The funds of the Vernadsky State Geological Museum

The funds of the one of the oldest Russian natural history museums Vernadsky State Geological Museum started to form in 1759. Scientists, patrons and collectors have been replenished its funds for more than 250 years. Minerals, rocks and ores, meteorites, fossil invertebrates, vertebrates and fossil flora are stored here. All collections are distributed according to the corresponding inventory: "Minerals", "Rocks and Ores", "Fossil invertebrate", "Fossil vertebrate", "Paleoflora", "Stone products" and "Written sources for museum objects and collections".

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Minerals Collection

All classes of minerals – from native elements to nitrates, borates and organic salts are represented in the inventory "Minerals". In total, there are about 1100 mineral species from more than five thousand deposits. The largest numbers of specimens are from known deposits of Russia and countries of the former USSR. Minerals from Western Europe, North And South America, Japan, Australia, Africa are represented in the collection, a significant part of which came from classical deposits of XVIII- XIX centuries: Ore Mountains, Cornwall, Vesuvio, St. Gotthard, Kongsberg, Iotinokawa.

Rocks and Ores Collection

The Rocks and Ores Collection includes magmatic, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks from all continents of the Earth. The collections of volcanic rocks from the famous volcanoes of the Kamchatka-Kuril ridge such as Vesuvius, Etna, Mont-Pele, Santorini and Krakatoa, are superior among them. The koptogenic (greek "kopto"- shatter) or impact rocks from meteorite craters (astroblemes) and rocks formed at the bottom of the ocean, are of great interest. Different types of ores, metals and non-metals from different deposits of the world and fossil fuels from Russia and Western Europe are stored at the museum. Meteorites in the museum funds are represented by chondrites, anhondrites, and ironstone and ferrous. There are several parts of the "Pallas iron" meteorite, the first found in Russia in 1749. The fragment of the Enzisheim meteorite is of historical rarity, it fell in France in 1492 and was presented by former Austrian Emperor Franz I in 1855.

Fossil Invertebrates Collection

The Fossil Invertebrates Collection covers all types of known at the present date extinct organisms. The museum stores collections of brachiopods, echinoderms, corals from Paleozoic (Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian and Carboniferous) formations of Russia, Western Europe, North America; bivalves, gastropods and cephalopods from Mesozoic (Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous) sediments of Central Russia and Western Europe. Fossils collected from the Carboniferous, Jurassic and Cretaceous sediments of Central Russia, including fossils from the Jurassic sections of Moscow, most of which are now lost, are significant in taxonomic diversity. The museum funds contain the Late Jurassic arthropods, mollusks, echinoderms from the world famous Zolengofen location (Germany, Bavaria).

Fossil Vertebrates Collection

Fossil Vertebrates Collection contains fossils from different known deposits. The museum has an extensive collection of fossil mammals - gipparions, rhinoceroses, mammoths, bison, horses, elks and a wide range of predators. The museum stores as original samples as also molds from Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Western Europe, North and South America, India and Australia. The museum received in XX century paleozoology collections from archeological sites, including famous sites of the primitive man such as Sungir, Kostenki, Ignatievskaya cave, Timonovka, Chulatovo, Gagarino, Rozhok, Smelovskaya cave and others. The fossil fishes are represented in the museum’s collections by teeth, skeletons and prints. The museum has a huge material from the Leningradskaya oblast Devonian deposits (Syas location) and Orkney Islands of Scotland, and also from Moscow region carboniferous limestones, the Permian (Saarbruecken, Mansfeld) and the Jurassic (Zolengofen, Mannheim) German layers. Reptiles are represented in general by Jurassic and Cretaceous marine forms from Russia (Moscow region, Volga region), Great Britain and Germany (Zolengofen, Holzmaden).

Stone Productions Collection

The museum’s funds have cut faceted gems, including aquamarine of a fancy cut, presented by the Chairman of the Russian Cutters Guild V.A. Tuzlukov. The aquamarine seal, which belonged to the director of the Ekaterinburg and Peterhof lapidary factories V.V. Mostovenko, a collection of the world’s famous historical diamonds copies (strasses) such as: the Great Mogul, the Orlov, the Shah, the Koh-I-Noor, the Sancy, the Star of the South, the Tuscan, the Regent, which were made in the first half of the 19th century, and also the pillars of the destroyed in 1931 Cathedral of the Christ the Savior, the Rinaldo Rinaldi’s white marble sculptural group are of great historical interest. The polished jasper, agate, serpentine, Italian marble, including "ruinous" plates are widely represented in the museum collection and came to the museum in the XIX century.

Fossil Flora Collection

Paleobotanical collections contain Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cainozoic age sediments from different regions of the world. The early Devonian flora is represented by psilophytes from the Europe and Canada deposits and the archeopteryum flora from Mongolia and Ireland. Museum’s funds have also fossil plants of Carboniferous and Permian age from Western Europe, Russia and North America. The collection of fossil plants, presented to the museum by F.F. Wangenheim von Kvalan in 1840, has a great scientific value for paleobotanical characteristics of the Permian deposits of the Urals. The collections of Mesozoic flora are extensive in their geography; the museum has numerous samples from Russia, Kazakhstan, Austria, and Germany. The remnants of the Paleocene-Eocene plants of the Lower Volga region are unique and very attractive. Kamchatka Paleogene floras collections, characterized by excellent preservation, were collected and described by well-known paleobotany A.I. Chelebaeva; these collections came to the museum at the end of XIX, beginning of the XX centuries.