CSU–Pueblo loans extensive gem collection to Steelworks Museum

A true piece of Pueblo history, an extensive collection of gems and minerals, has found a new home in the Steelworks Museum of Industry and Culture thanks to a long-term loan by Colorado State University-Pueblo.

A sample from the collection may be viewed at a press conference (10 a.m.) or reception (5-7 p.m.) on Oct. 3 at the Steelworks Museum, 215 Canal Street, Pueblo.

Steelworks Museum Board president Corinne Koehler is thrilled that the collection again will be open to the public for study and enjoyment and will provide both students and tourists a better understanding of the region’s mining, geology, and natural resources. When the University terminated its geology program in the 1990s, the collection of 300 boxes of specimens was stored, and the display cases were distributed to other organizations.

“People have been fascinated by the shapes, color, size and brilliance of minerals for thousands of years and BHS is honored to be the care taker of this collection so students of all ages can again enjoy this collection and hopefully spark a new generation of geologists in Southern Colorado,” she said.

The mineral collection consists of many different mineral and fossil specimens from Colorado, the U.S. and the world. Both common and rare specimens were obtained from famous collection sites to many now closed mine sites. The collection consists of many minerals that were purchased or collected decades ago by geology professors or donated by various alumni and community members. Among the items in the collection that would be difficult to replace is one of the largest desert rose specimens found in Texas.

The museum now is raising funds to purchase additional display and storage cases, which will allow the public to better study the collection.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.