave on the minerals and mines of Bisbee.

Arizona’s Copper Mines: Past and Present January

The Museum featured displays of many of the beautiful minerals that come from the large copper mines found throughout Arizona and that have been great producers in Arizona’s past and present. These mines include:

  • Bagdad Mine – Miami, Gila County
  • Bisbee Mines – Bisbee, Cochise County
  • Miami-Inspiration District – Miami, Gila County
  • Morenci Mines – Morenci, Greenlee County
  • New Cornelia Mine – Ajo, Pima County
  • Old Dominion Mine – Globe, Gila County
    The contributors that helped make this display possible included: the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum, Robert J. Kamilli, Phelps Dodge Mining Company, Les and Paula Presmyk, Eloise Tobelmann, and Gene Wright.

Silver Clouds, Turquoise Sky

The Flandrau Science Center with The University of Arizona Mineral Museum were proud to present an exhibit of turquoise and silver, a complementary mineral and metal that have come to symbolize Arizona and its history. Early Native Americans have appreciated turquoise as a gemstone as far back as 1000 B.C.E., and with time it has only grown in popularity. Most know the important role that copper has played in the history of Arizona, often called the Copper State, but few realize that it was really the lure of silver that brought many of the early settlers. The display featured fine natural specimens of silver and turquoise from around the world, as well as carved turquoise and worked silver. Some of the many contributors that have helped to make the exhibit possible included: the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Phelps Dodge Mining Company, The University of Arizona Foundation, and many private collectors.

Flandrau’s Facets

The Flandrau Science Center and The University of Arizona Mineral Museum featured an exhibit of fabulous cut and uncut gemstones from around the world, as well as famous diamond replicas. Gemstones have caught the eye and captured the heart of mankind for thousands of years. This exhibit not only showed the astonishing beauty of gemstones, but also demonstrated their scientific and economic importance. The display included specimens from Gemesis Corporation, Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Harvard Mineralogical Museum, Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Arts, Sunline Design, as well as various private collectors.

Gold! Flandrau’s Desert Gold Rush

The Flandrau Science Center, Department of Geosciences and The University of Arizona Mineral Museum featured an exhibit displaying more than 150 spectacular specimens of natural gold. Exhibits discussed Arizona’s lost gold mines, the Gold Standard and the many uses of gold from past to present. Contributors that helped to make this exhibit possible included: the Arizona Historical Society, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Harvard Mineralogical Museum, and many private collectors.

Flandrau Rocks I & II

Flandrau Rocks I featured Minerals of Mexico and Flandrau Rocks II, the science behind minerals, meteorites and mining and included many theme related presentations, demonstrations and hand-on experiences for all ages.

About Quartz

Quartz is the most abundant single mineral on earth. It makes up about 12% of the earth’s crust. It’s no wonder that quartz has gained the reputation of being the “chameleon” of gemstones. Pure quartz often called “rock crystal” was used in ancient times to make crystal balls and bowls.