Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, American Museum of Natural History
New York, New York
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.
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.
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.
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.
Size 11,500 square feet
Architect David Brody Bond
Photography © Frank Oudeman