Houston Fine Mineral Show

27 April 2014

The Houston Fine Mineral Show

Houston highrise
One of Houston's many high rise buildings.

Diana and Dave arrived early this year in Houston with great anticipation.
The weather is hot and Humid a little overcast at times - only to be expected I understand from the locals, but pleasant for us Brits. We're used to the water but not quite so much the warmth in the southern parts of the UK!!

The Atrium of the Embassy Suites Hotel with its palm trees and Restaurant.

At the entrance of the Houston show, in the foyer, a series of sculptures greets all visitors. 
This remarkable creation of a frog on a lilly pad has for its body a block of polished African Malachite. Other creations by the Sculptor, James Vilona, can be seen in the By Nature Gallery room.

We had a little time ahead of the arrival of our show cases and cabinets to gather our thoughts and decide how we would plan the layout of our exhibition room to best effect. This proved challenging to start with, since we had over estimated the number of units we could comfortably get into the room, but when these finally arrived and we juggled things around, we both agreed we had the best configuration and utilised space economically, allowing for a little comfort in the room as well.

the room
The room as it was when we walked in - Soon to change!

A visit to Office Depot for badly needed stationary supplies, or an excuse to go shopping? - The sales are on!!

Cabinets in place and the minerals arrive.

Diana beginning the display of the minerals.

A minor hitch with one of the cabinet doors. Not everything goes as smoothly as we would like.

The minerals arrived in shipments from both Tucson and the UK  - all in good time and we were soon well ahead of the game having completed set up more than a day in advance of the official opening of the show. This gave us a little time to see who else was around and what new things might be coming to the show.

Blake at American Fine Minerals showed us these Smoky Quartz crystals that he had recently mined from Llano County, Texas, USA.

...he also had a number of these blue Celestite crystals from Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA.

Sam and Ann Koster of Columbia Trading Company had a couple of interesting specimens in their room. A really great cubo-octahedral Fluorite on white Quartz points from Huanggang Mines area, Hexigten Banner, Ulanhad League, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China.

...and this interesting Calcite aggregate with Quartz from Djurkovo Mine, Djurkovo Complex, Laki Obshtina, Rhodope Mtn, Plovdiv Oblast, Bulgaria.

Up on the 3rd  floor of the show Stephanie Snyder of Stonetrust had a room full of colourful wonders. Here are just a couple that caught my eye:

Prismatic Rhodochrosite crystals from the Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Department, Peru.

A superb etched translucent lemon yellow crystal of Beryl var. "Heliodor" from Pegmatite 364, Volodarsk-Volynskii, Zhytomyr Oblast', Ukraine, also in Stephanie's room.

This near colourless platy crystal of Baryte from Milpillas Mine, Cuitaca, Mun. de Santa Cruz, Sonora, Mexico was just one of a few interesting specimens I found in Don Olson collection.

Don also had this rather flattened crystal of Garnet from the Susa Valley, Torino Province, Piedmont, Italy. 

Walking on into Khyber Minerals room we found a number of these brightly coloured Uranium minerals from France:

A bed of Autunite crystals from Fanay-Augeres Mine, Limousin, France.

Another Autunite, this time from Margnac Mine, Compreignac, Haute-Vienne, Limousin, France.

Natures Reflection had an array of recently discovered twinned, crystallised Native Copper groups from 5150 Bench East Pit, Chino, New Mexico.

A closer look at one of these Native Copper clusters showing the crystal growth.

Saga Minerals had a display of great new Calcite crystal groups from
Gordonsville Mine, Smith County, Tennessee, USA.

Another of those very clear Calcite crystal groups from Tennessee.

We found a couple of interesting pieces in in Putzu's room - "The Uncarved Block" and "The VUG"

A pale lilac translucent and somewhat etched Scapolite crystal from a less well known location - Kukurt, Pamir Mts, Viloyati Mukhtori Gorno-Badakhshan, Tajikistan.

Putzu also had this interesting hollowed out Siderite cast after Calcite from South Africa.

Back in the Crystal Classics show room collectors and enthusiasts
continue to browse the cabinets and drawers.

One of our newly designed mineral drawer cases filled with great worldwide specimens.

A view of part of one of our show cases with some of our finest specimens.
Note the large Azurite cluster towards the top from Touisit, Morocco.

Shelf of fine crystallised Gold specimens with other worldwide pieces above and beneath.

Diana admiring one of our favourite pieces - a "Sceptre" Quartz crystal from Namibia.

A familiar face at many a mineral fair - Ed Loye - Mineral collector, visiting our room.
 - I suspect with an ulterior motive!

Diana with mineral collector John Schneider enjoy a relaxing evening meal at a steakhouse - Friday Evening.

Here at crystal Classics as ever we have been actively searching for new and classic minerals to add to our inventories and amongst the specimens in our cabinets are some of the rare and great pieces collectors have come to know us for.

Here are some of the great mineral specimens on show in our cabinets this weekend at the Houston show. 

As always we know some of you cannot get to see us over the next few days but needless to say we're only an e-mail away if you see something here you like.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Acanthite, fresnillo
A silvery aggregate of Acanthite crystals from Mun. de Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico.

Rich blue thin blades of Azurite together with Malachite in a cavity in Limonitic matrix from Calabona Mine, Alghero, Sassari Province, Sardinia, Italy.

