Denver Mineral Show - Part 2

18 September 2010

Wednesday and Thursday saw many more people attending the Denver show, after a relatively slow day on Tuesday. Thursday was also the big set up day over at the Merchandise Mart for the Denver Gem and Mineral Society show. This show opened on Friday to a steady trade (more about this show later), which meant a very quiet morning at the Holiday Inn on Friday, but a good afternoon after people returned to the hotel.

At the Holiday Inn I had the chance to look through more rooms. Fine Mineral International of New York had this very large Brookite crystal several centimetres across. It is amazing these specimens survive as the bladed crystals are so thin.

Brookite from Kharan, Balochistan, Pakistan

Across the hall into Pala International were some lovely specimens, Pala is well known for their gemstones, and they had some great cut and rough combinations.

Tourmaline, Jonas Mine, Brazil
Pink Tourmaline from Jonas Mine, Brazil -  mineral specimen and cut stone.

Spessartine Garnet, Loliondo, Tanzania
Spessartine Garnet in mica, and cut stone – from Loliondo, Tanzania.

These Garnets made a splash a few years back when excellent specimens appeared on the market, both of single crystals and Garnets on mica matrix. Not many Garnets had previously survived as they were broken up for faceting, and looking at the colour of this cut stone you can see why! If you are interested in purchasing a Garnet specimen from Loliondo, please click here.

It is not often that you see non-Gold specimens from Western Australia, but I spotted this one in Andy Seibel’s room:

Calcite and Galena, Western Australia
Calcite with Galena and Marcasite from Cadjebut Mine, WA, Australia.

He also had this sweet Spinel specimen with two Spinels together in marble matrix, crystals approx 1cm each.

Spinel in Calcite (much redder in person), Pian Pit, Mogok, Myanmar

Donald Olson had an important new find – new Brochantite from Milpillas Mine, Sonora, Mexico. This mine is well known for the sharply crystallized and lustrous Azurites; and Malachite after Azurite specimens which have been found in the last few years. The Brochantite was discovered early this year, and there does not appear to be much of it at the mine, with only a few dozen specimens found. They are also now finding Copper at the mine, but so far it is not well crystallized.

Brochantite, Milpillas Mexico
Bright green long acicular Brochantite from Milpillas Mine, Mexico

Donald also had this superb Adamite from Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Mexico which had been attracting a lot of attention. It had relatively large and quite gemmy pinkish crystals – very attractive.

Adamite, Ojuela Mine, Mexico
Adamite from Ojuela Mine, Mexico

North Star Minerals had this really interesting fossil plate on display amongst their minerals. It appears to be a Crinoid eating a Starfish (the Crinoid is the reddish fossilized pieces and the Starfish is the grey at the top left, you can see grey starfish arms intermingled with the crinoid parts. They must have been covered quickly in sediment to preserve such an event. Crinoids resemble flowers with clusters of waving arms on a long stem, but are animals not plants.

Crinoid and Starfish fossil
Crinoid and Starfish - caught in the act!

Into another fossil dealer’s room were some familiar faces – Dave Spiller catching up with English fossil dealer Trevor George.

Dave and Trevor
Dave and Trevor

One more new find was seen in the room of Little Big Stone – Madagascar dealer Frederic Gautier – gemmy Amethyst and Smoky Quartz scepters from Ankazobe, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar. These specimens were found in a pegmatite north of the capital, in which have been found many small pockets. This mine has been worked for 3 years, but production has not been regular; these good specimens were found between March and June this year. The Quartz are very gemmy with excellent strong colour. The specimens being found are either Amethyst, rarely found on Feldspar, or Amethyst with an overgrowth of Smoky Quartz forming a scepter. This combination is slightly unusual with the Smoky overgrowing Amethyst, as you more often find scepters of Smoky cores with Amethyst overgrowths.

Quartz from madagascar
Smoky Quartz on Amethyst sceptre.

Quartz from Madagascar
Smoky Quartz on Amethyst sceptre - very gemmy in person.

We had an opportunity to visit one of the newest Denver shows – the Denver Coliseum Show. This show began last year, and has expanded this year. It is held at an indoor arena with stadium seating, with dealers both inside the arena, around the foyer and down on the arena floor, and also outside in the carpark in tents. This show has the potential to become quite big. The dealers inside were dominantly a mix of jewellery and fossils, with some minerals and carved stoneware. Outside in the tents there was more of a selection of mineral dealers. The indoor show was free to visit, but you had to fill in a short survey at the door on your mineral shopping habits.

Denver Coliseum
Entrance to the Denver Coliseum arena

View around arena foyer
View of dealers in the foyer around the arena.

Sparkling beads
Sparkling beads

View of the arena floor
View of the arena floor

Rock food
A display in the Arena - a meal all made of rocks!

Tents outside
Tents outside in the Coliseum car park

Outside in the tents we found our friend Ali, a Moroccan dealer. He had two great Acanthite specimens from Imiter Mine, Morocco with large well formed crystals, and quite good luster.

Argentite from Imiter Mine, Morocco
Acanthite from Imiter Mine, Morocco

Ali and Dave
Ali and Dave Hacker

I did feel sorry for some of the dealers out here as it was very hot in the sun, and many had tables with minerals laid out in the direct sunlight which may cause problems with cracking or even colour fading.

Scullys Minerals had two very nice blue Tourmalines from Afghanistan on display, sizeable crystals in good condition with good colour.

Blue Tourmaline from Afghanistan
Tourmalines from Afghanistan

Next show report will be from the main show at the Merchandise Mart!

Author: Robin
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