Pacific Mineral Museum

Canada, British Columbia: Vancouver


Address: 848 West Hastings Street, Downtown Vancouver
Phone: (604) 689 8700
Opening hours: Daily to 17:00

Pacific Mineral Museum opened its doors to the public in January 2000. Most of the pieces that you see on display were once part of a collection that was exhibited at the University of British Columbia (UBC). When this collection was quietly put into storage in 1995, the assistant curator and executives of the mining industry noticed. They felt that Vancouver needed to share and embrace minerals and Canada's role in the world as a major mineral producer. Their vision was a private non-profit museum that would become self-sustaining, relying on donations, admissions, membership and sales in its retail shop. In 1997, Pacific Mineral Museum Society was formed and what you see today is the summation of that vision, beautiful museum that makes minerals and geology fun and informative.

The building that houses the Pacific Mineral Museum was designed and built by English born architects, GLT Sharp and CJ Thomson, in 1921, for a local financial firm. Using British Columbian materials, the architects created a red brick and stone detailed exterior with the upper windows creating the illusion of another story. A real second story was added in 1950's. Before becoming home to the Museum in 1999, the building was used as office and retail space. During renovations, it was discovered that the building's upper floor had two hanging ceilings that, when removed, revealed the ornate original ceiling that you see restored today. Also found again was a vault door used when the building was a financial firm. This door is now used in the Museum's "vault", a gallery that shows valuable gems and precious metals.

In the one hour or so that it takes to tour the Pacific Mineral Museum, you'll journey back to the edge of time, before the mountains of British Columbia were found or the continents shaped as we know them today. A history involving these incredible forces and processes, and the relationships humans have made with the mineral world await the visitor to the Pacific Mineral Museum. Among the highlights of the museum collection are:

- Meteorites from the far reaches of outer space,
- A vault that holds a king's ransom of gold, silver and gems from around the world,
- The fantastic story of how the Earth's mineral wealth was created and samples of the best mineral specimens from the around world,
- An ever-changing display area! Fossils, gemstones or minerals are being showcased in the special display area.

Pacific Mineral Museum Shop has the finest selection of 'connoisseur' mineral specimens available in Vancouver. It also offers a wide selection of mineral related gifts, jewelry, toys and books.



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