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Rock & Mineral Identification

Geologist Sara Kurth presents an introduction to rocks and minerals. Learn to identify minerals through basic hands-on identification including observation skills and hardness tests. Great for teachers and rockhounds. This program qualifies for Boy & Girl Scout merit badges. Scout groups require adult supervision. Teachers can earn Professional Development credit for this class. For more information regarding P.D. credit contact the Museum Educator at

Class – Ages 8 yrs. to Adult
75 minutes – 10:30 a.m.
Saturday Classes: April 18, May 9, June 20
Fee: $5.00 per person, Reservations Required: (630) 833-1616

May 2 & 3
“Art in the Park”

A juried show of Fine Art, Craft and Design, over 100 artists from around the Midwest will be showing and selling their creations in Wilder Park. At the Lizzadro Museum, members of the West Suburban Lapidary Club will be demonstrating forms of lapidary art.

Free Admission to the Museum.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. & Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

May 9
Creative Crossweave Bracelet

Pat Koko of the West Suburban Lapidary Club teaches an intriguing and fun bracelet technique using braided bead thread, crystals and seed beads. Students will learn a pattern that they can easily replicate on their own. All materials included. Necessary tools will be available to share. Complete a lovely bracelet to wear or give to Mom.

Workshop - Ages 14 yrs. to adult - 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Beginner to Advanced level class
Fee: $30.00 per person, Museum Members: $25.00
Reservations Required: (630) 833-1616

May 17
Museum Day in Elmhurst

Ride the trolley as it rolls through Elmhurst to celebrate the 19th Annual Museum Day in Elmhurst. Visit all 3 Museums: the Art Museum, Historical Museum, and Lizzadro Museum. Enjoy activities & exhibits for free at each Museum. Park at one museum and ride the complimentary trolley to each location. Collect a stamp at all 3 museums for a chance to win a prize. At the Lizzadro Museum, explore the museum’s fascinating collection, see the popular “Rock Café” exhibit, and create an adorable rock critter to take home.

Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. All Ages Welcome.
Admission is Free at all 3 Museums!

stone hunt

June 6
“Stone Hunt”

This hands-on activity allows children and adults to search for gems and minerals among more common rocks. Learn the difference between rocks?and minerals and how to distinguish between them. Each rock or mineral found is identified and can be taken home.

Activity - Ages 5 yrs. to Adult 45 minutes - 2 p.m.
$5.00 per person, Museum Members Free
Reservations Recommended


June 13
“Geode Collecting Field Trip”

Collect geodes near the Mississippi River. This private quarry yields abundant and fascinating geodes along with other minerals and fossils. Trip includes tour guides, motor coach, and on-site cracking fees.

Field Trip - 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
$90 per person, Museum Member $85
Reservation Required (630) 833-1616

wire wrap

June 20
“Wire Wrap Jewelry Demonstration”

Visiting Artist, Bill Zima will demonstrate his wire wrapping techniques for creating unique designs with wire and stone. Wire wrap cannot be mass-produced and uses no solder or glue. It is one of the oldest jewelry design techniques and today remains an individualistic art form. Learn basic techniques and refined designs from a master craftsman.

Demonstration – Youth to Adult – 2 p.m. – 60 minutes
Regular Museum Admission – Museum Members Free
Reservations Recommended


global change


Nothing says Chicago like our sports teams. We’ve got the Bears. We’ve got the Bulls. We’ve got the Blackhawks. We’ve got the White Sox. We’ve got the Cubs. Four of those five teams have obtained at least one Championship ring since 1960. Each member of the winning team, staff, coaches, administrators, and owners receive a ring with their name engraved on it. When a team wins a championship, jewelers submit designs to choose from. The chosen ring design tells a story: how many championships they’ve won, cityscapes, colors, symbols, perhaps even a rallying phrase for the team. But what story do the gemstones tell? That may even be a more dramatic story than an impressive comeback!

The most commonly used gemstones in the Chicago Championship Rings are diamonds. Diamonds are found in very select places on earth under very specific conditions, which makes them so valuable. But the components of diamonds are all around us – carbon. Carbon is in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the ground we walk on, even in us! But in order for carbon to form diamonds, extreme conditions are required. These conditions can be found in one place: inside the earth. Deep in the earth, between 93 and 280 miles underground, the mantle is churning molten rock. Diamonds are formed at temperatures greater than 2000° F and pressures of 435,133 pounds per square inch (psi). Anything less than those conditions will turn carbon into graphite, more commonly known as pencil “lead.” Once the diamonds are formed, the question becomes: how to get the diamonds to the surface? For this to happen, the diamonds must move through the layers of earth quickly, otherwise the diamonds would be dissolved in the rock during assent. This requires a movement of magma up to 250 miles per hour! The result: a kimberlite pipe. These pipes result in volcanic eruptions that are short lived and infrequent, but because the magma is coming from such great depths, the eruptions are very powerful. The rocks that are produced are called kimberlites. These blue rocks are filled with diamonds! Over time, weather breaks down kimberlites, releasing the diamonds to the elements. They can be transported great distances by water and glaciers. Much like how gold, sapphires, and rubies are discovered, diamonds can also be found in placer deposits. These are areas where heavy material settles after being carried downstream. Diamonds have been discovered thousands of miles from their original location, due to the movement of water and ice. When looking for diamonds, prospectors focus on continents, specifically the oldest continental crust, also called cratons. The thicker layers of material found on cratons yield the depths needed to create suitable conditions to form diamonds. Common diamond producing locations include Australia, Brazil, Russia, Canada and several African countries, including South Africa and Zaire. Most of these locations formed 1,100 million to 20 million years ago.

