Denver Gem & Mineral Show 2016

28 September 2016


Welcome to the Crystal Classics show report covering both

The Denver Fine Mineral Show


The Denver Gem and Mineral Show

This year the Crystal Classics team arrived in great spirits at the Marriott (Denver West) Hotel and started the set-up of our two rooms with a large range of great new minerals ready for people to feast their eyes on, as well as some mouth-watering classic specimens.

Early morning sunshine on one of the freeways just outside Denver.

Diana and Debbie arrived early in Denver this year so a great deal of the hard work preparing for the show had already been achieved before the rest of the team arrived.

 One of the first tasks upon arrival at Denver is rearranging furniture and bedding to make way for the display cabinets.

Some of our flats of new minerals specimens that were to be on offer.
Sorting through the minerals sent from the UK is the first part of set-up at a show.

New recruit Martin Stevko arrived in Denver and is soon helping to prepare and sort through some of the European classic minerals.

 Debbie checking the office facilities are all in place and working correctly.

 Martin with Ian and Tom discussing the detail of the display layout and lighting etc.

Once the lights are in and the glass shelves all cleaned, the display cases are ready for the minerals. But the final detail, as always, is down to the ladies to display the specimens in the most effective way so that each piece will catch the collectors eye.


Displaying the minerals in the show cases effectively is a time consuming process and there are still a few spaces to fill!


There is always a little time to scrutinize the showcases and add that final touch.
Here, Ian and Diana make final adjustments while Martin listens on attentively – there is a lot to learn.


Room 227 completed with an impressive display – but this is just the first part, the team now move on to Room 225.


Everyone gives a hand sorting out which minerals need to go into the cases.
Tom must have just found something spectacular!


The art of displaying mineral specimens well is something few folks are particularly good at.

Here, Diana gets the job of laying out these two cabinets with some of our best pieces, alone.


The end result - the last two show cases all set up and ready to go at the Marriott Hotel.


Sometime after the initial hard working team arrived at Denver, Crystal Classics bring in an extended team ready to meet and greet customers and friends, old and new.


Of course, the Crystal Classics team would not be complete without our dear friends Liz and Dave Hacker. Always welcome and a great asset to the group, Liz and Dave know and welcome the majority of our customers and are always on hand to help.


All the way from NSW Australia, Penny Williamson and Paul Carr of University of Wollongong finding a moment or two during set-up to relax. Good to see the two Aussies having fun amongst the hard work.

When Mal and Angie Southwood arrived everyone was happy to greet them.
The whole work ethic thing gradually seemed to begin to crumble!

Well, I guess they all earned it.

Room 227 on the first day of opening– all very busy as we expected and great to meet all our old friends.

Here at Crystal Classics we are aware that not everyone can visit the show.

So as a little taste of some of the great minerals, both from old collections and new, here are some images of specimens that visitors could see and buy.


A brightly coloured, pink Cobaltoan Dolomite specimen from the famous Tsumeb Mine in Namibia. Particularly sought after by collectors worldwide, Tsumeb specimens come in a variety of shapes and colours.
This specimen was acquired from the Dr. Snizek Collection.


Vesuvianite of this quality from Bellecombe, Italy is of particular interest to collectors.

A fine well defined cluster of transparent pale to dark greenish brown terminated crystals, typical of the location.


Another lovely thumbnail of a Vesuvianite, this time in association with red to orange coloured Grossular Garnet (Hessonite) forming the base together with one or two slender needles of Diopside, again from Bellecombe, Italy.


A large and truly remarkable specimen of twinned Siderite, from Mont Saint-Hiliare, Quebec, Canada.


A classic pale blue Topaz crystal attached to “Smoky” Quartz with a dusting of Muscovite on one face, from the acclaimed Xanda Mine, Virgem da Lapa, Jequitinhonha valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Two fabulous old time display trays of Tourmaline specimens acquired from the Jesse Fisher and Joan Kureczka collection flanking a fine Morganite on matrix from the Himalaya mine, Mesa Grande District, San Diego Co., California, USA; a Tourmaline on Cleavelandite from the Lithia Dyke Mine, Cahuilla, Riverside Co., California, USA and a near gem clean terminated lilac coloured “Kunzite” crystal from the Pala Chief Mine, Chief Mountain, Pala, San Diego Co., California, USA.

The tray on the left shows a selection of gem quality slender prismatic bi-coloured Tourmaline crystals from the Himalaya Mine. The Tray on the right is a selection of cut and polished slices of Liddicoatite Tourmaline from the renowned Anjanabonoina pegmatites, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar each showing various colours and internal patterns.



