Eric Fritz

Museum Director

Eric is the new museum manager, coordinating operations with the University, Pima County, the architects Poster, Frost and Mirito and Museum designers Ralph Appelbaum & Associates, to build a world class facility for the collections as well as a research arm for mineralogy and gem science research. He has extensive experience in gem science, which includes earning an array of gemology degrees, industry licenses and professional affiliations from worldwide institutions such as Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A), American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), American Gem Society (AGS) just to name a few. Prior to this role, he was Manager-North America for Gem-A, holding both colored stone and diamond designations.  Eric has a degree in Zoology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  The Zoology degree led to a passion for pearls and other organic gem materials, which are Eric’s specialty. As a youth, he collected shells on the seashore and noticed at an early age the ability for pearl formation as a free pearl or as a protrusion of the shell, what we now refer to as Mabe or blister pearls.  An obsessive shell collection now resides beside his mineral, gemstone, fossil and meteorite collection(s).


  • FGA, DGA