Rice NW Museum of Rocks and Minerals

Rice NW Museum of Rocks and Minerals Family-friendly rocks & minerals collection with world-class gems, minerals, fossils, meteorites, and more. Our mission is to engage, inspire, and educate generations on the splendor and complexity of our Earth.

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals is located in Hillsboro, Oregon, about 20 minutes west of downtown Portland. The Rice NW Museum is home to the "Alma Rose" Rhodochrosite from the Sweet Home Mine in Alma, Colorado. The museum also boasts the largest opal-filled thunderegg in the world, crystallized gold bigger than your hand, dinosaur eggs and fossils, an extensive meteorite collection, and hundreds of other attractions. The Rice Museum has become nationally recognized. It is the finest rocks and minerals museum in the Pacific Northwest, and one of the best in the nation.

Mission: To engage, inspire, and educate generations on the splendor and complexities of our Earth.

Temporarily closed

Anyone else still dreaming about their Thanksgiving meal? While these may look like Grandma’s famous dinner rolls it is ...
12/02/2020

Anyone else still dreaming about their Thanksgiving meal? While these may look like Grandma’s famous dinner rolls it is in fact a mineral called Thomsonite, a member of the zeolite group. The recipe for these “rolls” is volcanic rock or ash mixed with alkaline (basic) groundwater. This specific sample was found in Maharashtra, India.
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While the Museum remains closed, the Museum Shop is open weekdays 12 - 3:30 pm. Walk-ins are welcome but reservations ar...
12/02/2020

While the Museum remains closed, the Museum Shop is open weekdays 12 - 3:30 pm. Walk-ins are welcome but reservations are recommended as capacity is limited. Weekly specials will be announced on our page and Instagram feed. New inventory is added to our online store regularly. Proceeds from the Shop help support the museum’s educational programming and protect our collection. E-gift cards are now available.

Wearing a mask covering nose and mouth at all times and maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others are required throughout the Rice Museum campus.

Today is #GivingTuesday. 2020 has been a particularly challenging year for nonprofit organizations like the Rice Museum....
12/01/2020

Today is #GivingTuesday. 2020 has been a particularly challenging year for nonprofit organizations like the Rice Museum. In this time of urgent need, we are turning to our community to support our efforts to provide inspiring experiences. Please make a gift of $20, $40, $100 or any amount you can. Thank you. https://bit.ly/3mtaBCy

Mica is a silicate mineral that forms in distinct and flexible layers. Mica can be found in igneous, sedimentary, and me...
11/30/2020

Mica is a silicate mineral that forms in distinct and flexible layers. Mica can be found in igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks! The two most common types of Mica are muscovite, which is commonly light colored, and biotite, which is typically black.
Muscovite cleaves into thin sheets and has a pearly to vitreous luster on its surface. When these sheets are held up to the light, they are transparent. This transparent property influenced how this mineral got its name. In medieval Russia, it was a cheap alternative for glass in windowpanes and became known as Muscovy glass, after residents of Moscow.
Here are two examples of muscovite that you can find at the museum. The first sample was found in Oxford county Maine and the provenance of the second sample is unknown. The third image (Photo: Wikipedia / Shakko) is an example of a 17th-century Russian mica window.

#MineralMonday
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Happy Thanksgiving! We know this year has been rough, but we are so grateful for your support and wish you all the best ...
11/26/2020

Happy Thanksgiving! We know this year has been rough, but we are so grateful for your support and wish you all the best this Thanksgiving. You all are un-be-leafable!
In this picture, we have a brown Sassafras Hesperia leaf with an Alder leaf on tan siltstone.

In addition to the hundreds of mineral samples here at the Rice NW Museum, we also have a large collection of rocks! A r...
11/25/2020

In addition to the hundreds of mineral samples here at the Rice NW Museum, we also have a large collection of rocks! A rock is a combination of one or more minerals. If you have seen Breaking Bad, you will remember that Hank is very particular about this distinction!

This specific rock is a mica and garnet rich schist from Wrangell, Alaska. When a piece of shale is subjected to elevated temperature and pressure, also known as metamorphism, there is a chain of transformations starting at low-grade metamorphism (low temp/pressure) with shale -> slate -> phyllite, and progressing to higher grade metamorphism (high temp/pressure) resulting in phyllite -> schist -> gneiss. Along the metamorphic chain, completely new minerals can form as the pre-existing minerals within the shale interact with the changing conditions.

