The Clement Mineral Museum is a one-of-a-kind showcase of the many collections of mining giant Ben E. Clement.
This unique collection is decades’ worth of work, curated over 60 plus years and features one of a kind mineral specimens you won’t find anywhere else in the world!
Capture A Glimpse Of The Universe Underneath A Microscope
Our museum is home to the largest collection of fluorite crystal specimens on display in the United States, with thousands of samples ranging in weight from just a fraction of an ounce to hundreds of pounds! These incredible and unique specimens are showcased in a dazzling display of shape and color which words cannot do justice. As the saying goes, you simply have to see it to believe it!
Each specimen on display at the Clement Mineral Museum was a “rare, accidental find” during the great mining boom of the early to mid 1900s. At the suggestion from a friend, Ben E. Clement decided to pursue flurospar mining in western Kentucky. He arrived in Crittenden County just before 1920, when mining was a large part of economic growth in America.
The rest of the story is what you’ll find here at the Clement Mineral Museum! It’s a treasure trove of specimens, artifacts, discoveries, historical tools, documentation and so much more that was amassed by Ben E. Clement over the course of his life.
“In the thousands of fluorite specimens, accessory minerals, photographs, letters, records and other memorabilia we have today, [this is] the finest legacy of physical evidence which connects us to this little known segment of American mineral history.”
– Jay Lininger,
Founder, Editor & Publisher of Matrix: A Journal of the History of Minerals
The Mineral Collection
The Ben E. Clement Mineral Collection is the main attraction here at the museum. Thousands of the specimens on display come straight from the mines of this very region, with other specimens coming from around the globe. In all, the Clement Mineral Collection is the largest display of minerals in the United States! Nowhere else will you find such a dazzling display of our planet’s most beautiful organic creations!
The Equipment Collection
The Mineral Museum also houses a unique collection of historic mining equipment, chronicling decades of invention, development and ingenuity. You’ll also find a unique collection of hand-crafted tools for specific mining needs made by local craftsmen, while catching a glimpse into the lives of the men who labored in these mines nearly a hundred years ago.
The Document Collection
In the museum you’ll also find a trove of historical documentation related to the mining industry, including blueprints, maps, contracts, written opinions, abstracts, books, articles, legers, essays, leases, to name a few.
The Photography Collection
A lesser-known point of interest at the Clement Mineral Museum is the substantial collection of photographs that provide a clear picture (pun intended) of mine operations throughout history. Hundreds of images detail various aspects of the mining world, from architecture to work sites to life on and off the job and other glimpses of what life was like in pre-modern times.