TGMS Main Show in Tucson

16 February 2014



The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is the main show in Tucson each year and is a real enthusiasts event.
Each year there are not just those well known top mineral dealers but a whole host of show cases presented by private collectors as well as competition displays, all under one roof. There are also a number of gem dealers and jewellery companies and since each year's show falls around Valentines Day, I'm sure a lot of these guys will do a roaring trade.

The theme for this years 60th anniversary show is "Diamonds" and a number of cases have been devoted to displays of Diamond and other closely allied materials and topics.
As might be imagined the concept of having a show with the theme "Diamonds" creates security issues, but the security at the venue excelled itself and a number of great informative displays were exhibited.

The Arena, attached to the main hall at TGMS, ready to receive it's Stall holders.

For us here at Crystal Classics the familiar routine of setting up our displays involved all the team, each with their own special skills.
This year as some will be aware we have new  wooden display cabinets with drawers full of great specimens which compliment our professionally lit glass fronted show cases.

We arrived on Tuesday in time to supervise the installation of the glass cabinets by the team of guys who brought them to us and see that they were all placed according to our specifications.

Cabinets being positioned and assembled.

Wednesday morning early and the team gathered for the installation of the specimens into their place in the cabinets closely supervised by both Liz and Diana while the rest of the team slowly unwrapped the specimens and laid them out.

Piles of flats filled with minerals ready for display. 

The Booth slowly coming together.

Liz positioning Rhodochrosites and other minerals.

Dave Spiller and Dave Hacker carefully placing boxes into our new drawer cabinet system.

Diana arranging specimens using our new felt display pedestals.

Pos and Peter carefully unwrapping specimens ready for the display. 

Liz making a name for herself!

Dave Hacker checking specimen labels and placing them into drawers.

A closer look at the new drawer arrangement with the minerals all in place.

One of our glass mineral show cases after completion.

The whole complement of show cases - Ready to go!

Dave Spiller with Ian Bruce.

The gang relaxing at lunch time in one of our favourite Mexican restaurants nearby the Convention Centre.

The Crystal Classics team for Tucson 2014.
Left to Right: Miroslaw Posmyk, Dave Hacker, Liz Hacker, Diana Schlegel, Ian Bruce, Dave Whipp, Angela Southwood, Malcolm Southwood. Plus two absentee's from the image, Peter Schlegel and Dave Spiller.

Here are some of our Friends and familiar faces- regulars to our booth in Tucson:

Alan Hart and Mike Rumsey of the British Museum (Natural History) beside their Exhibit this year at the TGMS

The British Museum (Natural History) Exhibit this year was a piece of jewellery, a button, containing the magnificent Sloane Sapphire once owned by Sir Hans Sloane.

Left to Right: Diana Schlegel, Ian Bruce, Jim and Gail Spann and Bryan Swaboda.

Diana with Ludmilla of the Mineral Almanac, Russia.

Mr. Gao with Ian Bruce.

  Jim and Gail Spann

Mark Feingloss, one of our great contemporary Mineral collectors.

Rainer and Kristina Bode of Mineralien-Welt magazine, promoting the "Agates" Books.

This year the organisers of the show decided that all the display cabinets needed to be upgraded in keeping with policy to keep the show moving forward. These smart new cabinets, constructed in a darker wood than previous years are available for exhibitors in three different sizes and all fitted with new LED lighting units.
In an attempt to create a lower ceiling effect this year 500 white umbrellas were hung from the lofty heights of the roof. This gave a great effect commented upon by many - not to catch leaks from the roof as some jested.

Show chairman, Paul Harter was kind to spend a little time with us and tell us a little about this years show preparations and the new layout. The core of the show, he said, is and always has been minerals and so the layout was arranged to concentrate all the major mineral specimen dealers in the centre of the hall. Paul tells me that there is no shortage of aspiring mineral dealers wishing to join in the tucson event, so for some years to come we hope to see this great mineral show gradually enriched with new blood and perhaps a few new minerals as well.
Thanks Paul.  

Here are some of the exhibitor show cases and a little about their contents for this years show. 
In keeping with the topic of this years 60th anniversary - "Diamonds" the first of the cases with Diamond content:

The Smithsonian Institution put together this great display of various kinds of Diamond from gem grade through to industrial grade (used for drilling and polishing various materials).

Diamonds of different grades and sizes

An uncut crystal of gem grade Diamond in the Smithsonian collection.

