Rocks and Minerals

The Hunterian has over 120,000 rock and mineral specimens in its collections, as well as around 1500 cut gemstones, and 70 meteorites.‌ Star sapphire megacryst in monchiquite, Loch Roag, Lewis; GLAHM 106637

The mineral collections include several very important older collections including those of William Hunter (one of the few surviving 18th century mineral collections), Thomas Brown of Lanfine (Scottish and world minerals), Frederick Eck (South American, and world minerals), James ‘Paraffin’ Young (world-wide), Frank Rutley (world-wide; the author of Rutley’s Elements of Mineralogy), and Alexander Thoms (mostly Scottish). We also have good display and research holdings arising from recent mineralogical acquisition,  by research, field collecting, donation, and purchase.

Particular areas of strength include Leadhills-Wanlockhead minerals, Scottish Carboniferous zeolites, greenockite, old East European mining localities, old South American mining districts, Australian gold deposits, and gemstones.

The rock collections include much material resulting from the research activities of University of Glasgow geologists metagabbro from Lochinver, Scotland GLAHM 142622over the past two centuries. Particular strengths include Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands; Iceland, Jan Mayen and Spitzbergen; J. W. Gregory collections including Yunnan, Burma, and Australia, meteorites (including the High Possil meteorite which fell in Glasgow in 1804); G.W. Tyrrell’s collections from Russia, Iceland, and Scotland; building stones, Alex Herriot’s collection of magnificent thin-sections and rocks, and a huge range of other research, teaching and display rocks from around the world.‌