Tucson Show Report 2

11 February 2009

the story continues with the Westward Look.......

Our display at the Westward Looks is one of the best that we have ever done, and I can honestly say that it was it was one of the best at the show - thanks to Ian and Wayne we had a super range of minerals on display and Lois did a wonderful job arranging the displays of eye catching colour.

Our cases

Our cases

Our cases

Pyrosmaltite with Fluorite
Pyrosmalite with Fluorite from Broken Hill, NSW, Australia

Inesite ball from china
Very large Inesite ball on matrix from China, specimen is approx 25cm wide, and this an unusually large 'ball', and it is associated with rare Hubeite.

Calcite with Duftite from Tsumeb
A gorgeous large cabinet of Calcite with Duftite, from Tsumeb, this piece was quickly snapped up.

Arizonan Wulfenites, plus Crocoite and Mexican Wulfenites

Specimens on display
Pyromorphites and Adamites

Golds on displ;ay
Golds on display

Wulfenite from San Francisco Mine
The scariest specimens of all - a large cabinet specimen of  glassy Wulfenite with Mimetite from the San Francisco Mine, Sonora, Mexico - you don't want to even breathe near these incase a crystal breaks! This specimen is in very good condition for such a large specimen, and so brightly coloured!

Francevillite from Gabon
Francevillite from Mounana Mine, Gabon, approx 10cm tall.

For further information on different specimens that we had in our display be sure to grab a copy of the 'Whats Hot in Tucson 2009' once it is available!

Dave Wilbur interviews Ian
Dave Wilbur interviews Ian for the 'Whats Hot in Tucson 2009'

Down the stairs from us is Andreas Guhr of Mineralien Zentrum. He had several Sphene specimens from Brazil which are likely to be the largest ever found. The translucent green crystals measured over 10cm across, and this one was beautifully haloed by Quartz and Tourmaline.

Sphene from Brazil
Largest Sphene specimens from Brazil.

He also had this very attractive and bizarre Calcite specimen, that was unsuprisingly already on hold for a customer.


Many dealers at the Westward Look tend not to put labels in their cases, in order to have a more effective display, and lets face it, with classy minerals like those on show it really does add to the allure. It does also mean that if the dealer is busy whilst you are in the room, it is hard to find out anything about the specimens!

Rob Sielecki of Ausrox had a display of rarities from Tsumeb Mine and Kombat Mine in Namibia including Leiteite, Leadhillite, Nambulite; as well as some exceptional classics from these locations. The rarities were originally in the John Innes Collection (who was the mine mineralogist at Tsumeb) and were collected by him in the 1970s.

Nambulite from Kombat, Namibia
A sizeable Nambulite specimen from Kombat Mine, Namibia

Cerussite from Kombat Mine
Arrow head twinned Cerussite from Kombat Mine, Namibia

On to the Collector's Edge, who once again had a really nicely displayed room.

Collector's Edge Room
The Collector's Edge room

Manganbabingtonite and Prehnite from Ganzhizhou Mine, China
A very rich Manganbabingtonite with Prehnite specimen from Ganzhizhou Mine, Sichuan Province, China

Collector's Edge had a new find of Topaz from Patagonia, Argentina on display. The Topaz are glassy with really interesting etched forms, and a very attractive peachy-champagne colour - the story of the recovery of these amazing Topaz crystals will be featured in the January/February issue of the Mineralogical Record.

New Topaz from Patagonia
New Topaz from Patagonia

Topaz from Patagonia
Topaz from El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina

Topaz from Patagonia
Topaz from El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina

In the room of Wilensky Fine Minerals was this attractive Calcite from China - water clear and sharply formed, with nice rainbow reflections.

Calcite from Zhao Tong Mine, Yunnan, China
Calcite from Zhao Tong Mine, Yunnan, China.

Whilst in Stuart Wilensky's room I was chatting with Irv Brown and was lucky enough to view a few of Irv's private specimens.

Phosphophyllite from Bolivia

This gorgeous Phosphophyllite from Bolivia is one of few specimens of Phosphophyllite of matrix with a sizeable and undamaged crystal, and it is a beauty. The other remarkable thing about this specimen is that the Phosphophyllite crystal is not twinned as it is more commonly seen. This specimen only recently resurfaced on the market and was quickly snapped up by Irv for his personal collection.

