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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA hosts $7M gem exhibit

    Don’t want to fight crowds of people and perilous parking situations next week at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show?

    The UA may have the rocks for you to roll to.

    The UA Mineral Museum is hosting the $7 million Hubert C. de Monmonier Collection from Feb. 9 to May 31 at the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium. The display will show some of the oldest and most unique specimens to date, some of which will be shown for the first time.

    Prior to his death in March 2007, de Monmonier arranged for his estate to donate the massive collection to the UA.

    “”This is the largest and most valuable acquisition of the university. This is a super gift and was totally unexpected,”” said Spencer Titley, curator of the Mineral Museum. “”The collection has some truly beautiful and rare specimens that are highly prized by collectors.””

    One of the 70 gold specimens on display will be a dinner-plate sized nugget found near the vein that began the California gold rush in 1849.

    The collection consists of more than 870 minerals, including quartz, tourmaline, silver and beryl, as well as 300 rare books written on mineral-related topics.

    Authors include President Herbert Hoover, who was a mining engineer, and his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, a geologist who translated “”De Re Metallica,”” initially published in Latin in 1556.

    Another book, “”De Natura Fossilium,”” was first published in 1546.

    De Monmonier began his infatuation with collecting at nine, and after several years he became well-known throughout Southern California, according to biographical information posted with the exhibit.

    After being discharged from the Army in 1946, Monmonier returned to Los Angeles, where he was employed as a sheet metal worker for a California school district, according to the exhibit.

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