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Tucson 2014 - "The Pueblo Gem and Mineral Show"

Last Updated: 8th Feb 2014

By Jolyon & Katya Ralph

Tucson 2014 - "The Pueblo Gem and Mineral Show"

No, the Pueblo Show isn't just about big quartz spheres! For the last few years the Fine Mineral pavilion has been hosting real mineral dealers with real minerals.

A big quartz sphere

In this report I'm concentrating on two dealers at the Fine Mineral Pavilion. There are many others but did not get suitable photographs of suitable material in the others yet, I will return during the course of the show (it runs until Feb 14th) and publish a Tucson update article soon.

Arif and Aisha Jan of Rocksaholics always have a magnificent selection of Afghanistan and Pakistan minerals - certainly the best in Tucson. Many collectors make a trip to the Pueblo show just to visit them, but of course there are certainly other people to see.

Rocksaholics have some wonderful new tourmalines:

Tourmaline from Badakshan, Afghanistan (Rocksaholics specimen)

Another tourmaline (Rocksaholics specimen)

Same specimen, held up to the light.

Another interesting afghanistan tourmaline (Rocksaholics)

And another tourmaline, held up to the light (Rocksaholics)

And for those who like rare earth elements:

Bastnasite from Zagi Mountain, Pakistan (Rocksaholics)

The Uncarved Block (owned by Pu Tzu) have some very interesting pieces:

For example, a number of interesting Bisbee 'birds nest formations' (basically, cave pearls), including this one containing azurite!

Birds Nest Formation (The Uncarved Block)

This excellent pseudomorph from Romania is very attractive.

Siderite ps after Calcite, Gheturi mine, Romania (The Uncarved Block)

Fluorite from Boltsburn mine, Weardale, UK (The Uncarved Block)

And a super Romanian Amethyst:

Amethyst, Porkura, Romania (The Uncarved Block)

Native Lead from Sweden (Suzanne Ekwall specimen)

Although Milpillas is famous at the moment for the incredible Azurites, Brochantites and Cuprites found recently, a single block containing Dioptase was recovered, and several specimens extracted from this:

Dioptase from Milpillas, Mexico (The Uncarved Block)

While visiting the Fine Mineral Pavilion, we met up with the 'What's Hot in Tucson' team. Here are (left to right)

Jolyon Ralph (
Bryan Swoboda (What's Hot in Tucson)
Arif Jan (Rocksaholics)
Katya Ralph ( and
Bob Jones (What's Hot in Tucson)

At the Fine Mineral Pavilion

Justin and Brandy Zzyzx were running around the Pueblo show delivering pistachio nuts grown on their farm near Barstow, California to hungry exhibitors.

Nut delivery (Brandy Zzyzx)

One of the features of the Pueblo Show in recent years has been the introduction of Mineral Lectures, and this year the show is running no less than four evenings of mineral lectures. The first two nights have already passed, but more lectures are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday nights (10th and 11th Feb 2014), 7pm at the Fine Mineral Building in the Pueblo Show at the Riverpark Inn hotel, Tucson.

The first presentation, held on the 4th Feb, was by Stanley Keith, and was about the possible abiogenic origin of some petroleum deposits, and how quartz could be involved in this. Controversial ideas, for sure, but very intriguing.

First presentation: Stanley Keith

Next up, I spoke about - especially about new developments and ideas for the future.

Second presentation: Jolyon Ralph

On the 6th Feb two more presentations were held, first was Jeff Swanger talking about the Oceanview Mine in Pala, California, showing photos and video clips of recent operations there.

Third presentation: Jeff Swanger

Large crowd during Jeff's presentation

The final presentation on the 6th Feb was by Dr David London, expert on Pegmatites - and was a thorough but easy to understand explanation of the formation of pegmatites. One thing we learned is that our earlier ideas about speed of crystal growth may be wrong, and pegmatite crystals may grow very quickly - in a matter of days or at most weeks.

Fourth presentation: Dr David London

The Pueblo Show is still running at the Riverpark Inn Hotel in Tucson, until Feb 14th 2014. The fine mineral pavilion is to the far left of the site (as you enter the lobby facing into the hotel). It's well worth a visit!

For more information on the Tucson Mineral Lectures being held 10th and 11th Feb 2014, click here

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