Native Copper crystals from Michigan

A Native Copper from Michigan with big chunky crystals, not only an amazing specimen, but with a great history - this specimen used to be in the personal collection of B. S. Butler who was responsible for describing the Copper deposits in Michigan back in 1929.

Kevin Ward had quite an exceptional range of Silvers in his room, including some amazing specimens from Germany and of course Kongsberg, Norway; a silver bar recovered from the sunken Atocha shipwreck, and a new find of Silvers from Spain. These specimens were recently mined in old workings of the Balcoll Mine, Catalonia, which has been producing Silver since Roman times.

New Silvers from Spain
New Find of Silvers from Spain

Silver from Balcoll Mine, Catalonia, Spain
Native Silver from Balcoll Mine, Spain

Silver from Freiberg, Germany
Kevin pointed out this amazing wire Silver from Freiberg, Germany which is nearly 20cm high.  Wow. This specimen was in the Marc Weill Collection, and in Danny Trinchillo's display that won the Desautels award a few years back.

Next to the Silver was another sensational piece - this blue cap Tourmaline nestled in yellow Quartz, the Tourmaline must have been over 10cm in length.

Tourmaline from Queen Mine, San Diego
Blue cap Tourmaline in yellow Quartz from the Tourmaline Queen Mine, San Diego, California.

Kevin was starting to come down with one of the nasty Tucson bugs, so hopefully he is feeling better!

Graeber and Himes had this pretty 'Eisen Keisel' Hematite in Quartz specimen from Florence Mine, Cumbria, England.

Eisen Keisel from Florence Mine, Cumbria

But it was this amazing electric blue 'Velvet' Azurite from Bisbee that caught my eye - wow! The colour was phenomenal, and a very attractive form.

Velvet Azurite from Bisbee, Arizona
Velvet Azurite from Bisbee, Cochise Co., Arizona, USA

On to Green Mountain Minerals and I really liked this Garnet with Prehnite from Jeffrey Mine, Quebec, Canada - the Garnets were glassy and transparent pale pink, with dark emerald green centres, very beautiful.

Garnet with Prehnite from Jeffrey Mine, Canada
Garnet var Grossular and Prehnite from Jeffrey Mine, Quebec, Canada

Andreas Weerth always has great specimens from Pakistan and Afghanistan, and this year was no exception. He had this wonderful Hackmanite specimen - my photo doesn't do it justice, the bright purple crystals were translucent and really glowed with colour.

Hackmanite from Badagshan, Pakistan
Hackmanite from Badagshan, Afghanistan.

Mike and Sally Bergman had this very interesting Calcite on Amethyst specimen from Santino Mine, Artigas, Uruguay. There have been some really amazing specimens coming from Artigas with weird shapes and combinations of minerals growing within generally Amethyst lined vugs - both visually and mineralogical interesting!

Calcite on Amethyst from Santino Mine, Uruguay
Calcite on Amethyst from Santino Mine, Artigas, Uruguay

Wayne Thompson Fine Minerals had some exceptional minerals on display including this Mexican Native Silver with amazing 'herringbone' or feathered structure; and a gorgeous and huge Aquamarine specimen from Medina, Brazil with etched crystal faces.

Silver and Aquamarine
Native Silver, and an Aquamarine from Medina, Brazil.

Lastly into the room of Pala International. This large Beryl specimen was very eye catching, with interesting colouration.

Helidor from Erongo, Namibia
Gorgeous Beryl from Erongo, Namibia, approx 20cm tall.

Unfortunately the warm and sunny weather has departed, leaving us with rain, wind, and even some snow, which has settled on the top of the mountains around the city. It was quite a relief to have the rain which took a lot of the dust out of the air, and helped the allergy sufferers, but the bitingly cold wind, and the overnight change from mid 20s C down to less than 10 C is a bit of a shock to the system.

Rain out the window of the Westward Look
Rain out the window of the Westward Look room

For a little bit of fun this year we had a special treat....

Crystal Classics M&Ms

Miss B and the M&M
Miss B - our official taste tester - samples the M&Ms whilst Dona, Ian and mother Andrea watch on, eagerly awaiting her approval!

Ian and Steve Maslansky
Ian and Steve Maslansky share a toast

Lois, Rob, Penny and Ian
Lois, Australian dealer Rob Sielecki, fellow Aussie Penny Willamson of Wollongong University, and Ian relax whilst having a drink.

Set up for the main show is tomorrow - the theme is mineral oddities, so it will be exciting to see what will be on display!

Author: Robin
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