Azurite, Bisbee
Another great Azurite this time from Bisbee, Warren District, Mule Mts, Cochise Co., Arizona, USA.

Here are one or two Classic British pieces:

Baryte, Frizington
A particularly fine greyish-blue crystal of Baryte in association with Dolomite from Frizington, Cumbria, England.

Liroconite, Cornwall
Every collectors desire - well crystalised Liroconites filling a cavity in matrix and displaying that rich unmistakable blue, from Wheal Gorland,  St. Day, Gwennap, Cornwall, England.

Hematite, Qtz, Cumbria
A really cute thumbnail specimen from the north of England.  
A botryoidal stem of reddish Hematite topped with a cluster of sparkling hematite blades and a white to clear terminated Quartz crystal.
From the Florence mine, Egremont, Cumbria, England.

Fluorite, Hilton
An unusual Crystal of Fluorite from Hilton Mine, Scoredale, Cumbria, England.
This crystal shows depressions across its surfaces influenced by the octahedron.

As usual we brought along with us a great selection of minerals from the renowned Tsumeb mine in Namibia:

Bayldonite, Tsumeb
Bayldonite pseudomorph after Mimetite with Azurite
from the Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia.

Copper, Tsumeb
Native Copper in Dolomite from
the Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto Region, Namibia.

Cuprian Adamite, Tsumeb
Two cavities in matrix richly lined with Cuprian Adamite crystals from Tsumeb mine, Otjikoto region, Namibia. 

Leiteite, Tsumeb
Another classic from the Tsumeb Mine, Leiteite.

Copper, Michigan
A well crystallised specimen of Native Copper from Houghton County Michigan, USA.

Tourmaline, Albite Brazil
A stunning specimen of Elbaite Tourmaline with a "Rosette" of Albite var. "Cleavlandite", dusted with particles of pale lilac Lepidolite from the Chiar mine, São José da Safira, Doce valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Crocoite, Russia
Rich red Crocoite crystals scattered across matrix from Berezovskii, Ekaterinburg, Sverdlovskaya Oblast', Middle Urals, Urals Region, Russia.

Aqua, Vietnam
Good Blue hexagonal prism of Aquamarine from Nghe An Province, Vietnam.

Sceptre, namibia
A really fine "Sceptre" Quartz crystal with a rich purple stem that houses many microscopic inclusions of hematite. The top (Sceptre) part of the crystal is smoky towards the base and has a liquid/gas bubble towards the tip.
From the Goboboseb Mountains, Brandberg area, Erongo Region, Namibia. 

Fluorite, Kazakhstan
An unusual Fluorite from Akchatau, Karagandy Province, Kazakhstan composed of deep lilac coloured interlocking composite octohedral crystal sections. 

Galena ps Pyromorph
From Germany this Galena pseudomorph after Pyromorphite from an old collection attracted a lot of attention.
The German name for these is "Blaubleierz" ("blue Lead Ore")
From Kautenbach, Traben-Trarbach, Hunsrück, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

Galena, Dalnegorsk
Another Galena, this time a well defined crystal group from
Dal'negorsk, Kavalerovo Mining District, Primorskiy Kray, Far-Eastern Region, Russia.

Gold, Colorado Qtz Mine
A fine crystallised Gold specimen from the Colorado Quartz Mine, Colorado, Whitlock District, Mariposa Co., California, USA.

Gray Hessite on Quartz from Botés, Alba Co., Romania.

Sylvanite, Sacarimb
Metallic Sylvanite from Sacarîmb (Nagyág), Deva, Hunedoara Co., Romania.

Kermesite, Globe
A rare example of dark red radiating Kermesite crystals from the Globe and Phoenix Mine, Kwekwe District, Midlands, Zimbabwe.

Marcasite, France
A well formed twinned crystal group of Marcasite from Cap Blanc-Nez, Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France.

Platinum, Russia
Native Platinum nugget from Nizhnii Tagil, Sverdlovskaya Oblast', Middle Urals, Urals Region, Russia.

Pyrosmalite, Broken Hill
Rare reddish-brown Pyrosmalite crystals with a water clear octahedral Fluorite from Broken Hill New south Wales, Australia.

Rhodochrosite,  Bulgaria
A Large plate of Rhodochrosite crystals with a few scattered Calcites from the Madan Ore Field, Rhodope Mts, Smolyan Oblast, Bulgaria.

Rghodo, Japan
Another Rhodochrosite with a little pyrite in association, this time from Oppu mine, Nishimeya-mura, Naka-Tsugaru-gun, Aomori Prefecture, Tohoku Region, Honshu Island, Japan.

smithsonite, Kelly
Classic blue Smithsonite from Kelly Mine, Magdalena, Socorro Co., New Mexico, USA

Valentinite, pezinok
Radiating aggregates of rare Valentinite on matrix from Pezinok, Bratislava Region, Slovakia.

Vanadinite, morocco
Vanadinite from Mibladen, Morocco.

Another amazing creation by James Vilona.
This time a large meteorite is sculptured with metal flames to appear as if it is entering earth's atmosphere.

Well that's it for another year at Houston - a very friendly and enjoyable event with lots of great minerals to see and new faces as well.

Dave and Diana in front of the Crystal Classics show cases.

Crystal Classics will next be exhibiting in France at the Ste. Marie aux Mines show in June where will have yet more great specimens on offer. And we look forward to seeing all our freinds there.

Author: Dave and Diana
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