Mayborn Museum Hosts Duval Collection Of Gems And Minerals

May 12, 2005

by Sarah_Levine

NOTE TO MEDIA: The Mayborn Museum will host a media preview of the Duval Collection of Gems and Minerals from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, May 20.

Baylor University's Mayborn Museum Complex will commemorate its first anniversary by hosting the Duval Collection of Gems and Minerals May 22-Aug. 14 in the Thomas E. and Emilyne Weed Anding Traveling Exhibit Gallery of the Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center.

The impressive display includes 38 specimens from the world's largest "gem quality" turquoise nugget to a spectacular 2200-pound transparent quartz crystal cluster. The exhibit is organized by the Houston Museum of Natural Science through a gift from the Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. with the support of Shell Oil Products U.S.

The Mayborn Museum Complex will host a preview gala - Dazzle at the Duval - from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 21, featuring desserts and dancing to the tunes of The Morticians. The black-tie optional event will include a chocolate fountain, Bananas Foster, cakes by Ullja's and a sundae bar. Guests are encouraged to wear their most dazzling jewelry - fun, faux or fine - and enjoy an elegant evening in the Sue Mayborn Grand Rotunda of the museum. Tickets are $40 per person or $25 for Mayborn members.

The opening of the Duval Collection of Gems and Minerals coincides with the first anniversary of the Mayborn Museum Complex.

"We are delighted to have such a wonderful exhibit for this important milestone," said Dr. Ellie Caston, director of the Mayborn Museum Complex. "Not only is the Duval Collection sparkling and a fitting arrival for our anniversary, it is also an exhibit that we believe visitors of all ages will enjoy."

The 5000-square-foot Anding Gallery will be the venue for the rare collection of specimens assembled under the direction of S.H. Martin, general manager of Duval's Battle Mountain in Nevada and Mineral Park in Arizona. Native copper, azurite, citrine quartz and an 820-pound amethyst geode will be among the pieces.

The Duval Collection was housed atop the Pennzoil Building for more than three decades before being donated to the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

To enhance the visitors' experience during the exhibit, the Mayborn Museum Complex will offer special programming during the summer. The museum's popular children's summer programs will be planned around the exhibit. "Summer Rocks" will offer classes for children from age two through sixth grade. Adult programming will include presentations on the traditions of birthstones, lectures by Baylor professors and demonstrations on the tumbling process. Visitors also will get an up-close look at how raw gems become jewelry in the "Gems to Jewels" program.

The exhibit also will include two computer stations where visitors can learn the dynamics of crystal formation, what is a rock or mineral and how geodes form.

Guests may purchase geodes in the Museum Store and crack them to reveal the crystals inside. The Museum Store also will sell semiprecious handset jewelry, faux gem paperweights, gemstone bracelets, flashing birthstone rings, tumbled stones on necklace chains and mineral and gemstone specimens in assorted sizes. Younger guests can enjoy filling pouches with pyrite and tumbled stones.

Special joint admission packages for the Mayborn Museum Complex and Duval Collection are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for children. Tickets for the Duval Collection only are $4 for adults and seniors and $2 for children. Mayborn Museum Members are admitted free of charge.

The Mayborn Museum Complex is located at 1300 S. University Parks Dr. in Waco. For more information, call the museum at (254) 710-1110 or visit

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