Tucson Show Report 2012 part 2

30 January 2012

Good morning and welcome to the second of our Tucson show reports.

In this part we'll endeavour to bring you a flavour of some of the things that have surfaced at the Hotel Tucson City Center (Inn Suites) and other venues over our initial few days of Tucson. There are many dealers here and as you might imagine covering them all would be impossible, but we have viewed many of the special things that some of the dealers have been willing to show us.

Scattered across the central areas of the Hotel Tucson City Center were a number of amazing, very lifelike, large scale models of dinosaurs. These were great fun for some of the kids who were sharing the sand pit area with some of the prehistoric creatures.

Standing some 20 feet (plus) tall this Brachiosaur appears to have left home with slippers on!

Yours truly with one of my newest friends.
Which of us has the biggest smile?

My initial jaunt around the hotel blocks here took me first to Saga Minerals.  Jared Freiberg showed me some of the fine calcite which he has extracted from the Wise Lake Formation, Kane county, Illinois which showed exquisite transparent crystals in a variety of habits from modified rhombs through to terminated scalenohedral crystals.

This particular crystal, as with many of the others was heavily included with microscopic Marcasite crystals arranged in zones.
The crystal measures around 4" in Length.

On my travels through one of the hotel blocks I came across the Adelaide mining Company's Crocoite Room which I defy any one to pass by. Adam wright was telling me of their misfortune at having lost through damage quite a bit of their material in transit to the show. If you hadn't told me Adam, I wouldn't have guessed. The quality of Crocoites I saw was still superb. Hope everything works out and you have a good show Adam. Here are a couple of images of the Crocoite I looked at.

A superb 12 inch plus cluster on matrix. Very delicate!

A close up of one of the larger crystals from another specimen showing the characteristic hollow nature of some of these crystals.

Rick Kennedy of Earth's Treasures showed me the array of fine Caledonites he had retrieved over the past year from the Reward Mine, Inyo County, California. These were collected around May of 2011.

Each of these specimens was particularly heavy, the matrix made almost entirely from altered Galena.

Rick also showed me some amazing gem Aquamarines with Albite (Cleavelandite) which had been unearthed later last year (around November time) at the Lost Chisel Pocket, California Blue Mine, San Bernardino County, California.

These gemmy, slightly etched Aquamarine crystals reach around 1/2 inch in size and more.

Rick also had a fine selection of Benitoites and Neptunites in one cabinet apparently acquired from an old collection. One tiny specimen he brought out to show me was a delight to see:

A rare opportunity to see a fine blue twinned Benitoite.
Around 1/4" in size on matrix.

Wendy Yuan of Wendy's Minerals and Gems had a few interesting things which we had not seen in previous room's.

This piece in particular took my eye. The association of the Fluorite, Arsenopyrite and Spessartine Garnets all on one specimen. A very nice combination and a new find from the Huanggang Mine, Inner Mongolia, China.

The Fluorite Octohedron measures around 1.1/2 inches.

Here is another of the Fluorites from the same location about the same size but with alittle more clarity and some interesting dark inclusions.
A particularly sharp crystal group.

Wendy had some amazing sceptred Quartz crystal groups up to 8 inches across with individual points reaching 2 inches.
These were in some cases associated with pale green frosted translucent, modified octahedral Fluorite crystals and also sharp pink Manganoan Calcite. Unusual pieces.

Cluster of sceptered Quartz points with pale green modified octohedral fluorites nestled in the gaps.

Sharp flattened, very pale pink Manganoan Calcite crystals with (towards the front) a sceptre Quartz point.

Wendy also had some remarkable Hedenbergites and Ilvaites from Mongolia.

Valenzuela's Minerals marquee on the outskirts of the hotel complex was filled with exceptional Azurites and Malachites from the Milpillas Mine, Sonora, Mexico, just showing that this location is still producing fine examples of these minerals.

This superb specimen, around 6 inches across is composed of Azurite blades partly pseudomorphed to Malachite.

A single crystal of Azurite measuring around 1.1/2 inches top to bottom.

Wandering around it was not easy to pass by the darkened rooms of the "Way too Cool" gang who had a spectacular coloured display of Fluorescent minerals including some pieces from a new occurance in Australia as well as old favourites like Franklin, New Jersey.
Even if Fluorescent minerals is not your thing this is well worth a visit.

A selection of the "fiery" colours exhibited from some minerals, in this case from Franklin.

A spectacular piece exhibiting bright orange colours from the fairly recent discoveries in Australia.

One of my favourite stops was to visit the room of Polychrome Minerals.
Laurent Thomas had a fine selection of high quality pieces, beautifully displayed from Madagascar again.
They included some Tourmaline slices with characteristic multiple colour zoning and the classic “Mercedes” cross in the centre. Laurent also had a selection of loose Hambergite crystals as well as a few matrix pieces. One had small terminated Hambergites intergrown between tiny pink Liddicoatite, a super thumbnail piece.

Small colourless terminated Hambergites with pink Liddicoatite.

One of Laurent's amazing Tourmaline slices showing all its splendour from a back lit display case.

Perhaps one of the less colourful pieces in Laurent' cases but none the less worthy of note was this very rare Behierite. A well crystalized example measuring approximately 3/4 inch in height.

Moving up the road to the Days Inn Hotel suites we met up with Jean-Claude with his amazing selection of fine minerals from Peru.
He had a number of new pieces of Rhodochrosite from a new find at the
Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima, Peru.
The crystals and groups are rich both in colour and quality.

One of Jean-Claudes  Rhodochrosites. Sharp, gemmy red crystals to around 3/8th inch.

Another larger piece with slightly smaller crystals, just as gemmy.

Jean-Claude also had a number of fine Cassiterites from Bolivia.

This one, a particularly rich piece measuring around 5 inches with crystals to nearly 1/2 inch.

Sitting on one of his top shelves was this Realgar with Orpiment from Quiruvilca District, La Libertad, Peru.

Back at the Hotel Tucson City Center I spoke briefly with John Cornish who also had some great pieces.
Most notably we found this another of the recently found Ilvaites from Mongolia.

lvaite to 2 Inches tall with attached quartz from
Huanggang Mine, Inner Mongolia, China.

Back at the crystal Classics / Kristalle Retail rooms 174 and 175 we have a number of rare and fine pieces as well.

A rich Kermesite  from Freiberg, Erzgebirge, Germany.

For the collector of uranium minerals a rare Francevillite from the Mounana Mine, Gabon.

One for the Fluorescent minerals collector, a Franklinite with Willemite (Troostite) from Sterling Hill Mine, Franklin, New Jersey.

One for the Tourmaline collector the rare variety Buergerite from the classic
San Luis Potosí, Mexico location.

Liz and Robbie enjoying a well earned break outside our retail rooms.

We'll be back at the weekend with all the news about the Westward Look Show where we will see some of the most amazing mineral specimens on display. Watch this space!

Author: Dave Whipp
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