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Visit to Stockholm - Swedish Museum of Natural History and Flink Day Symposium

Last Updated: 3rd Dec 2019

By Roy Starkey

This article summarises my visit to Stockholm to participate in the Swedish Mineralogical Society Flink Day topographical mineralogy symposium at the Naturhistoriska rijksmuseet in Stockholm as an invited speaker - https://www.sweminsoc.se/

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Stockholm Central Station (Sweden)

Arrival at the Central Station – Xmas is coming!

It was very dark and wet when I arrived in Stockholm, but the temperature dropped markedly overnight and I was greeted by a fresh fall of snow.

I spent Friday visiting Jörgen Langhof Curator of minerals at the Swedish Museum of Natural History (https://www.nrm.se/en/16.html ), meeting some of his colleagues and touring the laboratories and examining specimens in the extensive collection store.

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Glaciated outcrop of Stockholm Granite outside the University Subway Station


Looks like it is this way…!

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Finger post to The Swedish Museum of Natural History


The Swedish Natural History Museum (Naturhistoriska rijksmuseet) – in the snow. I was told that they had not seen the sun for a month!

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The Swedish Museum of Natural History


A giant boulder of iron outside the The Swedish Natural History Museum

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Giant iron boulder from Ovifak, Greenland outside the Swedish Museum of Natural History


And here is its story …

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Interpretation panel for a giant iron boulder from Ovifak, Greenland outside the Swedish Museum of Natural History


Finally I slithered my way around to the front entrance – very impressive!

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The Swedish Museum of Natural History


During my tour of the laboratories I was able to see the amazing Ion Micro-Probe facility, and to learn something about how it is utilised and the many applications of this tool from Professor Martin Whitehouse, Head of the Nordsim laboratory https://www.nrm.se/en/forskningochsamlingar/geovetenskap/nordsim.904.html

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Cameca IMS 1270 at the Nordsim laboratory


Cameca IMS 1270 at the Nordsim laboratory 1016087

If you would like to learn more about how this amazing piece of kit works and what all the components do – see https://sims.ess.ucla.edu/nsf_facility/ims1270.php

I also spent some time in the public gallery (well worth a visit if you are in Stockholm). The displays here embrace the whole spectrum of mineralogy – physical properties, such as hardness, lustre, colour, double refraction and so on; the uses of minerals and an introduction to ore deposits; meteorites; gemstones; fluorescence; crystallography; systematic mineralogy and a selection of ‘wow specimens’ including a spectacular gold nugget, fine native silver and a superb diamond crystal in matrix. A large amethyst geode and giant smoky quartz crystal are sure to capture the imagination of younger visitors. The world famous Langban deposit gets pride of place with a special exhibit showcasing nearly a hundred specimens from the locality.

The entrance to the mineral gallery (Treasures from the Earth’s interior)

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Entrance to the mineral gallery of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


A dramatic ‘crystal cave’ welcomes the visitor

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Crystal Cave at the entrance to the mineral gallery of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


General view of the mineral gallery

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General view of the mineral gallery of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


General view of the mineral gallery – nice to see some crystal models being used as decoration

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General view of the mineral gallery of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


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General view of the mineral gallery of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


A very large crystal of smoky quartz

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Large crystal of smoky quartz from The Alps


The fluorescent minerals display – come inside and take a look …

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Fluorescent display enclosure in the mineral gallery of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


Banded calcite from Långban

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Calcite from Långban fluorescing under UV light


Native lead, a Långban speciality

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Native lead from Långban


Native silver from Kongsberg, Norway

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Native silver, Kongsberg, Norway


A great diamond in kimberlite from Kimberley, South Africa

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Diamond in kimberlite from Kimberley, South Africa


A real rarity – a fossil meteorite (with a terrestrial age of 475 million years) enclosed in a slab of limestone from Brunflo in the region of Jamtland

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Amazing specimen showing a fossil meteorite in a sawn slab of limestone


And here is a close-up view of the fossil meteorite

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Fossil meteorite in sawn slab of limestone


Colour in minerals exhibit

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Colour in minerals display in the mineral gallery of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


Uses of minerals exhibit

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Uses of minerals exhibit in the mineral gallery of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


Långban

Långban is a mining village within the district of Filipstad, located in the western region of Värmland. It is known for the remarkable richness of its mineral deposits and has long been a source of iron and manganese ores.

Some 270 different minerals have been found at Långban. Of these about seventy were previously unknown and are therefore classified as ‘type minerals’, which means that their original descriptions are based on the Långban deposit. The mineral richness of the area is due to the unusually high concentrations of metals such as lead, manganese, antimony and arsenic in rocks that are poor in silica.

Långban display case

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Långban display cabinet


A few Långban specialities…

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Långban display cabinet


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Långban display cabinet


The Department of Mineralogy at NHM Stockholm is very active in mineralogical research and characterisation of new minerals and this display describes some of the activities involved.

