Tucson Show Report 2018

16 February 2018


It's that time of year again and barely have Christmas and the New Year celebrations subsided when
 the excitement
of the biggest mineral and fossil event in the world has taken over and we are on our way to Tucson once more.
Preparation for this year's event has been more challenging than ever for the Crystal Classics team as we have more minerals
and more venues than ever before.

The first members of the Crystal Classics team to arrive in Tucson (Martin, Pavel, Debbie and Diana), 
discussing plans before the truck arrives with the initial consignment of crates.

The truck arrives.

Martin with his new friend.

Tables laid out and the organising begins.

This year at the Hotel Tucson City Centre Crystal Classics are pleased to say that we have
5 outlets for the mineral specimens.
Our normal room at the Mission room, which has been newly refurbished
will be filled with our worldwide selection of minerals specimen at Keystone prices.

The main entrance to the Hotel Tucson City Centre.

Palm trees and Dinosaurs at the Hotel Tucson City Centre.

50% off all our Minerals in The Mission room at the Hotel Tucson City Centre.

One of the showcases in the Mission Room.

This year Crystal Classics also have the Gym room and an additional display area in the
foyer of the Hotel Tucson city Centre:

Peter and Ian at the Crystal Classics display in the foyer of the 
Hotel Tucson City Centre.

Some of the bargains available in our half-price sales in Tucson this year.

A large Jackstraw Cerussite crystal group from
Broken Hill Mine, New South Wales, Australia.

A purple Fluorite cube sits on top of a bed of Dolomite crystals together
with a little Sphalerite from the Elmwood Mine, Carthage, Smith County, Tennessee, USA.

Bright metallic sprays of terminated Stibnite crystals from

Reticulated Cerussite crystal group from Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto Region,

Painstaking setup of glass showcases and lighting at the UK Mining Ventures showroom
But it was worth it...

Queue outside the UK Mining Ventures room - folks eager to see the new Fluorite finds from
the Diana Maria Mine 
and the Rogerley Mine, Weardale, Co. Durham, England.

Once inside eager buyers had to choose quickly!

More bargain minerals at the Hotel Tucson City Centre:

A rich encrustation of Cuprian Smithsonite crystals on matrix from the Tsumeb Mine,
Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia.

Considerably larger Smithsonite crystals from the same locality - 
Tsumeb Mine, 
Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia.

A hand-sized example of a Dolomite cast again from the Tsumeb Mine, 
Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia.

Richly coloured rhomb-shaped crystals of Rhodochrosite interlocked
with short needles of Quartz from the 
Sweet Home Mine, Mount Bross, Alma District, Park County, Colorado, USA.

Yellow spherical aggregated Mimetite from 
San Pedro Corralitos, Mun. de Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico.

Cube crystals of blue to purple Fluorite, modified on their edges.
From the Berbes Mining District, Ribadesella, Asturias, Spain.

Fluorite from Diana Maria Mine, Weardale, Co. Durham, England.

Strange T-Rex and Raptor Dinosaur models made from what
appears to be discarded Car parts!

Phil Taylor in the Crystal Classics Tsumeb themed showroom.

A fine display of Tourmaline crystals in the Pinnacle 5 Minerals showroom.

Specimens of "Smoky" Quartz with Amazonite in the Pinnacle 5 Minerals showroom.
All specimens are from the well known "Smoky Hawk Claim", Florissant, Colorado, USA.

This nice Wulfenite was on show in the Spirifer Minerals displays.
From Chihuahua, Mexico.

Oranges and palms at the Hotel Tucson City Centre.

Each year in Tucson Crystal Classics holds a one day event celebrating the Tsumeb Mine, Namibia.
Last year the event was a great success and this year was no different.
The event, held at the Elk Centre,1800 N. Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85705,
plays host to a number of dealers that specialise in minerals from the mine as well as talks
given by Gail and Jim Spann, Malcolm Southwood and Mike Rumsey as well as slide shows 
that all help to promote the www.tsumeb.com web site.

Dealers set up their tables at the Elk Centre

Rob Sielecki had a number of great Tsumeb pieces to offer,
attracting great interest.

Ian introducing the events for the day.

Shields Flynn with wife Francis showing copies of his book Minerals of Namibia.

Jolyon Ralph with some great new mindat promotional T shirts.

