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Collection Highlights

The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum collection was initiated in 1885 as required in the enabling legislation that created Michigan Tech. The collection was organized into a museum as of 1902. Since its inception Michigan Tech's mineral collection has continued to grow in depth, breadth, and quality. Today the collection is nationally and internationally recognized. These highlights tell you what you can expect to see among the approximately 4,000 specimens on display when you visit our museum

The museum features:

  • World’s finest collection of Keweenaw Copper District minerals 
  • World’s best collection of Michigan Minerals
  • World’s finest collection of Lake Superior Iron District minerals
  • A strong suite of minerals of the Great Lakes region
  • One of the best suites of Yukon phosphate minerals
  • One of the best suites of Fairfield, Utah, variscite
  • A diverse collection representing localities from around the world
  • Individual specimens among best in the world for that particular mineral
  • Multiple type specimens (specimen from which mineral was first described)

 Native copper from Rockland, Michigan nicknamed the "Grasshopper."


Paul and Janet Clifford of Cleveland, Ohio, have generously donated 1,750 specimens. Paul is the former curator of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's gem and mineral collection and was assisted by Janet. The Cliffords each have geology degrees and appreciate minerals on a technical level as well as for their beauty. Since the late 1960s, the Cliffords have traveled throughout North America in pursuit of mineral specimens for their collection by self-collecting.