August 9, 2003 
It has been 3 years since my last visit to this show which is located on the other side of the continent from where I live but I intend to keep this show as an annual excuse to cross over the Mississippi River from now on. If you have never been here before and you live within 1000 miles of Springfield, Massachusetts this show is your best chance to see what a major mineral show is like.

There are over 200 venders in two sections - a whole sale area and a retail area. I am not sure how big the exposition building is but it has to be in the 10's of thousands of square feet! Unlike Tucson this show has all of the business under one roof which makes it convenient and helps to economize on your time measurably.

This photo displays what everyone here in the east coast knows... It is raining outside.
This is also a view of the entrance to the exposition hall.

The four shots above are general views of dealers setting up on the 7th of August.

These two pictures show Mike New of Top Gem (left photo) and Wendy Melanson of Hawthorneden Minerals (photo on the right) setting up.  I have said it before and I will say it again.  These shows take a lot of hard work to pull together!

Set up day is also the best day for me to see what people have that is new at the show. I found two dealers who had new material. First Rocko Rosenblat of Rocko Minerals had a
new find of clinozoisite from Huan Cavelica, Peru. These are best described as being beige in color and most tend to be found as rounded crystal groups though several consisted of isolated crystals with quartz associations.

Here's Rocko - This photo is significant since he, in good nature, took that... ~that~... Yankee hat off
 and placed this good looking  Oakland A's cap on his head for the photo. You need to realize that
Rocko always has his Yankee cap on. Thanks Rocko!  Looking good!

These two are specimens of the clinozoisites from Peru.  Both are thumbnail sized.

Luis Menezes of Brazil had a new find of helvite from the Navegador Mine, Conselheiro, Pena, Minas Gerais, Brazil. These were first found in March of this year and made their first appearance at the Costa Mesa Show last May. Luis had about 100 specimens in the small cabinets to thumbnail sizes. Chris Wright of Wright's Rock Shop also had some of these that were much larger cabinet specimens. The crystals are typically coated in a light yellowish green alteration rind but are still very sharply crystallized.  

These are two pictures of the same specimen - a small cabinet piece with crystals to about 1 cm across.

This one is a thumbnail sized cluster of 3/4 cm sized crystals.

The first official day of the show saw thousands of visitors here. The shot above was taken in the first moments after the doors opened. It did not take long until the floor spaced was filled with visitors.


Here's New York dealer Larry Conklin discussing something with Bill Larson.  Larry is a long time fixture here in the
East Coast and was seen in the early years and rarely in recent years on the back cover of the Mineralogical Record.

Here Dudley Blauwet (left) is showing a new mineral to Bill Pinch.  Looking on is New York dealer Scott Wallace. Dudley also had a few specimens of the new Burmese find of Norbergite available as well as his usual array of fine asian specimens.  I found a killer pyroxmangite specimen from Brazil in his material that will be posted in a future update.  Dudley also had copies of part one of his recent Asian trip available for people to read.  It will appear in Lannie Reams Mineral News publication in the near future.  Good stuff!  

One sobering piece of news for me here was that Isaias Casanova (IC Minerals) was not here due to triple bypass surgery just a few weeks before the show.  Isaias is one of the more endearing souls in this business and I was happy to hear that he is on the road to full recovery.  The picture above reflects the positive side of this hobby.  Here (from left to right) Dick and Mary Nelson of New Jersey and Charlie Sahlman (Lexcel Minerals), have unselfishly volunteered to help IC out by bringing his stock up from Florida and then putting in the work and many hours of setting up and manning his booth.  A tip of the cap to these fine people.  Never "passing up" on a photo op is Dan Weinrich in the background whose booth was immediately behind theirs.

One of the great things about attending mineral shows in this era of the Internet is actually meeting people that
 you have only dealt with via emails.  I have been dealing with Ernie Schlichter for a while now but we've never
been able to put our respective faces and names together until this show.  Ernie had a very fine array of specimens
from global localities available which I made a selection from.  He also had two of his handmade thumbnail
cases on display and these really caught my eye.  Ernie hand crafts these cases in either clear pine ($195 plus
shipping) or mahogany ($275 plus shipping). These cases have full extension drawers with smooth functioning
nylon rollers.  Each drawer can hold 72 perky sized thumbnail specimens with a total capacity of 288 specimens.  
You can reach Ernie at (978) 443-6141 or via email at:

Each year show organizer Marty Zinn (Marty Zinn Expositions) arranges to have someone place some of their collection on display. In recent year Dave Bunk displayed his Colorado Collection, Marty displayed some of his specimens and last year Dawn Minette displayed hers and her late husband Jim's collection. This year Rock Currier agreed to display some specimens from his collection. Rock is the owner and manager of southern California based Jewel Tunnel Exports. The following pictures are a sampling of selected specimens from his collection.

These were the marquis specimens of the display - stunning crystals of calcite studded with amethyst and goethite crystals.

Ringed pyrite crystals from China and a rarely seen specimen of anglesite from Mexico.

A large icy blue topaz from Minas Gerais and one of the best Glove Mine wulfenite specimens I have ever seen.

Here's a monstrous 15 cm crystal of Rutile from Georgia and a very large 2+ cm crystal of microlite from Brazil.

One of the cases was filled with polished quartz crystals with interesting phantoms.  These three were nothing short of remarkable in my opinion - all from Brazil.

Other dealers I saw here with good specimens were Steve Phillips of Phamily Minerals who had an abundance of good Tsumeb specimens available, Wayne and Dona Leicht with fine specimens of Bristol, Connecticut chalcocite and the usual array of gold,  Carter Rich with fine old time classics, Hawthorneden who had their usual fine display of reasonably priced global specimens (I found a absolutely superb native copper specimen from Japan in their inventory - an old time from the late 1800's from the Osarizawa Mine), Phil Scalisi (Studio "C" Minerals) also had some fine and reasonably priced specimens from classic global localities.  Many other dealers had great specimens available here including Val Collins with great specimens of fluorite from Walworth, New York, John Betts with thousands of clean and reasonably priced global locality specimens, and too many more to list here.  

For me it was a very good buying show - actually much better than Sainte Marie was this past June. I fully intend to be back here again next year!

Cheers from the East Coast Show!

John Veevaert

Trinity Mineral Co
Rare Minerals
Benitoite Mine

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