Like most mineral specimen dealer’s the staff at Crystal Classics are passionate about minerals and each of us long to scour the halls where other dealers exhibit to see what they have on display.
Here are some of the things we found.


Valere Berlage always has a great selection of minerals and is continually finding new minerals from the Congo.

 Above: A new find of Native Copper and Cuprite in Valere Berlage’s room. Below -  from an old collection, an amazing Malachite in the shape of a pistol.


A rich blue Azurite crystal aggregate from the Milpillas Mine, Sonora, Mexico on display in the Unique Minerals Room.


Also in the Unique Minerals room, a display showing the impact a selection of brightly coloured and contrasting specimens can have if prepared well.

A lovely display of Miniatures.


The new Tourmaline find from Ouarzazate Province, Souss-Massa-Draâ Region, Morocco These remarkable specimens could be seen in the Spirifer Minerals Room.

Another new discovery this time from Brian Kosnar of Mineral Classics. Some really great Valentinite from Lengshuijiang Co., Loudi Prefecture, Hunan Province, China.

The Denver Fine Mineral Show was well under way, but the work didn’t stop for

the Crystal Classics team, who now had to move to the Denver Gem and Mineral Show held at the Denver Mart Exhibition Hall.
Crystal Classics had specially designed some new mineral display showcases for this event and a new display booth meant some experimenting on how the booth was to look.

The new wooden show cases going into position.


Lizzy and Dave made sure everything went in the right place.


Moving the minerals from one location to the other – made a lot easier with the use of these trolleys.

An early start - The sun is rising as we begin loading the minerals into the vehicles.

 Ian, Diana, Tom and Martin are all involved in getting the minerals there safely.


We arrived to see a long line of dealers ready to set up at the Denver Mart Exhibition Hall.


Showcases in place. The set up process begins again.


Some of Crystal Classic’s Gold specimens placed in the showcase ready for arranging.


A wider view of the new booth and showcases. – Still much to be done!

One of the showcases nearing completion.

Here are a few of our favourite specimens that made it into the cabinets.

 A stunning purple and Green Fluorite from the De'an Fluorite mine, Wushan, De'an Co., Jiujiang Prefecture, Jiangxi Province, China.
This specimen made it onto the Lapis front page.

A large specimen of red Rhodochrosite crystals from N'Chwaning Mines. .

Metallic gray Galena with Rhodochrosite, Calcite and Chalcopyrite
from Cavnic, Maramureș Co., Romania.

A feast for the eyes – a particularly beautiful specimen of Rhodochrosite with Quartz and Pyrite, from Cavnic, Maramureș Co., Romania.

The Crystal Classics room, finally set-up and ready for customers.


Show set up for one of the many other dealers.


Opening day and the queue’s at the entrance of the main hall waiting to get into the show.

The Ticket office

As always customers are greeted by Mr. Bones.
A regular at both the Denver and Tucson shows.

There were various exhibition and competition cabinets for all to see – a regular feature of the show.  Here we have a cabinet displayed by Penny Williamson and Paul Carr specializing in African Malachite specimens.

Some incredible macro photography of minerals turned into art was available to purchase.

Jim and Gale Spann’s fine display of African minerals gave us all an insight into the variety of minerals available from that continent. All exceptional examples and very colourful.

A really fine Sulphur crystal group from Cozzo Disi Mine, Casteltermini, Agrigento Province Sicily, Italy.
From Dave Bunk Minerals.


A fabulous collection and display of thumbnails, tiny mineral specimens with perfect form, again showing the array of colours that nature can produce.
From Ralph D. Clarke.

Ian and Lizzy were very happy with the show and how well everything had turned out.

The Crystal Classics room, as always, a great place for people to come and look at some very fine classic minerals but also to have a friendly chat. Here Ian and Diana show some of our minerals to friends.

Ian and Dave taking a rare opportunity to relax.

After all the excitement of the day we celebrated at Luke’s Steak House.

The city of Denver has always proved a great location for mineral shows and for us here at Crystal Classics 2016 has proved no exception and we look forward to next year’s event. We had two great shows but we are now back in a much cooler UK, where the whole team are busy with preparations for the Munich Show.  This year we unveil a new booth layout and new collections of fine minerals, so please make a note in your diary and come and visit us.
We look forward to seeing you all there.

Author: DH
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