Tucson Show Report 4 - Westward Look
13 February 2013
Hello again from chilly Tucson for a look around the Westward Look Fine Mineral Show. The show has been very well attended with lots of visitors and crowded car parks especially on the Open Day Friday and Saturday.
Cacti in the lovely surrounds of the Westward Look Resort
Entrance to the Crystal Classics room 235
We featured photos of many specimens on display in our room in our last report (please read it by clicking here) particularly focusing on the wonderful French specimens of the Gilles Emringer Collection. Here are a few pictures from other collections:
A superbly gemmy Fluorite cube with purple growth phantoms from the Ana Mine, Berbes, Spain, approx 3cm across
A lovely Hessonite Garnet from Jeffrey Mine, Canada approx 3cm wide
Great cluster of colourless Baryte crystals, each with a crisp white rim on its edges
from La Mure, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France.
Rich azure blue Linarite encrustations on matrix from the
Grand Reef Mine, Laurel Canyon, Klondyke, Santa Teresa Mts, Aravaipa District, Graham Co., Arizona, USA.
A very well developed and deep coloured cluster of Cobaltoan-Calcite crystals from Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaïre).
A beautifully preserved, deep crimson coloured flat topped hexagonal Red Beryl crystal from the Violet claims, Wah Wah Mts, Beaver Co., Utah, USA.
From the recent discoveries of multicoloured Tourmalines in Pakistan, this lovely group. Elbaite with Cleavelandite from Stak Nala, Haramosh Mts., Skardu District, Baltistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.
A classic Wulfenite from the Red Cloud Mine, Silver District, Trigo Mts, La Paz Co., Arizona, USA.
Around the show there was lots to see, with high quality specimens as expected at a top Mineral show such as this. This year there seemed to be an abundance of superb new Chinese specimens from currently very active mining areas such as Huanggang in Inner Mongolia. There were also many superb Amethyst/Smoky Quartz specimens from the Goboboseb Mountains in Brandberg, Erongo Region, Namibia, with rich colours and excellent gemminess and some quite large sizes. In addition good Mt Malosa, Malawi specimens were present, and several dealers had new Dioptase from the DR Congo.
Our first stop was the Red Gallery and E-shop Mineralien, who had a selection of large Wulfenite crystals, mostly single crystals without matrix, from Onderra, Kaokoveld, Namibia.
Wulfenite crystals from Onderra, Kaokoveld, Namibia to several cm wide
Red Gallery has this fabulous large Tourmaline on Smoky Quartz from Paprok, Afghanistan over 30cm tall.
On to The Sunnywood Collection, who always have a wonderful display with their custom made bases.
Large Smoky Quartz and Amethyst doubly terminated specimen, from Goboboseb Mountains, Brandberg, Erongo, Namibia. The colours are very rich, and the etched-looking hoppered crystal growth is often called 'Window' or 'Fenestre' Quartz
A vibrant red Rhodochrosite from Good Luck Pocket, Sweet Home Mine, CO, USA with large rhombohedral crystals.
Watzl Minerals had their usual superb range of specimens including two of the new Crocoite specimens from the recent find at the Adelaide Mine in Tasmania, Australia. The new specimens have thinner crystals giving a hairier appearance. Adam Wright from the Adelaide Mining Company was one of the guest speakers at the Sunday Evening Program and gave an excellent talk about the recent activity at the mine. The thought of shipping these around is just scary, and as you can see the specimens are left hot-glued to a lid over which a container is fitted to ensure the safety of the delicate crystals.
Crocoite from Adelaide Mine, Tasmania, Australia
Liddicoatite Tourmaline from Estatoby, Madagascar. The tall one is over 20cm height. These specimens were on display at the 2012 Munich show Special Exhibit 'African Treasures', however clever lighting has now been made for each crystal so they are backlit to show the wonderful colours.
More lovely gem crystals of Tourmalines, Aquamarines and Garnet from Watzl Minerals.
On to the Gobin's room...
