Arizona is the top state for mining non fuel minerals. In honor of this, the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum in Phoenix, Arizona was opened. The mining industry helped to build the State of Arizona. The year was 1884 when Arizona had the first fair. The mineral area was the best exhibit at the fair. This display marked the beginning of the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum. Since that first fair the collection has been increasing.
The museum hosts more than twenty thousand school children plus the more than eighteen thousand regular visitors to the site. The museum is popular with rock hounds and mineral collectors throughout the world.
They are located at 1502 W. Washington, Phoenix, Arizona. The museum is only a mile west of the downtown area. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. It is closed on Sundays. They are closed for the following holidays: New Years Day, Martin Luther King, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission is two dollars for adults and children less than seventeen are free.
The free parking is located to the north of the DMMR. The entrance to the building is on the south side on Washington. There are other lots at the capitol area where visitors can also park. The museum is two blocks from the State Capitol going east. Visitors coming in on I-10 should take the 7th Ave exit south to Washington. Then turn right onto 15th Ave. The museum is on the corner of 15th Ave and Washington. Guests coming in to the city on I-17 southbound need to take the Jefferson exit east to 15th Ave., then make a left onto 15th Ave.
The museum offers classes on Lapidary, Faceting, Silversmithing and Wire wrapping. Lapidary classes show how to cut and polish semi precious stones. The Silversmithing and wire wrapping classes teach people how to create settings for necklaces, rings, bracelets, etc. By combining these courses visitors can create their own jewelry. The Lapidary classes are on Tuesday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The Silversmithing class runs for ten weeks on Thursday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Wire wrapping classes are usually on the first Saturday of each month. There are specific tools needed for this class. They are round and flat nose pliers, wire cutters, optivisor, beads, cabochons or other stones, files, ruler, narrow masking tape, a selection of short dowels and a fine point marking pen. Wire can be purchased at the museum or students can bring their own 22 gauge square wire.
There is a Gift Shop located at the museum. Some of the items for purchase are mineral specimens. Many of the minerals are specific to Arizona. The Gift Shop offers special pricing to students. The shop also has jewelry, bookends made from rocks, prospecting tools, and books on minerals, geology and mining. The museum can also let visitors know where they can go gold panning, rock hounding or take a mine tour.