Tucson Mineral Shows 2011 - Westward Look part 2

7 February 2011

Hello once again from the Westward Look Mineral Show. In this report we would like to provide you with some of the features from our room. We have posted a video of our cabinets, which can be found on YouTube:


If you are interested to find out more about any of the specimens, please contact us by clicking here, and let us know the minutes and seconds of when the specimen appears in the video.

One of our exciting new acquisitions at the show is this Stibiconite after Stibnite with Sulphur from the Xikuangshan Antimony Mine, Hunan Province, China. We acquired this specimen from Ken Roberts, a Tucson based dealer who is selling his Chinese Collection. Ken has travelled to China over the last 10 years and his collection is the cream of his high end dealings during this time. This specimen is one of the highlights. We spoke with Berthold Ottens, author of the 'China' book, who had featured a picture of a similar specimen. This is from a small find about 10 years ago with spectacular specimens for the species.

Stibiconite after Stibnite with Sulphur from Xikuangshan Antimony Mine, Hunan Province, China.

Stibiconite is actually no longer a valid mineral, it is a variety of one of the Romeite Group minerals, and research is currently ongoing to determine the group's exact nature. The processes behind the formation of this specimen are quite interesting - Antimony is a very immobile element, so when the original Stibnite mineral (Sb2S3) converted to Stibiconite, the Antimony stayed to form the Stibiconite and the Sulphur was released and reprecipitated as Sulphur crystals on the specimen.

Here are a few more highlights from our room:

A fab Titanite specimen from Capelenia, Minas Gerais, Brazil, with typical wedge shaped crystal.

A superb Hessite specimen from Botes, Romania on the left (featured in our Hall of Fame) and a Pyrargyrite with very large well formed crystals from Fresnillo, Mexico on the right.

A super Sperrylite from Russia on the left, one of our new acquisitions from late last year, also featured in our Hall of Fame, and Nickeline from Pohla, Germany - one of the new specimens from the Ben de Wit Collection.

Tsavorite Garnet from Merelani Hill, Tanzania.

Tanzanite with tabular Prehnite crystals on the left, and a juicy red Spinel on marble from Vietnam on the right (also featured in our Hall of Fame).

A superb Stephanite from Freiberg, Germany, another from the Ben de Wit Collection.

Back out into the show, here are some other offering that caught our eye:

A large etched looking Quartz specimen from Pakistan over 30cm in size, seen in Herb Obodda's room

A very lustrous Manganite from Ilfeld, Germany, courtesy of Wendel Minerals.

 A funky L-shaped row of Cavansite crystals with Stilbite, from Wagholi Quarry, India, courtesy of Miner's Lunchbox.

I really liked this Calcite crystal from 2nd Sovietski Mine, Dal'negorsk, Russia, in Marcus Budil's room, the photo does not do it justice. The high double refraction was creating many rainbows of spectral colours.

Also in Marcus' room was this very large Tanzanite crystal greater than 10cm in height. There seems to be many Tanzanites on the market at the moment, of large fine crystals. This specimen is natural colour.

A smoky twinned Cerussite crystal from Tsumeb also giving some lovely rainbow flashes. This specimen was in the cabinet of the Gobins.

The Gobins' had this attractive colour combo of bright orange Crocoite, from the new find in Tasmania, Australia; and blue Tanzanites from Tanzania. The Crocoites are really superb with large well formed crystals.

Irv Brown is always kind enough to show me some of the hidden treasures he has kept out the back of his room.

Native Silver wires from China.

A Bunker Hill Pyromorphite specimen with large crystals. The photo does not capture the colour well, but it was a beautiful greeny-yellow.

A very gemmy and strongly coloured Amethyst from Guerrero, Mexico. This specimen has featured on the cover on the Mineralogical Record, and in the Ikons publication.

A sweet specimen of Hiddenite - the green variety of Spodumene, coloured by Chromium (although it is disputed exactly what qualifications a green Spodumene must have to be called Hiddenite). This specimen is from the type location of the mineral Hiddenite - Hiddenite, Alexander Co., North Carolina, USA. The mineral Hiddenite is actually named after the mineralogist William Earl Hidden and the town of Hiddenite was named after the mineral variety. This specimen was seen in the room of Mineral Masterpieces.

A large multicolour Tourmaline from Cruzeiro Mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil, courtesy of Green Mountain Minerals.

A sweet pink Apatite balanced on a Quartz crystal with Fluorite, from Chang Long Town, Jianxi Province, China, also courtesy of Green Mountain Minerals.

The Collector's Edge had some new material in their room, this Spodumene var. Kunzite is from a new collection they have recently acquired.

Kunzite with Quartz and Albite, from Mawi Pegmatite, Afghanistan.

A bright pink Apatite on Muscovite from Hunza Valley, Pakistan.

The new find of Ilvaite specimens from Inner Mongolia, China.

Saturday at the Westward Look show is 'Collector Day'. Each year a private collector is invited to display their collection in the foyer of the resort. This year the featured collector was Wayne Sorenson, with the Wayne R. Sorensen Family Trust collection. The collection had many superb specimen including Bunker Hill Pyromorphites and some great Gem minerals.

A selection of Pyromorphites from Bunker Hill, Idaho.

A display of Gem Minerals


And lastly if you had concerns that perhaps your minerals were not doing enough for you, then how about doubling them up as book ends.....

Spodumene var Kunzite with Tourmaline from Mawi Pegmatite, Afghanistan

Our next report will be from the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society 'main' show in a few days time. The theme of the show is Californian minerals, so we are looking forward to the display, and we will also have a few surprises on opening day for those that are able to attend the show.

Author: Robin
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