Tucson 2010 report 5 - TGMS show part 1

17 February 2010

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Society (TGMS) show is the final show of Tucson. It runs from the Thursday to the Sunday - this year the 11th to 14th February. It is a great show to visit, filling two halls in the convention centre, and has many mineral dealers plus jewellery and fossil dealers, and fun activities for the kids. The highlight has to be the displays, which are excellent and this year they were outstanding. The theme for this year was Gems and Gem Minerals. Unfortunately it is not possible to post photos of every display, but hopefully these two reports will give a good selection - I will save all the displays focusing on the Gem minerals to the second part of this report.

We have a large booth at the show, with all our finest minerals on display. It takes a team effort to put it all together, but it is very rewarding when visitors come into the booth and comment on the comfortable atmosphere and the gorgeous displays, as we are very proud of them.

Our booth at Tucson
Our booth at the main show.

This was my favourite mineral in our booth:

Rhodochrosite from Hotazel Mine, SA
Rhodochrosite from Hotazel Mine, South Africa, part of the Paul Busch collection which we acquired on the way to Tucson this year.  Gorgeous.


  To see an 8 minute video featuring the minerals that we had on display at our booth, please click here.

This year we also had a small sale booth with minerals at 50% off. And it was very successful as we sold the whole booth on the Saturday to an anonymous buyer - who is this new instant mineral dealer?

Sale booth
Diana Schlegel in the sale booth.

So firstly to the new minerals at the show.

Mineral Exploration of Reno, NV, USA had a fabulous selection of Native Gold from Olinghouse Mine, Washoe Co., Nevada. The Olinghouse Mine golds have a very distinctive pale gold fine wire growth forming a delicate looking mesh (although it is actually quite sturdy), and make for very attractive specimens. These specimens were all found in the last four years. The mine operates as a regular Gold mine, and they have only just started to make mineral specimens more of a focus. All of these specimens have come from surface diggings. The mine is now starting to go underground so the potential for new superb specimens is very high, we look forward to seeing what the mine produces over the next few years. Alan Day of Mineral Exploration (and also Lake Mountain Minerals) prepares many of the specimens.

Olinghouse Gold
Native Gold from Olinghouse Mine, Nevada

Native Gold from Olinghouse mine, Nevada
Native Gold from Olinghouse Mine, Nevada, with fine mesh of wires and flat leafs.

Alan also had this superb specimen of Native Gold forming a wire nest in Arsenopyrite, Bismuthinite and Pyrite from Belshazzer Mine, Boise Basin, Idaho, USA, more than 15cm across in size. The old mine has caved in, and this specimen was found on a mine dump last  year. There were six exceptional specimens found with 20-30 ounces of Gold in each, and approximately 100 smaller specimens of 0.5 ounces. Alan also prepared this specimen.

Gold in Arsenopyrite from Belshazzer Mine, Idaho
Native Gold in Arsenopyrite from Belshazzer Mine, Idaho, USA

The Mad Mutha Mine had excellent thumbnail sized specimens of Electrum (a mix of Gold and Silver) from Howard's claim, Manhattan, Nye Co., Nevada. The Electrum showed herringbone and feather growth. These specimens have been out for a few years.

electrum feather from Mad Mutha Mine
Electrum from Howard's Claim, Nevada

Electrum from Mad Mutha Mine
Electrum from Howard's Claim, Nevada

Evan Jones is a great person to visit to see some new finds, and he had two. The first was new Azurite specimens from the Carlota Mine, Gila Co., Arizona. These specimens were collected in the 3460' level on 24 October 2009.

New azurites from Carlota Mine, AZ
New Azurites from Carlota Mine, Arizona.

Azurite from Carlota Mine, Arizona
New Azurite from Carlota Mine, Arizona

Evan also had new Azurites and Malachites from Milpillas Mine in Sonora, Mexico with excellent bladed lustrous crystals. These specimens were found within the last three months.

New Azurites from Milpillas Mine, Mexico
Azurite from Milpillas Mine , Mexico

Azurite from Milpillas Mine, Mexico
Aesthetic Azurite from Milpillas Mine, Mexico.

Evan is a well known Arizona collector, and on display was minerals Tiger, Arizona, from his own personal collection. The Mammoth-St Anthony Mine at Tiger was a large producer of Gold, Molybdenum and Copper, but also produced more than 90 different mineral species. The mine closed in 1953, and is very well known for fine specimens of secondary minerals such as Cerussite, Wulfenite and Dioptase, and for the some of the finest known examples of rare Diaboleite, Caledonite, Bideauxite and Leadhillite.

Minerals from Tiger, Arizona
Evan's display of minerals from Tiger, Arizona.

Caledonite from Tiger, Arizona
A superb Caledonite specimen from Tiger with large, bright blue and quite gemmy crystals (one of the best I have seen!, sorry the photo is a bit blury)

Wulfenite from Tiger
Wulfenite from Tiger, Arizona

Leadhillite from Tiger, Arizona
Super Leadhillite from Tiger, Arizona, with the crystal over 1cm in size.