In this specific rock, we can see the muscovite (grey sparkles) and large dark red almandine garnets. So, while the elemental building blocks for these minerals may have been in the original shale, the minerals themselves are completely new! 💎

Trust me, this #MineralMonday is Au-some!Gold is both an element (Au) and a mineral! It has a metallic luster and has a ...
11/23/2020

Trust me, this #MineralMonday is Au-some!
Gold is both an element (Au) and a mineral! It has a metallic luster and has a hardness of 2.5 to 3 on the Mohs hardness scale. This is about the same hardness as your fingernail! Trace amounts of gold are found almost everywhere, but large deposits are found in only a few locations. The sample in image 1 was found in Kittitas County, Washington and the gold and quartz in image 2 were found in Skamania County, Washington.

Have you ever found gold? Let us know or tag us in a picture!

We may be closed for a couple of weeks, but the staff is still hard at work, including Pickaxe, our lead sentry.
11/22/2020

We may be closed for a couple of weeks, but the staff is still hard at work, including Pickaxe, our lead sentry.

We reached our goal but you can still contribute and help us through this closure.
11/21/2020

We reached our goal but you can still contribute and help us through this closure.

Yesterday Rice volunteer Greg Carr issued a matching fundraising challenge to help the Museum through this latest closur...
11/19/2020

Yesterday Rice volunteer Greg Carr issued a matching fundraising challenge to help the Museum through this latest closure. You can help us today. Any amount helps. Donate today to our COVID relief fund. https://bit.ly/2UxsNPk.

Greg Carr has a challenge for you: We are excited to announce that Museum collaborator and volunteer Greg Carr has commi...
11/18/2020
The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals

Greg Carr has a challenge for you:

We are excited to announce that Museum collaborator and volunteer Greg Carr has committed $2,000 in matching funds to support the Museum during this difficult time. We invite you to participate in this challenge by making your gift to our COVID Relief Fund.

By making a gift today, you will double your impact and help sustain us through this most recent closure. We are always grateful for your support, and we are confident we will weather this storm, but we need your help now more than ever. Your contributions are 100% tax-deductible.

If you would like to learn more about how you can make a difference for the Museum, please contact Executive Director Aurore Giguet at [email protected].

Click the link below to donate and to learn other ways you can help.

October Newsletter

Greg is both a volunteer and a collection contributor at the Rice NW Museum! Greg has contributed time, energy, and exce...
11/18/2020

Greg is both a volunteer and a collection contributor at the Rice NW Museum! Greg has contributed time, energy, and excellent specimens to the museum for many years. Greg has supplied the museum with Bernie the Thalattosaur, a Brontothere skull, Palm Leaves! Greg is passionate about geology and paleontology! He is a great paleontology resource, who often can be found at our twice-annual Mystery Mineral Day (identifying fossils) and is always inspiring us to try new and engaging display ideas.
He has been a rockhound his entire life and loves sharing his breadth of knowledge with museum visitors! If he isn’t rockhoundin’ Greg is busy collecting, preparing, 3D scanning and printing fossils! We are so lucky to have such talented volunteers at the museum!

#RiceNWMuseum

If you are looking for something a little different for the rockhound on your holiday shopping list we’ve added a select...
11/17/2020

If you are looking for something a little different for the rockhound on your holiday shopping list we’ve added a selection of micro photographs from Joe Cantrell. Cantrell uses a microscope to get a closeup look at Rice Museum specimens. Shop small this holiday season all purchases from our store help support our educational mission. https://bit.ly/31sD8z3

An update on our temporary closure, including ways you can help the Rice Museum of Rocks & Minerals. HTTPS://bit.ly/3pKp...
11/16/2020

An update on our temporary closure, including ways you can help the Rice Museum of Rocks & Minerals. HTTPS://bit.ly/3pKpUsO

Today’s sample is out of this world! 🌠Here is a slice of the Willamette Meteorite, also known as Tomanowos. The meteorit...
11/16/2020

Today’s sample is out of this world! 🌠

Here is a slice of the Willamette Meteorite, also known as Tomanowos. The meteorite has cultural importance to Native Americans from the Willamette Valley, whose descendants are members of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde.
While this slice is small, the full Tomanowos or Willamette meteorite is the largest meteorite found in North America and the sixth-largest in the world (image 2). The full meteorite weighs about 32,000 pounds!! Since there was no impact crater at or near the discovery site; geologists believe the meteorite landed in what is now Canada or Montana and was transported by glaciers to the Willamette Valley, Oregon during large flooding events at the end of the last Ice Age, about 13,000 years ago!
This meteorite is composed of over 91% iron and 7.62% nickel, and traces of cobalt and phosphorus. Willamette’s polished surface displays a recrystallized structure which is the result of significant impact-heating.
The Willamette Meteorite is currently on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In 1999, the tribes attempted to regain the meteorite under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. An agreement was reached with the American Natural History Museum, which recognizes the cultural significance of the meteorite to the Grand Ronde people, allows them to conduct ceremonies at Tomanowos, and says that if it ever goes off display, it will be returned to the tribes.

