GIA Museum Acquires Highlights of the Joel and Barbara Hauser Mineral Collection
63 extraordinary and unique mineral specimens now in Carlsbad
GIA’s museum has acquired 63 ornamental minerals of exceptional size and quality, made possible through a generous donation by the family of Joel and Barbara Hauser. Many of the pieces are from localities with restricted access or that are no longer producing. These will serve as prime learning tools for students and visitors to GIA about mineral formation and lapidary artistry. The first group of 50 of these minerals went on view at the Institute’s Carlsbad museum beginning Nov. 9.
Azurite (Bisbee, AZ). Photo by Orasa Weldon; © GIA
For more than 60 years, native Californian Joel Hauser ardently pursued his hobby of collecting agates, geodes, ornamental minerals and petrified wood. His decades of devotion culminated in an impressive and celebrated mineral collection. On one trip in pursuit of mineral marvels, he unearthed a deposit of agate geodes in Riverside County’s Little Chuckawalla Mountains, known today as the Hauser Geode Beds.
Laguna Iris Agate (Mexico). Photo by Orasa Weldon; © GIA
Hauser was also a skilled lapidary, mastering the art of contour polishing. “His freeform, undulating polishing style adds interest and texture while removing blemishes, without having to grind away more material than necessary. Joel’s expertise, guided by an artistic eye and perspective, revealed the lovely patterns, markings and colors in the minerals,” says Terri Ottaway, GIA’s museum curator. Hauser also designed and modified saws and grinding equipment that could handle the cutting and polishing of even large pieces of petrified wood.
Variscite (Utah). Photo by Orasa Weldon; © GIA
His wife Barbara and their four sons have donated the collection’s finest ornamental minerals to GIA in his memory. The significant acquisition helps the Institute fulfill its mission to educate and inspire students and the public about gems, gem minerals and jewelry.
Petrified pinecone and wood (Argentina and Utah). Photo by Orasa Weldon; © GIA
An independent nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight in the early 1950s and in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which, today, is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the world.
Through research, education, gemological laboratory services, and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism. Visit www.gia.edu.