The 2016 East Coast Show -  Trinity Mineral Company

You can access the minerals from this show via this pageEast Coast Show specimens

The East Coast Show is always a good time for me.  I look forward to seeing people who live in the region and who rarely travel to Tucson or Denver.  My first few days were spent with John White who lives in south eastern Pennsylvania.   John, knowing how much I enjoy Maryland Blue crab cakes, called on the A team - his sister Francie - to deliver them and did she ever!  Mercy they were fantastic!  John and I also went to visit Skip Colflesh who lives in Hershey, Pennsylvania and has a jewelry shop called The Jeweler's Bench.  One thing that John White and I share is our enjoyment of cigars.  So, whenever we hit the road, in his car, we were sure to burn one.


Cheech and Chong on Pennsylvania Hwy 30...


Before getting to Skip's place I convinced John to go along with a gag.  Skip has been a customer for years with me but we've never met and don't know what each other looks like.  So John went in early and I waited 10-12 minutes before coming in through the front door. When an employee asked if he could help me I said "I am here to see Skip Colflesh". He asked "can I tell him what it is about"?  I put an expression of hostility on my face and told the employee "he knows why I am here".   I could see EVERYONE's body language reveal anxiety. John White was holding it in as best he could.  So Skip comes out and says "What can I do for you"?  I said "I hear you buy agates". (Skip had just recently bought an agate from Ronna). He looked at me and said "How do you know that"?  I said "I was told to come here and collect payment from Ronna, and that your payment is late". By this time everyone was reaching for one of the many firearms stashed in the office.  Skip said "I already paid her" and then it dawned on him.  He looked at me and yelped "Trinity Minerals"!  Everyone started laughing and he said I got him good.  

John & Skip in Skip's office in Hershey, PA.


The countryside of southern Pennsylvania - lots of corn and soybeans.


The drive to Springfield was broken up with a stop at the home of collector Scott Rudolph.  It was a surprise for me to be invited to this event.  There were many familiar faces in the mineral world and we were treated to spectacular meals and the opportunity to view a portion of Scott's world class mineral collection.  We were admonished to refrain from taking pictures which was difficult while viewing these amazing specimens.  However, I saw some familiar specimens from the past when they were in other folk's collections or were put on public display at past shows.  This is just the tip of the tip of a large ice berg.


Here is a wulfenite specimen that is in Scott's Collection that was on display in Tucson in 2002.   

A chrome diopside from Tanzania that was on display in Springfield in 2011.   

A leadhillite
from Tsumeb that was on display in Springfield in 2011.


One of the finest scorodites I have ever seen from Mexico that was on display in Springfield in 2011.


The driveway to Scott's home.   


The courtyard at Scott's home.


Saying good bye to Jeff Scovil and Terry "Skip" Szenics.  The mineral house is in the background.


The rest of the drive to Springfield was uneventful.   August 11th was set up day.  This is the busiest day of the show for me as it is a mad dash to find out about anything new.  There was really nothing to report on that was or is new to the mineral world of any significance other than a small prospect in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania called the Smoky Mountain Crystal mine.  It is operated by Kelly Hilmer of Ashland.  I heard about them from John White and after the show was over we drove to Ashland to see them first hand.  Wow!  I picked out a dozen from Kelly. She hopes to develop this mine further and apparently has some good reserves remaining.  She finds them using a backhoe and digs into degraded sandstone.  When she hits a pocket she uses a plastic spoon to locate them.  The crystals are typically comprised of a milky white quartz crystal with a secondary growth of gemmy smoky quartz.  The luster on these is over the top! There are some very odd scepters and even reverse scepters.  Almost all of the crystals have odd curving faces and depressions.  The smoky color is also zoned.  I am a bit puzzled by this as usually radioactive decay is what usually darkens quartz yet these are found in the Llewellyn formation which is a sedimentary rock type.  They are quite impressive.


A 6.7 cm specimen of quartz from the Smoky Mountain Crystal mine.


A 3.5 cm specimen of smoky quartz from the Smoky Mountain Crystal mine.


Okay back to the show.  Rocko Minerals had a nice group of hessonite specimens from the Jeffrey Quarry in Asbestos, Canada.  I picked out a half dozen specimens.  He also had a large number of vesuvianite specimens as well.  I focused on the hessonites.

7 cm specimen of grossular v. hessonite. 


Collector's Edge had a very large inventory of minerals on hand.   I noted the availability of some better quality pseudomorphs of plumbogummite after pyromorphite from the Yangshuo mine in China.  These have been coming out for a few years now but the quality of the specimens they had seemed a lot better than the larger, somewhat hackly looking things.  I also noted to Steve Beihling that the backs of all their labels have an image of the specimen along with a bar code! Seems like a lot of work to sell a rock or perhaps it is a well oiled machine... I picked up several of the pseudos along with several other interesting specimens that were available including the doubly terminated dioptase specimen below.

A fine pseudomorph of plumbogummite after mimetite.  It is 4 cm across.


