Friday, March 9, 2018



The” granddaddy” of the Tucson venues is the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® finishing off a spectacular two weeks.  I usually attend the opening day (February 8, 2018) and the crowd was large and the displays spectacular.  The Show, as do most club shows, features both guest display/competitive cases of minerals, and booths occupied by several hundred dealers (~250).  A big difference between TGMS, and a local show such as CSMS, is that high-end dealers from around the word bring their finest specimens to Tucson.  The prices for these museum-quality specimens ranges into 7 figures (and are usually marked POR, price on request).  However, just ogling at these one-of-a-kind mineral specimens is well worth the entire trip to Tucson.

It also should be noted that TGMS sponsors several lectures and symposia throughout the week and these are free to the public (admission charge for the other parts of the Show).  There is a Saturday night program with a silent auction, buffet dinner, an awards ceremony, slide competition awards, and a voice auction.  On Thursday the Micromount Room was open and Friday brings the Author Roe Memorial Micromount Symposium. 

Since it is really tough to write much about the TGMS, most of this article is composed of photographs.  But remember: 1) the Show is overwhelming with the number of exhibits and cases; 2) virtually every mineral is behind glass and that fact affects photographs. 

A single row of dealers in the Exhibition Hall (contains both dealers [minerals, books and jewelry] and the display cases).  The Arena section is another part of the Convention Center houses ~100 mostly jewelry dealers.
Legrandite, a hydrated zinc arsenate, is one of my favorite minerals.  This specimen was provided by the Miner’s Lunchbox and collected from Level 7, Saint Judas Chimney, Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico.  One could purchase the specimen for $35,000.

Gold is always a popular element/mineral at the Tucson Show.  The lower photo is from The Collectors Edge in Golden, CO. and has a Price-on -Request note, POR).  The upper photo of gold is courtesy of the Miners Lunchbox and is POR. 

This amazing specimen (~3 feet in length) of gypsum v. selenite (hydrated calcium sulfate) greeted visitors near one of the entrances.  POR with a phone number and from China (where?).

Not all booths had minerals “for sale.”  Rock of Ages had a wide variety of mining paraphernalia for buyers.

Like agates?  Look no further than this giant, polished Laguna agate, from the Alianza Claim, Estacion Ojo Laguna, Chihuahua, Mexico.

I kept thinking about the number of rings available from “The Largest American Turquoise” taken by Jack Wigley from the Mona Lisa Mine on Little Porter Mountain, Polk County Arkansas.

Unfortunately, readers cannot read the print from this photo; however, I stared at the display for a long time trying to gather facts about twinning in minerals. The display was constructed by the American Museum of Natural History.

Here is another quite informative poster from the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History.

 And finally, the third informative poster that I studied in detail—Classes of Mineral Symmetry.

This image should be recognizable to readers of the Pick & Pack:  microcline v. amazonite (potassium feldspar) and quartz v. smoky from the White Cap Pocket, Smoky Hawk Claim, Teller County, Colorado.  Display by Collectors Edge.

Pseudomorph of agate (silicon dioxide chalcedony?) after aragonite (calcium carbonate).  Collected from Rancho Coyamito Norte, Chihuahua, Mexico.

I thought this was a beautiful display of turquoise (copper aluminum hydrated phosphate) jewelry. 

This is an interesting display of German minerals and German mugs (with a mines motif).

This is an interesting specimen of stibnite, an antimony sulfide.  There was no listed locality information, but I am guessing Romania.

This case was a fabulous display featuring a variety of agates.  One must read the small locality slips in order to get more complete information but what an interesting case.

These two photos present one of my favorite minerals—amber barite (barium sulfate) collected from concretions in the Pierre Shale (Cretaceous) along Elk Creek in western South Dakota.  My collected specimens are not nearly as impressive. The upper photo also has yellow calcite crystals.  Both specimens are courtesy of The Collectors Edge.

The Collectors Edge displayed this beautiful specimen of zoisite v. tanzanite (calcium aluminum hydroxyl sorosilicate) from Tanzania. Rhodochrosite (manganese carbonate) from the Sweet Home Mine near Alma, Colorado, is in the background.

Specimens of the Tourmaline Group were in several displays and included ilvaite above and elbaite below.

I talked to CSMS member Jack T. and was informed that he and Kaye had a competitive case of pyrite.  Was this their case?  

And finally, something sort of whimsical—a calcite sphere on quartz points (covered with dolomite? druse) collected from the Boldut Mine in Romania.

I could have inserted a gazillion more photos; however, the attention span of most persons just wanders, and their eyes begin to water, after watching and reading so much of my chatter.  So, I leave you with a pleasing sunset view from the campground--west escarpment of the Superstition Mountains.. 


No comments:

Post a Comment