Natural History MuseumNatural History Museum
Treasures of Earth
Mineralogical exposition “Treasures of Earth” represents through 1100 specimens more then 700 mineral species from various Slovak and foreign localities. All specimens are arranged systematically according to chemical-structural classification proposed by H. Strunz (so called Nickel-Strunz classification). Therefore the presented specimens of minerals are divided into nine classes according to chemical composition and crystal structure. Oversized specimens with characteristic mineral associations from the best known ore deposits from Slovakia together with large specimens of various minerals are the dominants of the whole exposition. Specimens of kermesite from Pezinok near Bratislava, aggregates of prismatic crystals of stibnite and samples of native gold from Kremnica, silver bearing minerals together with specimens of precious opals from Eastern Slovakia belong to the most remarkable specimens from Slovakia presented in mineralogical exposition. Other remarkable minerals from foreign localities includes specimens of hessite from Romania, crystals of azurite from Namibia, various types of fluorites, tanzanites, rubies or turmalines from Tanzania or perfect agates from Brasilia. Collections of various gemstones from Slovakia, Australia, Mexico or Russia complete the mineralogical exposition. The prospecting for minerals in Slovakia has a long tradition. Precious metals were mined in the area of Banská Štiavnica and Kremnica, Hodruša, Magurka, gold was panned in the Danube and an area especially rich on cooper ores was the Spiš-Gemer region, with the most important deposits Smolník, Dobšiná, Gelnica, Medzev and others. Stibnit was mined in the Malé Karpaty and Nízke Tatry Mts., copper in Ľubietová and Špania Dolina. Dubník was famous for its precious opals. Therefore the presented historical mining maps from the best known Slovakian ore deposits resemble the past glory of the mining towns with their rich history.
Several new minerals were first described from the most famous deposits or from small mineralogical localities in Slovakia. Between minerals species first described in Slovakia were for example libethenit (1823) named after german name of village Ľubietová or euchroit (1823) from the same locality. In the 19th century were also described mineral species as hauerit (1847) found at Vigľášska Huta-Kalinka, or evansit (1864) from Železník. Also some new mineral species as hodrusite (1970) from Hodruša-Hámre as well as mrázekite (1992) from famous locality Ľubietová were detected and described in the 20th century. But there are still unknown minerals in Slovakia, as in the beginning of 21st century were described further new mineral species as vihorlatite (2007) from Poruba pod Vihorlatom or chovanite (2012) from Dúbrava deposit in Nízke Tatry Mts.