Monday, February 17, 2014


The BIG day arrived on Thursday, February 13, with the opening day of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show at the Tucson Convention Center. The theme for the 60th show was Diamonds, Gems, Silver and Gold; I was in line for a ticket at the opening bell!  As usual, the events and booths inside the Center were almost overwhelming.  I made my way through the many jewelry dealers crowded in a large “preliminary” room to what I presume is the main hall—I wanted to see the jewels.

My assessment, and only mine, is that the displays were not as spectacular as in previous shows.  For one thing, diamonds are small and the crystals are tough to really see in a showcase behind glass.  Unfortunately, cuts like the Hope Diamond are too valuable and perhaps too fragile for travel outside their museum home. And who could forget the AUSROX gold nugget of over 60 pounds displayed a couple of years ago. Perhaps my favorite year was the Arizona Centennial display of Arizona minerals—wow.  At any rate, I enjoyed observing the many cases at this year’s event and continued to marvel at the many wonders of nature.  Some of my favorites are shown below.
 Made for a mistress!  The Cartier Bandeau was created in the Cartier Paris House in 1920.  The 58 carats of diamonds set in platinum converts to a choker, earrings, bracelet, lapel clip pins and pendant drop. Does anyone do the Charleston?  Maybe the Lindy Hop?
This tiara from the Smithsonian Institution with 1198 “old mine” and rose cut diamonds set in silver and gold in a garland of wild roses.  The gems are set “en tremblant” where the flowers are mounted on trembler springs so that every movement enhances the brilliance and sparkle.  It was created in the mid-1800s.
A ~740 carat carbonado diamond from Africa.  This is a polycrystalline diamond composed of numerous micro- and cryptocrystalline crystallites. 

Tiffany and Company created (1950s) this Colombian emerald and diamond necklace.  The three large emeralds average about 7 carats each.
This piece features diamonds and a 39.80 carat pink topaz.

~3.4 pounds of mine run diamonds from Zimbabwe seized by the U.S Customs Office and now in the possession of the Smithsonian Institution.
A mosaic of gemstones

Nearly 40 carats of faceted tanzanite.
 The kimberlite diatremes of the Colorado-Wyoming State Line District have produced several thousand carats of diamonds.  I believe all mines are now closed.

The famous Farncomb Hill in Summit County, Colorado, has produced beautiful wire gold.
California gold on quartz.

Would I ever like to spot this little beauty in the wild!  From western Australia.