TSU Museum of Mineralogy celebrates its 130th anniversary

The Museum of Mineralogy named after I.K. Bazhenov celebrates its 130th birthday in March. Currently the museum’s collection includes more than 50,000 samples brought from all over the world. Among them are many semi-precious stones, including some with an unusual historical past, and there are some rare minerals from deposits that are among the very few on earth. Recently the collection was replenished with new exhibits, among them a gift-table from minerals mined on the Kola Peninsula.

- Gennady Tatyanin, the former dean of the Faculty of Geology and Geography, presented the gift and this is not his first gift to the museum, - says Valentina Sveshnikova, the head of the Museum of Mineralogy. - The new exhibit makes a great impression on visitors. The patterned tabletop, equipped with lighting, is made of astrophyllite (star stone), aegirine, nepheline, and eudialyte. This last mineral is not only very beautiful but also rare. It should be noted that our graduates never forget their alma mater, - says Valentina Sveshnikova. - Arriving at the meeting, which is traditional at TSU on Geologist Day, they always bring interesting minerals from various mineral deposits in Russia and abroad.

For example, several years ago a rare specimen –  turquoise weighing almost a kilogram and measuring 17 by 30 centimeters – appeared in the Museum of Mineralogy. The rare discovery was made in Kazakhstan at the Altyn-Tyube mineral deposit, where Sergei Golomolzin, a graduate of the Faculty of Geology and Geography, worked as a geologist. It is impossible to transfer minerals from the mineral assets to private individuals, but in this case, an exception was made because the documents indicated that the turquoise would be exhibited in the museum of TSU.

Each sample of the exposition has considerable value, but some among them are truly unique exhibits. One of them was brought to TSU from Transbaikal. A druse of crystals, combined with topaz, quartz, and aquamarine and weighing more than 10 kilograms, was delivered to the University from the largest mineral deposit of gems and rare metals Sherlova Gora, discovered in the 18th century.

- What they saw makes such an impression on some visitors to our museum that they express their desire to make a contribution to the collection, - says Valentina Leontievna. - There were cases when completely unfamiliar people, not associated with the university, purchased minerals and sent them to the TSU museum. Therefore, we are sure that 50,000 samples are not the limit, thanks to the not indifferent people: scientists, graduates, and admirers of the museum the collection will grow further.