Denver Mineral Show - Holiday Inn - Part 1

14 September 2010

Hello from sunny Denver!

The Colorado Mineral and Fossil Show at the Holiday Inn - Denver Central is in full swing and it is a lovely 30 degrees Celsius : ).

Our team arrived in Denver over Thursday, Friday, Saturday ready to start the show. I flew in from Kristalle's offices in California with Dona and Lois - it is a fantastic flight to take as the scenery below is fantastic - straight over the Grand Canyon and the Rocky Mountains, and down on into Denver.

Grand Canyon
View of the Grand Canyon from the plane - it certainly is grand!

rocky mountain high
The Rocky Mountains

Denver from the air
Sprawling Denver with a downtown of high rise buildings on the right hand side of centre, and the Rocky Mountains rising up on the far left.

The smoke from the terrible bush fire at Boulder could be seen from Denver, and we have already talked to one person who has lost their home (and their minerals) to the fire, and our thoughts are with those effected by the fire.

Crystal Classics and Kristalle are firstly exhibiting at the Colorado Mineral and Fossil Show at the Holiday Inn - Denver Central, we have a retail room in room 133, and a large wholesale area in the Charolais Ballroom.

Setting up
Liz, Dona and Lois, and a mystery helper - the showcases are in and cleaned ready for the minerals.

Setting up
Liz and Dona put minerals on display

Finished room
The finished room.

We were really pleased with the final set up of the room, we have brought a lot of stock that we have had stashed away for a while to display in this room, and we were honestly suprised at just how many good things we have. Our inventory is so big at the moment, that we will have completely different minerals on display at the main show, so be sure to visit both our displays!

One showcase



Rhodos and Tourmalines
Colourful selection of Tourmalines - many from Himalaya Mine in California, and Rhodochrosite

Bisbee minerals
Azurites from Bisbee, Arizona -this is just a small selection of Bisbee material, we will be doing an informative display on the E. O. Stratton collection of Bisbee minerals at the main show.

Silver pseudomorphs after Dyscrasite from Uranium Mine #21, Pribram, Czech Republic

Wulfenites from Los Lamentos, Mexico - we didn't realise just how big our selection was until we put the display together - and we have few others we are saving for the main show!

Down at the Ballroom is our wholesale room, with flats and flats of keystone (50% discount) minerals to look through. This is all new material since Tucson this year, alot of it pulled from our retail inventory, so there are many bargains to be found!

The wholesale room doing a steady business - Dave Lloyd on the right filling in the empty spaces with new minerals : )

A happy Penny
A happy customer - Penny Williamson from Wollongong University with her new purchases for the University's mineral collection. Robbie McCarty is trying to sneak out of the photo on the left.

Out and about at the show there were some interesting and new things to see - these fossilised Bamboo were quite an oddity - a 'new find' from the side of a volcano in Central Java, Indonesia. The bamboo is replace by Agate. These were seen in the booth of The Clam Shell, and they have also cut sections of the tubes to make into lovely jewellery.

Fossilised Bamboo
Fossil Bamboo from Java

One of the big splashes at the show was the release of the Al Ordway Collection by Jon Voelter Minerals. Jon Voelter and his business partner Sam Cutbirth purchased the collection in conjunction with Doug Wallace of Mineral Search about 3 weeks ago, and have been madly prepping part of the collection for release at this show. The collection has a huge suite of San Diego Co., California minerals, plus 200 to 300 Illinois Fluorites, and other worldwide material. Approximately half the specimens are ready for this show, and Jon will have the rest of the collection ready for Tucson next year. There was a queue outside Jon's room on Monday waiting for opening to see the collection.

Topaz Brazil
A large Topaz, approx 20cm in height from Minas Gerais, Brazil - the colour was more blue in real life than the camera has captured, quite impressive.

Pala gems
A small selection of the gem minerals from Pala, California - Spodumenes, Beryls and Tourmalines.

Fluorites Illinois
A selection of the Illinois Fluorites

Sam and Jon
Sam Cutbirth and Jon Voelter, and Isaias Casanova of  IC Minerals out of view on the right.

Here are two pieces we purchased from Jon:

A Cumengeite from Amelia Mine, Santa Rosalia, Mexico - on matrix!! It is rare to find a Cumengeite (or commonly associated Boleite and Pseudoboleite) still attached to matrix, as often the matrix is so soft it just weathers away.

A gem of a Spessartine var. Hessonite Garnet crystal on matrix from the Jeffrey Mine, Quebec, Canada.

