Rock & Gem
We loved the huge native copper specimen from Michigan’s Keweenaw region. According to the label, this is a float copper specimen from about 70,000 years ago, when chunks of pure copper were torn out of the bedrock and carried along within the moving glacier’s ice. The specimen weighs 2,200 pounds. It was found in 1956 in a field south of Houghton, Michigan. We were attracted to the large blue-green cuprian calcite stalactite specimen (CM29330) from the Copper Queen Mine in Bisbee, Arizona, on display in Masterpiece Gallery. The specimen measures 44 x 35 x 33 cm. The calcite’s beautiful formation is reminiscent of ice formations in the arctic and falls under Henry Hillman’s sculptural concept of minerals. This stalactite/helictite was on display at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 as part of the Copper Queen Mining Company display. CMNH acquired it in 2007. Stunning is also the double geode of dioptase (CM15874) with crystals up to 1.5 cm, from the Renéville District in the Republic of Congo, on display in Masterpiece Gallery. The specimen measures 31 x 22.5 x 13 cm.