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Internet Field Trip: Smithsonian Gem and Mineral Collection

                              

This Internet Field Trip will take you on a Virtual Tour of the dazzling display of some of the most beautiful objects produced by nature. You will also see some of the rarest objects created by nature, which have been enhanced in their natural beauty by the great skill, and patience of the gemologist. The tour features the world famous Gem and Mineral collection of the SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY in Washington D.C. The Smithsonian exhibits allow one to view a splendid array of mineral crystals from brilliant-green fluorapatite to brilliant-red rhodochrosite, and to visually indulge in a wide variety of sparkling gems from the Hope Diamond to one of the world’s largest sapphires.  .

You will begin your Virtual Tour by visiting the Smithsonian Gem and Mineral Collection at http://www.min.uni-bremen.de/sgmcol/ .

When you have connected with the Smithsonian site you will be presented with 45 icons. You will be responsible for an assignment on 25 of these, starting with Quartz Amethyst and ending with Wulfenite.

The assignment is in two parts: your first task is to identify each of the 2 famous objects pictured on the previous page under the link: you do this by clicking on each if the images; the second consists of a multiple-choice question for each of the 25 selected gem and mineral displays, for a total of 25 multiple-choice questions in al  plus the identification of the 2 gems on the Science page.

Save your responses in a WP document titled Internet Field Trip – Gems and Minerals; be sure to include in your document the number of the question and the answer in a complete sentenced as well as a sentence identifying the gems pictured.. The captions next to the Smithsonian gem and mineral icons are generally very brief, however, so you must go elsewhere to find most of the answers for the multiple-choice questions. Fortunately, there are a number of available Internet gem and mineral sites which you may visit for information on chemical composition, physical properties, etc. of the various gem and minerals species.

One such site is the Rainbow of Gems, which is located at:
http://www.tradeshop.com/gems/rainbow.html.

Another site is the Alphabetical Mineral Reference, which is located at:
http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~eps2/wisc/glossary2.html#a

 

Assignment 

Purple Quartz Amethyst Crystal

 Read the caption at the Smithsonian site for Purple Quartz Amethyst Crystal, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information on this mineral species, visit the Rainbow of Gems site, scroll down to Quartz, double-click on it, and then seek the answer to the following question from the first Quartz page.

 1.       The crystal structure of this crystalline variety of quartz is

a.       isometric

b.       hexagonal

c.       tetragonal

d.       orthorhombic

e.       monoclinic

 

Azurite

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, read the caption for Azurite, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Azurite, double-click on it, and read its page.

 

2.       Azurite is a

a.       hydrated copper carbonate

b.       hydrated copper sulfate

c.       hydrated copper molybdate

d.       hydrated copper arsenate

e.       none of the above

 

A Large Green Beryl Crystal

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, read the caption for a Large Green Beryl Crystal, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Beryl, double-click on it, and seek the answer to the following question from the second Beryl page.

 

3.       Green Beryl commands lower prices than emerald because it

a.       is lower on Mohs hardness scale than emerald

b.       belongs to a different crystal system than emerald

c.       has a lower refractive index than emerald

d.       has a lower degree of dispersion than emerald

e.       lacks the intensity of color of that of emerald

 

The 98.6 Carat Bismark Sapphire

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, read the caption for a The 98.6 Carat Bismark Sapphire, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Sapphire, double-click on it, and read the Corundum page.

 

  1. Sapphires are always                             in color
    1. blue
    2. red
    3. green
    4. yellow
    5. none of the above

 

Black Cassitorite Crystals with White Quartz

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, read the caption for a Black Cassitorite Crystals with White Quartz, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Cassitorite, double-click on it, and read its page.

 

  1. Cassiterite is primarily a(an)                             oxide.
    1. titanium
    2. aluminum
    3. tin
    4. zinc
    5. iron

 

Cerussite Crystal

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, read the caption for a Cerussite Crystal, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Cerussite, double-click on it, and read its page.

 

6.       The crystal structure of Cerussite is

a.       hexagonal

b.       tetragonal

c.       orthorhombic

d.       monoclinic

e.       triclinic

 

A Remarkable Corundum (Sapphire) Crystal

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, read the caption for a A Remarkable Corundum (Sapphire) Crystal, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Corundum, double-click on it, and read its page.

 

7.       The hardness of Corundum is

a.       5

b.       6

c.       7

d.       8

e.       9

 

Napoleon’s Crown For His Empress Marie Louise

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, read the caption for a Napoleon’s Crown For His Empress Marie Louise, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.

 

8.       The 79 Persian turquoise cabachons set in this crown have replaced the 79 original

a.       diamonds

b.       emeralds

c.       rubies

d.       sapphires

e.       garnets


 

Brilliant Green Fluorapatite Mineral Specimen

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to Brilliant Green Fluorapatite Mineral Specimen, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Apatite, double-click on it, and read its page.

 

9.       Fluorapatite is the main constituent in

a.       chalk

b.       diatomaceous earth

c.       chitinous exoskeletons

d.       clam and oyster shells

e.       bones and teeth

 

A Brilliant, Firey Colored Spessartine Garnet

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to A Brilliant, Firey Colored Spessartine Garnet, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Garnet, double-click on it, and read the first page for the Garnet Family.

