100 Years – 100 Objects: Ludlockite

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.


Ludlockite – Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Namibia

Ludlockite was originally found in a single boulder on the dump of the Tsumeb mine. It was described as a new species in 1972, based on that single occurrence. Subsequently a second, very limited occurrence was found deeper in the mine. Consequently very few specimens of the species are known. This beautiful, reddish-brown, 4-cm spray on zincian siderite crystals is among the finest. 

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 more images of this fascinating artifact – as well as the others we’ve posted so far this year – in the 100 Objects section at 100.hmns.org.