Sunday, May 1, 2016



Well, the big day finally arrived---the opening of the 62nd Annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.  I was in line early on opening day, the 11th of February.  The theme of the 2016 show was Shades of Blue: Minerals of the World.  I was guessing the displays would include a variety of sapphires, topaz, fluorite, and azurite.  As it turned out, that was a pretty good estimate; however, I did not use up much brain power with that pronouncement! Much of the “fun” at the Tucson Show always includes the innovative names for the display cases.  The “Shades of Blue” theme brought out such titles as: The Birth of the Blues, Rhapsody in Blue, Shades of Blue, It’s a Blue, Blue, Blue World, Maine’s Got the Blues, Colorado Blues, Blue Minerals of the World, Blue Hues from Arizona, Mother Nature Sings the Blues, Arizona Type Blues, and the rather mundane Azurite from Russia.  Of course my favorite case was displayed by Jack and Kaye Thompson direct from the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society. 

Thumbnails exhibited by Jack and Kaye Thompson.  My camera did not record this display well so the above photo is from the website www. and is copyright by Hershel Friedman and
During most visits to the Show I find very few minerals within my purchasing budget.  I usually come home with a specimen or two but attend the Show mostly to see the fantastic display cases filled with minerals, and to ogle at the “for sale” minerals often priced at many tens of thousands of dollars.  Everything about the Show is exciting.

The early morning line on Day 1 at Tucson 2016.
Blue Australian opals often have an amazing opalescent glitter.
Lapis lazuli is a combination of many minerals; however, the blue color is always prevalent. 
A selection of blue faceted and cabbed gems. 
Who could ask for nicer malachite?  They are not “blue” but are fantastic copper specimens. 

Take your choice:  blue aquamarine or a hunk of gold. 

Some really nice jewelry.
Some of the nicest shades of blue are found in fluorite specimens at from many localities.

The mines at Bisbee, Arizona are famous for their blue secondary minerals.
I would love to have this specimen of azurite and malachite from Morenci, Arizona.

Krohnkite is a rare copper sulfate.  This specimen came from the Chuquicamata Mine in Chile.