Jim Spann with Angela and Malcolm Southwood enjoying the proceeding
and no doubt talking rocks.

Much interest in the Tsumeb mineral selection at the Crystal Classics Table.
Katrin Schlegel showing the specimens to eager collectors.

Meanwhile the Westward Look show was well under way and of course
some of our very best specimens have been kept for this event.

Ian and Diana putting finishing touches to the showcases at Westward Look.

Show cases and mineral drawers at Westward Look

Ian and Diana at the Westward Look.

Here are some of the great specimens on show this year at Westward Look:

A superb rich bed of "hoppered" Pyromorphite crystals from the famed 
Les Farges Mine, Ussel, Corrèze, Limousin, France.

Another great Pyromorphite from The Bunker Hill Mine, Kellogg,
Coeur d'Alene District, Shoshone Co., Idaho, USA.

A very rich and fine example of Gold resting on Quartz matrix
from the Eagle's Nest Mine, Sage Hill, Michigan Bluff District, Placer Co., California, USA.

A really fine Proustite from the famous Chañarcillo deposits in Chile.

Transparent green interlocking and twinned cubic crystals of Fluorite from
the recently discovered Wolfie Pocket, Rogerley Mine, Frosterley, Co. Durham, England.

Lemon yellow transparent Mimetite crystals on matrix from
Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto Region,

Lusrous apple green interlocking crystals of Pyromorphite from
Daoping Mine, Gongcheng Co., Guilin Prefecture,
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China.

Another great specimen from China - blue to grey botryoidal aggegates of Plumbogummite 
partially engulfing bright yellow crystals of Pyromorphite from
Yangshuo Mine, Yangshuo Co., Guilin Prefecture, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China.

Rich deep green prismatic crystals of Pyromorphite partially scattered across a matrix of  
Iron stained Fluorite from Chaillac, Indre, Centre-Val de Loire, France

 Here are some great specimens on offer with some
of the other dealers at Westward Look.
First a short walk away, we found Scott Werschky of Miner's Lunchbox.
Scott always has a display of enticing specimens.


Four bright orange specimens of Spessartine Garnet from 
Oyo State, Nigeria.

A superb example of Azurite with Malachite from an unusual locality
Sepon Mine, Vilabouly District, Savannakhét Province, Laos.

Unusual "hoppered" greyish green Fluorapatite crystal with accompanying Siderite "discs".
From Panasqueira Mines, Covilhã, Castelo Branco District, Portugal.

Buff coloured Pyromorphite crystal cluster from
Bad Ems, Lahn Valley, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

Nick Stolowitz had a few great specimens to offer

An interesting group of well developed bright orange Grossular Garnet crystals
associated with Axinite and Quartz from the Teenage Crush Claim, 
Vesper Peak, Sultan Basin, Sultan District, Snohomish Co., Washington, USA.

Nice lustrous black spray of pencil point Aegirine Crystals from
Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi.

Nicely Terminated and clear yellow crystals of Fluorapatite with
grey Chalcedony from Cerro de Mercado Mine, Victoria de Durango,
Cerro de los Remedios, Mun. de Durango, Durango, Mexico.

Christophe Gobin had this fine selection of Djurleite crystals with Chalcocite
from the Bou Azzer District of Morocco.

Stonetrust had a range of new blue Beryl Var. Vorobyevite specimens from Afghanistan.

Elbaite with blue hexagonal tabular plates of Beryl Var. Vorobyevite attached to one side.
From Deo Dorah mine, Badakhshan, Afghanistan.

Stonetrust also had this amazing Beryl from Zimbabwe as well.
An unusual locality.

Cal Graeber and Leonard Himes had a couple of great radioactive specimens to offer

A cavity in matrix lined with fine, rich green needles of Cuprosklodowskite
together with native copper and yellow Sklodowskite 
from the Musonoi Mine, Kolwezi, Dem. Rep. of Congo.

Bright fluorescent yellow Sabugalite on and replacing in part tabular aggregates
of Meta-Autunite from Margnac IV Mine,
Compreignac, Haute-Vienne, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France.

Dan Weinrich had on display this great specimen of Chrysoberyl (Twinned crystal)
from Colatina, Espírito Santo, Brazil.

Rob Sielecki had these few loose crystals of bicoloured blue and pale yellow Euclase
crystals from the Karoi District of Zimbabwe.