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Mineralogical research exhibit in the mineral gallery of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


The gallery includes a novel systematic mineralogy display housed in a module of pull-out cases.

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Systematic display module in the mineral gallery of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


You can slide out the cases (GENTLY PLEASE!) to have a closer look at the nicely displayed, labelled and well-illuminated specimens.

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Systematic display module in the mineral gallery of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


Let's take a closer look at a few specimens from the exhibit

Fluorite, Kongsberg, Norway – nice!

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Fluorite, Kongsberg, Norway


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Phosgenite from Monteponi, Italy


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Alstonite, Fallowfield Mine, Hexham, Northumberland in the mineral gallery of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


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Libethenite from Russia and olivenite from Cornwall in the mineral gallery of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


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Allakite from Nordmark, Värmland


Another trio of collectors’ favourites…

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Childrenite, chalcosiderite and liroconite from SW England in the mineral gallery of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


At 2pm I gave a presentation to the Museum staff about my Minerals of the English Midlands book project (see https://britishmineralogy.com/wordpress/?page_id=878 )

Later that afternoon it was time to take a look behind the scenes…

Neatly organised rows of cabinets in the mineral store
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Mineral Store at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


I’m going to focus on British localities – let’s start with a drawer of sphalerite

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Sphalerite drawer from the collection of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


Sphalerite and quartz from the Isle of Man

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Sphalerite and quartz, Isle of Man


A great suite of chalcocite from Cornwall

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Chalcocite from Cornwall in the collection of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


Bournonite from Herodsfoot Mine acquired from F.Pisani of Paris in 1871

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Bournonite, Herodsfoot Mine, Lanreath, Cornwall


And another one – this time with a Bryce Wright label

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Bournonite and quartz, Herodsfoot Mine, Lanreath, Cornwall


And here is a really unusual piece with an interesting history – traded with Patrick Dudgeon

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Fluorite from Cumberland, Swedish Museum of Natural History Collection


Fluorite, Cumberland ‘from Dr Buckland’s Collection’ [presumably William Buckland (1784 – 1856) an English theologian who became Dean of Westminster. He was also a geologist and palaeontologist - see (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Buckland ) via Patrick Dudgeon in 1857

How about this great little macklockite from S.M. Myrtin of Stockholm, 13 September 1923?

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Matlockite, Cromford, Derbyshire


and some tremendous British calcite specimens

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Calcite specimens in the collection of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


and a ‘killer’ witherite from Nentsberry Mine, from the King’s collection!

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Witherite, Nentsberry Mine, from the King's Collection in the Swedish Museum of Natural History


I am going to save the best until the end!

In a special room, off the mineral gallery, are 12 superb antique cabinets housing the collection of Sten Anders Hjalmar Sjögren, Swedish geologist and mineralogist (1856-1922). You can read more about him here
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sten_Anders_Hjalmar_Sj%C3%B6gren

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The Hjalmar Sjögrens Collection Gallery


The room is presented as if one is entering a private house, complete with curtains at the windows and crystal chandeliers overhead. The collection is housed in eight storage cabinets (24 drawers in each) each topped by a glazed display case and four tall vertical wall display cases and four table top display cases. There are some superb specimens here from localities all over the world.

Here are a few pictures to give you a taste of the treasures to be seen…

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The Hjalmar Sjögrens Collection Gallery


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Fluorite from Northern England - Hjalmar Sjögrens Collection


A superb bournonite with quartz from Herodsfoot Mine, in beautiful condition

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Bournonite and quartz, Herodsfoot Mine, Lanreath, Cornwall


Liroconite and other Cornish minerals

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Cornwall drawer from the Hjalmar Sjögrens Collection at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


OK, I know you’d like to see it close-up!

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Liroconite, Cornwall from the Hjalmar Sjögrens Collection, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


And would you like to see a few more Cumbrian calcites?

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Calcite drawer from the Hjalmar Sjögrens Collection at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


Cumbrian calcites – a feast for the eyes!

Now the Museum is closing so unfortunately we have to go and get some dinner and then I must head back to the hotel.

The following morning the weather was bright and sunny, but cold and the snow of the previous day looked very picturesque, but it was quite slippery on the pavements! I spent a couple of hours exploring the Old Town before catching the subway up to the University to join the Flink Day Symposium at lunchtime.

Central Stockholm from the theatre terrace garden
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Central Stockholm


The Stockholm waterfront

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Stockholm waterfront


It is a cold morning for wiring up the Xmas tree!

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Wiring up the lights for Stockholm's Xmas tree


The Xmas tree on the quayside

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Xmas tree on the quayside in Gamla Stan, Stockholm


Queueing up for a boat trip

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Stockholm quayside with visitors waiting to join tour boats on a chilly morning


The famous Xmas Market in Stortorget square – Varm Glögg sounds pretty good - maybe I should try some!

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Stockholm Xmas Market in Stortorget square


OK, I’m getting pretty cold now so it is time to take the subway up to the University and join the others at the Swedish Museum of Natural History.