A large Topaz crystal from Volodarsk-Volynskii, Ukraine. This location is also known for its excellent Heliodor Beryls. The Topaz from here is normally etched, and not usually of good quality, which makes this large polychrome specimen quite exceptional. Approx 15cm high.
A rare Leifite with pink Serandite from Mont St Hilaire, Canada. The best specimens come from this location.
The Gobins had many specimens of Pyrite on Hematite from Elba Island, Italy. These are from a new find made last summer. Prior to this it was many years since specimens of this quality were found. Specimens from this find were available at the Munich show last year but these new Pyrites have a better lustre. Pyrites from this location are very distinctive and have sharp pyritohedral form.
Pyrites on fine grained and bladed Hematite from Elba Island, Italy.
A closer view of the Pyrites and Hematite.
Something which is all the rage at the moment is 'Mineral' Wines. Coghlan Vineyard and Jewelers of Los Olivios, California were tasting their award winning wines in Pala International and Wayne Thompson Fine Minerals' room. The labels of their different wines feature images of Diamond, Ruby, Diopside, Sapphire and more.
Coghlan Wines featuring the mineral labels.
Pala had several specimens of very nice new Dioptase specimens from Mindouli, Demographic Republic of Congo. These specimens were found 3 months ago. 2 weeks ago another pocket was found, but that specimen unsurprisingly had already sold.
Two of the new Dioptase specimens from Mindouli, DR Congo.
Another lovely piece with a large well formed crystal.
Mineral Masterpiece always have aesthetic specimens. Tom Spann had time to show me a few of the new and interesting specimens. He had several new pieces from China including these stacked 'poker chip' Calcite specimens with Lollingite. The Calcites are thought to be pink from the presence of Manganese. These specimens have come out in the last year from Huanggang, Inner Mongolia which is very active at the moment. Lollingite specimens from this location were one of the 'new' finds at Ste Marie last year (2012).
Calcite with Lollingite from Huanggang, Inner Mongolia, China
Huanggang is also producing colourless, and often very gemmy Fluorite specimens. The Fluorites range from sharp octahedral form to modified octahedrons with flattened points (cube face) and edges. Tom noted that the sharp octahedral crystals tended to be the gemmiest, often water clear. The specimens he had were large crystals for the type.
Modified octahedral crystals of colourless Fluorite from Huanggang, Inner Mongolia, China
Octahedral Fluorite with Calcite and Quartz, exhibiting water clear gemminess.
Another new specimen from Huanggang - Lollingite with Arsenopyrite.
Tom also had this very cool geode-like specimen of Jamesonite in hair-like crystals with Galena from Cavnic, Romania
Galena with Jamesonite from Cavnic, Romania
This Hematite Rose from Tormiq, Pakistan particularly took my fancy.
The Miner's Lunchbox exhibit some new specimens from China, also from the Inner Mongolia Region. This Lollingite accompanied by green Scheelite was from the Bayan Obo District.
Lollingite with Scheelite from Bayan Obo, Inner Mongolia, China
Continuing in the theme of Chinese minerals was this large Fluorite from Shangbao, China, seen in Wendell Minerals' room. About 30cm across, the Fluorite had an attractive colour of deep purple with a partial overgrowth of green. Shangbao is well known for its Fluorite specimen of different colours and forms.
Fluorite from Shangbao, China
Great English specimens always get a mention and this was a superb Baryte specimen from Mowbray Mine, Frizington, England, tinged red by Hematite.
Baryte from Mowbray Mine, England
Kyanite is a common metamorphic mineral, but is not often found in attractive large crystal specimens. This piece was particularly nice with a large bladed crystal of deep blue colour and high lustre. Brazil produces some of the best specimens of Kyanite.
Kyanite from Galilea, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Wendell Minerals also displayed this gemmy sceptre of Quartz with splashes of Amethyst and Smoky from the Goboboseb Mountains, Brandberg, Namibia.
Quartz sceptre from Goboboseb Mts, Brandberg, Erongo, Namibia
On to Mineral Classics room:
Funky scalenohedral Calcite crystal between two plates of drusy Calcite from Dal'negorsk, Russia
Mineral Classics also had several excellent and quite different Cerussites from Tsumeb.
