CRYSTAL MAGIC
The hidden glamour of dark tourmaline

10 June – 25 September 2016

For centuries now, tourmaline’s colourful rubellite, verdelite, indigolite and other varieties have been capturing people’s imaginations as collector’s items or gems because of their intense colours.
But it was only recently discovered that schorl, the most common variety of tourmaline – which appears pitch-black from the outside – also turns colourful if it is simply cut fine enough. What’s more, these crystals frequently contain fascinating microstructures, amazingly precise and with surprisingly brilliant colours. Watching these black slices of crystal becoming more and more transparent and colourful as they’re cut, revealing their unique structure, is a magical experience each and every time.

With the aid of microphotography, Dr Paul Rustemeyer has been able to capture this stunningly beautiful new crystal landscape, giving it mineralogical interpretation. Many of the newly discovered structures provide x-ray-style insights into the inner world of tourmaline crystals and the numerous crystallographic details stored within them.

Because tourmaline crystals, like a physical textbook, demonstrate nearly all of the phenomena that occur among crystals, the exhibition also serves as an insight into the nature of crystals in general. The exhibition’s stunning photos make it a real eye-opener, bringing artistic qualities and aesthetics together with scientific information. In this way, the exhibition combines almost meditative reflection upon unique, large-scale tourmaline images with the latest scientific discoveries about the growth of crystals.

The exhibitor and chemist, Dr Paul Rustemeyer, has been an enthusiastic collector and photographer of minerals from his youth. He’s been making mineralogy understandable through newspapers, books and lectures for 35 years.

Exhibition opening hours
10 June – 25 September 2016
Mon–Fri 10am – 5pm
Sat–Sun and public holidays 10am – 6pm

Entrance costs (combi ticket including terra mineralia)
Adults € 12,00
Schoolchildren and students € 6,00
Families € 25,00
Adult groups € 9,00
Schoolchildren’s and student groups € 5,00

Information desk (available Mon–Thu, 10am – 3.30pm)
Tel 03731 394654
Fax 03731 394671
fuehrungen@terra-mineralia.de

Address
TU Bergakademie Freiberg
terra mineralia
Freudenstein Castle
Schloßplatz 4
09599 Freiberg

"The Faces of Small Scale Artisanal Mining – Stories from around the world"

24 October 2016 - 8 January 2017

On 24 October, terra mineralia opened its new special exhibition on the theme of artisanal mining. With 30 photos, the “Faces of Small Scale Artisanal Mining – Faces from Across the World” exhibition sheds light on the many different facets of artisanal mining and shows the faces behind it.

Miners, gold and salt prospectors, quarriers, opencast coal miners, gemstone divers, mineral cutters, stonemasons – together they are the guardians of artisanal mining. For mineral commodities alone, the proportion of artisanal mining lies between 15 and 20 percent. But it is especially widespread when it comes to extracting specific metals such as gold, chrome, tin and tantalum – required, for example, for smartphones. In addition, around 10% of diamonds and 80% of precious stones such as moonstone are mined in this way. At present, around 15 to 30 million people globally work in artisanal mining, with 80 to 100 million indirectly dependent on it.

It is especially common in developing countries due to the low level of mechanisation, and is often associated with the extraction of so-called ‘conflict minerals’ such as gold, wolframite, cassiterite and coltan as well as the notorious ‘blood diamonds’.

Since the mining is carried out by hand, well-preserved collector’s specimens from hidden geodes that large machines would often simply destroy also come to light through this method. The workers use very simple equipment that they have to repair or even build themselves. The diversity of tools ranges from pickaxes and electric drills to candles and solar torches.

"The Faces of Small Scale Artisanal Mining – Faces from Across the World" special exhibition reveals the many different facets. The total of 30 photographs are primarily from photographers Dr Andreas Barth, Managing Director of Beak Consultants GmbH in Freiberg, and Dr Jürgen Weyer of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg’s Institute of Mining and Special Engineering. They were taken in the context of research projects and excursions and show artisanal mining in countries such as Ghana, Namibia, Tanzania, Bolivia, China and Myanmar.

“The Faces of Small Scale Artisanal Mining – Faces from Across the World” special exhibition is open to visitors until the beginning of January 2017 at terra mineralia.

Exhibition opening hours

Mon–Fri 10am – 5pm
Sat–Sun and public holidays 10am – 6pm

Admission fees

Adults € 10,00
Schoolchildren and students € 5,00
Families € 22,00
Adult groups € 8,00
Schoolchildren’s and student groups € 4,00

Information desk (available Mon–Thu, 10am – 3.30pm)

Tel 03731 394654
Fax 03731 394671
fuehrungen@terra-mineralia.de

Address

TU Bergakademie Freiberg
terra mineralia
Freudenstein Castle
Schloßplatz 4
09599 Freiberg