The mineral collection comprises approximately 200,000 samples, of which 4,500 are on public display in the Mineral Hall. It contains around 75 percent of all recognized minerals and 20 types. Essential parts of the collection date back to the late 18th and the 19th century.
The minerals have been put into systematic order according to the crystal chemical Strunz classification. Some individual mineral groups have been displayed in regional order. All samples have been integrated into the systematic collection, irrespective of previous ownership.
A large proportion of samples have been recorded in a digital database. Entries include the name of the mineral, the place and year of the find, previous owners, year and way of purchase, specifications on labels (e.g. originals) and crystallographic idiosyncrasies. .
The best-represented regions are the Harz Mountains, Silesia and the formerly Prussian Rhineland. A donation by Archduke Stephan contributed a considerable number of samples from Bohemia and the former Austro-Hungarian territory. There are also large parts of the collection originating from Russia, some from a donation by Czar Alexander I, others from travels to the Ural and Altai Mountains by Alexander von Humboldt and Gustav Rose (1829). In the past decades, many minerals from the mining areas in the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains), Vogtland, Thuringian Forest and the Mansfeld region.