>> It's got mummies from ancient Egypt, dinosaur bones, and rare butterflies. Now New York's museum of Natural History is hoping to impress visitors with this massive rock, the latest addition to it's collection of more that 100,000 gems and minerals. I'm Reuters reporter Yahira Hawkas at the Museum of Natural History in New York, which unveiled this dazzling giant geode from Uruguay.
Weighing in at about five tons, the 12 foot geode is one of the largest in the world, and is among some of the new specimens being acquired for the redesign of the halls. The plan is to completely revamp the 11,000 square foot halls where the gems and minerals are housed, many of which were originally donated by J.P. Morgan at the turn of the 20th century.
The dark space will be illuminated, and a bigger emphasis will be put on story telling, detailing how the minerals were created in nature and how scientists classify them. The towering geode, part of a number of signature large scale acquisitions which will be featured prominently in the new halls, has its own story.
>> So there's a dealer in Queens who has been selling these for a long time. I just basically went to him and said I need a giant one. And so he went searching for them and he started showing us pictures. And so we picked this one out, and it got shipped here.
The thing that was amazing to me, is it is so much better than I thought it was gonna be. I mean, it's got real personality. You see it's got this little protrusions and little itty bits sticking out of it, and the color of the amethyst is spectacular.>> Also on prominent display will be the museum's most precious gem, the 563 carat Star of India, the world's largest and most famous blue star sapphire.
About five million people visit the museum every year, and by 2019, they should be able to see the gems and minerals in their new home. The update is part of the museum's 150th anniversary celebration.>>