San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionExhibits
ALL THAT GLITTERS: The Splendor and Science of Gems and Minerals


All That Glitters: The Splendor and Science of Gems and Minerals takes you beyond the “bling” to see gems as very rare and ancient by-products of the forces that have created our landscape, including right here in San Diego County. It is designed to entice adults and children through beauty, science and fun. Through displays and interactive experiences, visitors will learn about the Earth processes that create gems and minerals.

See how one family enjoyed “All That Glitters” at theNAT... They liked the exhibition so much they created a video!

Click on the player above to take their
visual tour of the Gems and Minerals.


Read more about the Science of gems and minerals


Read more about the Splendor of gems and minerals


Spodumene (kunzite); 201 ct. Largest stone cut to date (May 2011) from the Oceanview Mine. Photograph by Mark Mauthner. 
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Spodumene (kunzite); 28 cm tall (15.6 cm wide; 2 cm thick). Collected December 20, 2010, in the Big Kahuna II zone (Baker Boulevard, Oceanview Mine, Pala District, San Diego County, California). Oceanview Mines, LLC specimen. Photograph by Mark Mauthner. 
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The Big Kahuna
The Big Kahuna is one of the top two, perhaps three, American kunzite specimens known. It was the discovery of large gemmy crystals of this pink to lilac to violet spodumene (the mineral species name) in San Diego County’s Pala district that led to its naming as a new gem variety, kunzite. It is named after George F. Kunz, who was Tiffany’s chief gemologist and vice-president a century ago, at the time of the discovery.

Carousel Egg
A miniature replica of one of Balboa Park’s most beloved attractions—the carousel near the San Diego Zoo—inside a bejeweled egg. Each hand-carved enameled animal depicts one of the actual 56 that revolve on the real carousel. And, yes, it really plays music.

Flor de Lise
This crystal is regarded as one of the world’s most magnificent rubellite specimens. It was found in Brazil’s famous Jonas Mine, known for its huge, deeply colored, cranberry-red rubellites. So valuable are these rare, near-perfect stones that the miners who extracted them guarded the treasures with the help of poisonous snakes. True story or not, this rubellite is indeed spectacular.

Read more about the Splendor of gems and minerals