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NMMNHS Honored By Albuquerque Gem and Mineral Club

Publish Date: 
Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 1:45pm



Randall Gann, Public Information Officer

505.252.6869  Email:

NMMNHS Set To Be Honored By Albuquerque Gem and Mineral Club

The Albuquerque Gem and Mineral Club (AGMC) will be holding its annual Christmas Party at the NM Museum of Natural History and Science this Friday, December 19th, when they will present the Museum with a positively stunning specimen of halite found in Southern New Mexico. The specimen is a token of the club's appreciation for the hospitality that the museum has extended to them over the last year. The presentation will take place around 7:30 pm in the Museum atrium.


The relationship between the Museum and AGMC is a very cool story! The AGMC (which has been around since 1947!!!) was actively looking for a public place to set up a lapidary studio, where they could prepare specimens like agate, rhyolite, and serpentine—all of which are collected in New Mexico by AGMC members. They contacted NMMNHS Exhibits Manager Mike Pierce, and eventually the Museum offered them space for a studio.

This arrangement has worked out very well for both parties. The AGMC has a beautiful space where specimens are prepared under the supervision of studio masters and where the public can watch.


The Museum (and especially our visitors!) benefits because of the public interaction the AGMC members engage in when they are using the studio. Mike Pierce said: “The AGMC members who use the studio routinely step out from behind the glass to show pieces to the crowds, and the visitors—especially the kiddos—are always very interested. The Museum really values community partnerships, and this one is exemplary of how they benefit both the partner and the Museum.”


The dimensions of the halite specimen are about 5" by 6.5" by 3" thick.  It was found in the
Kerr McGee mine near Carlsbad, NM, and was collected by Phillip Simmons of Socorro (who was employed as a mining engineer at the mine) in 2011. As an added treat, Mr. Simmons, who originally found the specimen, will be at the dinner and will say a few words.


The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science preserves and interprets the distinctive natural and scientific heritage of our state through extraordinary collections, research, exhibits, and programs designed to ignite a passion for lifelong learning.



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