Another new splash at the show was the Copper minerals from Russia. Fantastic Coppers, Cuprites, Azurites and Marshites have been coming from the Rubtsovskoe Cu-Zn-Pb deposit,  Altaiskii Krai, Russia for about two years now, we reported on the new find of Copper with Cuprites last Denver show (click here to see photos of the mine and read the report). This summer they have discovered specimens of Cuprite with Native Silver, and these were on display in the room of Axinite-PM. I spoke briefly with owner Victor Ponomarenko, who said the mine was a small polymetallic mine, only about 1km in diameter, with an oxidised cap; and they had many sharp Cuprites on display with and without the Silver, plus Azurites and Coppers.

Silver and Cuprite, Russia
Cuprite with Native Silver from Rubtsovskoe Cu-Zn-Pb deposit, Russia

Cuprites, Russia
Cuprites from Rubtsovskoe Cu-Zn-Pb deposit, Russia

Into the room of Wendy's Minerals, I found English dealers/collectors Dave and Liz Hacker making some purchases.

Wendy, Liz, Dave
Wendy with Dave and Liz.

Wendy had some new finds of Chinese material on display, including these gorgeously coloured Aurichalcite and Hemimorphite specimens from Wenshan Mine, Yunnan Province, China. These specimens were found in the last two months. The mine is quite an old mine, and is well known for producing deep blue Hemimorphite specimens with two finds in the early and late 1990s. This is the first time they have found Hemimorphite in combination with Aurichalcite.

Aurichalcite and Hemimorphite
This specimen of Aurichalcite and Hemimorphite was a large piece, about 15cm across with a lovely glittering botryoidal form.

Several dealers including Wendy's Minerals had specimens from a new find of Red Quartz with combinations of accessory minerals Baryte, Sphalerite, Pyrite and Chalcopyrite. These specimens were found in the last 2 -3 months at HuXu, Dongxiang, Jiangxi Province, China. The Quartz is presumeably red from Hematite inclusions.

New Red Quartz from China
New Red Quartz from China

Next door in the room of Guilin de Tian Geological Mineral Museum of China, there were these similar specimens, although labelled from Da Ye Mine, Hubei Province.

Calcites, China
Pyrite and Red Quartz from China

In the room of The Uncarved Block there were some lovely Apatites - on the right from Durango Mexico, and gorgeous blue Apatite on Albite on the left from Brazil - these were a stunning blue colour in real life, the camera does not capture it!

Apatites from Brazil (L) and Mexico (R)

I really enjoy visiting Joe Dorris (of Pinnacle 5 Minerals) room each year, as it is always filled with gorgeous blue Amazonite and Smoky Quartz specimens from the Smoky Hawk Claim in Colorado. This year Joe had some great Fluorite specimens from his mining adventures this past summer. It is unusual to get good quality Fluorites in these pegmatite deposits. Fluorites are a late stage growth in pegmatite deposits, and tend not to be prevalent (only a minor mineral association) or of good quality (they have often been etched by fluids, or fractured by movement in the pockets).

Fluorite on Microcline
Fluorite and Microcline from Lavender Pocket, Smoky Hawk Claim, Crystal Peak Area, Teller Co., Colorado, USA

Marty Zinn, who runs the Colorado Mineral and Fossil show, visited Joe over the summer and went digging at the Smoky Hawk Claim, and they uncovered a pocket of dark purple Fluorites, with rotated dark phantoms, aptly named the Marty Pocket.

Fluorites - Marty pocket
Dark purple Fluorite showing the rotated phantoms from the Marty Pocket, Smoky Hawk Claim.

Joe has also found some wonderful new Topaz at the Topaz Mountain Gem Mine. This is an alluvial deposit , so the stones show some edge wear, but the majority were large and gemmy with good crystal form, with only minor wear at the crystal face edges, suitable for specimens and cutting. The colours ranged from blue to peach with some bicoloured.

Topaz, Colorado
Joe holding some of the new Topaz he has found at the Topaz Mountain Gem Mine.

Lastly Joe showed me two of the best Feldspar var. Amazonites he has found this summer - a small pocket named the Jewel Pocket was discovered at the Smoky Hawk Claim, with Amazonite of the deepest saturated colour. These two specimens have the best colour that Joe has ever found. Bryan Lees of Collector's Edge was visiting Joe when this pocket was discovered.  So considering his run of luck of new finds whilst having visitors, Joe is keen for more people to visit him when he begins his mining season next May!

Amazonite with the best saturated colour from Jewel Pocket, Smoky Hawk Claim.

So a good start to the Denver show. The Colorado Mineral and Fossil show has an official opening on Wednesday the 15th, but with the option for dealers to open as early as Sunday 12th. On Monday the majority of dealers were open, and the remainder seemed to be open as of today (Tuesday). As has been the case for a while there is not too much in the way of big new finds to get the mineral world talking, although there is new material around and of course the release of specimens from collections always creates excitement. Prices once again seem to be on the rise with one English collector overheard saying that they were just about priced out of the market this year. So we shall see what uncovers in the next few days - another show report coming soon!

Author: Robin
Categories: News & Information

News Categories

News Archive