Minerals: From Crystals to Gems

On Exhibit May 1 – August 31, 2015

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory was the first venue to exhibit the new travelling exhibit from the Canadian Museum of Nature. The extraordinary diversity of minerals and their fascinating applications in everyday life were revealed in this new travelling exhibit which opened May 1st 2015 at Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. Over 90 stunning specimens were included – varying in size, shape and colour – drawn from the museum’s natural mineral collection. “We were very excited to be the first venue to exhibit this incredible look into the hidden world of minerals,” says Adrienne Brewster, Executive Director and Curator of the Conservatory. “This was a unique opportunity for our visitors to see some of the earth’s most prized treasures up close.” Visitors were guided through a mostly hidden world of delicate shapes, vibrant colours, and odd forms. The minerals were clustered in cases according to themes that explained where minerals come from, their variations in form and function, the science of studying them, and their common or unusual uses. In addition to specimens, there were interactive elements to enrich the learning experience: a quiz that tested knowledge of commercial uses of minerals; a magnifier to view the intricate structure of crystals; and a discovery box that revealed splashy neon colours when minerals fluoresce under ultraviolet light. This colourful exhibition was developed by The Canadian Museum of Nature and presented by Barrick Gold Corporation, with support from The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.