 

10.   Some of the finest spessartites come from

a.       Georgia and Oregon

b.       Arizona and Vermont

c.       Oklahoma and North Dakota

d.       California and Virginia

e.       New Mexico and Montana

 

Gold Dust, Gold Bar and Gold Coin

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to Gold Dust, Gold Bar and Gold Coin, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the alphabetical Mineral Reference site, double click on G, scroll down to Gold, and read the description.

 

11.   The specific gravity of gold is

a.       7.1 – 11.3

b.       11.3 – 15.2

c.       15.2 – 19.3

d.       19.3 – 23.2

e.       23.2 – 26.3

 

Gold From The Eureka Mine

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to Gold From the Eureka Mine, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, go back to the Mineral References site, double-click on G, scroll down to Gold, double-click on Comments, and read the first page.

 

12.   From 1850 to 1875 more gold was discovered than in the previous                         years.

a.       200

b.       250

c.       300

d.       350

e.       400


 

The Hope Diamond

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to The Hope Diamond, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Diamond, double-click on it, and read its page.

 

13.   The rarest and most highly prized color for diamond is

a.       dark gray to black

b.       medium blue to dark blue

c.       deep yellow to orange

d.       light green to medium green

e.       deep pink to red

 

Jade Alter Bowl

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to Jade Alter Bowl, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Jade, double-click on it, and read its page.

 

14.   The term jade refers to two different minerals.  One is a sodium aluminum silicate and the other is a variety of

a.       amphibole

b.       pryoxene

c.       chlorite

d.       serpentine

e.       talc

 

Carved Nephrite (Jade) Chinese Lanterns

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to Carved Nephrite (Jade) Chinese Lanterns, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Jade again, double-click on it, and read the page again.

 

15.   Nephrite usually has a                           color than jadeite.

a.       darker and more intense

b.       darker and less intense

c.       lighter and more intense

d.       lighter and less intense

e.       none of the above

 

Opal

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to Opal, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Opal, double-click on it, and read its page.

 

16.   The crystal structure for opal is

a.       isotropic

b.       hexagonal

c.       tetragonal

d.       amorphous

e.       none of the above


 

The Star Of Bombay

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to The Star Of Bombay, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Mineral References site, double-click on S, scroll down to Sapphire, and read its page.

 

17.   Star Sapphires are due to oriented

a.       needles of asbetstos

b.       needles of tourmaline

c.       rutile needles

d.       chlorite flakes

e.       flakes of biotite

 

Polished Quartz Sample

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to Polished Quartz Sample, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Quartz, double-click on it, and read the first page.

 

18.   The Smithsonian display of this mineral illustrates the tow major classifications of Quartz, which are

a.       crystalline and cryptocrystalline

b.       banded and unbanded

c.       fine-grained and course-grained

d.       light-colored and dark-colored

e.       none of the above

 

Rhodochrosite Crystal

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to Rhodochrosite Crystal, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Rhodochrosite,, double-click on it, and read its page.

 

19.   The chemical composition for Rhodochrosite is

a.       manganese carbonate with sodium and calcium

b.       magnesium carbonate with iron and calcium

c.       manganese silicate with iron and calcium

d.       magnesium silicate with iron and calcium

e.       manganese carbonate with iron and calcium

 

A Large Purple Rubellite Crystal

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to A Large Purple Rubellite Crystal, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Tourmaline,, double-click on it, and read its page.

 

20.   Although all the varieties of tourmaline share a common crystal structure, they have the widest variation in                                      of any gemstone.

a.       refractive index

b.       dispersion

c.       color

d.       hardness

 


 

The Mineral Smithsonite

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to The Mineral Smithsonite, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.

 

21.   This mineral was first recognized by a wealthy Englishman who bequeathed funds for the creation of the

a.       Smithsonian Institution

b.       Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia

c.       American Museum of Natural History

d.       Chicago Field Museum

e.       Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History

 

A Spectacular Metallic Stibnite Crystal Structure

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to A Spectacular Metallic Stibnite Crystal Structure, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.

 

22.   Stibnite is an ore of

a.       nickel

b.       zirconium

c.       bismuth

d.       tungsten

e.       antimony

 

A Sherry-Colored Topaz Crystal Spray

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to A Sherry-Colored Topaz Crystal Spray, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Topaz, double-click on it, and read its page.

 

23.   Mohs hardness for topaz is

a.       6

b.       7

c.       8

d.       9

e.       10

 

Tumbled Emerald Necklace On Wooden Buddha Figure

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to Tumbled Emerald Necklace On Wooden Buddha Figure, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Rainbow site, scroll down to Emerald, double-click on it, and read the Beryl page.

 

24.   Emerald derives its color from the presence of

a.       chromium

b.       molybdenum

c.       strontium

d.       lithium

e.       barium


 

Beautiful Tiny Yellow Wulfenite Crystals

 

Return to the Smithsonian site, scroll down to Beautiful Tiny Yellow Wulfenite Crystals, read the caption, click on its icon, and view the GIF image.  For more information, visit the Mineral References site, double-click on W, scroll down to Wulfenite, and read its description.

 

25.   Wulfenite occurs in the oxidized zone of deposits

a.       nickel

b.       copper

c.       zinc

d.       lead

e.       iron