In September of 2016, the CSM Geology Museum was gifted $1.75 million worth of gems, minerals, and meteorites from Hilja Herfurth’s estate.
Hilja passed away in June 2016; her husband Gerry, a man who enjoyed and collected many types of minerals, meteorites, and gems, passed away in 1999. The couple had no connection to the CSM Geology Museum, but had previously donated smaller specimens valued at around $400,000.
Hilja was born in Switzerland and was passionate about the opera. She married Los Angeles native Gerald (Gerry) Herfurth in 1966. Gerry was meticulous, labeling every one of his specimens with locations and dates.
Only a small portion of the Herfurth collection is currently displayed in the CSM Geology Museum, but the museum will likely begin to rotate pieces through so that the public can see more of the Herfurth’s beautiful collection.
The CSM Geology Museum is one of the most comprehensive in the state, with over 50,000 specimens in its collection.
Around 1,500 specimens are on display in the museum at any time, and the Herfurth donation added around 800 specimens to that total. Two large vans were needed to transport the 150 boxes of specimens donated by the Herfurths.
Besides the Herfurth collection, the CSM Geology Museum houses Colorado’s two moon rocks, collected on the Apollo 17 mission. It also features many fossils, gorgeous gemstones, UV minerals, meteorites, and an outdoor geological trail. The museum was founded in 1874 and is funded by the CSM Foundation.
The museum’s hours are Monday-Saturday 9am-4pm and Sunday 1pm-4pm. Admission is free. Visitors can pay to have a guided tour, but tours must be reserved beforehand.
Stop by to see the new Herfurth collection and the many other beautiful collections housed at CSM’s Geology Museum.