The high value of Diamonds has provoked a great deal of research over past decades and as a result one of the major rock types to be found containing Diamond - Kimberlite, has been located in many parts of the world and in a variety of compositions. Kimberlite is a dense rock type that has come from deep within the earth's surface, in the upper mantle, and normally forms Pipe like structures. Here is a display of a few of the Kimberlites from Yakutia.

A closer look at some of these Yakutian Kimberlites.

From the private collection of David Kalins, a variety of Diamond crystals in their natural crystal form.

A closer look at a few of those exquisite Diamond crystals.

Not quite diamonds but just as collectible:

A case of Diamond usurpers - these Herkimer Diamond crystals are in fact exceptionally clear Quartz crystals and come from only one location
 - Herkimer, New York State, USA

The Friends of Mineralogy put on a showcase with an amazing cluster of Herkimer Diamonds crystals from Herkimer, New York State, USA.

"Herkimer Diamond" Quartz crystal cluster, centered in the picture above, from Herkimer New York State, USA.

Not all of the exhibits were Diamond orientated.
Here are some of the other exhibits most of which had a theme of their own.

The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) showed some of the amazing suites of gemstone encrusted jewellery that has been depicted on the front cover of some of their journals - "Gems and Gemmology"

The GIA and The Geo-Literary Society put on this display illustrating the historical importance of India in the production of Diamonds.


Herb Obodda bought this amazing and rare antique handmade wooden crystal model set, together with crystal drawings and goniometer to show us all. 

Some of the crystal models close up.

This great showcase explains how "Future Smithsonites" might develop under the right chemical and physical conditions in the earth:

An assortment of Sphalerites and other zinc minerals that could develop to Smithsonite one day! - For those who have a passion for Smithsonite.
I know your out there!

A particularly fine yellow Sphalerite from Mongolia.

A great Collection of Native Silver specimens from worldwide locations from the collections of Gene and Roz Meieran.

This display Entitled "As Good As Gold" shows an assortment of Pyrite ("Fools Gold") and Marcasite from the state of Indiana, USA.

...and some of the displays put on by museums and other organisations:

Entitled "Rough & Ready" -
Treasures from the collection of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Olivine (Forsterite) from the San Carlos Indian Reservation Gila County Arizona, USA.

A polished slab of rich blue chrysocolla from the Inspiration Mine, Pinal County, Arizona, USA.

The Showcase presented by the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum.

The California Academy of Sciences put on this great display illustrating some of the properties of Gemtones.

An explanation of how refraction and dispersion take place in a gemstone
and their importance in cutting a stone.

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History had this display:

Here are some of the minerals from the Carnegie Museum a little closer:

The show case of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

In the Denver Museum showcase this Magnificent specimen of orange Orpiment from Twin Creeks Mine, Potosi District, Osgood Mts, Humboldt Co., Nevada, USA.

Close up of the Orpiment crystals from Twin Creeks.

This show case entitled Fossil Shells for Mineral Collectors was particularly interesting showing how replacement by different minerals can preserve some invertebrate fossils.

Chalcedony replacing fossil Corals in differing forms from classic location of Tampa Bay Florida, USA.

One for the Fossil Collectors!

Friday at the TGMS is traditionally a day for children and coach loads of young enthusiasts turn up with school tutors and parents alike, to learn a little about the mineral world.

Lots of expectant children wondering what they will find in that cracked geode.

A police officer explains to a group of youngsters the contents and the security of one of the show cases.

Now here in a little more detail are some of the fine mineral specimens we at Crystal Classics had on show in our display cases.

Modified purple cubes of Fluorite from La Collada, Siera, Asturias, Spain.

Bournonite with Tetrahedrite and Siderite from La Mure, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France.

Fluorite from Berbes, Ribadisella, Spain.

Matlockite with Cerussite from Cromford, Derbyshire, England.

Fine Native Gold crystals from Round Mountain, Nye County, Nevada, USA.

Cerussite on Blue Hemimorphite from Mindouli, Dem. Rep. Congo

Terminated gem clean Beryl Var. Heliodor crystal from Volodarsk-Volynskii, Zhytomyr Oblast', Ukraine.

Touissit, Oujda-Angad Province, Oriental Region, Morocco.

Daoping Mine, Gongcheng Co., Guilin Prefecture, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China

Superb lime green "hoppered" Pyromorphite crystal aggregate from Daoping Mine, Gongcheng Co., Guilin Prefecture, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China.

