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The Colours of Geology

PosterOn Friday 11 August 2017 the Library took part in the second annual Burlington House Courtyard Late event 'The Colours of Burlington House'. Over 130 members of the public attended for three special talks on 'The Colours of Geology'.

The Colour of Gemstones

Cally Oldershaw FGS, former Curator of Gemstones for the Natural History Museum in London and first Lady Chair of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain, introduced the colours of gemstones including diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald, as well as tanzanite, and the rainbow colours of tourmaline. The audience were led on a journey of discovery to find out what causes colour in gemstones and how colours can be enhanced.

The Colour of Maps

Dr Allison Ksiazkiewicz (University of Cambridge) explored how early geologists described three-dimensional landscape through the visual language of maps and sections of the earth. Allison discussed the techniques used in the maps produced by geologist George Bellas Greenough and how colour and theories of art played an important role in the first geological maps of Britain.

The Colour of Fossils

Dr Maria McNamara (University College Cork) explained how the emerging field of fossil colour has revealed unprecedented insights into the ecology and behaviour of ancient animals, describing how colour is preserved in ancient animals and how it can shed light on what they looked like, how they communicated with each other, and how the functions of colour have evolved through deep time.


Watch a recording of 'The Colour of Fossils'


Gemstones    Gemstones by Cally Oldershaw is available to borrow from the Library and from our online bookshop 

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