Denver Fine Mineral Show

14 September 2014

This is Colorado!

The Denver Mineral Show


The Denver Fine Mineral Show is new for Denver this year and promised to offer the mineral collecting fraternity the finest mineral specimens from the best dealers worldwide.
Held at the Marriott Denver West Hotel, the show produced the goods, and indeed the
finest of specimens surfaced from the best dealers for collectors to cast their eager eyes upon.


The Crystal Classics team arrived here Wednesday 3rd and were initially greeted with a warm evening with a slowly setting sun highlighting against the silhouetted mountains. The next two days saw the weather deteriorate as we gradually assembled our displays in the two rooms we have at the Marriott Denver West Hotel - the first of the two shows we were to exhibit at this year.

View across the grounds of the hotel on a very wet morning!

Liz and Dave Hacker with Diana Schlegel working hard to fill some of our new glass fronted cabinets with minerals in our main showroom (225).

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Sometimes it's difficult to imagine the mess that can be generated during set-up.
The small showrooms become akin to obstacle courses!

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A stack of mineral "flats" in our second room (227) waiting to be sorted for display.

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Two of our drawer units gradually being filled with fine worldwide minerals.

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Dave Hacker conscientiously sorting through the flats deciding what to put on show.

Opening day was Saturday 6th September and the weather was gradually improving.

Entrance to the Marriott West Hotel in Denver

List of Dealers at this inaugural show at the Marriott Denver West Hotel. 

dave Whipp with Ian Bruce - Denver 2014
Dave Whipp with Ian Bruce next to our cabinets in room 227.

Dave Hacker - Denver 2014
Dave Hacker carrying out final scrutiny on our drawer units.

Dave Hacker and Ian Bruce - Denver 2014
Dave and Ian together

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Diana relaxing in front of the finished showroom.

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Some of our fine classic silver specimens.

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Specimens in one our drawer units.

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Great specimens in one of our cabinets.

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Keen collectors viewing  and discussing the contents of the cabinets shortly after opening time.

Here are just a few of the great mineral specimens on display in our showrooms at Denver this year.

Smithsonite, Tsumeb
Large well developed crystals of Smithsonite
from the Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto region, Namibia.

Co. Smithsonite, Tsumeb
Beautiful rich pink interlocking platy crystals of Cobaltoan Smithsonite from
the Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto region, Namibia.

Mimetite, Tsumeb
A fine example of Mimetite crystals scattered across matrix
from the Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto region, Namibia.

Azurite, Tsumeb
Rich blue spherical aggregate of Azurite crystals
from the Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto region, Namibia.

Lussatite shells
A mineralogical oddity. Rare Helix Ramondi land snails replaced with "Lussatite" - Opal-CT from Dallet, Puy-de-Dôme, Auvergne, France.

Lussatite, France
A closer look at these fossilised shells.

Adamite, Ojuela
Superb cluster of lemon yellow Adamite "fans" on matrix from the Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico.

Adamite, Ojuela
Close up of the Adamite "fans" on the picture above.

Rhodochrosite, N'chwaning
Rich red Rhodochrosite crystals on Manganese rich matrix from the 
N'Chwaning II Mine, Kuruman, Kalahari manganese field, Northern Cape Province,
South Africa.

N'Chwaning II Mine, N'Chwaning Mines, Kuruman, Kalahari manganese field, Northern Cape Province, South AfriChwaning II Mine, Kuruman, Kalahari manganese field, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.

Rhodochrosite, N'Chwaning
Another unusual Rhodochrosite from N'Chwaning Mines, Kuruman, Kalahari manganese field, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.

Heliodor Russia
Rich yellow etched crystal of Beryl Var. Heliodor - characteristic for its location
- Volodarsk-Volynskii, Zhytomyr Oblast', Ukraine.

