Mineral Museum

The Mineral Museum is located on the Montana Tech campus in Butte. The museum began with the purchase of 177 rock and mineral specimens by Montana School of Mines for a teaching collection. Since then the museum's collection as grown to some 12,000 specimens, and the Montana School of Mines has morphed into Montana Technological University. The museum's displays feature about 1000 rocks, minerals, meteorites, and fossils. There are also exhibits on Montana's geology, earthquake activity, and local mining activity. Admission is free, but if you are determined to spend some money there is a very nice gift shop with lots of unique and interesting items.

Museum Building

Earthquake Alcove

Earthquake Alcove

Mineral Museum

Mineral Museum

Mineral Museum

Mineral Museum


The museum's displays feature about 1000 rocks, minerals, meteorites, and fossils. In addition to state and local specimens, there are displays of azurite and malachite from Bisbee in Arizona, native copper from Michigan, and amethyst geodes from Brazil. Prized specimens from Montana include an outstanding smoky quartz cluster and a 27.5 troy ounce gold nugget. There are nice examples of polished agate and brilliant blue sapphires (both state gemstones of Montana). Ten meteorites are on exhibit. A hidden gem in the museum (pun intended) is a room under the stairs full of flourescent minerals. And of course there is "Boris", a complete 40 to 60 thousand year old cave bear skeleton from Russia.


Butte Minerals

Montana Minerals

Amethyst Geode

Quartz (Amethyst) and Gypsum

Horsetail Veins

Quartz and Fluorite

Galena with Marcasite


Various Minerals

Copper Minerals


"Boris" the Cave Bear


Everything you wanted to know
about cave bears

"Big Dadddy" Smoky Quartz

Source material: Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology and Montana Technological University web sites.
Use the form on the Home Page to submit comments, questions, or suggestions.  TD Productions Copyright © 2021