A collection of highlights from the Australian Museum mineral collection. Step into a glittering world of colour and light in this stylishly presented mineral exhibition that features some of the finest mineral specimens in the world. Many of the minerals in this collection, which was acquired by the Museum in 1995, are considered among the best specimens ever found. The collection is world renowned for its mineralogical diversity, crystal perfection, aesthetic appeal and high Australian content.
An attractive group of lustrous, orange, diamond-shaped crystals arranged in radiating sheaves. Heulandite is in the group of minerals called 'zeolites', from Greek words meaning 'boiling stone', they froth and bubble when losing water under strong heating. Zeolites have an unusual internal structure of parallel channels which makes them useful as molecular filters.
This specimen shows a group of well-shaped rhombohedral pearly-white calcite crystals with a liberal scattering of sugary emerald green dioptase crystals. Dioptase is an uncommon copper mineral prized for its intense green colour. It is found in only a few copper mines world-wide, but the best examples have come from Namibia.
These sharp, lustrous and transparent purple amethyst crystals form an attractive group of radiating prisms. This purple variety of quartz is the birthstone of February. It has been associated with ecclesiastical authority, but in ancient times was believe to protect the wearer from becoming intoxicated.