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Digging into the World of Gems and Minerals

A giant geode from the Bolsa Mine in Uruguay is on display at the American Museum of Natural History, Thursday, June 3, 2021, in New York. The Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals have more than 5,000 specimens from 95 countries. The exhibit opened to the public on June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)



For centuries people have had a fascination with gemstones. They've inspired myths, been used for medicinal purposes, as well as to create jewelry. After all, a kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but diamonds are a girl’s best friend, or so sang Marilyn Monroe.

But, where do gems that wind up on your ring or necklace come from, and how do they form?

On this week’s show, we’re digging into the world of gems and minerals with Doctor George Harlow. He’s a curator emeritus in the American Museum of Natural History’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Division of Physical Sciences.

Dr. Harlow joins us to talk about his own journey in geology, as well as the re-opening of the museum’s Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals. The 11,000-square-foot Halls are now back in business after a major overhaul.