A superb crystal of Elbaite (Rubellite) from the 
Jonas mine, Conselheiro Pena, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Another radioactive piece, Unique Minerals had this amazingly well preserved 
Meta-Autunite from the Daybreak Mine, Mount Kit Carson,
Spokane Co., Washington, USA.

The Tucson Gem and Minerals Show

Once again the Crystal Classics booth at the TGMS is a very large stand and it's all hands on deck
to get the displays ready in time for the opening. Using all the show cases we have requires a great deal of planning
and of course the team have to work well together to make sure all the exhibits are shown to their best.

Show cases in place and the first of the mineral specimens go in.

Becky and Lizzie enjoying a little well deserved downtime.

Dave and Liz Hacker getting stuck in.

Diana working on another show case.

Ian with collector and friend Terry Szenics

Lizzie getting to grips with one of the show cases.

Part of the team having the traditional Mexican lunch during setup of the TGMS show.
But there is still more to do to finish the TGMS displays. 

Ian and Diana with more of the Crystal Classics team.

The diplays are nearly completed.

Dan on opening day ready to greet customers.

The theme of the TGMS show this year is
"Crystals and Crystal Forms"
So a lot of information displayed is based around crystal shapes and their variations.

A stunning slender "Amethyst" crystal sceptre perched vertically on its matrix.
From the Goboboseb Mountains, Namibia featured on the show poster.

The queue at the entrance of the TGMS on opening day.

Amongst the many and varied selection of exhibition and competition show cases
this year are some particularly fine displays:

The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum put on this fine display of the states' 
great mineral species.

A closer look at the group of deep lilac coloured Fluorapatite crystal specimens
from Mount Marie, Greenwood and 
Pulsifer Quarry's, Maine, USA. 

One of the many stands offering mining and mineral ephemera together
with a great selection of old literature was the Rocks of Ages stand.

A fine display of near perfect Pyrite cubes of varying sizes both loose
and attached to their matrix from Navajún, La Rioja, Spain.

The Gemological Institute of America Based in California, exhibited a selection of Tourmaline - Liddicoatite
crystal slices in their show case. Cut and polished as thin as they are, each shows the complex colour zoning
and growth patterns well known for specimens of the Anjanabanoina pegmatites of Madagascar.

Twinning in Calcite was the theme of this display from the collection of Terry Huizing.
The variety, colours and perfection of these twins was inspiring.

A particularly fine twinned Calcite with Hematite in Terry's collection.

Gail and Jim Spann teamed up with Wendell and Carolyn Wilson to display this 
fabulous collection of mineral specimens from Germany together with a selection of superb
mining themed beer steins, also from Germany.

Exquisite antique Chinese snuff bottles on display in the showcase
of the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art.

A pale green Nephrite Chinese snuff bottle with what appears to be a rose Quartz stopper
in the Lizzadro Museum showcase.

Larger "Family sized" Chinese bottles made from Mongolian Silver inlaid with
Coral and Turquoise.

The Mindat showcase displayed this informative
"Origin of Mineral Names" exhibit.

View of one part of the TGMS show hall.

Bryan Swoboda of Blue Cap Productions helped put on a display of rocks and minerals of Hawaii
in conjunction with the 
Keiki Mineral Club of Honalulu:

One of two showcases, this display shows the wide range of Volcanic rocks
that occur across the islands.

Dunite (Olivine) "Bombs".
Olivine in its granular form, common on some of these islands.

Jet black loose Augite crystals (resting on sand)
- a common mineral found in the volcanic basalts of Hawaii.

The exhibit of the National Museums Scotland had a display of annotated crystal specimens
that belonged to the famous Scottish mineralogist Matthew Forster Heddle.

"Amazonite" with each face showing its Miller indices.

These are just a few of the many exhibit show cases that are regularly put on each year at TGMS.
We cannot show them all. We would encourage anyone who has never been to the show to go and see them. 
All these cases are arranged and organised by enthusiasts to museum standard with exceptional mineral specimen examples 
and rare collectable literature together with related scientific and mining artefacts. They are always a great attraction for the event.

Sunset in Tucson

That's it for another year at Tucson.
All the Crystal Classics team have enjoyed their trip out to Arizona to see friends and collectors
again this year and we now look forward to seeing you all at our next major event 

Ste. Marie aux Mines

in France.

Author: DW
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