Collected over almost 200 years, the Australian Museum’s rocks and minerals collection is one of the largest in Australia, featuring more than 80,000 specimens from across Australia and the world. Be dazzled by the finest examples from this incredible collection and immerse yourself in the world-leading mineralogy research of the Australian Museum Research Institute.

This immersive experience unlocks these extraordinary stones so that everyone can enjoy their striking colours, shapes, fragility, rarity, symmetry and origins. Learn how minerals are made and discover rare specimens including remnants of cosmic fireballs and minerals that glow in the dark. Witness some of the oldest rocks and minerals on Earth, including visitors from outer space, and discover what they can reveal about the early days of our solar system. Lose yourself in sparkling gemstones reflecting all the colours of the spectrum and the rare earth minerals that are essential today in modern battery and catalytic converter technology.

Exhibition highlights

Rhodochrosite D.50701


The rich, raspberry colour of this rhodochrosite (manganese carbonate) dazzles with its large transparent and sharp ‘dog-tooth’ crystals up to 4 cm in size.

Such specimens with large crystals are now very rare because they are no longer obtainable from the mine, which makes this an exceptional specimen of its species. Its name comes from a Greek word meaning ‘rose-coloured’.

Mundrabilla Iron Meteorite DR.11215

Mundrabilla iron meteorite

This iron meteorite is part of the ‘Mundrabilla’ fall of meteorites on the Nullarbor Plain of Western Australia. The first piece of Mundrabilla was found in 1911 and over many years, a number of pieces have been recovered with a total mass of about 24 tonnes.

The exact date of the fall is unknown, but most meteorites are as old as our solar system, about 4.6 billion years.

Topaz D.50715

Topaz with smoky quartz and albite feldspar

This is a ‘Rembrandt of the mineral world’ according to the Museum’s Minerology Collection Manager, Ross Pogson. The unique coupling of its pale blue, transparent topaz (aluminium fluorine silicate) crystals on smoky quartz and albite makes it one of the finest mineral specimens ever discovered.

Found in Russia in the late 1800s, the specimen was originally in a Russian museum and eventually acquired by Albert Chapman in 1984.

Molybdenite on quartz D.36302

Molybdenite on quartz

With large, curved silvery metallic crystal flakes scattered over quartz crystals in an stunning arrangement, this is the best molybdenite (molybdenum sulphide) specimen of its type in the world.

The Australian Museum has a large and magnificent molybdenite collection and this magnificent specimen was purchased in 1944 from Mr J Huthnance.

Minerals digital publication

Delve into the Minerals digital publication and discover the extraordinary mineral icons of the Australian Museum and the stories they reveal about our fascinating collection and Earth's geological history.

Explore now

Minerals is funded by the Australian Museum Foundation and supported by the NSW Government as part of the Australian Museum's major transformation, Project Discover.

The Australian Museum is COVID Safe

To help keep our staff, visitors and community safe, the AM has COVID-19 protocols in place, including physical distancing, increased cleaning and hygiene practices. Facemasks are encouraged.

View our full COVID-19 safety information here.

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