Department of Crystallography and Mineralogy

     More than 3000 thousand species of minerals are known in the world. For more than 1000 of them occur in the Urals and, more than 600 of them being exhibited in the museum.

     Our acquaintance with the museum begins with «Malyutka» — a gigantic smoky quartz crystal. Its weight is 784 kg, the height is 170 cm. It was found in 1966 at the depth of 13 meters in the Southern Urals.

The exposition of semi-precious stones of the Urals is arranged on the 2nd floor of the museum. The samples of gems and decorative stones, the article made of them are displayed here. The lumps of the Ural gems — topazes, green beryl, rubies, sapphires, garnets are displayed in a special show-case. The rarity lump with blue sapphires from the Southern Urals and the lumps with cherry-red rubies from the Subarctic Urals are of a particular interest.

     The lumps and articles of the Ural malachite extracted in the region of: Nizhny Tagil and in Gumeshky are demonstrated in the middle of the hall. Malachite is one of the most effective and attractive minerals. The hall is decorated with two malachite vases, created in the style of «Russian mosaic» according to the design of the architect I.I. Halberg at the Ekaterinburg lapidary works.

     Unfortunately the «peak» of the Ural malachite is in the past. Nothing in the nature is everlasting: many years intensive extraction of malachite completely exhausted formerly rich Mednorudiansky and Gumeshevsky deposits. Nowadays big fragments of the Ural malachite one can see only in museums.

     It is hardly possible to compare any other territory of Russia with the Urals on crystal richesand its varieties: colorless and smoky crystal, black morion, yellow-lemon citrine, violet amethyst, iced crystal, etc. The Ural amethyst of Vatikha and Talian deposits are traditionally considered to be the best ones in the world because of their variety, purity and riches of colors. Beautiful patterns, articles and facets of all these stones are exhibited here.

     Rhodonite is a typical Ural mineral like malachite. Its deposits are discovered both in our country and in other regions: America, Australia, Europe. But there are no rhodonites equal to the Ural ones because of their colors, rich tones and variety of black and decorative patterns. Rhodonite is equally beautiful both in monumental works (metro-station «Mayakovskaya» in Moscow) and in smallarticles. Beautiful rhodonite vases are considered to be very good decorations of interior.

     The glory of the Ural jasper is known beyond Russia. The great in the world «jasper bel» of the Southern Urals gave a lot of unique specimens for manufacturing of landscape pictures, vases, items for offices. Jasper is not just a beautiful material for artists and jewelers. Its hardness, good ability of being polished, decorative properties make the material a subject of the future.

     The symmetry and strict forms prevail in the Hall of Crystallography. A scientific collection of freely formed crystals and their aggregates created without man participation is demonstrated here. The crystals are exhibited according to the generally accepted system based on the researches of a Russian general A.V. Gadolin, who subdivided the crystals into 32 classes in 1867 according to the degree of crystal symme:, try. The material of the hall is displayed here according to mineral physical properties and the ways of crystallization.

     The show-case of meteorites and tek-tites containing the material of space origin is of great interest. Fragments of meteorites found over the territory of the Urals, including the meteorite «Sverdlovsk» (4.5 kg), «Kargopolie» (21.8 kg) and chondrites of the Kunashaksky «stone» rain are gathered here.

     The mineral collection of the Urals is the mostly completed and systematized one. It is presented by 12 thousand exhibits, embracing more than 600 minerals and their varieties.

     The department begins with the showcase presenting the minerals, discovered for the 1st time in the Urals. Some of these minerals were named according to the place of their discovery: ilmenite, ilmenoroutil, vish-nevite, sysertskite, nevianskite, paly-gorskite, tagilite; other ones — in honor of famous Russian politicians or scientists: alexandrite, vokelenite, cemmererite. The third minerals took their names according to their properties: chloritoid, phenakite, monacite, diaspor, crocoite, etc. The discovery of such chemical elements of Mendeleev Periodical System as chromium, ruthenium, samarium, gadolinium, europium is due to the Urals minerals.

     The show-case of «noble» native elements (gold, platinum, native silver, minerals of the iridium group and osmium) arouse a constant interest among visitors.

     Quartz and its varieties are also fully presented in the museum. The department is interesting by the exposition of «hair-likes»- the prepolished pebbles and rock-crystals with inclusions of needle minerals (routile, tourmaline, actinolite) or fibrous and mosslike minerals (sericite, bissolite, epidote).

     The collections of beryl and its varieties (heliodor, aquamarine, diamond), selections of topazes, tourmalines, corundum, crocoite are the decoration of the systematized collection.

     The section devoted to a new direction of the science — mineralogy of technogen-esis (the minerals formed in the nature conditions as a result of man activity) should be specially mentioned. The unique author's selection of «techno- geneous» minerals created in burning and oxidation of dumps of Korkinsky coal quarry is presented here. Professor B.V.Chesnokov gathered and studied these formations, including more than 50 new minerals.

     The exposition of piezo quartz, synthesized from the granulated freely formed quartz, is also very interesting.

     A show-case of articles made of selenite (fibrous gypsum) and a show-case of mineral associations of the Berezovsky deposit, pegmatites of Murzinka and the Ural agates are of great interest in the section of systematization.