#RiceNWMuseum
#MeteoriteMonday

11/16/2020
The Museum remains open during this “pause”. We are committed to the safety of our visitors, volunteers, and staff. Our ...
11/13/2020

The Museum remains open during this “pause”. We are committed to the safety of our visitors, volunteers, and staff. Our reservation system ensures we stay below capacity, mask-wearing is mandatory, and we clean frequently. Private small group tours and shopping appointments are also available. Plan your visit today.

We’ve added some very special jewelry to our online store for the upcoming holidays including this moss agate wire wrapp...
11/12/2020

We’ve added some very special jewelry to our online store for the upcoming holidays including this moss agate wire wrapped set by Sharleen Harvey. Sharleen is Helen and Richard Rice’s daughter and one of the founders of the Museum.

Shop small this holiday season. https://bit.ly/31sD8z3

Georgeann is currently a Museum Host at the Rice NW Museum who loves witnessing visitor’s enthusiasm when discovering ne...
11/11/2020

Georgeann is currently a Museum Host at the Rice NW Museum who loves witnessing visitor’s enthusiasm when discovering new rocks and minerals! She believes the museum is a wonderful place where you can feel how special it is as soon as you enter the house! Georgeann has had a diverse career! Prior to being a museum host, she has been a claims representative, market research analyst, graphic designer for the L.A. Times, and paralibrarian for a school district here in Oregon!

Georgeann has many favorite items at the museum, but one that she especially loves is the picture jasper that looks like a beach-ocean sky scene (image 2) in the Lapidary Gallery. When she isn’t at the museum, Georgeann loves to draw, fabric paint, read, and go on nature walks with family and friends. Make sure to say hi to Georgeann if you see her at the mineral!
#RiceNWMuseum

We love reading your reviews!
11/10/2020

We love reading your reviews!

Get rid of the Monday blues with Azurite!Azurite is a copper carbonate mineral that is best known for its characteristic...
11/09/2020

Get rid of the Monday blues with Azurite!
Azurite is a copper carbonate mineral that is best known for its characteristic beautiful blue color! The first image shows a piece of Azurite that was collected in Bisbee, Arizona! Commonly, you will see Azurite and the green mineral Malachite, also a copper carbonate mineral, together since they form under similar conditions (image 2).
Visit the Rice NW Museum and see the numerous examples of Azurite both with and without its mineral buddy Malachite!

#MineralMonday
#ricenwmuseum

Our online shop has been restocked, including this specimen of Spruce Ridge Quartz and Pyrite with Ankerite. Every purch...
11/05/2020

Our online shop has been restocked, including this specimen of Spruce Ridge Quartz and Pyrite with Ankerite. Every purchase directly supports our ongoing educational programs. https://bit.ly/31sD8z3

Say Hi to the museum’s curator, Angela! She is from Camas, Washington, and went to school at Portland State University. ...
11/04/2020

Say Hi to the museum’s curator, Angela! She is from Camas, Washington, and went to school at Portland State University. She has previously worked in Finance, Environmental Geology, and at one point even worked for NASA!
As the curator, Angela cares for the museum’s collections, develops and installs exhibits, works with volunteers, and dreams up special events and learning opportunities for visitors of all ages. Angela loves meeting visitors and working the with museum’s collection. Visitors aren’t the only ones fascinated by the Alma Rose. One of Angela’s favorite museum memories is seeing the Alma Rose rhodochrosite up close, without the case cover on.
Her favorite item in the museum’s collection is the red cloud Wulfenite (image 2). Next time you see Angela at the museum make sure you say hi and let her know your favorite mineral!

#RiceNWMuseum

Are you feeling anxious and stressed? Make reservations to slow down and feel inspired in our galleries this weekend. ht...
11/04/2020

Are you feeling anxious and stressed? Make reservations to slow down and feel inspired in our galleries this weekend. https://bit.ly/2HT5rkw

Quartz is one of the most abundant minerals on the earth's surface! If you were to go on a walk outside there is a very ...
11/02/2020

Quartz is one of the most abundant minerals on the earth's surface! If you were to go on a walk outside there is a very high chance you would find a rock with quartz in it.
Quartz occurs in all different habits (appearances) and colors. In its purest form, quartz is colorless (Image 1), but it can also be purple, smokey, green, pink, or orange, just to name a few! These color differences arise from the presence of impurities when the quartz crystal is forming. For example, purple quartz also known as Amethyst (Image 2) gets its color from the presence of iron during crystal formation. Orange quartz, Citrine (image 3), also gets its coloring from iron, but a different concentration.