Bright yellow Hexagonal terminated Ettringite crystals on matrix from N'Chwaning Mine, Kuruman, Kalahari manganese field, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.

Brassy yellow Cubanite crystals with Calcite on matrix from Henderson No. 2 mine, Chibougamau, Nord-du-Québec, Québec, Canada.

Bright yellow Adamite from Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico.

Pink  Cobaltoan Calcite with Kolwezite from Mashamba West Mine, Kolwezi District, Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Green Smithsonite with Cerussite from Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto Region, Namibia.

Large tabular rich pink Beryl Var. Morganite crystal from the Urucum Mine, Galiléia, Doce valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Translucent Blue Fluorite cubes from Le Beix Mine, Saint-Germain-près-Herment, Herment, Puy-de-Dôme, Auvergne, France.

Siderite on Tetrahedrite from La Mure, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France.

Fluorite from Boltsburn Mine, Rookhope District, Weardale, North Pennines, Co. Durham, England

Black, terminated Ilvaite crystal on Matrix from South Mountain, Idaho, USA.

Blue and yellow Fluorite crystal group from Halsbrücke, Freiberg District, Erzgebirge, Saxony, Germany.

Langeac, Haute-Loire, Auvergne, France.

Native Silver, Houghton County, Michigan, USA.

Colourful Opal specimen from Quilpie, Queensland, Australia.

Translucent Blue Fluorite cubes with Quartz and a little Pyrite from Le Burc Mine, Alban - Le Fraysse area, Tarn, Midi-Pyrénées, France.

Another great Fluorite from France. Blue cubes from Le Beix Mine, Saint-Germain-près-Herment, Herment, Puy-de-Dôme, Auvergne, France.

Pyromorphite from the Mercur Mine, Bad Ems, Bad Ems District, Lahn valley, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

Mimetite Var. Campyllite from Dry Gill Mine, Caldbeck Fells, Cumbria, England.

Hollow Amethyst crystal "stalactite" from Balikesir Province, Marmara Region, Turkey.

Manganese rich Vesuvianite from Jeffrey Quarry, Asbestos, Quebec, Canada.

Translucent green Fluorite from Height's Mine, Weardale, County Durham, England.

Yellow Pyromorphite crystal cluster from Bad Ems, Lahn Valley, Germany.

A superb cluster of Smoky Quartz crystals with a dusting (on some faces) of minute Chlorite particles from the Mont Blanc Massif, Chamonix, Haute-Savoie,
Rhône-Alpes, France.

A rich (and rare) classic. Strawberry red sheaves of Rhodochrosite encrusted on matrix from the Wolf Mine, Herdorf, Siegerland, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

A closer look at that Rhodochrosite.

A slender group of mustard yellow Pyromorphite crystals from Les Farges Mine, Ussel, Corrèze, Limousin, France.

Marcasite crystal aggregate from Cap Blanc-Nez, Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France.

A selection of small Native Gold specimens in one of our show cases from different locations.

Rich orange tabular Wulfenite crystals on matrix from Los Lamentos,
Mun. de Ahumada, Chihuahua, Mexico.

Dolomite with Sphalerite from La Mure, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France.

A superb specimen of double terminated, multi-coloured Tourmaline crystals with a single Quartz crystal, held together by blades of pure white Cleavelandite from the well known Stak Nala pegmatite formations in the Haramosh Mts., Skardu District, Baltistan, Gilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas), Pakistan.

Another Sphalerite with Siderite from La Mure, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France.

Translucent blue Fluorite cubes from Maxonchamp, Remiremont, Upper Moselle Valley, Vosges, Lorraine, France.

That's it for this year at the Tucson Gem and mineral Show. We hope all those  who attended the event this year enjoyed the show as much as we all did at Crystal Classics, and for those that weren't able to attend this year we hope the extracts we have written have given a little insight into "The Tucson Experience" this year.

The TGMS show highlight for 2015 will be:

"The Minerals of Western Europe"

This will include Greenland and Scandinavia, Iceland etc.

Just think: rarities from Ivigtut, Greenland maybe; Scottish agates, Cornish Cassiterites and Copper minerals, Alpine minerals...

The list is endless and inspiring - A must see!!

We're all looking forward to next years events in Tucson.
There is always so much to see and never enough time.

Join us there.

Author: Diana Schlegel and Dave Whipp
Categories: News & Information

News Categories

News Archive