What might you find if you start digging in the right place at the right time? You might just find precious gems, beautiful minerals, and, if you’re very lucky, a dinosaur! But next weekend, March 29/30, you don’t have to dig any further than the Museum, because you can make all of those discoveries here at the Gem and Mineral (and Fossil) Show! All weekend long there will be local artists and vendors here from the Miami Mineralogical and Lapidary Guild and Fossil Club, showcasing their beautiful and ancient pieces of earth. And while you’re admiring these treasures, you can also take part in other fun hands-on activities throughout the Museum.
This weekend will be an extra special gem and mineral show, because it will take place during a Museum assessment of paleontological items in our vast Collections, beginning next week. In preparation for our move to our new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, we are assessing our massive collection of scientific and historical items that we have accumulated since we opened our doors in the 1960s. (Learn more about some of the unique items in our Collection in our Curious Vault.) Florida State University Paleontologist Dr. Greg Erickson will lead this assessment, which will take place in the Museum galleries, visible to all of our visitors. Dr. Erickson will help us understand more about the unique pieces in our Collection, which will then help us digitize our Collections database and prioritize any particularly special items.
This assessment comes at a perfect time, as Dr. Erickson has agreed to stay for the Gem and Mineral Show on Saturday March 29, after the assessment is complete, to lead a special session for visitors, all about the king of the dinosaurs, T. rex! If you survive your encounter with T. rex, you can also come to Gary Staab’s sculpture workshop. Gary’s Staab Studios creates natural history and prehistoric life models of all sizes for museums, publishing, and film – even as large as a life-sized T. rex! Gary’s work combines art, science, and history, and at this workshop you will be able to combine all of these elements too, as you sculpt your own prehistoric critter.
Check out some items in our Collections below, and then come see what you dig up at the Gem and Mineral (and Fossil) Show at the Museum!