Aside from being beautiful, Quartz is also useful. Flint and chert are varieties of microcrystalline quartz. Microcrystalline quartz consists of tightly interlocked microcrystals and lacks a visible crystalline structure. Their conchoidal fracture enables them to be flaked into sharp-edged tools and weapons such as arrowheads, spearheads, knives, and scrapers. This is why flaked microcrystalline quartz comprises the bulk of all Native American artifacts. It is strong, durable, and abundant.

#MineralMonday
#RiceNWMuseum

We have a few tickets still available for this weekend. Make your reservations and spend the afternoon with us.
10/31/2020

We have a few tickets still available for this weekend. Make your reservations and spend the afternoon with us.

💩If this looks like poop to you that’s because it used to be it! Fossilized feces are known as coprolites and are import...
10/30/2020

💩

If this looks like poop to you that’s because it used to be it! Fossilized feces are known as coprolites and are important trace fossils. Trace fossils provide us with evidence about an animal’s behavior like diet. This reddish-brown coprolite is from a turtle and was found in Lewis County, Washington. Scientists know it is from a turtle because they compared it and its contents to modern-day turtle feces.
Fun (and important) Fact: Fossilized feces don’t smell!

#RiceNWMuseum
#HappyHalloween

What is a vampire’s favorite fossil?🧛‍♂️A trilo-BITE!Here at the museum, we have an impressive collection of fossils lik...
10/28/2020

What is a vampire’s favorite fossil?🧛‍♂️
A trilo-BITE!

Here at the museum, we have an impressive collection of fossils like this brown trilobite on siltstone. This creepy crawler dates back to the Middle Cambrian and was found in Millard County, Utah. This piece is currently on display in the Fossil Gallery. In Image 2, you can see a few terms related to the different parts of a trilobite body.

#RiceNWMuseum

Does anyone else find this item petrifying?! Don’t worry this isn’t a spider web, but a piece from our collection!Someti...
10/26/2020

Does anyone else find this item petrifying?!
Don’t worry this isn’t a spider web, but a piece from our collection!
Sometimes minerals can replace organic material such as tree bark and plants through a process called petrification. Here we have a thick slice of petrified wood composed of dark brown, black, and tan opalized wood. Look at all those rings!
This piece dates to the Oligocene and was found in Jefferson County, Oregon. Currently, this item is in storage, but there are many examples of petrified wood on display at the Rice NW Museum.

#MineralMonday
#HappyHalloween
#RiceNWMuseum

Snap. Share. Tag. We have set up a little fall photo op for our visitors. #ricenwmuseum
10/23/2020

Snap. Share. Tag. We have set up a little fall photo op for our visitors. #ricenwmuseum

We are open this weekend. Make your reservations to be inspired by our collection.
10/23/2020

We are open this weekend. Make your reservations to be inspired by our collection.

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26385 NW Groveland Dr
Hillsboro, OR
97124

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Comments

Manakarra grape agate
Could this be a meteorite? Very heavy and shiny dark....
Are reservations still limited to five people per time slot?
Dec garage sale tickets are 5.00? Are my tickets for oct garage sale still valid? Was there a change or just an addition?
I think that I am related to this arm of the Rice family. My grandfather was Archer Rice. His family came out to Oregon in covered wagon and took the Bartlett trail to an area south of Portland. We are descendants of Henry Rice, who had the first gristmill in TN. It is my understanding that Members of the Rice family still live in the homestead in or near Cottage Grove. If this is true I am concerned. Thanks for giving me an update when it is convenient. Mary Mack, 801 Riverhill Dr. #107, Athens GA 30606.
Has any one ever seen this in it's shape before? It weighed 5.5 kg - interested to.know what is.k ow about what it is ! Please
Can someone identify this Mineral for me please
Had an awesome time here with my family today. The staff are all wonderful and so knowledgeable. The collections are very impressive and have an awesome energy. We all left on cloud 9. Thank you for being open and giving people a safe place to visit during this pandemic.
It’s beautiful 😍 I am in love ❤️
Anyone in salem I can ask some simple questions I have about some special rocks I have been gifted to obtain for this very time being by the spirits of this land
Rice NW Museum is an awesome place! Is there any way to purchase books and or rocks from your gift shop during this time of closure?
Could you try to I.D. a fossil if I sent pictures and location where it was found?