No stone left unturned in generous donation to WMU geology museum

The Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Western Michigan University is excited to announce the recent acquisition of a stunning collection of agates in the Dr. Lloyd J. Schmaltz Geology and Mineral Museum in Rood Hall. The collection of over 40 brilliant agates has been generously donated by Jim Duncan, Jr., a long-time supporter and friend to the department.

The generous contribution is a most welcome addition to the museum and adds to the myriad world-class specimens that have already been gifted by Duncan over the past decades. The Duncan family has a long-time connection to the department that began as early as the 1960’s with his father Jim Duncan, Sr. An early advocate and supporter of the Department of Geological and Environmental Science (formerly the Department of Geology), Duncan, Sr. has been invited to participate in several guided field trips through the Grand Canyon with emeritus professor and founding chairperson, Schmaltz. 

Etched in stone

Picture of agateAgates are considered a semi-precious stone, and have been displayed and used in carving assorted jewelry and ceremonial objects for thousands of years. These distinct, banded stones that consist primarily of the minerals chalcedony and quartz, exhibit the type of dramatic color and striking variability that will surely excite serious collectors and amateur rockhounds around the world.

The beautifully-cut and polished specimens are part of a new display in the museum.

Thank you to Duncan and the entire Duncan family for their continued benevolent support of the Lloyd J. Schmaltz Geology and Mineral Museum at WMU.

About the Dr. Lloyd J. Schmaltz Geology and Mineral Museum

Located on the first floor of Rood Hall in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, the museum displays an impressive collection of rocks, minerals and fossils from Michigan and throughout the world. The museum houses 40 exhibits and contains nearly 600 specimens.

To learn more about the museum, visit