The museum displays many minerals found in Henderson County or in North Carolina.
One of the highlights of the museum and a lot of fun for the entire family is, when you purchase your own geode and one of the volunteers carefully places your geode in a special device to crack it open and expose the inner treasures that nature has created.
The Mineral & Lapidary Museum offers a range of exhibits from raw minerals in their natural state to polished gemstones. As North Carolina has one of the most diverse mineral deposits, the museum displays many minerals, which have been found in the County or in the State.
On display in the museum is a collection of fluorescent rocks. Fluorescent rocks look unimpressive in normal day light but when you look at them under long wave ultra-violet light (also called black light) they shine spectacularly, which is triggered by impurities in the rock. Other rocks glow under short wave ultra-violet light showing rich, strong and contrasting colors.
Geodes are rounded rock formations, which typically occur in cavities of sedimentary and volcanic rocks. After the rock around the cavity hardens, dissolved minerals are deposited on the inside surface, which, over time, with the help of groundwater can form crystals inside the hollow chamber.
The museums has a variety of un-cracked geodes available which you can purchase and have cracked open right there. As every geode is different, it is always an exciting moment, when the geode is cracked open and the inner beauty of the crystals inside is seen for the first time. Museum volunteers may also give you an information sheet specifying the mineral content of your geode.
Another very popular exhibit is the Hendersonville Meteorite, which was found locally in the early 1900s. The original rust colored rock from space is said to have weighed over 11 lbs. It was divided up into several segments shortly after its discovery. Two of these pieces have found their way back to Hendersonville, although only on loan to the museum for visitor to admire.
The Fossil Corner has life-size castings of a T-Rex head, the skeletons of two saber-toothed cats, a thighbone from a mastodon and a fossilized dinosaur egg nest. There is also a genuine woolly mammoth leg bone that is over six feet tall.
To learn about the diversity of minerals during a rainy day may be a great way to spend your time.
You can purchase your own geode at the museum and have it cracked open to see which crystals have formed in the hollow chamber inside. It’s a lot of fun for the entire family.
Restrooms are available in the museum.