Under Pressure: Volcanoes and the Birth of the World’s Most Precious Stones - Atlas Obscura

Elmhurst, Illinois

Under Pressure: Volcanoes and the Birth of the World’s Most Precious Stones

Join us for an interactive lecture on volcanoes led by a geologist from the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art.

A favorite spot on the Atlas Obscura World Map, the Lizzadro Museum has been showcasing some of the most beautiful gems and lapidary art from around the world in Chicago’s own Elmhurst suburb since 1962.

Joseph Lizzadro, a lapidary hobbyist and collector of mineral art, founded the museum with the intentions of sharing the beauty of stone and mineral carvings with the world. Inside, you'll find stunning examples of lapidary art ranging from dragons cut from jade, castles sculpted in gold, and jeweled elephants, to gemstones, minerals and fossils in forms you've likely never seen before.

But where do these beautiful rocks come from? Volcanologist Sara Kurth M.S. will be joining us to offer an expert's insight on the birthplace of some of our planet’s most precious stones: volcanoes! She’ll lead an interactive lecture on volcanoes, including hand samples for demonstration and a discussion on recent eruptions and how volcanoes affect both local and global communities.

After the lecture, you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions about volcanic activity and the museum. You’ll also have full access to tour the museum and view Joseph Lizzadro’s fantastic collection, including impressive jade carvings and a wide variety of earth science materials used in lapidary art.


  • This event is open to all ages.
  • Limited parking is available.


Email Kirby Barth at kirby.barth@atlasobscura.com.

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Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.