Wednesday, April 24, 2019


After wandering around for nearly two weeks at the smaller ancillary Tucson shows the time came for the main event in the Convention Center (Thursday through Sunday).  I always try and attend the first day and did so this year.  As usual, a long line greeted us before the doors opened for attendees.  I buy very few minerals at the Convention Center since many/most of the specimens are larger and more expensive (and I have spent my allowance).  However, just walking around and looking/gazing at absolutely gorgeous specimens is enough to get the Adrenalin  pumping.  But one never knows as some dealers throw out a few cheaper ones that may not be selling online or their shop, and ones that might attract customers.  It often pays to be early in line on Day 1! And that is how I came to pick up a few other Arizona wulfenite specimens for my collection.

I probably have 80-100 photos of minerals exhibited or "for sale" in the main arena of the Convention Center; however, only a few of these will be displayed below.

Uncut gemstones are always a source of interest to me and I sometimes wonder what would happen if I were a faceter and messed up making a cut?  But raw gems are just as beautiful as cut  stones.

Heliodor is the golden-yellow variety if beryl (beryllium aluminum silicate).  Specimen from Zhytomor Oblast, Ukraine and priced at $45,000.

 Tanzanite is a blue to blue-violet gem variety of the the mineral zoisite (calcium aluminum silicate hydroxide). All tanzanite comes from Tanzania and "a significant percentage of ... crystals on the market have been heat treated ... to produce or enhance their color" (

Morganite is the pink variety of beryl (beryllium aluminum silicate).  Specimen collected in Brazil.

Aquamarine is the sky-blue to sea-green variety of beryl (beryllium aluminum silicate). Specimen from Gilgit District, Pakistan and priced at $12,000. 

 Agates are always popular in show displays.  I thought the polished Laguna Agates (Mexico) were especially attractive.

 Since the show theme was Wulfenite is Loved one would expect plenty of specimens and visitors were not disappointed.
The wulfenite is this specimen for the Hilltop Mine in Cochise County, Arizona, is a distinctive yellow color.  The Hilltop was a polymetallic surface and underground mine discovered and first worked in the late 1800s.

Wulfenite from the Red Cloud Mine, La Paz County, Arizona (southwest Arizona), produced some of the most famous and expensive crystals of any mine in the world.  The red tabs are especially valued by collectors.

The two specimens above are from The Glove Mine, Santa Rita County, Arizona. 
Enlargement of above specimen.  Note the thickness of the individual tabular crystals.

Gold is always popular in the display cases.  These specimen came from the Colorado Quartz Mine, Mariposa County, California.
This amethyst specimen with the "crawling" calcite was one of my favorites at the Main Show.  Collected in Brazil. 
Long time Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society member and collector Ray Berry was remembered in this nice display case.

This seemed to be something new this year. Bottled varietal wine with labels displaying prints of actual mineral specimens.  The amazonite and smoky quartz specimen pictured on the bottle was collected near Lake George, a few miles west of Colorado Springs. 

The above two photomicrographs are wulfenite crystals from the Glove Mine, Santa Cruz County, Arizona.  The crystals are orange to light butterscotch color and are thick, simple and sturdy tabs. The large crystal in the upper photo is ~2.5 mm thick and 1.0 cm in length.
In contrast to the specimen above, this stack of dainty, transparent, window-pane, bevel-edge crystals is from the 79 Mine, Gila County, Arizona.  It is a beautiful specimen but unfortunately the digital camera could not pick up the yellow color of the crystals (light reflection).  Width of stack ~1.2 cm.