The 2010 East Coast Show
Minerals will be posted here (when ready): East Coast Show specimens
The East Coast Show, as usual, was held at the Eastern States Exposition Center in West Springfield, Massachusetts. As with last year there were some dealers not here that were from the year before but those spaces were filled with new dealers eager to give it their best shot. The weather was great again this year for which all were pleased. We've heard the horror stories about the way summer has been out here. It was hard to gauge traffic here this year but it seemed to be off on the opening day and then picked up over the weekend. The Massachusetts sales tax free holiday weekend might have helped with that. Just about everyone was talking about the economy too and how that is affecting sales in various pricing levels. And everyone will tell you the same thing: that we're in a drought for new finds. There are a few things here and there but the bell ringing new things evidently are still waiting somewhere in our planet to see daylight. Regardless, there were still a lot of good rocks here and if you knew where to dig you could find specimens with good prices.
One of the more interesting "new" things here were some skarn specimens from the El Mochito Mine in Honduras that were offered by Michigan dealer Walt Kellogg. These are not actually recently mined but were found about 10 years ago and stashed away. I picked out a few specimens for the update when I get home. Dave Bunk also told me he'll have some good pieces from this find available at the Denver Show in September.
This is a 25cm specimen of sphalerite with quartz and andradite.
An 8.5 cm specimen of dark brown sphalerite with calcite - one of the specimens I purchased.
Reno, Nevada dealer Scott Werschky also had some new material from the Skorpion mine in Rosh Pinah, Namibia of zinc minerals. Icy blue smithsonite and a very unusual find of hemimorphite on apatite pseudomorphing tarbuttite. The smithsonite appears similar to that found at the Kelly mine and Choix, Sinaloa, Mexico. Scott picked these up from Marshall Sussman who seems to be the focal point for just about anything of significance coming out of Namibia and entering the United States.
A 9cm specimen of apatite after tarbuttite with hemimorphite.
Ted Johnson of Yankee Minerals and Gems had some very interesting material available from the UK (Cornwall, Scotland and other locales) and also some good specimens from the Foote mine in North Carolina. I picked out a number of good pieces but got there after the liroconite specimens were gone. I have no idea of what else was there before I got there but my guess is that there were quite a few great pieces. I still managed a few good ones and I was the first to get into the Foote mine material.
A 6cm specimen with numerous crystals of leadhillite from Scotland.
The vintage label that comes with the above specimen.
A very rich specimen of bikitaite from the Foote mine that I obtained.
A specimen with a heavily modified crystal of fluorite from Cornwall in Ted Johnson's display.
Folks viewing specimens in Ross Lilly's booth on Saturday.
There can't be much good going on when these three are in the same place.... ;^)
Dave Bunk, Scott Werschky and Dan Weinrich viewing minerals in Scott's display.
This year Bill Larson (Burma Bill) was asked by Marty Zinn to fill the display cases with specimens from his collection. Bill - owner of Pala International - has a long resume of working properties for gem crystals and traveling the world in search of anything that can be faceted. Bill's mining efforts include work at the Himalaya and Tourmaline Queen mines in San Diego County, California and the Amelia mine in Baja California. Bill, along with Ed Swoboda, was responsible for the famous find of blue cap tourmalines at the Queen mine in 1972. I had the pleasure of visiting Bill's home 7 or 8 years ago and seeing his collection first hand. It is certainly one of the best in private hands.
Pezzotaite from Burma. It looks totally different from those found in Madagascar.
A gem zircon from Burma.
A ruby specimen from Viet Nam and painting of the specimen by the late John Sinkankas.
A very fine looking piece of San Diego County, California.
One of the iconic elbaite specimens from the Himalaya mine in San Diego County.
A 3.5 cm gem chrome tremolite from Tanzania.
A 4 cm gem crystal of tanzanite from Tanzania.
A rough and cut group of jeremejevite from the Erongo Mts. in Namibia.
A 3 cm specimen with large crystals of boleite - cubes with octahedral face modifications.
A 3.5 cm specimen with gemmy legrandite crystals from the Ojuela mine in Mexico.
A very fine specimen of benitoite. The crystal is over 2 cm across!
A 2.5 cm crystal of microlite from Virginia.
A 3 cm crystal of ilvaite from Idaho.
A fine group of silvers from Kongsberg.
A 4 cm specimen of silver with cubic crystals from Kongsberg.
A 15 cm specimen of blue cap tourmaline from the Tourmaline Queen mine.
A smaller group of two adjoined blue cap tourmaline from the Tourmaline Queen mine.
A faceted tourmaline from the Queen mine.
The show guide cover specimen.
The famous "Snail" - rhodochrosite from the N'Chwaning mine in South Africa.
Ok, that will wrap it up for me and this year's East Coast Show. Not much new to mention but there many of good rocks here - most with steep prices. Some dealers I usually buy from had nothing worthwhile it seemed to me and a few dealers like Terry Szenics were not even here. Things change and people come and go in this business but as usual Marty Zinn's crew did an outstanding job of keeping things running smoothly.
I will have specimens from this show posted in the coming week.
I fully intend to be back here again next year. Cheers!