It's Tucson time again.

This year the winter is not as mild as usual.

The week before the main show a little snow whitened the mountains around the town, and we got some showers later.

Let's move to the minerals. There is a general feeling of "slow days" for the business, but the show always offers interesting material.

 

I like to start the report with the shots of some "killers" specimens on exhibit at the Inn Suite. Exceptional specimens indeed!

On the left a great rutile from Brazil, on the right an impressive native gold.

 

More outstanding specimens: a nearly ten cm rhodonite from Brazil and a classical microcline (variety amazonite) with quartz from Colorado. Wonderful specimens were recently collected in Colorado in regularly licensed claim. Sadly a good cavity was removed by thieves, and stolen samples might come to market. Take care!

 

Outstanding specimens of pink apatite came out from the Pakistan pegmatite mines. On the left an example with a nearly two inches crystal. The source of Chinese red wulfenite seem to produce bigger and better specimens every year. Here you can see a 20 cm specimens for sale at Quality Inn for a base price of ten thousand dollars. Specimen and request both impressive.

 

In Tucson the Australian minerals are well represented:  impressive spessartine and rhodonite from Broken Hill, opal pseudomorphs, gigantic dravite, huge gaspeite and stichtite and many more. On the left a really bid almandine group, with myself for scale. On the right one of the recently found native silver from China. There are many rumors about those samples, as well as for the ones from Morocco. Starting from acanthite rich samples it is actually possible to get wire silver specimens in melting ovens...considering the samples quotation who wants to take the risk?

 

Top quality goethite was found in Colorado. Specimens were available from few dealers, and show a three generations goethite growth in granite pockets. The best crystals are very sharp, lustrous and in same cases even show some transparency. The crystals easily exceed one cm, and forms sprays up to 5-6 cm. Remarkable and not excessively expensive.

 

 

A museum-size dioptase from Kazakhstan on exhibit at the Inn Suite. The crystals are not very big, never exceeding 1 cm, but the cavities are very nice, with sharp and brilliant dioptase individuals associated with calcite. It was removed and moved with care and competence. Beautiful.

 

Again, another museum sized specimen: giant Harkimer quartz cavity on show at Inn Suite. The owner's hand gives an idea of the size of this rock. This kind of matrix is relatively fragile and often split apart where the collector wouldn't like. It was removed piece by piece and then restored in a sort of 3D big puzzle. Also the crystals were restored after cleaning.

 

 

 Another Australian flavor: Crocoite from Tasmania. The sample brought here in Tucson are extremely beautiful  and extremely fragile. The mine owners developed a high level skill in removing, cleaning and shipping. Some specimens literally float in the plastic, and some of then are temporary glued at the bottom of plastic boxes. Once at destination the glue can be removed with an appropriate solvent. Clever.

 


Mineral Section Tucson Home Report