Earth’s Treasures

Gallery: Ulster Museum / Nature / Earth's Treasures

Beautiful minerals

In Earth’s Treasures you can see beautiful and exotic minerals from across the UK, Ireland, and beyond. Some of the minerals are so rare that they have been found in only a few places in the world.

About 30 common minerals make up most of the Earth’s rocks. Scientists have identified more than 3,000 other minerals but most are very rare.

Some of the specimens in Earth’s Treasures are common minerals that have formed unusually large or perfect crystals. Others have an uncommon colour or form. Many others are rare minerals that form only in unusual circumstances.


Hard-wearing and colourful minerals are valued as gemstones. In Earth’s Treasures you can discover what these gem minerals look like in their natural state, alongside the cut gemstones.

Beautiful glow

Some minerals look dull under ordinary light, but under ultraviolet light they glow with brilliant greens, reds and yellows. The display of fluorescent minerals in Earth’s Treasures is the largest in any UK museum.