Mineral collection

A specimen of the turquoise variety called Henwoodite, named after William Jory Henwood (1805-1875) from West Phoenix Mine, Linkinhorne, Cornwall

A variety of turquoise called Henwoodite, from West Phoenix Mine, Linkinhorne, Cornwall

 

The Museum’s mineral collection is one of the most important and comprehensive collections of its type in the world. It contains about 185,000 specimens and, besides a small number of specialised regional and historical collections, is organised on a species-systematic basis.

The mineral collection contains many famous and significant mineral specimens from the British Isles. It also holds a number of early European specimens and is very rich in specimens from more distant territories once governed by the UK - particularly from the Victorian era and early twentieth century.

It is one of the largest collections worldwide of scientifically sacrosanct ‘type’ mineral specimens, and contains the most diverse systematic collection of unmounted gemstones in the UK.

The majority of the known species in the mineral kingdom are represented in this systematic collection. It is still being actively studied and added to by research scientists.

Historical collections

  • Sir Hans Sloane
  • Charles Hatchett, FRS
  • Reverend Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode
  • The Right Honourable Charles Francis Greville
  • Baron Franz Coelestin von Beroldingen of Hanover and the Palatinate
  • Allan-Greg Collection
  • Countess Louisa ‘Lady’ Aylesford
  • General Nikolai Koksharov of St Petersburg
  • F N Ashcroft
  • Henry Ludlam (Heuland-Forster) Collection
  • William Nevill
  • Isaac Walker
  • Sir Arthur Russell
  • Smith and Key Collection

Countries of origin

Worldwide coverage.

Looking for a specific specimen?

The Mineral collection is being digitised

Collections manager

Mike Rumsey

Any questions ?

If you would like to use any specimens for research   

Related information

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Accessing the collections

Scientists and collections management specialists can visit the collections and borrow specimens for research.

Collections management

Our duty is to provide a safe and secure environment for all of our collections.