The Australian Museum’s spectacular, gemmy Broken Hill rhodonite from the Albert Chapman collection has been featured on the front cover of Mineral Collections in Australia, the Sept/Oct Supplement to the renowned global publication, Mineralogical Record.

Widely acknowledged as the leading industry magazine of its type in the world, Mineralogical Record is a unique source of mineral news and information, covering mineral collections held in natural history museums and private collections across the world. This journal has a reputation for high quality and integrity, and their previous specialist Supplements have been very well received and widely circulated.

Australian Museum Rhodonite

Image of Rhodonite (D.49966, 1700 foot level, Zinc Corporation Mine, Broken Hill, NSW, Australia. 4.7 x 3 x 0.2 cm. Acquired 1996. Albert Chapman Collection).

Image: John Fields
© Australian Museum

As Australia’s first museum, the AM holds the largest and oldest mineral collection, with several iconic mineral specimens counted as the world’s best. Therefore, it was important that the AM be represented in this compilation of public and private collections, to reinforce our high international profile and advertise our world-class mineral collection to a wider audience.

Describing the AM and its mineral collection, the article showcases five carefully chosen high-resolution images of some of the most famous specimens from our collection (crocoite from Dundas, Tasmania; cerussite and rhodonite from Broken Hill; gold from Kalgoorlie; and wulfenite from Sonora, Mexico). The Australian specimens are some of the finest crystallised minerals produced during our mining history. As such, they are a unique part of Australia’s cultural and natural history heritage.

Prominent coverage of the renowned Albert Chapman and Warren Somerville mineral collections is also included in the Supplement. These collections are known worldwide for their mineralogical diversity, crystal perfection, aesthetic appeal and high Australian content.

As our new mineral gallery is currently in its planning stage, it is timely that we present our mineral collection to an audience of Australian and international tourists and professional geoscientists, to encourage them to include an Australian Museum visit in their future travel itineraries.

The article has been a group effort, with Dayna McGeeney involved in early logistics, Claire Vince co-ordinating and forwarding the submission and Juliet Brereton arranging the financial components. I wrote the text and selected the images, and Mineralogical Record Editor Wendell Wilson provided editorial support.

A copy of the Supplement will soon be available in the AM Library, so that all can enjoy the spectacular and colourful minerals it features. It is also available on the Mineralogical Record website.

Ross Pogson, Collection Manager, Mineralogy and Petrology, Australian Museum Research Institute.

More information:

  • Henley, J., 1988. The Chapman Collection; a national treasure. Mineralogical Record, ‘Australia!’, Vol. 19, no. 6, 461-463, November-December 1988.
  • Pogson, R., Sutherland, F.L. and G. Webb, 2000. The mineral collection of the Australian Museum, Mineralogical Record, Vol 6, No. 2, 51-58, December 2000.
  • Sutherland, F.L. and G. Webb, 1988. The mineral collection of the Australian Museum. Mineralogical Record, ‘Australia!’, Vol. 19, no. 6, 377–380, November-December 1988.
  • Sielecki, S. and W. Wilson. 2020. Mineral Collections in Australia. Supplement to the September-October 2020 issue of the Mineralogical Record.