A doubly terminated crystal of dioptase from Kaokoveld, Namibia.

Victor Yount was toting some of the golds that were new at the Tucson Show.  These are from  Pontes e Lacenda, Mato Groso, Brazil and they are all exceptionally well crystallized.  Victor gave me a flat of these and I can hardly wait to get them all photographed!

Two exceptionally crystallized gold specimens from the new find in Brazil obtained from Victor Yount.


I saw this specimen of elbaite from the Pala Chief mine with Breck Kent and snagged it.


A fine specimen of rhodonite with andradite from Franklin, New Jersey purchased from Evan Jones & Marc Miterman.


Geoff Krasnov and Isaias Casanova had specimens of cuprite from the Milpillas mine in Sonora, Mexico available.  They were priced quite reasonably so I picked up a small hoard.  All have crystals set on dickite to provide a nice contrast.  Okay, so here's the thing about cuprite.  Under incandescent light the crystals erupt with ruby red color.  In normal fluorescent light and sun light they look semi metallic with just a hint of red.

A specimen of cuprite from Milpillas in fluorescent light and incandescent light.


One of the must do things when in Springfield is to have dinner at Chef Wayne's Big Mamou.  I made it there one time and had this delicious meal of andouille sausage and shrimp jambalaya.  You really can't believe how good this meal is with the cheese corn bread.


A taste of New Orleans!


Herb and Moni Obodda were at the show for set up day only.  They both have a great sense of humor and they were passing around a couple bottles of soda pop featuring this year's stellar candidates for president.


It is a hard choice this year... At least for me it is. I am still feeling the Bern...

The featured collection this year was that of Tucson resident Peter Megaw.  Peter collects only minerals from Mexico and he has one of the finest with that as a focus in the world.   I photographed many of his cases and in several instances took a close up of some of the more interesting specimens.  This is just a sample of what was on display.


This case was dedicated to the relatively new hyalite opal from Zacatecas. This is the most incredibly fluorescent opal in existence!

Fluorite on celestine from the El Tule Mine. 

The specimen front and center in the above case. 


Wulfenite and mimetite from the Ojuela mine.


One of the mimetite specimens from the Ojuela mine.



Adamite specimens from the Ojuela mine.

A fine cobaltoan adamite from the Ojuela mine.


An exceptional claringbulite from the Ojuela mine.


Hemimorphite & calcite from the Ojuela mine.


Some less common species from the Ojuela mine.   


Killer legrandite from the Ojuela mine.


Various other species from the El Cobre mine.


Geothite supposedly from the El Cobre mine.


Minerals from the state of Sonora, Mexico.


array of azurite from the Milpillas mine in Sonora, Mexico.


Additional specimens from the Milpillas mine in Sonora, Mexico.


One of the finest brochantite specimens I have ever seen from anywhere! From Milpillas.

The cuprite specimens from Milpillas are insanely good!


silver minerals from Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico.



Minerals from San Martin mine, Zacatecas, Mexico.


Bornite on chalcopyrite from the San Martin mine, Zacatecas, Mexico.

The finest nifontovite specimens I have ever seen from Charcas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.


The rest of the specimens from Charcas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.  Mostly pink danburite.


Danburite specimens from Charcas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.


A spectacular amethyst from Guerrero, Mexico.


Smithsonite from the San Antonio mine, Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua, Mexico.


Rich blue cuprian smithsonite from the San Antonio mine, Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua, Mexico.


Rhodochrosite specimens from the El Potosi mine, Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua, Mexico.


Quartz on rhodo the El Potosi mine, Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua, Mexico.


Gypsum specimens from West Camp, Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua, Mexico.


Mineral specimens from Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico.


Killer gypsum from Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico.


Wulfenite from Los Lamentos, Chihuahua, Mexico.


minerals from various mines in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Primo wulfenite from the Aurora mine, Coyam, Chihuahua, Mexico.


A very fine baryte from the San Pascual mine, Jimenez, Chihuahua, Mexico.


Two exceptional mimetite specimens from San Pedro Corralitos, Chihuahua, Mexico.


The Show guide cover picture of this fluorite from Naica.  Drawing by Fred Wilda.


Closer view of the specimen.


After leaving Springfield John White and I drove to Warwick, Rhode Island to visit with Herb and Moni Obodda. The weather this year has been brutal with high temperatures and very high humidity.  The Oboddas have a swimming pool and it took me about 3 minutes to park my bag, hop in some shorts and then get wet! I can't thank them enough for the lobster dinner, dip in the pool to cool off, conversations about many things.  We had a great time with them and headed for Ashland the next morning to look at the quartz specimens.

Final Destination for the lobsters.


Herb holding a lobster I named Philip prior to his warm bath.

Philip and his buddies after their swim.


We were treated to this neat cloud shadow across the sky as the sun was setting.


This was the first time I really saw nothing new to report on from the East Coast.  Regardless, there were many great rocks available for collectors and the prices weren't blistering. I fully intend to be back in Massachusetts again next year.  Cheers! 


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