Next to Evan's display was an exhibit on the Grandview Mine, which is located in the Grand Canyon National Park. This display is of recent specimens found during research to investigate the mineralogy, structural geology and hydrogeology of the Grandview breccia pipe. Our very own Wayne Leicht of Kristalle was the first to describe the mineral Grandviewite in the mid 1960s, he completed 10 trips to the Grandview mine concentrating on Cyanotrichite and Grandviewite specimens (each trip being a hike down into the Grand Canyon to reach the location of the old mine) and his research on the minerals of the Grandview mine is published in the Mineralogical Record Vol. 2, No. 5, September - October 1971.

Grand View Mine display
Display of minerals from Grandview, Arizona

Grandviewite on Brochantite
Grandviewite on Brochantite from Grandview Mine, Arizona

Cyanotrichite from Grandview mine, Arizona

It is always great to see displays of self collected material, and this display of Golden Calcites from Gallatin Co., Montana is from the smiliest man in the business - John Cornish.

Golden Calcite from Montana
Golden Calcites from Montana personally collected by John Cornish.

Francois Lietard had a selection of Fluorite, Hubnerite and Quartz from Mundo Nuevo Mine, Pasco Department, Peru. The specimens featured large pale pink Fluorites with water clear Quartz needles, and black well formed Hubnerite creating aesthetic specimens.

Hubnerite, Quartz on Fluorite from Peru
Large specimen of pink Fluorite with Quartz and Hubnerite from Mundo Nuevo Mine, Peru.

Fluorite and Quartz from Peru
Fluorite and Quartz from Mundo Nuevo Mine, Peru.

Jason New displayed 'A Year of Mexican Minerals' with minerals found in the last 12 months in Mexico. There are loads of great specimens coming out of Mexico at the moment as featured below:

A year of mexican minerals
A year of Mexcian Minerals.

Marcus Origlieri of Mineral Zone was kind enough to talk me through some of the specimens. The Rosasites from Ojuela Mine, Mapimi are amongst the best ever found with a thick turquoise coloured velvet crusts. These were found just two months ago in December 2009.

New Rosasites from Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Mexico

There was also rare Claringbullite specimens with Cuprite. Claringbullite is a halide of Copper and is named after Gordon Frank Claringbull (1911-1990), former Keeper of Mineralogy and Director of the British Natural History Museum. Claringbullite is found at Bisbee, Arizona, but this new find in December 2008 at Ojuela Mine, Mexico is some of the best specimens ever found. It has been confirmed via x-ray (and I think this specimen is from Marcus's own collection)

Claringbullite and Cuprite

There were also some exceptional Fluorites from Ojuela Mine, Mexico. We reported on these as one of the new finds at the Denver 2009 show, and these specimens were really fabulous with bright gemmy colour.

Fluorites from Ojuela Mine, Mexico
Fluorites from Ojuela Mine, Mexico.

Karp Minerals of the Czech Republic had a quite amazing display of Native Platinum nuggets from Russia. The largest ones at the back of the display (from Konder, Russia) were up to 342.6 grams!

Platinum Nuggets from Russia
Native Platinum nuggets from Russia

An excellent display of Fluorites from Southern Illinois featured specimens from the Minerva Mine #1 and the Denton Mine, all the specimens were mined between 1990 and 1994. At the Minerva Mine #1 there were found a late stage overgrowth of transparent, strikingly zoned Fluorites on an earlier highly etched and distorted stage of Fluorite. The best of these specimens were found in Sept 1990 in an isolated pocket, called the Blue Cap pocket. Only two flats of specimens were recovered of this colour and combination - the specimen in the left centre of the case is from this occurrence.

Fluorites from Southern Illinois
Fluorites and Calcites from Southern Illinois.

At the Denton Mine superb glassy orange Calcites were mined in 1991-1993, with single crystals found up to 30cm in length in cavities up to 8 metres.

Calcite from Denton Mine, IL
Glassy golden Calcite from Denton mine, Sub-Rosiclare Level, found in 1991-93.

There was a memorial to Campbell Bridges. Mr Bridges was sadly murdered last year. He discovered the green Grossular garnets in Kenya in 1971, now called Tsavorite Garnet, and was also instrumental in bringing Tanzanites to market.

Campbell Bridges Memorial
Memorial display for Campbell Bridges

Tsavorite Garnet
A large 20.2 ct Tsavorite Garnet in cushion cut stone.

Several displays featured artwork by mineral artists, including by German artist Eberhard Equit. His detailed watercolour and mixed technique drawings are at a 1:1 scale and are true representations of the original minerals.

Paintings from Eberhard Equit
Original watercolour and mixed technique drawings by Eberhard Equit

There were also excellent paintings by Wendell Wilson of Mineralogical Record fame, such as this oil on canvas Red Cloud Wulfenite (1975).

Painting by Wendell Wilson
Paintings by Wendell Wilson

and of course Brandy Naugle, talented artist and designer, and co-owner of TheVug.com. Her painting of the Tanzanite featured bottom right is on the cover of the latest Quarterly Magazine from the The Vug - Gem Crystals. The Quarterly magazines are free, and are an excellent read - contact TheVug.com to get your copy!

Artwork by Brandy of The Vug
Artwork by Brandy Naugle

Part 2 of the report to follow, featuring the Gems and Gem minerals displays!

Author: Robin
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