100 Years – 100 Objects: Corundum

The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 - meaning that the curators of the Houston Museum of Natural Science have been collecting and preserving natural and cultural treasures for a hundred years now. For this yearlong series, our current curators have chosen one hundred exceptional objects from the Museum’s immense storehouse of specimens and artifacts—one for each year of our history. Check back here frequently to learn more about this diverse selection of behind-the-scenes curiosities—we will post the image and description of a new object every few days.

This description is from Joel, the Museum’s President and Curator of Gems and Minerals. He’s chosen spectacular objects from the Museum’s mineralogy collection, which includes some of the most rare and fascinating mineral specimens in the world, that we’ll be sharing here – and on hmns.org – throughout the year.

main-corundum-variety-ruby-resized

Mogok Stone Tract, Katha District, Myanmar (Formerly Burma)

 Mogok has produced the world’s finest rubies for over 800 years. Gem-quality Burmese rubies are usually rather small; the 5-cm crystal on matrix shown here is exceptionally large, with bright luster and excellent “pigeon’s blood” red color. Gem crystals such as this one that still have matrix attached are very rare.

Marvel at the world’s most spectacular collection of natural mineral crystals in the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

You can see larger and more detailed images of this rare specimen – as well as the others we’ve posted so far this year – in the photo gallery on hmns.org.

 

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