The Mineral Museum has something that is sure to amaze and inspire almost everyone. The finest examples of rock and mineral occurrences from Montana, the world, and even outer space are on display for the general public to examine and enjoy at no cost. The museum originated as a teaching collection of ~200 specimens acquired in 1901, shortly after the Montana School of Mines enrolled its first students. Thanks to donations and public support, the museum now holds ~13,000 specimens, ~1000 that we display, a gift shop, and several exhibits that describe Montana's geology, earthquake activity, and local mining history. Prized specimens from Montana include an outstanding smoky quartz cluster, named Rheanna's Star after the daughter of the man who meticulously dug it out of the ground just east of Butte, and an impressive 27.5 troy ounce gold nugget recovered from placer workings in the mountains south of Butte. Pristine polished agate and brilliant blue sapphires from Yogo Gulch (both State gemstones of Montana) and nice examples of the copper, zinc, and manganese ore minerals that transformed Butte into the Richest Hill on Earth are also on display. Azurite and malachite from Bisbee, Arizona, outstanding native copper from Michigan, and remarkable amethyst geodes from Brazil are only a few examples of specimens collected worldwide that are on display.
We also exhibit ten meteorites that "fell" into our collection over the years, including a large Ni-Fe meteorite found recently in Beaverhead County. Come visit our Mineral Museum and learn about Montana's fascinating geology!
(Jun 15–Sep 15)
Daily, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Mon–Fri, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
The museum is located on the Montana Tech campus, overlooking the historic mining city of Butte. Elevator access to the Mineral Museum is located between the Museum building and the Chemistry building. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated.
Starting with the original acquisition of 170 minerals in 1901, the Mineral Museum's permanent collection has grown to over 13,000 specimens.History