Minerals

The ancient red pigment was held in an intricately decorated chlorite vial.

Tube of Ancient Red Lipstick Unearthed in Iran

New research suggests the nearly 4,000-year-old cosmetic may be among the oldest discoveries of its kind

The 7.46-carat brown diamond is about the size of a gumdrop.

French Tourist Finds 7.46-Carat Diamond at Arkansas State Park

Julien Navas plans to have the brown gem split into two pieces so he can give half to his fiancée and half to his daughter

Pink diamonds form when the gems' crystalline structure gets bent under intense pressure.

Geologists Unravel the Mysteries of Australia's Rare Pink Diamonds

The dazzling, blush-colored gems likely emerged from Earth's mantle some 1.3 billion years ago, when a supercontinent named Nuna broke up, study suggests

Aspen Brown unearthed the golden-brown diamond while visiting Crater of Diamonds State Park with her family.

Girl Celebrating 7th Birthday Finds 2.95-Carat Diamond

Aspen Brown stumbled upon the pea-sized, golden-brown gem while visiting an Arkansas park

"Cellphone: Unseen Connections" at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History walks through every aspect of the technology.

How Cellphones Connect Us All

A new Natural History Museum exhibition explores how the devices link us to Earth and to a network of people worldwide involved in their supply chain

Interest in gold prospecting is growing across the country as the value of gold rises.

Five Places Where You Can Still Find Gold in the United States

Lucky for you, these gold rush hot spots have not yet run their mining course

Red ocher has served many history, from painting cave walls to tanning hides.

This 12,000-Year-Old Wyoming Quarry Could Be North America's Oldest Mine

The state's archaeologists believe people quarried red ocher at Powars II starting 12,840 years ago

Zeolite, a clay material found in kitty litter, may be the next tool to help reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. 

Minerals Used in Kitty Litter Could Help Fight Climate Change

A MIT study shows how, when treated with copper, a clay called zeolite can convert methane to carbon dioxide, a less powerful greenhouse gas

Adam Hardin's 2.38-carat brown diamond "Frankenstone" is the size of a pinto bean.

Treasure Hunter Unearths 2.38-Carat 'Frankenstone' Diamond

Adam Hardin discovered the impressive brown gem at an Arkansas state park

Bon Ami Mine is located in Little Switzerland, North Carolina, about 50 miles northeast of Asheville.

Black Lights Turn This North Carolina Mine Into a Psychedelic Wonderland

The Bon Ami Mine’s deposits of the mineral hyalite glow fluorescent green under ultraviolet light

Early humans were likely exposed to mercury through cinnabar, a sulfide mineral that produces a bright red powder when pulverized.

Earliest Evidence of Mercury Poisoning in Humans Found in 5,000-Year-Old Bones

Researchers discovered the toxic element in remains buried across the Iberian Peninsula between the Neolithic period and antiquity

The researchers named the mineral davemaoite, after the well-known geophysicist Ho-kwang (Dave) Mao.

From Deep Within Earth's Mantle, This Never-Before-Seen Mineral Hitched a Ride to the Surface in a Diamond

Scientists previously synthesized the mineral in a lab using immense amounts of pressure, but they were surprised to find it in nature

DNA from the skin of this mummified sheep leg allowed researchers to study sheep husbandry practices in ancient Iran.

Researchers Recover DNA From 1,600-Year-Old, Naturally Mummified Sheep Leg

The molecules offer insights on ancient farming practices near the Chehrabad salt mine in Iran

From forests to fish to flakes of snow, the science behind ice cream reaches beyond the cone.

The Strangely Scientific Endeavor of Making Ice Cream

Ice cream's texture is the result of the same processes that govern concepts like forest recovery, rock formation and sub-zero survival in animals.

The blue areas in this composite image from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) aboard the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 orbiter show water concentrated at the Moon's poles. Homing in on the spectra of rocks there, researchers found signs of hematite, a form of rust.

Why Is the Moon Covered in Rust? Even Scientists Are Stumped by This Metal Mystery

Without oxygen and water, how is the substance

A Roman lead ingot recently unearthed in Wales

Local Man Finds 2,000-Year-Old Roman Lead Ingot in Welsh Field

Rob Jones' discovery adds a tangible piece of evidence to the history of mining in Roman Britain

What makes the Whitney Flame topaz such an astonishing acquisition is its homogeneous fiery-red. “We recognized right away that this is something different than we’d ever seen,” says Smithsonian gems curator Jeff Post.

The Whitney Flame Topaz Smolders in Vibrant Red

A new gemstone at the Natural History Museum is already igniting wonder in viewers

Where Did the Aztecs Get Their Turquoise?

New analysis shows the blue-green mineral found in Aztec art was likely mined in Mexico, not the American Southwest as previously believed

Leif Erikson pointing toward North America. Did he use a sunstone to navigate the open seas?

Simulation Suggests Viking Sunstones of Legend Could Have Worked

If they existed, the crystals—used to locate the sun's position on cloudy days—could have helped Vikings sail to far away places

Never-Before-Seen Mineral Found Inside a Diamond

The diamond acted as a container, keeping a piece of calcium silicate perovskite stable as it moved towards the Earth’s surface

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