Museum of Natural History and Science

A Gem of a Gem: “The Wonderful World of Opals” Opens at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2017

MEDIA CONTACT
Jennifer Padilla
505-577-1347

For Immediate Release: January 30, 2017 (Albuquerque, NM)— Katherine Jetter, the Santa Fe based, Australian born, internationally recognized jewelry designer, is the guest curator for a exhibition of opals from around the world opening at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. The Wonderful World of Opals features cut and uncut stones from Australia, Mexico, Ethiopia and Peru, as well as some set opal jewels from Katherine Jetter’s own collection. A one-of-a-kind rough opal specimen from Australia that weighs over 160 pounds is also part of the show. Grand opening events for the public include short talks, displays, and demonstrations at the museum on Feb. 10, and Feb. 11, 2017.   

"This is an exceptional collection of opals curated by a leader in the opal industry,” said Margie Marino, director of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. “The Museum is very proud to be able to work with world-wide partners to bring this exhibition to the people of New Mexico. This is a rare opportunity for visitors to the Museum to see a whole opal in its raw state and examine how it is formed,” she said. 

A number of collaborative and educational events have been scheduled for the opening weekend to enhance the visitor experience. 

Events Scheduled for Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 Free with Museum Admission
-10am to 2pm:  Rock, mineral and gem demonstrations and displays by the Albuquerque Gem and Mineral Club and Museum Lapidary Studio
-9am to 12:30pm: George Franzen (in the Lapidary Studio) will demonstrate opal cutting and polishing and be available to talk with visitors to the Museum.

Events Scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 Free with Museum Admission 
10am to 3pm: Rock, mineral and gem demonstrations and displays by the Albuquerque Gem and Mineral Club/Museum Lapidary Studio
-10am to 3pm: Bring your own unknown rocks and minerals to be identified by members of the Albuquerque Gem and Mineral Club/ Museum Lapidary Studio
-10am - 10:20am: Short Talk for the Public by Katherine Jetter, Exhibition Guest Curator, “The Lore and Myths of Opals and Opals in Jewelry Through the Ages”  
-11am – 11:20am: Short Talk for the Public by Katherine Jetter, Exhibit Guest Curator, “Different Types of Opals”
-Noon and 12:30pm: Special Short Tours of the New Exhibit: The Wonderful World of Opals (Limited to 15 people each tour)
-1pm – 1:20pm: Short Talk for the Public, by George Franzen, Steward Museum Lapidary Studio, “Opal for the Common Man”
-2pm – 2:20pm: Short Talk for the Public, by Joel Johnstone, Chair Museum Lapidary Studio, “The World of Mineral and Gem Cutting”

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is a Division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. The Department of Cultural Affairs is New Mexico’s cultural steward and is charged with preserving and showcasing the state’s cultural riches. With its eight museums, eight historic monuments, arts, archaeology, historic preservation and library programs, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs is the largest state cultural agency in the nation. 

 


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