Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Colorado School of Mines

Now why would we visit the Colorado School of Mines?  Because it is in the town of Golden, home of the Coors Brewery?  Well, Coors is in Golden, but we haven’t visited there yet.  Was it to see the Big M for “Mines” on Mount Zion?  We saw the M but that wasn’t why we went.  Did we go to see the sports facilities of the “Orediggers”?  Nope.  The Colorado School of Mines happens to have a world-class museum of minerals.


We visited the geology museum at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, but its mineral exhibit paled by comparison.  This one didn’t beat out the mineral wing of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington DC, but it was probably better than the Mineral Museum at Michigan Technical University in the copper and iron mining region of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.


We noted on the aquamarine above that the benefactor was listed at David Oreck as it was on several other pieces.  Also there were other specimens donated by Bruce Oreck.  As Oreck is not a real common name, we had to ask the Curator if these were the vacuum cleaner Orecks.  Sure enough, David Oreck is the guy in the commercials and Bruce Oreck is his son who is now the US Ambassador to Finland.

100_5747Colorado had many a gold mine back in the day and here some amazing specimens.



100_5746This amethyst geode is from Brazil but is one of the largest we have seen.






And finally they had two displays of fluorescent minerals, ones that light up under ultraviolet light.  The picture on the left is of the “rocks” under natural light and then under ultraviolet light on the right.



  1. We'll have to add this to our list and compare. Not sure when you visited here but they recently got a new building.

  2. wow how cool, and I love amethyst

  3. Paul and I both enjoyed our stop there very much. The displays were great.