Gem expert to visit Morrill Hall April 4

A collection of rare emeralds will be on display noon to 2 p.m. April 4 in the University of Nebraska State Museum.

The exhibit features the collection of Dallas Patterson, a gem expert and Indiana Jones-style explorer. The Iowa native has traveled around the world excavating and collecting gems — often amid treacherous conditions.

In 2007, Patterson discovered “El Gigante,” an amazing 220-carat emerald with beautiful natural crystal faces that he reports is one of the largest of its kind ever found in Colombia. Patterson will display the six-sided green crystal in its original position in the 7 pound, 5 ounce specimen of the host rock in which it grew. Patterson obtained the gem from a Colombian mine.

Visitors will be able to see a variety of other exquisite emeralds in addition to “El Gigante.” Patterson will also be available to answer questions about his adventures over the past 25 years.

Additional information on crystals and geography is available in the museum’s “Minerals and Meteorites” exhibit. Curated by R.M. (Matt) Joeckel, the museum’s geology curator and a UNL professor, the exhibit showcases Earth’s diversity of minerals alongside several rare meteorites. “Minerals and Meteorites” is on display through November.

Patterson will also be the special guest at the Lincoln Gem and Mineral Club’s annual show, April 6-7 at the Lancaster Events Center, 4100 N. 84th St. For more information on the show, go to

For more information on the museum, go to