August 10-13, 2006

 

Click here to see specimens from the show

I arrived here on August 9th in Hartford, Connecticut and made the short drive to Springfield, Massachusetts which is just across the border.  I am glad I flew the 9th as the next day we all learned of the planned terrorist attacks.  I am not so much worried about a bomb going off as I am having to deal with the lengthy time going through security.  My flight leaves on the 15th at 06:00 and if they are serious about being there three hours before the flight ... well, I am just smart enough to know what that means...  The weather here is in sharp contrast to last year with very pleasant temperatures in the 70s and 80s (F) and moderate humidity.

There is a fine display here this year of minerals from the Seaman Mineral Museum from Michigan Tech.  Click here to see what was on display this year.

During set up day, which was Thursday, there is always one dealer that commands great attention.  For many of us this is, seemingly, the only Christmas we know each year. I speak of the legendary Studio C booth manned by Phil Scalisi.  Phil is the operator of Argentum Auctions and he always has the most interesting array of stuff available at Springfield.  The task is to be there when he is opening up the flats and placing specimens in his cases.  Recall several years ago the picture I took of only four people waiting for Phil to unwrap yet another mineralogical marvel.  Well the crowd has grown considerably now with well over two dozen eager buyers trying to get the first look at the rock coming out of the box and then staking a claim to it before anyone else.  It is like watching wild dogs eat.

I decided to chronicle this event a bit more thoroughly than I have in the past with the following sequence of photos...


No one is anywhere near here at 3:00 pm.


About 3:30 pm Herb Obodda (plaid shirt) was seen loitering about.
That is Phil on the left in the black T-shirt.


At 4:45 the games have begun and it won't be long till the
scent is in the air and the other carrion feeders arrive...


At 4:50 it is mayhem.  In this photo are seen: Marshall Sussman, Ed David, Fred Parker, Bill Pinch, Bill Logan,
Herb Obodda, Bill Butkowski, Dave Bunk, Yours truly, and quite a few others off to the sides of the photo.

When it was all over I found myself with five good rocks from Phil including an exceptional specimen of henritermierite from Kuruman (henritermierite is in the garnet group but in the tetragonal crystal system), a fine Eden Mills grossular, an adamite from Mapimi, Mexico, a Glove Mine wulfenite, and a huge single vanadinite crystal from the Abenab Mine in Namibia. Only twelve more months till the next Scalisi feeding frenzy! Special thanks to Don Zowader for taking some pictures of this event for me so I could indulge myself...

Recall that Scott Werschky noted the availability of some red wulfenite from the northwestern area of Nonan, Xinjiang Province, China in his Sainte Marie aux-Mines report.   Kevin Downey of Well Arranged Molecules and Guanghua Liu of AAA Minerals have the only specimens of these here at Springfield.  They are a rich deep reddish orange color with crystals to about 1 cm across. Damage is present to varying degrees on just about all of the specimens I saw but I did find a group that can be trimmed and cleaned up when I get home.  Kevin also had some gorgeous scepter smoky quartz crystals from Cong Ly, Hunan Province, China.
 
 


Here's a shot of Kevin and Hilda from Well Arranged Molecules.


An 8 cm wulfenite specimen available


A 5+ cm smoky scepter quartz I obtained from Kevin.

Guanghua has just published a very valuable reference book on Chinese minerals and mineral deposits that are producing today.  It is available for $148.00 plus shipping and is 365 indexed pages of stunning photos of minerals (many by Jeff Scovil) from all over China.  It is the definitive work on Chinese minerals written in English.  If you are interested in a copy of this work let me know and I will assemble a group order for a discounted amount based on the number of copies I end up ordering. The cut off for ordering will be August 25th.


If you would like a copy of this book please contact me and I will assemble a group order.

I saw Kiyoshi Kikunii and Eriko Araki getting ready to set up with many Japanese specimens.  They were sharing booth space with Alfredo Petrov this year.  Kiyoshi was offering a large lot of specimens of parasymplesite from Japan as well as some exceptional specimens of henmilite. I picked up a very fine specimen of pyroxmangite from the Taguchi mine in Aichi, Japan with several free standing crystals of deep red color to 1 cm across.

One of the things you do at shows like this is try to track down anything that is significantly new to the mineral world.  There are two dealers that you can usually count on at this show to have some interesting things along that line - Terry Szenics and Luis Menezes.   Sure enough, Terry had some new finds from Chile and Luis had several new things from Brazil.

Terry had some exceptional specimens of well crystallized pseudomalachite from a new find at the Manto Cuba mine at Inca de Oro, Chile.  He also had specimens of the very rare species ahrbarite - a deep rich blue copper based arsenate.  Its formula is: Cu2 Mg[(OH)3 AsO4].  These came from the Soledad Mine, Guanaco District, Tal Tal, Chile.  I could not resist some exceptional specimens of Szenicsite that were, he claimed, the last of the good specimens he had left.


Sharp crystals of pseudomalachite to 2 mm on this cabinet sized specimen.


A crust of rich blue botryoidal ahrbarite on this miniature specimen.








From Brazil Luis brought some exceptional specimens of wodginite (Mn(Sn,Ta)(Ta,Nb)2O8) with epitaxial growth over cassiterite from the Jaboti Mine, in Minas Gerais and specimens of the new mineral ruifrancoite (IMA 2005-061) (Ca2(Fe3+,Mn,Mg,Fe2+)4+xBe4(PO4)6(OH)46H2O) which is from the Sapucaia Mine, Galilea, Minas Gerais.  The ruifrancoite is typically associated with meurigite and is found on muscovite crystals.


A lustrous wodginite/cassiterite specimen about 3 cm in length.


A miniature specimen of muscovite very rich in ruifrancoite.
One of the best from the find according to Luis.
 
 


Here's Bill Logan (left) and Dean Sarvais of Spectrum Minerals.  I found a
very nice Tsumeb cupro adamite in Bill's booth.


New York dealer John Betts had specimens from the Manley collection
on hand.  I had seen a pretty decent wulfenite from Massachusetts on his site
and picked up while at the show.


That's Don & Gloria Olson on the left and Mike Bergmann stretching to get out of the photo.
 


Don had a case of crystallized copper and silver specimens from Michigan on display.
 
 


Here's a spectacular crystallized specimen of Native Bismuth from Pohla, Germany.
Ross Lillie had this specimen available for $18,000.00.

Virginia dealer Carter Rich is always worth a stop.  I found a couple of good specimens to add to my inventory at Carter's booth - one of which is an exceptional specimen of bobierite from Russia.  But the real buzz at his booth was his acquisition of an enormous Almandine specimen from Russell, Massachusetts.  While visiting with Carter for about 10 minutes no less than 9 people came by after hearing about the specimen wanting to see it.


Two shots of Carter holding the specimen.

I will be uploading specimens to the site in the coming week from this show and my recent trip to Brazil. These will start to show up around the 18th of August.

Many thanks to show organizer Marty Zinn and his staff led by Laura Delano for their efforts.  This is one of the best shows in the US without a doubt.  And since I will not be attending the Denver Show in September this will be my last good mineral "hit" until the Munich Show in October.

Cheers from the East Coast Show!

John Veevaert
 

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