My OBT

What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Rock Stars

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Musée de Minéralogie

Today’s beautiful thing is dedicated to niece R, who is an absolute rock fiend!

This is the amazing Musée de Minéralogie, located inside MINES ParisTech (the Paris School of Mines) (no, not mimes, M-I-N-E-S). There are a number of spots in Paris that I can’t wait to get back to, but this place makes me even more anxious to get back to my favorite city. Here’s a sentence I don’t get to write about places in the U.S.: the school was established in 1783, and the museum was started in 1794.

The museum’s collection was started with the private specimens owned by French priest and mineralogist, René Just Haüy. The collection grew thanks to worldwide expeditions, private donations, and the occasional state seizure. Today, the museum possesses one of the largest mineral collections in the world, comprised of more 100,000 samples including 80,000 minerals, 15,000 rocks, 4,000 ores, 400 meteorites, 700 gems, and 300 artificial minerals.

Though we can’t visit just now, we can at least check out the museum guide online. And happily, the museum’s Instagram is positively bursting with gorgeous things!

You can follow the Musée de Minéralogie on their website and on Instagram and Twitter.

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Confinement day 8: SULFUR. Thanks to the exhibit "MINERALS AND HEALTH" created by a group of PSL students, we continue our daily virtual tour of the museum. Today, SULFUR takes us to its use in ancient medicine. The sulfur specimens in the photos are all from Sicilia and in the museum's collection. SULFUR Strunz Classification: Native Element Composition: S Sulfur is found naturally in large quantities, associated with other elements in the form of sulfides (pyrite, cinnabar, galena …) and sulfates (gypsum…). It is an important trace element for the body, because it is essential for the synthesis of certain molecules. It has been widely used since Antiquity as insecticide and disinfectant. By assimilation, it was used to purify demons and evil spirits, along with ashes. It is also widely present in pre-modern medicine, mostly in the form of sulfides or sulfates (cinnabar, galena, alum …). However, it can also be harmful: sulfur vapors from some unhealthy neighborhoods of Rome were already denounced in the time of Gallienus (2nd century A.D.). Copyright for photos: Musée de Minéralogie MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou Text and temporary exhibit design copyright:  Alice Besson-Léaud, Lisa Lafontaine (École nationale des chartes), Quentin Bollaert (École normale supérieure), Alexandre Couturier (École nationale des chartes), Constance de Lagaye de Lanteuil (École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs), Hugo Lestrelin (École normale supérieure), Clément Loiseau (MINES ParisTech), Tristan Malleville (MINES ParisTech). #unesantedefer #healthconstitution #sante #health #minerals #crystals #mineralotech #minesparistech #museedemineralogie #mineralogymuseum #psluniv #minesparistech #medicine #virtualmuseum #virtualtour #visitparis #parisvirtualvisit #ancientmedicine #modernmedicine #sulfur #sulfide #sulfate

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Confinement day 14: PYRITE With its astonishing shape and color, pyrite will always mesmerize us. More about pyrite and its use in ancient medicine thanks to the temporary exhibit on "Minerals & Health". Pyrite specimen from Huanzala Mine, Huallanca, Peru. PYRITE Strunz Classification: Sulfide Composition: Iron sulfide (FeS2) In the 19th century, pyrite was an ore for sulfur and iron. Today it mostly an important source of sulfuric acid. The term pyrite was mentioned by Dioscorides in the 1st century A.D. Pyrite means "fire stone", as it produces sparks upon impact. In reference to the gold diggers who confused it with the precious metal, it is nicknamed “fool's gold". It is a mineral that is part of the ancient and medieval pharmacopoeias. Integrated into a cerat (preparation based on wax and oil, for external use), Pliny the Elder attributes to it the virtues of drying out and suppurate boils, as well as other dermatological properties. Today, only lithotherapy claims a therapeutic use of pyrite, like to cure diabetes. Copyright for photos: Musée de Minéralogie MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou Text and temporary exhibit design copyright:  Alice Besson-Léaud, Lisa Lafontaine (École nationale des chartes), Quentin Bollaert (École normale supérieure), Alexandre Couturier (École nationale des chartes), Constance de Lagaye de Lanteuil (École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs), Hugo Lestrelin (École normale supérieure), Clément Loiseau (MINES ParisTech), Tristan Malleville (MINES ParisTech). #unesantedefer #healthconstitution #sante #health #minerals #crystals #mineralotech #minesparistech #museedemineralogie #mineralogymuseum #psluniv #minesparistech #medicine #virtualmuseum #virtualtour #visitparis #parisvirtualvisit #restonscheznous #stayhome #ancientmedicine #pyrite #ironsulfide #foolsgold

