Monday, February 22, 2016

Carnegie Museum of Natural History Gem Hall

I originally wanted to share the newest Pittsburgh Glass Center Exhibit, Lifeforms, with you today, but I haven't had a chance to visit it yet.  Hopefully I will get to attend and will report the next time I post here.  So today, I thought I'd share some pretties with you from the Carnegie Museum here in Pittsburgh.

When I first walked past these items, I thought they were ceramic.  Upon further inspection, I saw that they were glass.  They are simply gorgeous!  They are made with  what I can only assume are murrini (small pieces of colorful designs in glass, which are shaped in rod form and then nipped into small pieces to reveal the design). 

The gems in the museum here in Pittsburgh are amazing - while the ammonite display in the Houston museum was incredible, they don't have such a huge display of gems as we do here.  I took tons of photos - I can't possible share them all here, but I'll share some of the more interesting photos with you.

I have to admit I haven't ever heard of many of these gems, and crystals, but wow were they gorgeous!  I have to apologize if some of the photos are a little hard to see, the exhibit is very dark with bad lighting for taking photos.  But I couldn't resist.

There was one exhibit I particularly liked, it was called Curious Concretions.  The text reads as follows:

"concretions form in soft, sedimentary rocks when minerals like calcite, siderite or pyrite grow around a kernel or nucleus within the rock, somtimes a speck of carbon or a fossil, and cement the -- sediments into a ball, rod or disk"

They are quite beautiful, and my favorite is the Pyrite Sun, found in Illinois (third photo in this series).

 Finally, they have an exhibit called Pennsylvania Minerals.  I found it interesting to see what wonderful things are found in Pennsylvania.  I've heard of the wonderful mines out west, but was glad to see we grow some pretty neat things out East!

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of the Carnegie Museum of History Gem Hall in Pittsburgh, PA!  Next time I will bring you an exhibit from the Pittsburgh Glass Center!

Susan Kennedy


  1. Thank you so much for sharing. I doubt I will ever make it to see these in person. I'm in Washington state. There are so many beautiful gems that I'd never heard of.

  2. What a wonderful collection Sue, most of these I have never heard of!


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