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.

Westward Look Fine Mineral Show
Cacti in the lovely surrounds of the Westward Look Resort

Crystal Classics room
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:

Fluorite, Berbes, Spain
A superbly gemmy Fluorite cube with purple growth phantoms from the Ana Mine, Berbes, Spain, approx 3cm across

Hessonite Garnet, Jeffrey Mine, Canada
A lovely Hessonite Garnet from Jeffrey Mine, Canada approx 3cm wide

La Mure, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France
Great cluster of colourless Baryte crystals, each with a crisp white rim on its edges 
from La Mure, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France.

linarite, Grand reef Mine
Rich azure blue Linarite encrustations on matrix from the
Grand Reef Mine, Laurel Canyon, Klondyke, Santa Teresa Mts, Aravaipa District, Graham Co., Arizona, USA.

cobaltoan calcite, Congo
A very well developed and deep coloured cluster of Cobaltoan-Calcite crystals from Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaïre).

red beryl, Wah Wah Mountains
A beautifully preserved, deep crimson coloured flat topped hexagonal Red Beryl crystal from the Violet claims, Wah Wah Mts, Beaver Co., Utah, USA.

Elbaite, Stak Nala
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.

wulfenite, Red Cloud
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.

Wulfenites Namibia
Wulfenite crystals from Onderra, Kaokoveld, Namibia to several cm wide

Tourmaline Paprok, Afghanistan
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.

Amethyst Goboboseb Brandberg Namibia
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

Rhodochrosite Sweet Home Mine, CO, USA
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 Adelaide Mine, Tasmania, Australia
Crocoite from Adelaide Mine, Tasmania, Australia

Tourmaline, Madagascar
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.

Gem Crystals
More lovely gem crystals of Tourmalines, Aquamarines and Garnet from Watzl Minerals.

On to the Gobin's room...

Topaz Volodarsk Ukraine
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.

Leifite with Serandite
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.

Pyrite from Elba Island, Italy
Pyrites on fine grained and bladed Hematite from Elba Island, Italy.

Pyrite and Hematite from Elba Island
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.

Dioptase Mindouli, DR Congo
Two of the new Dioptase specimens from Mindouli, DR Congo.

Dioptase 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 Lollingite from Huanggang, China
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.

Fluorite Huanggang, China
Modified octahedral crystals of colourless Fluorite from Huanggang, Inner Mongolia, China

Fluorite from Huanggang, China
Octahedral Fluorite with Calcite and Quartz, exhibiting water clear gemminess.

Lollingite with Arsenopyrite Huanggang, China
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 and Jamesonite from Cavnic, Romania
Galena with Jamesonite from Cavnic, Romania

Hematite Rose Tormiq, Pakistan
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.

Scheelite and Lollingite from Bayan Obo, China
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
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
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 Brazil
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:

Calcite from Dal'negorsk, Russia
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.

Cerussite Tsumeb
Reticulated Cerussite on matrix from Tsumeb, Namibia.

Cerussite, Namibia
side view of the same specimen showing the elongated nature of the 'arms' of the reticulation.

Cerussite, Namibia
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 Goboboseb, Namibia
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 Sweethome Mine, Colorado, USA
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 and his collection
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:

Pyromorphite Bunker Hill, Idaho
Definitely one of the USA classics - Pyromorphite from Bunker Hill Mine, Idaho

Quartz Collier Creek, Arkansas
A gemmy Quartz twin from Collier Creek Mine, Arkansas, and in the background is a Native Gold

Ludlamite Blackbird Mine, Idaho
Another USA classic - Ludlamite from Blackbird Mine, Idaho

Smithsonite ps. Dolomite Philadelphia mine, Arkansas
A rich specimen of Smithsonite pseudomorphing Dolomite, nicknamed 'Turkey Fat' due to the colour, from the Philadelphia Mine, Arkansas

Pyromorphite Wheatley Mine
Pyromorphite from Wheatley Mine, Pennsylvania

Azurite Bisbee
Azurite from Bisbee, Arizona - this specimen was in fact brand new to the collection having been purchased the day before.

Vesuvianite Eden Mills Quarry, Vermont
An exceptional Vesuvianite from Eden Mills Quarries, Vermont - reminiscent of the crystals from Jeffrey Mine, Canada

Linarite Blanchard Claim, New Mexico
Linarite pseudomorphing Galena from Blanchard Claim, New Mexico.

Cuprian Adamite, Scheelite
Cuprian Adamite from Gold Hill, Utah on the left, and Scheelite from Cohen Mine, Arizona on the right

Groutite Robert Mine, Minnesota
Groutite from Robert Mine, Minnesota

Cordierite Richmond Quarry, New Hampshire
A large specimen of Cordierite from Richmond Quarry, New Hampshire

Gold New Mexico
Crystallised Gold with Pyrite in Calcite from San Pedro Mine, New Mexico

Rutile Parkesburg, Pennsylvania
One of Kevin's favourite Rutiles - a sixling twin crystal from Parkesburg, Pennsylvania

Fluorite Kettle Mine, Washington
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
Categories: News & Information

News Categories

News Archive