A lovely bright morning here today so another couple of photos are worth including

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Swedish Museum of Natural History - south side


The Swedish Museum of Natural History viewed from the south side 1016093

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The Swedish Museum of Natural History


The iced-up approach to the front entrance

The mineralogy gallery is on the upper floor of the right hand wing (see next photo)

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The mineralogy wing of the Swedish Museum of Natural History


The mineralogy gallery is on the upper floor of the wing on the right

I have a little spare time so I have to go back to the The Hjalmar Sjögrens Collection room and take a few more photos…

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The Hjalmar Sjögrens Collection Gallery


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Display cabinet - Hjalmar Sjögrens Collection, in the Swedish Natural History Museum


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Display cabinet - Hjalmar Sjögrens Collection, in the Swedish Natural History Museum


Another great display case in the Hjalmar Sjögrens Collection room

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Display cabinet - Hjalmar Sjögrens Collection, in the Swedish Natural History Museum


Now it is time to meet the delegates for the Flink Meeting.

Programme for the Flinkdag Meeting 29 November 2019

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Programme for the Flink Day Symposium 2019


Here’s Jörgen presenting on new minerals from Sweden 2003 – 2019

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Jörgen Langhof presenting on New Minerals from Sweden 2003 - 2019 at Flink Day Symposium, Stockholm November 2019


Andreas Karlsson speaking about his project on monteneveite

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Andreas Karlsson speaking about his project on monteneveite


We all enjoyed a good mineralogical chat over coffee and cake half-way through the afternoon and finally the Symposium came to an end and we headed into the Old Town for a pub meal (where I continued the activities with a presentation on the Minerals of the Cairngorms on my laptop! (see https://britishmineralogy.com/wordpress/ )

Stockholm is a city that celebrates its’ geology by exposing the blasted rock in the subway tunnels – how about that?

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Subway rocks image from publicity poster on Stockholm subway


Photograph on station platform poster showcasing the underground geology. Full marks!

Sunday morning came all too quickly and it was time to make my way to Arlanda Airport for the flight to Schipol and onwards to Birmingham.

Unfortunately the flight from Stockholm was delayed to a late inbound aircraft and I missed my scheduled connection at Schipol – resulting in a five hour stopover – which is why you got to read this report – enjoy!

Goodbye to Sweden!

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Departing Stockholm's Arlanda airport


So, if you ever get the chance to visit Stockholm be sure to check out the Swedish Museum of Natural History, and the mineral collection. You will not be disappointed. You might also like to get in touch with the local collectors – I’m sure they will be delighted to meet up with you. See http://www.geonord.se/langban/LBS_web/about_eng_2.htm and http://www.geology.neab.net/

Finally, you can search the collections of the Swedish Museum of Natural History here https://naturarv.nrm.se/faces/pages/results.xhtml ... What are you waiting for?

A big thank you to Jörgen Langhof, Andreas Karlsson, Martin Whitehouse and Dan Holtstam for permission to reproduce the images in this report, and to everyone for making me so welcome!






















Article has been viewed at least 2343 times.

Discuss this Article

7th Dec 2019 08:35 UTCHerwig Pelckmans Expert

WOW, Roy, this is the kind of write-up I would love to see for every mineral museum!
Great job, MANY THANKS!
Cheers, Herwig

7th Dec 2019 12:26 UTCDavid Carter

It’s fantastic to read these occasional write-ups of museums and show reports. They’re incredibly informative and make me want to visit. This entry is no exception, thanks for sharing.

7th Dec 2019 13:36 UTCPaul Brandes Manager

Great report, Roy!

The last time we were in Sweden, the Museum was on our list of possible things to visit. However, coming down from a wonderful stay in Falun, we felt that we didn't have enough time to truly visit the Museum then get back to Arlanda for our flight to the States. By seeing the photos, we should have built in an extra day just to wander the halls of this fine looking Museum!

7th Dec 2019 18:56 UTCJolyon Ralph Founder

Thank you so much Roy!

7th Dec 2019 20:26 UTCRoy Starkey Expert

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Thanks very much everyone - it is really appreciated to get some positive feedback (and 842 reads in a week is pleasing too)! 

I think articles such as this really are worth the effort because they serve to bring things to the attention of Mindat users that they may previously have been unaware of. 

It is actually quite a lot of work to compile something like this - largely because the photo upload process is quite arduous, but then retrieving the image numbers and getting them into the correct sequence requires quite a bit of time and effort.

So - many thanks - I'm glad you enjoyed the read. 

Roy

ps - here is another image - of the fine amethyst geode which I mentioned in the text, but did not include in the original batch of images.

7th Dec 2019 22:47 UTCKeith Compton Manager

Thanks Roy
Great report

7th Dec 2019 23:57 UTCEd Clopton Expert

Those pull-out cases for the systematic display are a tremendous idea for material of potentially less general interest that you still want to have accessible.  Much less real estate without sacrificing content!  Specimens would have to be securely mounted . . . .
 
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