The Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems exhibits an array of precious and ornamental stones—uncut, polished, and even a few set in elaborate pieces of jewelry—as well as organic materials such as coral and amber that are prized as gems.
Drawn from the Museum’s collection of more than 100,000 minerals and gems, specimens in this hall are organized by mineral group, including diamond, sapphire and ruby, emerald and other beryls, opal, garnet, and many others. Rare and unusual gems, synthetic gemstones, and precious metals such as gold, platinum, and silver are also on display. Several exhibit cases feature decorative objects and jewelry spanning three millennia and various cultures.
The hall also features a re-created gem pocket—a crystal-filled cavity—found in the mountains of San Diego County in California. This natural cavity in pegmatite rock holds seven types of large crystals, including tourmaline, beryl, spodumene, quartz, and albite.