Minerals of the Pacific Northwest

What Lies Beneath: Minerals of the Pacific Northwest

August 17, 2019 - February 2, 2020; Old City Hall

Rocks and minerals are the foundation of our planet. Minerals are the basic geological building blocks of the solid earth. They can be dazzling to the eye as light catches the naturally occurring facets. To a trained eye, some minerals might be fairly easy to find with a bit of digging; others require rappelling down the side of a cliff.

The Museum has partnered with members of the Friends of Mineralogy – Pacific Northwest Chapter to present an incredible display of minerals collected from throughout the Pacific Northwest. Two unique quartz specimens, widely believed to be the finest in the world and rarely on public display, will be the highlights. Both minerals were collected from Denny Mountain in King County.

What Lies Beneath will showcase more than 50 excellent specimens, including calcite, quartz, vesper garnet, thunder eggs, fluorite, natrolite, stilbite, heulandite, microcline, zaktzerite, and aegirine. Also included will be samples of marine and land fossils, including a cast replica of a “big track” fossil found in Washington.

From those the size of a fingernail to those requiring a forklift, learn how minerals are formed and where they are found. See the collector’s “tools of the trade” and marvel at the extremes some will go to find the perfect specimen. Photos and video document the field work involved and provide insight into the collection process. Complementing the exhibition will be a variety of programs and hands-on activities.

Related: Cascade Crystals with Randy Becker

Image: Quartz (Amethyst), from King County, Wash. Photo Credit: Cory Torpin.