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Detroit gems: Mineral museum opens at Wayne State University

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circa 1871: Thomas Alva Edison (1847 - 1931) American scientist, inventor and industrialist, after spending 5 continuous days and nights perfecting the phonograph, listening through a primitive headphone. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

DETROIT (AP) — Nearly 100 mineral pieces that went from Thomas Edison to Henry Ford to the trash before being saved are among the gems displayed at Detroit’s newest museum.

Wayne State University’s Geology Mineral Museum opens Friday in the Old Main building with a grand opening and open house. Officials say the museum’s 350 artifacts represent some of rarest items in the school’s collection.

Highlights include 94 pieces picked for Edison by a Tiffany & Co. gemologist in the early 1900s. The university says in a release the gems were given to Ford. They were later stored at the Ford Rouge Factory and found in the trash by a worker, who gave them to Wayne State.

Other gems among the gems: a 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite and roughly 50 agates from across the globe.

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