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Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, American Museum of Natural History

New York, New York

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In 2021, the American Museum of Natural History’s world-renowned Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals were reopened with a completely new presentation.

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Within the renovated halls, an open layout invites curiosity-driven exploration. The three main divisions of the layout are the Minerals Hall, the Gems Hall, and the Melissa and Keith Meister Gallery for temporary exhibitions. A room off the east wall explores the optical properties of minerals and their interaction with light.

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Mignone Hall of Gems and Minerals_4
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Foremost in the renovation concept was showcasing the Museum’s vast mineralogy collection. Over 5,000 specimens—more than half of which were not previously displayed—are on view in custom casework. State-of-the-art lighting draws out mineral colors, crystal habitats and sculptural forms, optimized to highlight color variation and refraction in gems and jewelry. A layer of inquiry-based interpretation helps to engage visitors through Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which offers tools for investigating science practices as they relate to mineralogy.

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Mignone Hall of Gems and Minerals_9

Pride of place is given to star sapphires and cat’s eyes, including the famous 563-carat Star of India sapphire. The sparkling, new Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals at AMNH intends to be a signature destination for national and international visitors.

Year 2021

Size 11,500 square feet

Architect David Brody Bond

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Photography © Frank Oudeman