Sunday, November 20, 2022

Colorado Mines Museum of Earth Science Part 2

In my last blog post--click here-- I showed part one of the Mines Museum of Earth Science located at the Colorado School of Mines  On the upper floor of the museum is a vast collection of rocks and minerals and other fascinating Earth Science related materials. On the lower level, located inside a large safe display is one of two Goodwill Moon Rocks collected during the Apollo Moon Mission. (All the photos in this blog post will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on)

The full moon rock display of the largest moon rock.

In 1974, President Nixon gave each state and 160 countries a set of two “Goodwill” moon rocks collected during the Apollo 17 mission. 

More information from the display.

Another display had this small portion of a moon rock from the Taurus Littrow Valley, along with a small flag of the State of Colorado that accompanied the astronauts to the moon!

The full display of this moon rock

Further info about the rock from the display.

Colorado has a rich history of space exploration, with 21 astronauts either born or having attended college in Colorado. The state is home to one of the largest aerospace industries in the country, boasting 300 aerospace-related companies


Inside another safe is the Miss Colorado Crown containing over 600 gemstones and 21 diamonds. 

The Miss Colorado competition is the pageant that selects the representative for the state of Colorado in the Miss America pageant. Colorado has won the Miss America crown on three occasions.

Please click on the photo to enlarge it

The tiara was worn by Miss Colorado for the first time in July 1973.

The crown features a variety of gems, including aquamarine, the state gemstone. White zicrons at the top of the crown represent the snow and ice of the Rocky Mountains, while dark blue sapphires below symbolize water. Twenty-one diamonds in the centers of Columbine flowers feature amethyst petals, the leaves around them made from dark green tourmalines and light green peridots. At the base of the crown, lightly golden and orange citrine and topaz resemble wheat.

More info about the crown from its display.

Most of the museum's collections of gemstones and minerals are on display on the upper level, but there was this interesting map of the USA with the most common minerals found in each state.

There were also collections in the lower level from all around the world. This display showed minerals from Europe

Minerals from Africa

Minerals from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Australia, and Asia

There are also some displays of fossils in the museum.  An Ursus Spilaeus or Cave Bear skull from Romania is in the photo above.

A Mastodon tusk from Alaska, and two Mastodon teeth.

Various other fossils

A 67-pound Canyon Diablo Meteorite was found in a crater in Coconino County, Arizona.

There was a walk-through mine exhibit in the museum that contained this amazing ultraviolet mineral display.  With the flick of a switch, the minerals on the left would glow with their natural fluorescence under short and long-wave ultraviolet light.

One could spend hours reading all the displays showing mining tools, the ways minerals are incorporated into objects that are in use today, and many other aspects of earth science.  Visiting the Mines Museum of Earth Science is certainly a wonderful way to learn more about the scientific richness of our earth.

After our museum visit, our friends and my husband and I drove over to the nearby Fossil Trace Golf Course in Golden, Colorado, where we had a delicious lunch at Schnepf's Restaurant inside the clubhouse. The golf course and restaurant views are very scenic and inside are other examples of fossils found in the area.

 It was the culmination of a perfect day out together!

Wishing all who celebrate this week a very Happy Thanksgiving! I'll be taking next week off from blogging as it will be a very busy time for me. I'll be back in December,  See you then!

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Mersad said...

I love it when a museum can display a simple subject in such a interesting way. Thanks for sharing with us

Mersad Donko Photography

Hena Tayeb said...


ellen b. said...

I admire the efforts of those who put these museums together. A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Pat!

William Kendall said...

My aunt would love that place.

Jeanie said...

This is a very cool place! I'd love to see the moon rock -- it's hard to wrap my brain around that!

thanks so much for your "anonymous" comment. I couldn't find your address to reply directly! But sending big Thanksgiving greetings!

Little Wandering Wren said...

Just stopping by to say Happy Thanksgiving I enjoyed this tour around Colorado Mines Museum. Miss Colorado's crown is stunning! Wren x

Lowcarb team member said...

That was a wonderful day out and visit, lovely to see the moon rock.

All the best Jan

Angie said...

Pat - I was very intrigued to read about the goodwill rocks from the moon - I wonder what the state of Montana did with its rocks?

Amazing Miss America crown - made me wonder if other states have such elaborate crowns?

Terrific museum - on my list if I ever get back to that part of Colorado again.

diane b said...

Thanks for the tour. It is a fabulous museum. Sounds like a super day.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I had no idea that they had an extensive museum. It just goes on and on.

Mines is a great school.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

My grandfather was a mining engineer and we loved his stories -- more than his son (my dad) did as Gran'ther was away at the gold mines where he worked for much of his childhood. But while my dad wouldn't have wanted anything to do with it, I would love to spend some time at this museum. I had no idea there were so many different gems found in Colorado (and I loved the Miss Colorado crown!)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I really enjoyed these posts Pat and would love to spend some time in this Museum. My grandfather was a mining engineer and I always enjoyed his stories of mining (and how he had the best position ;>) -- I guess he didn't want us to end up actually wanting to do the digging!.)I had no idea there were so many gems found in Colorado (and I loved the Miss C crown!)

Sandy said...

That's quite a museum with lots to see. Looks like you could spend a good amount of time there, reading and learning.

Laura | Everyday Edits said...

Hi Pat! I love your Colorado day trips and tours! Merry Christmas!