Denver Mineral & Fossil Show Report - Part 1

15 September 2012

Hello and welcome to the Colorado Mineral & Fossil Show in Denver. Another year has passed and already it is time

once more to attend this unique annual event set in the beautiful landscape surrounding the city of Denver.

This show, organised by Marty Zinn is again held at its usual location, although the name of the Hotel has changed. Formerly known as the Holiday Inn, Denver Central, the hotel has been renamed and has now become the Ramada Plaza Hotel, 4849 Bannock St., Denver, 80216 - 1813.

More than 200 dealers worldwide visit this event every year, many regulars and always a few new, bringing their specimens to show keen mineral collectors and competing dealers alike their newest specimens sourced over the last twelve months.
The show is open to the public until Sunday the 16th of September 5pm and dealers usually open their door at 10am.


Our room 133 with 3 cabinets and 2 drawer units.

This year the Crystal Classics and Kristalle team includes, Wayne & Dona Leicht, Lois Nelson, Tana Daugherty, Robbie McCarthy, Dave & Liz Hacker, Dave & Audrey Lloyd, David Spiller and Ian Bruce & Diana Schlegel.

A busy schedule over the past few weeks meant that Ian and I arrived a little later than usual this year and so our show room (room 133) in the Ramada Plaza Hotel was already completely set up and ready for business when we arrived. Lois and  rest of the gang, the Lloyds and the Hackers, as well as Wayne and Dona had all set up and were ready for a jump start opening on Monday morning.

In our three display cases this year, we have our usual array of fine mineral specimens from all corners of the world. Here is just a small selection of some of the highlights we have on display in room 133. Should you be interested in any or several of our specimens, please do not hesitate to contact us. As ever, members of our team will be more than willing and able to assist. Enjoy.....

New Melones Dam, Calaveras County, California, USA.

Estabrook Park, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin, USA

Dafeng, Shanglin Co., Nanning Prefecture, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China.

Ludlamite und Vivianite
and Vivianite.
Blackbird mine complex, Blackbird District, Lemhi Co., Idaho, USA

Willemite with Cerussite
Willemite with Cerussite.
Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto Region, Namibia.

Once the show  was fully open it was time to have a good look around and check out what some of the other dealers had to offer.

The first room I entered was that of Collectors Edge just across the floor. Situated on the outskirts of Denver in Golden, this show is but a stones throw from their home and convenient for the the guys at the Edge. The Collectors Edge showed us some important specimens from Inner Mongolia, a selection of African minerals as well as a nice mixture of worldwide material. Here are some of them.

Pretty in pink is this huge Fluorite and Muscovite.
Hunza Valley, Gilgit District, Northern Areas, Pakistan.

Another fine specimen in the Collectors Edge room that cought my eye was this gemmy translucent Beryl var. Emerald on Quartz from Kagem Emerald Mine, Kafubu Mining District, Copperbelt Province, Zambia.

So red and juicy looking was this Rhodocrosite, Tetrahedrite from the Graham's Pocket, Fluorite Raise, Sweet Home Mine, Alma Colorado, USA.

The next stop I made was to the Brazilian dealer Vasconcelos. They had some new Kyanite specimens from São José da Safira, Minas Gerais, Brazil. These were found earlier this year but all the specimens are initially covered in Quartz and the time consuming process of removing the Quartz and exposing these great blades of Kyanite meant that the specimens could not be shown at other earlier major mineral shows.

São José da Safira, Doce valley, Minas Gerais, Southeast Region, Brazil.

Another spectacular specimen that caught my eye was a 30 cm Quartz crystal which has a deep blue Apatite sitting on one of the crystal faces. From a classic Brazilian Apatite source famous for its rich blue and lilac coloured apatite crystals....real mineral "Eye-Candy"

Apatite on Quartz with Mica and black Tourmaline.
Golconda pegmatite, Governador Valadares, Doce valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

On Tuesday we were really lucky with the weather, despite a change being forcast soon. Rain or shine, there was no time to rest with so many minerals to see. I made my way to our good friend Jon Voelter of Voelter Minerals. Jon has bought several mineral collections over the last few months - collections that included specimens from England, Germany, Africa and other worldwide localities. I really liked the German grassy-green Pyromophite and this particularly gemmy Grossular from Quebec, Canada.

"Hessonite" Garnet.
Jeffrey mine, Asbestos, Les Sources RCM, Estrie, Québec, Canada.

Bad Ems District, Lahn valley, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

After a chatting with Jon, it was time to move to the next room that had drawn my attention. Joseph Dorris, manager at Pinnacle 5 Minerals and Glacier Peak Mining presented their newest find of Amazonite and Smoky Quartz specimens that he had collected together with his son earlier this year. The last two years have been exceptional for them and the pegmatite structure they have been excavating has produced the some of the most incredible turquoise Amazonite specimens seen so far from this location. Joe and his son mine always only for a short period of time each year, mainly because the mining itself is very costly and secondly the specimens take a long time to process before they are ready to be displayed at mineral exhibitions.
Despite a number of setbacks this year, these guys managed to get some fabulous specimens out of the 992 pocket. Here are just a couple of them.

Both specimens pictured above: Amazonite, Smoky Quartz and Cleavlandite.
992 Pocket, Smoky Hawk Mine, Florissant, Teller Co., Colorado, USA.

Along with those intense coloured Amazonites pictured above, they also found some Fluorites and single Smoky Quartz specimens.

Joe thinks they may have just one more good season ahead next year before  they finish mining the current structure. After that I am sure they will persevere and hunt down another project to start mining in this area.

On the second floor in the Ramada Plaza Hotel there are many more dealers that have incredible collections of minerals. As much as we would like to, it would be impossible for us to feature every dealer at the show but we do our best to keep you as our readers updated as much as possible.

My next port of call was to Nathan Romano from Explore Minas who lived for 12 years in Brazil and has been the owner of this company since 2001.  Earlier this year Nathan was able to buy the terminated crystal material out of a small find (5 Kilos) of bi-coloured Tourmaline. Some of the material was immediately sold off as gem rough material for cutting to a Chinese buyer. The remainder is here for us to see. The colour spectrum in these crystals ranged through from all shades of green, to brown, blue, pink, gold and yellow and all the specimens had an amazing lustre.

Tourmaline - lemon green to amber yellow.
Barra de Salinas, Coronel Murta, Jequitinhonha Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Another Tourmaline from Nathan, blue-green at the tip to pink in colour, from the same locality.
Barra de Salinas, Coronel Murta, Jequitinhonha Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Soon it will be time to get the main show off to a start and we will be back with our second show report from the Coliseum. So stay tuned... More from the world of fine minerals to come.

Author: Diana Schlegel
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