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Mineral Treasures of the Fersman Mineralogical Museum

With a collection of more than 135,000 items, the Fersman Mineralogical Museum in Moscow, Russia, is considered to be one of the largest and most interesting of its kind in the world. Visitors to the museum are amazed at the diversity and beauty of the collection, which includes natural geodes, crystals, druzes, gemstones, meteorites and other mineral treasures, many of which have been fashioned into a variety of ornamental and decorative works of art.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Russian academician Vladimir Vernadsky, divided all the museums acquisitions into five main collections. The Systematic Collection consists of over 90,000 items which represent 2,400 mineral species of the 4,000 that are known in nature. The specimens in this collection reveal the diversity of minerals with regard to their constitution, physical properties, geomorphology and association with other minerals. The sheer beauty of the more than 4,800 items in the Crystal Collection can be appreciated by everyone, but to the trained eye this collection means so much more than beauty, as the collection represents all crystal systems, as well as many of the crystal space groups.

The Locality Collection includes over 31,000 specimens which represent mineral deposits from more than 300 deposits within Russia as well as from localities in other countries. The approximately 2,200 specimens in the Pseudomorph Collection showcases different types of pseudomorphs, as well as the many facets of mineral growing and transformations in differing conditions. The Gem Stone Art Collection is truly breath-taking. Visitors never fail to be awe-struck at the intricate jewelry and ornamental items, which are evidence of the artist and designer’s skill. Included in the more than 8,000 items are some thirty pieces designed by renowned Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé. The collection’s rough uncut gemstones sparkle in a myriad of colors and the expertly cut stones show off their polished beauty. A large portion of the Gems and Stone Art Collection represent Russian stone art from the 18th through to the 20th century.

The Fersman Mineralogical Museum was named in honor of prominent geochemist, mineralogist and academician, Alexander Yevgenyevich Fersman. Fersman, who was associated with the Soviet Academy of Sciences, has received a number of awards in recognition of his significant contribution to advancing knowledge within his fields. In addition to the Fersman Mineralogical Musuem, the minerals fersmite and fermanite, as well as a crater on the Moon and streets in a number of Russian cities have been named after Alexander Fersman.

The Russian capital city of Moscow is a fascinating place to visit and there are innumerable places of interest to visit. Should you be considering a trip to Russia, be sure to add the Fersman Mineralogical Museum to your list of places to visit.


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