The majority of diamonds on earth are formed in kimberlite pipes. However, there are other ways in which conditions are perfect for creating diamonds. In some situations, diamonds form on meteorites and are deposited on earth during meteor showers. These diamonds are considered nanodiamonds, as they are only a few nanometers in size. These are not conducive for use in jewelry, particularly the “bling” associated with the Championship Rings! Larger diamonds can be formed by the impact of asteroids with earth. The impact causes intense heat and pressure on the surrounding rocks of an asteroid impact, resulting in the formation of diamonds. Millimeter-sized diamonds have been found in asteroid craters in Arizona and Siberia. Again, these diamonds would not be useful for jewelry, but have been utilized for industrial materials.

Despite what you may have heard, diamonds may not last forever. Although diamonds are the hardest mineral, they are not impervious to breaking down. In fact, at surface pressure they are considered “metastable,” meaning that the bonds that hold carbon together are weaker in diamonds than in their cousin graphite. This can cause diamonds to crack or cleave. However, considering the diamonds found today are actually millions of years old, you shouldn’t worry about your diamond jewelry! The time it takes for diamond bonds to break down is well beyond the lifetime of any of us. Due to the longevity of diamonds, the Chicago Championship Rings will continue to tell the story of our great Chicago sports teams.

Howard, J.M. and Hanson, W.D. “Geology of the Crater of Diamonds State Park and Vicinity, Pike County Arkansas.” State of Arkansas: Arkansas Geological Survey, SPS-03.


“Chicago’s Championship Rings” March 24 thru April 19, 2015, is a special exhibit bringing together the symbols of iconic moments in Chicago Sports History. The rings represent the 11 Chicago Championship titles (since 1960) in Basketball, Baseball, Football and Hockey. The rings on display are on loan from the Walter and Connie Payton Family Foundation, the Stan Mikita Family, Charlie H. Walsh, Jr., and Joe O’Neil, Senior Director of Ticket Operations for the Bulls. This is the first time all 11 Championship rings are on display together.

The rings blend jewelry design, gems and craftsmanship to create unique iconic symbols for each team and each Championship. Every year, when a Championship is won, master jewelers submit ring designs or teams may have their own ideas for a design. The team chooses the winning design. Jostens Company from Minnesota has actually created 10 of Chicago’s Championship rings. Jostens may be familiar to you. It has been the largest manufacturer of class rings in the United States for 100 years. After all, rings symbolize milestone events in our lives.

The first Championship Ring created by Jostens was for the Pittsburg Pirates in 1960. The earliest ring in this is exhibit is Stan Mikita’s 1961 Blackhawk’s ring. Walter Payton’s ring comes with an interesting story. In 1995 he lent it to a child he was coaching at a football camp. The child lost it in a couch while showing his friends. Walter didn’t sweat it and had another ring made. In 2001 the ring was found in the same couch it was lost in and returned to the Payton family. Jostens spokesperson Jennifer Duerre says Chicago’s rings are known for their innovative designs; in fact the White Sox ring broke the traditional mold because it was oval. The 11 rings on display represent the Bulls dominance with 6 Championships won in the 1990s, the 3 Blackhawks wins in 1961, 2010 and 2013, the coveted 1985 Bears and the precious 2005 White Sox. The exhibit is a bejeweled browse through historic ring styles and Chicago team symbolism ranging from austere to extravagant.



Visiting Artist
Bill Zima  “Wire Wrap Jewelry”
April 1 thru July 31, 2015

zimaBill Zima began his interest in jewelry making 40 years ago. He worked as a steel fabricator and  met his wife Lois in 1970. Together they have shared a life long interest in lapidary art. You may know Bill & Lois Zima from their “Create a Gem Tree” program held at the Museum each year. Lois, a retired RN, is an accomplished lapidary in her own right. Both Lois and Bill have made a second career of creating gem trees and jewelry to sell at gem shows around the country. They have belonged to the DesPlaines Valley Geological Society for 35 years.

Bill Zima says, “It all started years ago when my wife sawseraphinite a necklace made of Heishe beads and small carved animals. I said I could make one for her. Then her friends wanted one too and that started many years of creating jewelry.” Like many lapidaries Bill Zima is self-taught but has an eye and dexterity for replicating work he sees. He began with silversmithing and Native American style jewelry and then moved to channel inlay after seeing the work of artist Stanley Timms. He began wire wrapping 7 years ago after observing a demonstration by Jim Fowler.  Bill believes that artists must start out imitating someone and then develop their own style. He cuts and polishes his own cabochons for wire wrap and continually experiments with new designs.  Bill Zima will demonstrate his wire wrap techniques at the Museum on Saturday, June 20th at 2 p.m. Reservations are recommended.

Wire wrap jewelry dates back over 4,000 years ago with early samples found in ancient Sumeria. The technique survived and was found in ancient Rome 2,000 years later. Wire wrap is a hand made process that uses a simple method of combining wire such as copper, brass, silver or gold around a stone or bead to hold it in place without the use of solder or glue. Although today mass produced findings are used to secure stones, wire wrap continues to be used among lapidaries and craftspeople because it is an economical and quick way to create jewelry components. Techniques for wire wrap can range from (basic) simple designs to very ornate. Wire wrap has remained an art form all it’s own inspiring a limitless variety of highly individualistic pieces.

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