Tucson Mineral Shows 2011 - Westward Look Part 1

5 February 2011

Hello again and welcome to Westward Look Resort, Tucson!

The mineral show here is one of the zeniths of the mineral show calender. The world's top dealers and some of the world's most serious and dedicated high-end collectors descend on the Westward Look each year - a top end resort on the outskirts of Tucson.

The trip to Tucson is normally an opportunity to escape the winter weather - this year the winter weather (usually reserved for more northern climes) has arrived in southern Arizona. We have had highly unusual low temperatures and it has been the coldest ever recorded (since records began) in Tucson. There have been burst water pipes in houses and hotels such as the Ramada Inn, the gas pipe in Tucson East split, and even the fountains at the Westward Look have frozen up as temperatures dipped close to -9 degrees centigrade!

Icy Fountain
A highly unusual sight for a Tucsonian - a frozen water fountain at the Westward Look Resort!

Lois and co. did a great job setting up the Kristalle/Crystal Classics room.


Here are Ian Bruce and Diana Schlegel welcoming customers in our room.

It is always a treat to wander around this show and the minerals never disappoint. In Herb Obodda's room Kenneth Roberts had an eye-catching specimen of Malachite and Shattuckite(!) after Azurite from Kaokoveld, Namibia. Kenneth also had an impressive specimen of a cast of Dolomite after Azurite from Tsumeb, Namibia


Malachite and Shattuckite after Azurite from Kaokoveld, Namibia - courtesy of Kenneth Roberts


Dolomite after Azurite from Tsumeb, Namibia - courtesy of Kenneth Roberts

Herb himself has his usual range of quality specimens - many from Afghanistan and Pakistan of course - including a couple of stunning Afghanites.


Afghanite from Koksha Valley, Afghanistan with really stunning colour! - courtesy of Herb Obodda


A tall and impressively translucent Afghanite from Koksha Valley, Afghanistan with really stunning colour - courtesy of Herb Obodda


Eugene and Jacqueline E. Schlepp had a lovely Caledonite from Tiger Mine, Arizona with many gemmy and lustrous crystals.

Weinrich Minerals had a sharply crystallised Parisite (a rare REE bearing mineral) from Muzo Mine, Columbia and they also had an impressive cluster of Tanzanite that caught my attention from Merelani Hills, Tanzania - this is one of the earlier Tanzanites found at this famous locality.


Parisite from Muzo, Columbia - courtesy of Weinrich Minerals


Tanzanite from Merelani Hills, Tanzania - courtesy of Weinrich Minerals

Stonetrust had a few more specimens of the relatively recently mined colour-change Fluorites from Weisseck Mountain, Salzburg, Austria.


Colour-change Fluorites from Weisseck Mountain, Austria - courtesy of Stonetrust

A different, yet protective way of displaying Opals  - these Opals from Rainbow Ridge, Nevada are presented by the Alpine Mineral Co. (who are displaying in Kevin Ward's room). These Opals are found/formed in saturated clay and can become heavily crazed if allowed to dry out. They display a subtle, yet attractive, play of colours.


"Domed" and sealed Opals from Rainbow Ridge Mine, Nevada, USA - courtesy of Alpine Minerals Co.

Stuart Wilensky had a superb Columbian Emerald on display - this one was actually photographed in the Mineralogical Record Vol. 31, No. 1 Jan-Feb 2000.
Stuart also has this awesome Morganite in matrix from Afghanistan that really takes you into its luscious internals!


An important Columbian Emerald - courtesy of Stuart Wilensky


 Sumptuous gem of Morganite - courtesy of Stuart Wilensky

Cal Graeber had a real stunner of a Cornish Fluorite in his room. A large flower-like "bloom" of a complex Fluorite upon Amethystine Quartz from Wheal Jane, Kea, Cornwall. This must have come out in the last days of the mining operation at this renowned locality. The specimen is c. 30cm tall!



An impressive museum-sized Fluorite from Wheal Jane, Kea, Cornwall, UK - courtesy of Cal Graeber


Jesse Fisher and Joan discussing the finer points (or should that be cubes?) of English Fluorites.

Look out for more news from the Westward Look!

Author: Ed
Categories: News & Information