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Confinement day 4. Our virtual tour continues with the native elements and today with SILVER. Thanks to the temporary exhibition prepared by a group of students from PSL on "Mineral and Health", we are presenting some minerals related to the topic. We are still in the sub-topic "MINERALS IN ANCIENT MEDICINE". The native silver specimen presented is: Photo 1: Native silver from Pöhla, Schwarzenberg, Erzgebirge, Saxony, Germany. Photo 2: Detail of the German native silver: the natural fish-bone features are typical of crystals which grew fast, not having the time to develop their crystallographic faces. In Photo 3, the text reads: SILVER Strunz Classification: Native Element Composition: Ag In the past, native silver was mined, while today silver is mostly extracted from lead, copper and zinc ores. The first known silver mines date back from the 4th millennium B.C. Determinant in the development of economic exchanges, especially in the form of money, silver is also used as an antibacterial and promotes wound healing. It was not only used to purify food and water, it was also used in the Middle Ages to purify the blood by direct ingestion. Some of its virtues are scientifically proven from the beginning of the 20th century. Today it has been replaced by antibiotics. Copyright for photos: Musée de Minéralogie MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou Text and temporary exhibit design copyright:  Alice Besson-Léaud, Lisa Lafontaine (École nationale des chartes), Quentin Bollaert (École normale supérieure), Alexandre Couturier (École nationale des chartes), Constance de Lagaye de Lanteuil (École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs), Hugo Lestrelin (École normale supérieure), Clément Loiseau (MINES ParisTech), Tristan Malleville (MINES ParisTech). #unesantedefer #healthconstitution #sante #health #minerals #crystals #mineralotech #minesparistech #museedemineralogie #mineralogymuseum #psluniv #minesparistech #medicine #virtualmuseum #virtualtour #visitparis #parisvirtualvisit #ancientmedicine #silver #nativeelements

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Molybdates, Chromates et autres merveilles

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Confinement day 10: STIBNITE Continuing the tour of the collection with STIBNITE, its great looks and extensive use throughout history. Specimen in the photo is from Ichinokawa Mine, Saijo, Japan. The label from the Temporary Exhibit on "Minerals and Health" reads: STIBNITE Strunz Classification: Sulfides Composition: Antimony sulfide (Sb2S3) Stibnite has been the main antimony ore since the Antiquity. Described by Pliny the Elder in 77 AD, under the name of stibi, stibnite has been used in cosmetics since the Ancient Egypt. Black in color once grounded, it was used to make kohl, which is an eye drop and a cosmetic used to outline the eyes. The pharmacopoeia from the 16th century made it an important remedy for causing vomiting and diarrhea. Its proven toxicity did not prevent its use until the 19th century. Today the antimony element, in a derived form, is still used in the treatment of leishmaniasis (tropical parasitic disease). Copyright for photos: Musée de Minéralogie MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou Text and temporary exhibit design copyright:  Alice Besson-Léaud, Lisa Lafontaine (École nationale des chartes), Quentin Bollaert (École normale supérieure), Alexandre Couturier (École nationale des chartes), Constance de Lagaye de Lanteuil (École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs), Hugo Lestrelin (École normale supérieure), Clément Loiseau (MINES ParisTech), Tristan Malleville (MINES ParisTech). #unesantedefer #healthconstitution #sante #health #minerals #crystals #mineralotech #minesparistech #museedemineralogie #mineralogymuseum #psluniv #minesparistech #medicine #virtualmuseum #virtualtour #visitparis #parisvirtualvisit #restonscheznous #stayhome #ancientmedicine #antimony #sulfide #stibnite #kohl

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Confinement day 7: DIAMOND. Our daily virtual tour of the museum, continues thanks to the exhibit "MINERALS AND HEALTH" created by a group of PSL students. Today, DIAMOND takes us to its use from the ancient to modern medicine. Photo 1: Rough octahedral diamond, showing trigons on its surface (dissolution features in triangle shape), coming from South Africa, from the Musée de Minéralogie MINES ParisTech collection. Photo 2 reads: DIAMOND Strunz Classification: Native Elements Composition: Carbon (C) Diamond has conductivity and hardness properties that explain why they are synthesized for integration into cutting tools in the industry but also in medicine (surgical scalpel). Diamond has been mined since the 3rd millennium B.C., mostly as rough or cleaved. It began to be cut and polished from the 14th century onwards, since polishing (with diamond powder) already made it possible to obtain all its brilliance. Because of its appearance and hardness, it is attributed with powers of preservation and protection. It is therefore worn as a talisman and fills the pages of the lapidaries. Today, synthetic diamonds are used in prostheses (thanks to their high biocompatibility) and as markers in medical imaging. Copyright for photos: Musée de Minéralogie MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou Text and temporary exhibit design copyright:  Alice Besson-Léaud, Lisa Lafontaine (École nationale des chartes), Quentin Bollaert (École normale supérieure), Alexandre Couturier (École nationale des chartes), Constance de Lagaye de Lanteuil (École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs), Hugo Lestrelin (École normale supérieure), Clément Loiseau (MINES ParisTech), Tristan Malleville (MINES ParisTech). #unesantedefer #healthconstitution #sante #health #minerals #crystals #mineralotech #minesparistech #museedemineralogie #mineralogymuseum #psluniv #minesparistech #medicine #virtualmuseum #virtualtour #visitparis #parisvirtualvisit #ancientmedicine #modernmedicine #diamond #roughdiamond #diamondinmedicine

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Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

8 thoughts on “Rock Stars

  1. Those are some real special and great specimens. A couple of my favorites are mssing but it is a great collection. — Hal

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One could spend hours….maybe a week or more just enjoying all of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I will need to show this to my 14 year old who is something of a wannabe rock collector in that he loves all the colourful gems. He loves the mineralogy section of natural history museums and turns into Gollum when looking at the exhibits.

    Liked by 1 person

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