The Department of Mineralogy holds collections covering all inorganic crystalline materials that come from the earth and outer space, like rocks, minerals, gemstones, ores, meteorites and a moon rock! The Museum also has collections of mineraloids (amber, pearls, opal) and synthetic industrial minerals (quartz, corundum, salts). The lapidary collection of polished stones and faceted gems covers common, precious, natural, and synthetic materials.
The majority of specimens were acquired from the teaching collections of Case Institute of Technology, Western Reserve and Heidelberg Colleges. Many specimens are from localities that no longer exist. In curating these specimens, we not only provide public enjoyment of the natural beauty of these materials through our exhibits, we also make specimens available for non-destructive research and preserve pieces of the geologic record of Earth’s history.
The Jeptha Homer Wade II Gallery of Gems & Jewels displays one of the finest collections of gem materials in North America. Presenting faceted next to natural crystals, the exhibit contains necklaces of jade, pink topaz and peridot, Mississippi River pearls, opals and a particularly fine group of colored diamonds.
The Department of Mineralogy has both a research lab and collections area located off the main galleries. Large glass doors allow visitors to observe volunteers sorting and cataloging specimens, and student researchers cutting, grinding and analyzing the mineralogy of rock specimens.
Research being conducted in the department centers around optical petrology—the identification and interpretation of rocks through the identification of minerals by transmitted light microscopy. Projects include the origin of agates, description of sandstones of Northeastern Ohio, identification of building stones, elucidating glacial sand mineralogy and the mineral composition of caddisfly mobile cases.
Curator of Mineralogy: Dr. David Saja
You may contact Dr. Saja at firstname.lastname@example.org or (216) 231-4600, ext. 3229