Wednesday, February 16, 2011

UA mineral museum fund raising passes crucial threshold

The UA Mineral Museum had raised over $1.5 million by last Saturday through the sale of surplus or duplicate specimens from its collection. That's enough, according to Museum director Bob Downs, to fund a permanent endowment that will cover the costs of keeping a full time curator for the Museum.

The Museum hopes to raise around $3 million in total from the mineral sales. I stopped by Dr. Marcus Origlieri's Mineral Zone booth at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show on Sunday. The tourmalines and native gold at right were a few of the show pieces still available.

Mark Candee, museum curator, also described plans for special centennial exhibit next year at the museum to bring together the most outstanding examples of Arizona minerals. He said initial response from collectors about showing their specimens has been extremely positive.

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