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Show Reports
Report 1
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January 31-February 1

Most dealers are finally open and the excitement level is raising for sure!  That is until the tragic news about the Space Shuttle Columbia early in the morning of February 1st slapped everyone to their knees.  It's odd how the start of the Denver Show in 2001 was greeted with the images of the Pentagon and Trade Towers and the start of this Tucson Show is greeted with the very sad news about the Space Shuttle...  I will keep the two images on the top of the screen in honor of the seven lives that were lost on February 1st for the duration of the show.

Even though this news threw a very wet blanket on the mood here we all realize that life goes on.  It just takes a while to get back to that point of accepting that life does go on...and the reason we're here in Tucson is to enjoy the simple wonder and excitement of minerals.  So, onward and forward.

At the Inn Suites I was very pleasantly surprised to see several new finds slowly being pulled out by dealers there.  John Seibel, of Tehachapi, California, had about 3 dozen specimens of light lime green fluorite from a new find at the Homestake Mine in the Oatman District of Mohave County, Arizona.  These are some of the best specimens of this material seen in decades actually.  I selected five of them and scampered on out the door... well, I actually just kind of walked quietly out the door.


 
This is a typical specimen from the group I obtained shot in very poor lighting.


Moving on through the Inn Suites I was happy to see Dudley Blauwet's door open.  I poked my head in and saw Dudley and another person selling specimens in his room - a relative new comer to the business by the name of Scott Wallace.  Back to Scott in a moment.   Dudley is just full of surprises.  This time he had a hoard of new specimens of dravite from Kokcha Valley, Badahkshan, Afghanistan.  These were first seen in Munich and just about everyone thought that they were some form of garnet or hedenbergite.   Dudley had one analyzed and found that they were tourmaline var. Dravite.  I took one and hit with a SW UV light and was about blinded by the response.   So, a new find of tourmaline for folks to consider.  I bought all but one of them and then moved across the room to talk with Scott.  As I mentioned Scott is relatively new to the mineral dealing world and he operates as Majestic Minerals.   It turns out that Scott is working with the sister-in-law of the late Tony Otero - former owner of the Kelly Mine in New Mexico - to help with the dispersal of Tony's impressive hoard of Kelly Mine smithsonite.   Folks, these specimens that Scott has are the real deal - rich turquoise blue, lustrous, mammilary formed smithsonite.    There's a lot of Kelly Mine smithsonite that is almost but not quite there - these are there.  I worked a deal with Scott on about 10 pieces and and walked out rather pleased that some excellent specimens of this material would be available on the website.


One of the typical new dravite specimens from Afghanistan that Dudley had.



 
This is one of the typical Kelly Mine smithsonite specimens that Scott Wallace had.


About 100 paces south of Dudley's and Scott's room I came to Dana Gochenour's room.  You may or may not know but Dana and his brother own and operate the Cryo-Genie mine in San Diego County, California for tourmaline and other assorted pegmatite minerals.  The Cryo-Genie mine was featured in a booth display last year at the main show with some enormous telescoping pink tourmaline crystals to well over 40 cm in length!  They have had some decent production the past year and had one flat of assorted, better quality pieces available which, I of course, felt would be nice to present on the web so I bought them.  A couple of the specimens can be seen below.



Here are two of the specimens from the flat of new material found at the Cryo-Genie mine.


Across the way I ventured over to Wayne and Dona Leicht.  They are dispersing the collection of George White.  I purused it and came away with a half dozen random specimens.  I then went over to view the Eagle's Nest gold specimens that they always have and was not disappointed!  I purchased 10 or so specimens ranging in size from thumbnails to full sized miniatures.  All of them well crystallized!


Here are two choice examples of crystallized gold from the Eagle's Nest mine.


I visited with several other dealers at the Inn Suites and picked up some random items for the website and then loaded up the buggy for the trip up Grenada Blvd. to the Executive Inn (E.I.).  There are not as many dealers there this year as in years past as about 1/2 of the second floor in the back wing is empty.  BUT - there are still quite a few interesting things to see there.  

While walking from my parked car to the E.I. I was treated to what has become the annual feeding frenzy at Top Gem and Tyson's Minerals. They both share a facility and always have a grand Tucson opening.  Well, I think the Dollars weakness and the Euros strength has brought about an exodus of folks here to the USA. The line of people was clear around the corner and it was filled with folks mostly from out of the USA! There was a time in my past when I would "jump into the ring with the rest of 'um" but it is really just about like putting cut meat in a shark tank when the doors open. It is unbelievable how ruthless some people can be - literally reaching into your flat and taking specimens out of it!! No kidding!! It is true. I have seen people knocked on their butts in the frenzy that ensues when the doors are first opened.


The sharks are waiting at the door and the guy on the sidewalk is not sure what to make of it...  