Wulfenite Glove
Rich cluster of fragile yellow orange Wulfenite plates from the Glove Mine, Santa Cruz Co., Arizona, USA.

willemite. Franklin
Rare transparent Willemite crystals embedded in matrix
from Franklin Mining District, Sussex Co., New Jersey, USA.

Cobaltoan Dolomite, Tsumeb
Pink Cobaltoan Dolomite from Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto Region, Namibia.

Green and pink tipped Tourmaline crystals pleasingly bound together with pure white blades of Cleavelandite and Quartz from the Stak Nala pegmatites, Haramosh Mts., Skardu District, Baltistan, Pakistan.

Tabular orange crystals of Wulfenite scattered on matrix from
Los Lamentos Mountains, Ahumada, Chihuahua, Mexico.

Cloudy white terminated crystal of Quartz with turquoise blue inclusions of Ajoite from Messina, Vhembe District, Limpopo Province, South Africa.

cobaltoan smithsonite
Another Cobaltoan Smithsonite showing pink through to dark grey colouration from the Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto Region, Namibia.

Azurite after Malachite Tsumeb
A large Museum display piece from the Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto Region, Namibia.
Several interlocking randomly orientated Malachite crystals pseudomorphed after Azurite together with near colourless Cerussites, some with red inclusions of Cuprite (Var. Chalcotrichite)

Fluorite, Iran
Translucent pale inky blue Fluorite cubes from Komshejeh, Ardestan County, Esfahan Province, Iran.

calcite, Quartz Pribram
A pretty cluster of Calcite and Quartz crystals from PÅ™íbram, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic.

Mixite, Greece
Fine needles of Mixite from Hilarion Mine, Agios Konstantinos, Lavrion District, Attikí Prefecture, Greece.

Scorodite Hemerdon Ball
A great British piece - well developed Scorodite crystals lining a cavity in Quartz rich matrix from the Hemerdon Mine, Plympton, Tavistock District, Devon, England.

smithsonite, Greece
Spherical aggregates of Smithsonite from Lavrion District, Attikí Prefecture, Greece.

fluorite, Usa
Deep blue cube shaped Fluorites from Elmwood Mine, Carthage, Smith County, Tennessee, USA.

Another English rarity - Mendipite from Torr Works Quarry (Merehead Quarry), Cranmore, Somerset, England.

Finally I managed to escape the confines of the Crystal Classics rooms and search around to see what a few of the other dealers had to offer at the show.

My first port of call was a short visit to Tomek of Spirifer minerals.
Tom always has a great selection of colorful minerals and Denver this year was for him no exception. Here are a couple of the great items he has on display.

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A super cluster of Stilbite crystals with a radiating spray of fine green to colourless Apophyllite crystals towards the centre, from Well No. 3, Momin Akhada, Rahuri, Ahmadnagar District, Maharashtra, India.

A closer view of the Apophyllite spray.

Superb lustrous Sphalerite (Var. Cleiophane) crystals on Quartz from the Krushev dol mine, Madan ore field, Rhodope Mts, Smolyan Oblast, Bulgaria - also in Tom's room.

Crocoite Adalaide
Continued mining at the Adelaide mine in Tasmania has produced even more spectacular sprays of bright red needle Crocoite and John Cornish had a few of these on display in his room including this large specimen.

A close view of the incredibly fine needles of Crocoite from the Adelaide Mine, Dundas mineral field, Zeehan District, Tasmania, Australia.

John also had some fine examples of pinkish Heulandite crystals from the Rats Nest Claim, Custer County, Idaho, USA. This appeared to be the largest and most complete specimen John had and included Mordenite in association. 

Moving on into Edwards Minerals room, Edward showed me a selection of fine classic German minerals and some great gem minerals including this fine bed of blue hexagonal Fluorapatite crystals.

Closeup of the Apatite crystals in the previous image associated with a few colourless Quartz crystals. Specimen from the Sapo Mine, Ferruginha, Conselheiro Pena, Doce valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

A great little Chrysoberyl "Trilling" clearly showing the re-entrant angles between the individual crystal components from Sri Lanka. 

