The University of Arizona Mineral Museum, housed inside the Flandrau Science Center and part of the UA’s Department of Geosciences, recently received the largest donation of minerals in the museum’s history.

Mark Candee, assistant curator and collection manager at the museum, said mineral collector Rock Currier donated the samples.

“He was very meticulous about keeping everything labeled: the localities, the people that found them,” Candee said. “It’s an amazing bit of science and history in the same place.”

The donated collection includes approximately 1,000 pieces that are new to the museum and will be used primarily for research samples in the RRUFF Project, Candee said.

The project will allow scientists to sample minerals on earth, and eventually be part of planetary exploration, using non-destructive sampling technology, Candee said.