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 at 100.hmns.org– throughout the year.
San Judas Chimney, Level 6, Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
Adamite comes in many colors, but the finest specimens have always come from the Ojuela mine, and by far the most sought-after color is the royal purple found in the San Judas chimney in 1981. The mineral world was galvanized by the extraordinary specimens recovered from that find. Perhaps the best of the lot is this 5.5-cm cluster on limonite matrix—making it the best known example of the species. The complexity, sharpness, perfection, color, arrangement, and luster of the semi-transparent crystals are all superb.