Unique minerals had a few unusual specimens of note - here are just a few.

Unique Minerals had a selection of new Fluorite specimens from a recent find back in June of 2014. These multi coloured Fluorites were apparently a much deeper purple colour when first exposed. This was one of my favourites amongst the few that were on display.
From Cook's Peak, Luna County, New Mexico.

From the now renowned Milpillas Mine, Cuitaca, Mun. de Santa Cruz, Sonora, Mexico, that has produced so many fine Azurite specimens, this Cuprite was also on one of Unique Minerals cabinet shelves.

One of the best Legrandite specimens I've seen in a while.
From The Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico.

Finally in the Unique minerals room, I could not pass by these astonishing sculptural pale pink Calcites from The Huanggang Mine, Ulanhad League, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China.

Another of these fine Calcites. 

My last visit was to the room of Valere Berlage based in Belgium.
Valere had a great variety of specimens from the African continent as well as a few world wide rarities worth a mention.

This bright red specimen is of Calcite crystals impregnated with Cuprite (Var. Chalcotrichite) with a little native copper in association. A superb example from Bisbee, Warren District, Mule Mts, Cochise Co., Arizona, USA.

One of the many fine blue Shattuckite pieces Valere had on display from the Tantara Mine, Shinkolobwe, Katanga Copper Crescent, Democratic Republic of Congo.

An unusual example of Shattuckite pseudomorphing what Valere believed was primary Malachite. From Kaokoveld District, Kunene Region, Namibia.

Another unusual piece from Okatumba, Kaokoveld Plateau, Kunene Region, Namibia - a Quartz crystal with a large number of Shattuckite needle inclusions.

Another specimen worth mentioning in Valere's collection was this very large example of Phosgenite from Monteponi Mine, Iglesias, Carbonia-Iglesias Province, Sardinia, Italy.

The Denver Fine Mineral Show at the Marriott West Hotel was over by Tuesday afternoon and now the process of transferring our cabinets and the stock to the main show was foremost on our minds. Little can be done until the cabinets arrive, so Wednesday afternoon Liz and Dave Hacker and I headed for the Colorado School of Mines Museum to see what might be there.

We were not the only ones to visit the campus.

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First we headed for the town centre of Golden for a light lunch.

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Liz found herself a new man, although I think he might be a little old for her.

Sometimes you just know your in America.

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The Colorado School of Mines Museum had a lot to see, not just great mineral specimens.
These old brass microscopes used for petrological examination of rock samples always fascinate me.

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A great selection of old mining  lamps ....

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....and this enormous antique balance.

I can only show a few of the great specimens that were on display at the museum - there were so many.

A classic polished banded Rhodochrosite specimen from the Capilitas Mine, Catamarca, Argentina.

Another classic and a well known specimen - Azurite, Malachite and pure white Gypsum crystals on the top right of the specimen.
From Morenci, Copper Mountain District, Shannon Mts, Greenlee Co., Arizona, USA.

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Another classic Arizona specimen - green Smithsonite
from 79 Mine, Chilito, Banner District, Dripping Spring Mts, Gila Co., Arizona, USA.

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The Museum also had displays of cut stoned and renowned pieces of jewellery including this Gold necklace set with large stones cut from Rhodochrosite from the Sweet Home Mine, Alma District, Park Co., Colorado, USA.

A closer look at the main part of the necklace.
The largest Rhodochrosite weighing 14.06 ct.

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Retuning from the museum the scenery became ever more spectacular...

...and we passed the odd Gold mine en route.

Setting up for our second show in Denver  - The Denver Gem and Mineral Show -
 at the Denver Merchandise Mart exhibition halls, began the following morning.

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Dealers and exhibitors gradually putting together their displays.

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Ian inspecting and selecting specimens while Liz selects for the cabinets.

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Diana begins the arrangement.

