TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Inside the Historic Pima County Courthouse, the Alfie Norville Gem and Mineral Museum welcomed its first visitors.
"It's so open and there are so many different things. I think it's really awesome," said visitor, Chris Earnest.
Renovation of the 12,000 square foot space started back in 2018. Today, over 2,000 gems and minerals are on display. Many are native to Arizona and Mexico.
"The mineral museum is able to give people a taste of gems, minerals, fossils and jewelry all year round. Rather than just one time a year," said Alfie Norville Gem and Mineral Museum Assistant Manager, Selena Valencia.
The museum's three galleries provide more than something beautiful to look at. Valencia said the displays share story about the history of Arizona.
"You'll learn about mining in Arizona and how we became the 48th state and how it was critical. There's a lot of information that you might not have known. We want you to walk away with something. It's a great educational experience," said Valencia.
Guests can sign up to go on a guided tour. It's a chance to see and learn something new, whether you have lived in Tucson for years or a just visiting for the weekend.
"We love gem show season, but come inside if you're missing it. We have a lot in store for you to see," said Valencia.
The Alfie Norville Gem and Mineral Museum plans to host a grand opening in February 2022.