Tucson Show Report Part one

26 January 2012

Hello and welcome to all our readers to Tucson 2012!

Once again the team convened in the city of Tucson, Arizona for the greatest Mineral, Fossil and Gem show of the year. Over the next three weeks  we hope to bring those of you who are not able to attend, as well those more fortunate, a little taste of some of what is on offer at this amazing annual event.

Members of the Kristalle and Crystal Classics team began to arrive here a few days early and settled in by admiring the sunsets over the Arizona Mountains and visiting some of the plethora of bars, restaurants, boutiques and shops.


View of the Arizona Mountain tops with part of Tucson at the foot
with towering cactus in the foreground.


Closer view of the Saguaro Cactus dotting one of the scenic hill sides.

With a little time on their hands a few members of the team embarked on short excursions to some well-known attractions a little further afield than just the outskirts of Tucson for an afternoon and more.   The familiar dramatic scenery of cloud scraping mountain tops, skyward pointing Saguaro Cactus and the rugged volcanic terrain greeted us as we drove out of the town on Sunday afternoon towards the Old Tucson City Studios where a number of authentic film sets from old western movies could be looked at.


A view through a street in one of the original film sets at the studios.


One the old Stage coaches used in the old western films.


This ram shackled old “Warehouse” building was used as the backdrop for one of
John Wayne’s appearances in the 1958 film “Rio Bravo”.


The building pictured above set the scene for many episodes of
“The High Chaparral”,
a popular western filmed between 1966 and 1971.


An authentic Locomotive used in many old western movies.

On Monday a few of us David’s (would you believe there are now 4 of us in tow!!!!), ventured to the old town of Tombstone and its famous Boot Hill Graveyard where we could see some of the original graves of those who lost their lives to the unlawful.


Although replaced fairly recently, the wooden memorials had the
original words engraved on them.
Some, as you can see, a little humorous.


David Lloyd, looking every bit the gunslinger,
is pondering whether the rocks had rare minerals in them,
or is he wondering where the nearest whiskey bar is?


In the town of Tombstone itself it’s not difficult to imagine
the stage coaches and gunfights.


Gunfight at the OK corral?
Two likely characters stand back to back ready to walk 10 paces,
turn and draw....both armed with 32 calibre digital cameras. 
David Spiller (Spillage) and David Lloyd (LLoydy).


At the end of one of the streets we found the Original Bird Cage Theatre
famed for being one of the favourite haunts of Wyatt Earp.

Back at the Hotel Tucson City Centre (formerly known as the Inn Suites) preparation is under way for our Wholesale area in the Mission meeting room with great attention to ensuring that all the specimens are correctly displayed and labelled.

But first the unloading:


Wayne, Dave Whipp and Lloydy position the van.


Dave Whipp and Dave Spiller start the unloading one of the trucks.


The preparation begins….


Robbie carefully scrutinises and rearranges the flats making sure
everything is in order.


A small selection of some of the quality items we have in our wholesale room.


Audrey, Liz and Spillage sorting what needs sorting
and apparently having fun at the same time!

And not after long the first customers arrived... the treasure hunt begins!


Prospective customers shuffeling the boxes.

Over at the Retail rooms (174, 175) at the Hotel Tucson City Centre (Inn Suites) preparation has also begun:


Liz tending to one of our newest display cabinets.


Audrey having fun removing every last speck of dust from the glass
shelves of the display cabinets.


Dave H. gleefully watching over the whole proceedings.

We had a little time to roam around, and despite the fact that most dealers were still unprepared for us to look at what they had, we did find a couple of really interesting things to report about.

These spectacular Helvites From the Chi Feng mine in Inner Mongolia surfaced at Jian Rong Zheng’s room - certainly some of the finest we’ve ever seen. Unearthed in December 2010 the largest piece measured appx. 10cm x 12cm.


The smaller piece, in combination with needly quartz crystals
was particularly attractive,
measuring around 7cm x 8cm. Great pieces.

From the same location Jian Rong Zheng’s  also had specimens of fine Siderite with Chalcopyrite, the Siderite composed of sharp, dark brown bladed semi-translucent crystals with the chalcopyrite crystals scattered throughout.


Siderite with Chalcopyrite from the Chi Feng mine in Inner Mongolia.
The whole specimen measures  around 8cm tall with
Siderite blades up to 3cm.

A superb scalenohedral crystal of translucent pink Calcite turned up at
Charlie Zp Guo’s Room - Stone Age Gifts.


Charlie holding the pink Calcite which stands around 19cm tall.


Close up of the Calcite from Tong Lu Shan, Daye, Hubei Province, China.
This piece was collected around three years ago.

We also went to see our old friend Rob Sielecki (Ausrox gold).
He had a nice piece of gold jewellery which took Diana’s eye:


On a more serious note Rob also had this great Quartz crystal with Ajoite inclusions from the classic
Messina District, Limpopo Province, South Africa.

Looking around the outside perimeter of the Hotel Tucson City Center
we came across various tents being set up and crates being unpacked:


Moussa’s trade mark North African Bedouin tent.


A Large (4 foot) Uruguayan Amethyst geode gradually being unwrapped.
Quite spectacular in the sun.

A quick look in our retail rooms 174 and 175 shows that we are almost ready for trade:

One of the new display cases furnished with great minerals is almost ready.


Robbie patiently arranging the minerals in one of our larger display cases.

We will be back in a few days with information about the high quality specimens for sale in our Retail rooms and some of the other new items we’ve discovered in other dealer rooms.

Author: David Whipp
Categories: News & Information