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A trolley full of great specimens, but not all will make the showcases.
We just have so many!

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Ian, experiencing some piezoelectricity (I think) from one of our Tourmaline crystals!

All six of the glass display cabinets ready to go - and all in just 6 hours.

Ian Bruce & Diana Schlegel
Ian and Diana looking forward to the start of the Denver Gem and Mineral show 2014.

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Queues outside the front entrance waiting for the opening on the first day - Friday.

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The first few eager collectors find their way to our displays. 

We always meet a lot of our friends at the show, here are just a few we caught on camera:

Ian Bruce 6 Jack Halpern
Ian Bruce with Jack Halpern.

Dave Whipp has all hands full as you can see not only with work....
(Liz, Diana, Dave Whipp and Trish)

Dave Whipp and Armin Schöler.

Many of the dealers that were at the Denver Fine Mineral Show were also to be found at this event but there were one or two additional exhibitors

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I found this amazing bed of Cavansite crystals from the Wagholi Quarry, Pune District, Maharashtra, India.

The same booth also had this fine gemmy green Apophyllite with pink Stilbite  - again from India.

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A remarkable specimen of Amazonite crystals with smoky Quartz from the Smoky Hawk Claim, Teller County, Colorado. Nicknamed the Icon Pocket, it was discovered in June 2012 by the Dorris family and is perhaps the largest single specimen ever recovered from the area.

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More details of the Icon Pocket.

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Not all the showcases were Agate displays.
This showcase shows some of the minerals of Ecuador.

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Pyromorphite in Quartz from El Oro Province, Ecuador.

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Quartz with Calcite from La Ponce, Azuay Province, Ecuador.

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Showcase provided by the Mineralogical Association of Dallas....

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...with one notable specimen of Adamite from the Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico.

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Continuously prowling the aisles between dealers and stalls was this near life size Dinosaur "puppet"

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The kids loved it...

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....and so did our Lizzy, but I think the dino bit off more than it could chew this time!

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Rainer and Kristina Bode with their new book on the minerals of Namibia.

Crystal Classics have now acquired a quantity of this great new book.
If you would like a copy please click on the link below:

Namibia - Minerals and Localities.

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There are many different activities for youngsters including these Gold Panning tables.

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The US Geological Survey had a large area - some tables devoted to information for younger generations and others to encourage interest in geology generally.

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The show is well attended and attracts all sorts of enthusiasts. 

The theme for this year's show is "Agates" and the display cases were filled with all sorts of agate from various parts of the world - some more colourful than others.

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One of the more colourful cabinets displayed by Penny Williamson - curator of Geology at University of Wollongong, Australia. 

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The exhibit of fine Scottish Agates displayed by Brian Jackson for the National Museum of Scotland.

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A closer view of part of the Scottish Agate display.

Agates from Lake Superior.

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Rough Agates from Lake Superior.

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Beautiful polished free-form "Moss" Agates from Montana USA.

Detail in some of the Montana "Moss" Agates.

River Agates, from the Sao Francisco River, Bahia Province, Brazil.


Jim and Gail Spann brought along this amazing display of not just Agates but other fine examples of Quartz Group Minerals...

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...including this amazing Rose Quartz "girdle" around a single Quartz crystal point
from Brazil.

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...and this really well preserved Orange River Quartz group.

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Some of the other great specimens in Jim and Gail Spanns display case.

Well that's it for 2014 at Denver. There is so much more we have not been able to show. It only remains for us at Crystal Classics to thank all the organisers of these two shows for all the hard work that has gone into organising this years events and for their success in making all the exhibitors and visitors enjoy the time spent here this year.

We all look forward to Denver 2015 

The Crystal Classics Team at D
enver 2014
(L to R: Diana Schlegel, Ian Bruce, Dave and Liz Hacker and Dave Whipp)

Only in America. Where did I leave my pea-shooter?

Author: Dave Whipp
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