Earth's Treasury

Marvel at the sheer variety, beauty and colour of the minerals, gems and rocks on display. The gallery features a glittering and colourful display of a multitude of stones, both familiar and unusual, with a display of how diamonds are formed and cut.

Royal gems

For many of us, the greatest pleasure of gemstones is to wear them mounted in jewellery, and the Royals are no different. The Queen’s crown contains sapphires, tourmalines, amethysts, topazes and citrines set in gold. You’ll find examples of all these gems glistening in the Earth's Treasury gallery.


Diamonds are made of carbon that has crystalised deep within the Earth. In the early 14th century craftsmen refined cutting and polishing techniques to take full advantage of the extraordinary way in which diamonds split light into a rainbow of colours. See the process of taking diamonds from their raw rock form to dazzling stones and learn about caret strength.

Gemstones, rocks and minerals in Earth’s Treasury.

This dazzling gallery displays fine specimens of the 1000s of colourful gemstones, rocks and minerals on which we depend. Get a rare glimpse of some truly precious treasures, including this beautiful rainbow of gems exhibit.

A gold nugget.

Gold is among the most treasured of Earth’s metals and has long been used as a means of exchange as well as a symbol of power and wealth. The gallery features examples of the forms in which gold can be found.

Hematite a kidney shaped mineral.

This polished, kidney-shaped mass is hematite. It’s one of our most important minerals because it is a key natural source of iron.


Marvel at a mineral called jadarite, which has the same chemical composition as kryptonite. Discovered in Serbia in 2006, the mineral is composed of sodium, lithium, boron silicate and hydroxide. Those are the same ingredients listed for kryptonite in the film Superman Returns. The only difference is fluorine, which gives kryptonite its green colour.

Read our news story about the discovery of jadarite.

Use Explorer and Discover Guides in the Earth's Treasury gallery.

Children can get more out of their visit to the Earth's Treasury gallery with our Explore and Discover guides, which provide a fun and focused way to explore the Museum.

Pick up a self-led guide for £1 from the Hintze Hall (formerly the Central Hall) information desk.

Glowing fluorescent minerals.

Marvel at minerals that glow in the dark as you explore our display of fluorescent minerals.

Platinum nuggets

Platinum nuggets are very valuable – and much more expensive than gold – because they are so rare. As well as being used for jewellery, platinum can be used in catalytic converters to remove harmful gases from exhaust fumes in cars.

Building materials

Discover some of the raw materials and stone dug from the ground that have gone into iconic man-made structures around the world, including the Eiffel Tower, Stonehenge and the Museum building itself.