There is a new gem and mineral museum in Downtown Tucson and it opened to the public on July 19th, 2021. Ms. Karen and I, along with other members of the Southern Arizona Attractions Alliance, were lucky to get a private tour of the Alfie Norville Gem and Mineral Museum. It is located at the newly restored Historic Pima County Courthouse on Church Street. If your park at the Presidio Garage on Alameda Street, you can validate your parking at the, also new, Heritage and Visitor Center at the other end of the hall from the museum. Be sure and visit it too, if you haven't already. It's free to the public.
This museum was established to provide education to the public and to preserve the minerals and meteorites while also serving the research needs of professionals and students. The collection is worldwide in scope, dedicates a whole gallery on minerals and mining from Arizona and Mexico.
This museum is very extensive, displaying gems, minerals and meteorites in large, well-lit display cases that show off their contents well. One of many nuggets on our tour, we learned that there are about 5,600 known minerals on Earth, and about 30 new ones are discovered each year.
As of this writing, the Alfie Norville Gem and Mineral Museum is open Monday-Friday from 10 am-2 pm. The last tickets are sold at 1 pm. You may purchase your tickets in person at the front desk. Currently, cash is not accepted. Facial masks during the COVID pandemic are optional. Hand sanitizers are available throughout the facility. Plans are to eventually extend open hours to accommodate a wider range of visitors.
Guided tours are an inclusive experience by museum staff and docents for up to 20 people. The guided tour lasts about an hour and a half. Tours must be booked online and in advance. Book your gem and mineral tour here.
The museum has 12,000 square feet of exhibit space with 3 major galleries: Mineral Evolution, Arizona Gallery, & Gem Gallery. The museum has many interactive, touchable minerals, and digital content (video, photos, audio, and visuals).
This collection of gems and minerals was formerly housed in the basement of Flandrau Science Center and Space Planetarium and moved to the Pima County Courthouse in 2020.
We were thoroughly impressed with the new Gem and Mineral Museum.
Alfie Norville Gem and Mineral Museum
115 N Church St. Tucson 85701
Tickets are currently available at the front desk.
$15 Adults (ages 13-64)
$10 Seniors (ages 65+) & Active Military (with I.D.)
$5 Children (ages 4-12) & Arizona College Students (with I.D.)
FREE Children (ages 0-3)