Guided tours at Natural Historic Museum

Burgring 7, 1010 Vienna

Date: Wednesday, 21th August 2019; 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m.
Capacity: max. 45 persons (3 groups á 15 persons)
Costs: € 20,--/person including the ticket for the museum

The tours will be guided by Dr. Vera M.F. Hammer, the head of the gemstone collections.

The collections comprise a total of about 150.000 catalogued objects (the effective number of pieces is of course considerably higher). About 15 % of the total inventory is on public display (in the case of the mineral collection it is even a fifth of the inventory).

The significance of the mineral collection of the Natural History Museum Vienna lies in their rich content of objects from occurrences within the former area of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy and of the Alps. However, the collection also represents many “classic“ deposits of Germany, Russia, Great Britain, Italy and other countries.

Purchases of specimens on todays‘ broadly varied mineral market focus, taking into account the modest financial means available, mainly on Alpine-type mineral assemblage (Alps and comparable areas), selected pegmatite assemblages (e.g., Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal), new gemstones and semiprecious stones, as well as ornamental and synthetic material, and manipulated and fake jewellery. Also purchased are newly discovered meteorites and rare mineral species completing our systematic collection.

The Department of Mineralogy and Petrography is also a place of scientific studies. Using high-tech instruments, it contributes to the analysis, determination and accurate documentation of minerals, gemstones, rocks and meteorites.

The State Gem Institute is the port of call for certificates on gemstones (precious stones), including synthetic gem materials. The Institute also does basic gemmological research and provides beginners‘ education in gemmology. The latest gemstones, precious and ornamental stones, and synthetic gems (imitations) are acquired for the collections, analysed and identified, and described. A special guidance is offered by the head of the mineral collection and State Gem Institute, Dr. V. Hammer through the mineralogical collection and research labs. The tour starts in the Foyer of the NHM (meeting point is the big Kuppelsaal) and will take roughly 1-1.5 hours through selected exhibition halls ending on the roof of the building with a fantastic view over Vienna city center.