Rocks, Minerals & Fossils

The Rock and Mineral Experience was designed with rockhounds in mind! Located on the lower level of the Museum, this exhibit hall features 26 rock, mineral, and fossil exhibits, focusing on earth science and lapidary materials. As you enter the hall, you will experience the beauty of petrified wood welcoming you to the world of geology. This 2,363 pound piece of petrified wood came from the Petrified Forest in Arizona. A nearby display houses the first carving Mr. Lizzadro collected.

Other exhibits explore geology, including Illinois’ famous Mazon Creek fossils. There’s even a Tully Monster, Illinois’ state fossil, on display! You can see rocks that glow in the dark in the miner’s display. This replica is inspired by a real mine in Quincy, Michigan. A display of fossils shows how life has changed over geologic time, starting at 3.5 billion years ago.

Other exhibits show lapidary materials, including minerals and fossils used in lapidary. Some exhibits are interactive and give geologic explanations designed to engage visitors of all ages. Interactive Touch Screens provide more information on minerals, lapidary and the Museum’s collection. The exhibit hall serves as the Museum’s lecture hall and classroom area.

Come and engross yourself in the world of rocks and minerals!

The Rock and Mineral Experience permanent exhibit was funded in part by contributions from Museum Members, as well as the ‘Public Museum Capital Grant Program’ through Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois State Museum.

PERMANENT COLLECTION