Over in the main wing I found Laurent Thomas of Polychrome Minerals with what is now being talked about as the best new find here at the Tucson Show.  Kiyoshi and Eriko Kiikuni - friends and dealers from Japan - made mention of Laurent's red beryls from Madagascar and said I needed to go see these.   Net result in my humble opinion: Move over Chinese Mimetite and Afghan Richterite and say hello the Red Beryl from Madagascar!  They are not as deeply colored as the red beryls from Utah. Technically, based on the cesium content, they are a very deeply colored variety of morganite.   The color can best be described as raspberry.  I was able to see all of the specimens that Laurent had available from a specimen grade standpoint (the nature of the deposit and history behind the mine preclude there being much in the way of good crystals - most of it is massive and almost all of the available crystals had dings.   The pegmatite was severely weathered and much of the original minerals have been lost, altered to clay or severely etched. The majority of the beryl crystals are deeply etched or altered - most but not all of them fortunately.  None are found with matrix.  Most have an almost scepter like form. They are tabular as are all morganites and they are terminated with a pinacoid (001) lined by a uniform pyramid (102) face. Prism (100) faces are present also but generally etched or altered to form a thin rind covering unaltered and rich lilac colored material.  The bottom of the crystals are typically tapered due to etching but still display crystal faces.  In almost all cases these can be considered floaters.  

 
Here's the hoard of all the red beryl specimens from the new
find in Madagascar.  I made my selections from this array..



Laurent conveyed the story behind the find of this limited occurrence which is labeled as: Ambatovita-Fianarantosa, Madagascar.   The pegmatite has been known for some time and was mined for the gem spodumene (kunzite) and golden yellow danburite that is found there.  The beryls were thought to be some form of "cheap" tourmaline or garnet and more or less cobbed (broken) off and discarded into the dumps.    Several local people there did save some not knowing what they were for sure and when some more knowledgeable folks recently arrived on the scene, I am told that they were recognized as being potentially something of great significance.  Laurent says he visited the mine only to find that it was completely hopeless for future mining prospects as the mine had been worked out for some time.  He then set out to scrounge up as many specimens of the pieces that were saved as he could from the folks local to the area.  The result is what you see in the photo below.   These are confirmed to be rare and, according to Laurent, the prospects for more of these to turn up in the future are low - not impossible - just not very probable.  Hence, the prices for these are quite expensive but not unexpected for a striking and rare one of a kind find.  I found the courage to make a decent selection of the best crystals without or with only the most minimal amount of damage that were available equal to 12 in all.  Then I found an even larger dose of courage and wrote out a big check for the dozen.  I left happy, though, with some choice examples of this new and exciting find.



Here are two of the specimens that I selected.  The crystal on the left has a lot of transparency
and is 1.7 cm across.  The crystal on the right is  gemmy and is 1.2 cm across.




Here are two more of the specimens that I selected.  The crystal on the left shows the odd mushroom or scepter-like habit while the
one on the right is one of the largest in the entire lot.  It is a complete floater.  It measures 2.2 cm from top to bottom and 2.0 cm across.


After that fun time in Laurent's room I ambled on down the stairs to the Executive Inn lobby and found Tom Moore (reporter on "What's New" for the Mineralogical Record) chatting with Marie Huizing (Editor of Rocks and Minerals).   Marie asked why my big smile and I produced the small box of red beryls.  I next saw Tom headed for Polychrome Minerals...

Moving onward through the Executive Inn I came across Jorge Dascal of Argentina.  You may recall that Jorge is the one who introduced those wild hematite pseudomorphs after magnetite.  He still is not saying anything more about a better locality for those other than Patagonia, Argentina.  That has has much resolution as saying something like "east of the Mississippi River".  Anyway, Jorge had a new find of fluorite on drusy quartz/chalcedony.  The vast majority of these fluorite specimens are dinged up and at first glance not too attractive.  But, when you take a closer look you can see quite an array of colors including shades of blue, yellow, green and violet.  



This shot shows most of the fluorites that Jorge had available.




Here are two typical examples of the specimens I obtained. Both are full sized miniatures.


Continuing in the Executive Inn Karp had some new specimens of perovskite from Russia with exceptionally large crystals.  I did not select any of those as they were quite expensive but did select some of the new specimens of sperrylite that were recently found in Talnakh near Noril'sk, Russia.  These are the typical crystals with brilliant luster set on matrix dominated by chalcopyrite.  Sperrylite is a platinum arsenide with the chemical formula:
PtAs2
.



This is one of the typical new sperrylite specimens from Russia.  This crystal is 3.5 mm across.


Lots more to come!

Past Shows & Reports
PLEASE NOTE: The minerals that were offered on these pages are all sold
1999
Munich Show
2000
Sainte Marie Show
Munich Show
2001
Sainte Marie Show
Munich Show
2002
Tucson Show
Sainte Marie Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2003
Tucson Show
Sainte Marie Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2004
Tucson Show
West Coast Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2005
Tucson Show
West Coast Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2006
Tucson Show
Bologna Show
Sainte Marie Show
East Coast Show
Munich Show
2007
Tucson Show
Dallas Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2008
Tucson Show
West Coast Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2009
Tucson Show
West Coast Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show

2010
Tucson Show
San Francisco Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show

Munich Show

2011
Tucson Show
San Francisco Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show

2012
Tucson Show
West Coast Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show  
Munich Show

2013
Tucson Show
Sainte Marie Show
Crystal Days (Poland)
East Coast Show
Munich Show

2014
Tucson Show
Denver Show 

Munich Show

2015
Tucson Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show 
Munich Show

2016
Tucson Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show 
Munich Show

2017
Tucson Show
Munich Show

2018
Tucson Show

 
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