Reticulated Cerussite on matrix from Tsumeb, Namibia.
side view of the same specimen showing the elongated nature of the 'arms' of the reticulation.
A very gemmy 'V' twin Cerussite from Tsumeb
Mike and Sally Bergmann of Mike Bergmann Minerals are lovely dealers to have a chat with. They had an Amethyst from the Goboboseb Mountains, but in a different style with several Quartz crystals with Amethyst top sections, unusually still on matrix in a vug, accompanied by green Prehnite. A very attractive piece!
Amethyst and Prehnite from Goboboseb
Tucked away at the back of the room, Mike has two killer Rhodochrosite specimens from Sweet Home Mine, Colorado. Both were large pieces, covered in bright pink rhombohedral specimens. They were old timers, which Mike had recently acquired, but had never been properly cleaned. They will be magnificent once finished!
Rhodochrosite from Sweethome Mine, Colorado, USA approx 30 cm across.
As a compliment to the mineral specimens, the Bergmanns sell a wide range of old mining memorabilia, including mining lamps and tools. Mike said that in the last year they have had a huge jump in sales as it has become very popular for collectors to buy a few pieces to include in their display cabinets with the minerals, and they certainly give the right atmosphere.
Mining memorabilia and mineral specimens on display
On the Saturday, the Westward Look Show has Collector Day, where one special guest displays their personal mineral collection in the front lobby from 10am to 4pm. This year's special guest was Kevin Brown with his collection of USA minerals. Kevin has been collecting minerals since the early 1980s, but decided to focus purely on USA minerals from 1997 - partly because many of his favourites pieces were from the USA and to create a niche collection, and partly to not have to compete with other collectors for the quality worldwide specimens. He has specimens from every state, although as he said, some states are a little more aesthetically challenged than others. The specimens on display were just a portion of his overall replica designer handbags collection. And the display was definitely worth a look - there were many superb examples of American classics, plus unusual specimens which show that great quality specimens can come from unusual places. Kevin collects all sizes, with the aim to collect the best quality piece possible.
Kevin Brown smiles for the photos in front of his collection
Collectors crowd in to look at the specimens
Here are a few closeups of the specimens:
Definitely one of the USA classics - Pyromorphite from Bunker Hill Mine, Idaho
A gemmy Quartz twin from Collier Creek Mine, Arkansas, and in the background is a Native Gold
Another USA classic - Ludlamite from Blackbird Mine, Idaho
A rich specimen of Smithsonite pseudomorphing Dolomite, nicknamed 'Turkey Fat' due to the colour, from the Philadelphia Mine, Arkansas
Pyromorphite from Wheatley Mine, Pennsylvania
Azurite from Bisbee, Arizona - this specimen was in fact brand new to the collection having been purchased the day before.
An exceptional Vesuvianite from Eden Mills Quarries, Vermont - reminiscent of the crystals from Jeffrey Mine, Canada
Linarite pseudomorphing Galena from Blanchard Claim, New Mexico.
Cuprian Adamite from Gold Hill, Utah on the left, and Scheelite from Cohen Mine, Arizona on the right
Groutite from Robert Mine, Minnesota
A large specimen of Cordierite from Richmond Quarry, New Hampshire
Crystallised Gold with Pyrite in Calcite from San Pedro Mine, New Mexico
One of Kevin's favourite Rutiles - a sixling twin crystal from Parkesburg, Pennsylvania
One of the more unusual specimens in the collection - a Fluorite from Kettle Mine, Washington. This little known Fluorite location produced only five known specimens, of which this is the best - the rest were only around the size of a quarter coin. The deep green colour and gemminess were really quite something.
We are now busy packing down the Westward Look and Hotel Tucson City Centre shows, ready to set up at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society 'main show'. We will bring you another report from the main show with highlights from our booth, around the show, and of course the special exhibits - this year's theme is Fluorite!
Author: Robin Hansen
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