There are four main collection areas within the Earth Sciences umbrella, Petrology, Mineralogy, Gems, and Meteorites; the latter two, while sub-sections of mineralogy and petrology, are segregated due to value.
Petrology contains 32,600 specimens representing world localities. The scope and emphasis of this collection is governed by the need to have natural specimens and other material to disseminate geological knowledge to the public, scientists from academic institutions and industry both in Canada and abroad. This collection is strong in suites representing the geology and ores of Ontario, alkalic suites, worldwide kimberlite/lamproite suites, recent volcanic (ie. North America, Europe, and ocean floor crust) and building stones. Our newest acquisition is the Kirwin collection and it has greatly enhanced the Petrology collection.
Mineralogy contains near 60,000 specimens. It has worldwide representation and within the kingdom, represents 2,600 of the over 5,000 known species of minerals. We currently have 328 type specimens in the mineral collections, representing just over 120 named mineral species.
The Gem Collection, a sub-section of mineralogy, contains 3,000 gemstones, jewellery, and carved objects. Some of our notable objects are the Light of the Desert.
Meteorites, a section of both mineralogy and petrology, has 2,500 specimens representing 250 different species and encompasses the highest percentage of rare meteorite types of any collection in the world, including many asteroidal and planetary (Lunar, Martian) achondrites as well as significant masses of carbonaceous and rare chondritic types. The meteorite collection at the Royal Ontario Museum has undergone dramatic growth in the last 10 years and includes objects such as the Tagish Lake meteorite.