Treasures of the Earth
The Treasures of the Earth contains one of the largest private collections of crystals and gemstones in Europe, as well as a fine collection of marine fossils.
The collections is housed in a copper-roofed museum with a short section of narrow gauged railway line with mine tubs from a former mine workings, inviting the visitor to experience the treasures of the earth. The large collection of crystals, gemstones and geodes are displayed in a combination of illuminated glass cases (either singly or in collections) and mixed exhibits in the simulated interior of caverns and caves. Some of the geodes (spherical masses of mineral with a silica shell found in sedimentary and some volcanic rocks) are particularly impressive being up to 2 metres in length.
The museum makes good use of lighting to enhance the display of crystals, including an exhibit using ultraviolet light. There are some interesting interpretation boards, for example on the Scottish gold rush as well as a spiral of time exhibit.
At the far end of the building there is a particularly fine Jurassic themed mural together with a replica of a Mongolian dinosaur egg nest, a model Pterosaur (Pteranodon, a flying reptile from the late Triassiac to end of Cretaceous period).
In the Upper gallery, there is a large mixed collection of minerals, as well as a fine collection of fossils. The fossils include the Jurassic, marine reptile, Ichthyosaurus communis (fish lizard), the ‘devil’s toenails’, (extinct genus of oysters, Gryphaea, existing from the Jurassic to Cretaceous) and a collection of 220 million year old belemnoid fossils, an extinct marine cephalopod. There is also a large specimen of a Mosasaur, a large extinct marine reptile, closely related to monitor lizards, and the skull of a Sabre tooth tiger, as well as insects trapped in amber.
There is also a shop where you can buy selections of gemstones, beads, jewellery, healing crystals, crystal balls etc.
This is an interesting collection, with particular appeal to those interested in minerals, crystals and gemstones, as well as marine and terrestrial fossils.