Spodumene, Mawi, Afghanistan, crystal (8.5 cm) and cut stone (317.96 cts). Image courtesy of Tom Spann.
NEWARK, DE.- The University Museums of the University of Delaware displays gemstones from the collection of Herb and Monika Obodda August 31-December 9, 2016 in the Mineralogical Museum in Penny Hall.
This semester the University of Delaware Mineralogical Museum features gemstones used in jewelry, prized for their durability as well as their beauty. Minerals have long been fashioned into gemstones, both as amulets to ward off evil and as adornments. Lapis lazuli was mined in Afghanistan over 6000 years ago, the earliest emerald mines operated in Egypt 3000 years ago, and diamonds were known in India more than 2000 years ago. Today, the nineteenth-century idea that diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald are the "precious" stones no longer stands. The specimens on display in this exhibition illustrate a breadth of color and beauty beyond the familiar four.
The Museum also continues its ongoing display of mineral specimens from the Irénée du Pont Collection – the foundation of the University of Delaware Mineralogical Museum – along with hardstone carvings of animals.
Mineralogical Museum Curator Dr. Sharon Fitzgerald will give a Curator’s Talk titled “Gemstones: Aquamarine to Zircon” on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at the Mineralogical Museum. Refreshments at 5 p.m., followed by a 5:30 p.m. talk.