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Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows 2010 - Part 1

Last Updated: 9th Feb 2010

By Jolyon & Katya Ralph

Tucson Mineral Show 2010

It's time again for the Tucson mineral and gem shows, and here is the first mindat report, looking at some of the Hotel shows. These shows take over local hotels with hotel rooms converted into small shops for the dealers attending.

"Inn Suites" show

The Hotel Formerly Known as Inn Suites

Confusion and a slight feeling that things are wrong when we see the sign for the Inn Suites hotel has been replaced - the Inn Suites hotel has changed name to the Hotel Tuscon City Center. It's still the same hotel and the same show as before, so no reason to panic - and everyone still calls it the "Inn Suites Show" regardless. This show is one of a handful organized by Marty Zinn - although this year a few dealers have defected to the rival 'Pueblo Inn' show a short distance away.

Regular contributor Alfredo Petrov had some interesting faceted and uncut anorthite from Japan. The large lump on the right of the photo below is a matrix specimen containing anorthite. According to Alfredo this feldspar is possibly the closest to end-member anorthite known.

Anorthite from Japan

Moving along Jaroslav Hyrsl had a selection of what may be the world's best coquimbite crystals, up to 5cm, from the Javier mine, Peru. This water-soluble iron sulphate mineral has been known for a long time in small crystalline crusts, but these crystals are exceptionally large for the species.

Coquimbite from Peru

Jordi Fabre was offering some unusual new specimens, including atacamite from China.

Atacamite from Tonglushan, Hubei, China

Jordi also had this large montebrasite crystal, from Linopolis, Brazil:

Montebrasite from Brazil

Collector's Edge had a large batch of newly-mined topaz crystals from the Thomas Range, Utah. Here's an example of one of the crystals on offer.

Topaz from Thomas Range, Utah

Luiz Menezes had a specimen of the new mineral manganeudialyte, from Pedra Balão, Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais, Brazil - but before I got to see it, it had been bought by Chris Wright:

Manganeudialyte from Brazil

Before coming to Tucson, I had been fortunate enough to spend a few days in Pala, California, one of the places I visited was the Oceanview Mine where not long prior to my visit a fabulous pocket of kunzite had been uncovered. Some of these pieces were offered by Bruce Wood at the Inn Suites show:

Kunzite from the Oceanview Mine, California

For those collectors who have seriously strong cabinets and don't have to worry about the baggage allowance for the flight home from Tucson, Crystal World and Prehistoric Journeys had the specimen for you - a huge 1.5m block of mica schist with 20cm garnet crystals - from near Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

Garnets from New South Wales

Finally, from Inn Suites, The Crystal Circle had a beautiful fluorite specimen from the Ojuela Mine in Mexico.

Fluorite from Ojuela Mine, Mexico

The Quality Inn Show

The Quality Inn Show

On the south side of town, Quality Inn is a little away from the main conglomeration of mineral shows, but has built up a reputation over years as a venue for (mostly) Russian, Chinese and Indian dealers to offer their wares, with a few europeans and the odd american thrown in to add variety. A casual glance around the show might discourage serious mineral buyers - there are lots of bags of garnet crystals, oiled chinese fluorites, bead necklaces and other distractions, but hidden in and around these are usually some very good specimens.

Russian Minerals brought their new find of marshite crystals from the Rubtsovskoe Cu-Zn-Pb deposit, Russia to the Denver and Munich shows last year, but this is the first time these have been exhibited in Tucson, and they remain amongst the best for the species. Some are small pseudomorphs after octahedral cuprite specimens:

Marshite pseudomorph after Cuprite, Russia

As well as small pseudomorphs after cuprite crystals, they had one specimen of marshite embedded in an azurite nodule.

Marshite in Azurite nodule, Russia

Indian Mineral dealer Guru Kripa had this fabulous combination of botryoidal fluorite coating a calcite crystal perched in a cavity filled with quartz, from Nasik, India.

Fluorite on Calcite from India

German dealer Gunnar Farber always has his room full of neatly arranged plastic-boxed rare minerals, many that he has personally collected. Although I photographed a large number of items which I'll be posting to the mindat database over the coming days, here are two that I wanted to include in this report.

Firstly, nice crystals of the new tourmaline-group mineral Fluorelbaite from the Aqueana pegmatite, Brazil. Of course, other Brazillian 'elbaite' crystals may turn out to be this new mineral when analysed properly.

Fluorelbaite from Brazil

And some gold grains from North Korea! It's rare to find minerals coming out of this secretive country, especially so when it's a precious metal, but here we have a few grains in a small box:

Gold from North Korea

The Pueblo Gem and Mineral Show

The Pueblo Gem and Mineral Show at the Riverside Inn Hotel

Yet another victim of venue renaming confusion, the Pueblo Inn is now known as the Riverside Inn hotel - this show has traditionally been known for its gems and beads, but is now keen to become known as a more serious venue for colletor mineral specimens. Even the traditional gem dealers carry interesting things - who a few years ago would have expected to have found boxes of loose rhodizite crystals for sale like this?

Rhodizite crystals, Style Gems

In the official "mineral dealers" section, Edwards Minerals had a fabulous Brucite specimen from Wood's Chrome Mine, Pennsylvania - a true old classic.

Brucite from Pennsylvania, USA

Every time I visit Rocksaholics they manage to find something impressive to pull out from under the table to show me - and this time it was this huge elbaite from Afghanistan.

Elbaite from Afghanistan

Shannon Minerals had a great new find of natural chalcanthite in large satiny fibrous crystalline masses from the Planet Mine, Arizona

Chalcanthite from Arizona

and finally for this report, Kristall Ocean Export Ltd, Indian gem dealers, had a very impressive lot of Indian amethyst, such as this sample.

Amethyst from India

Part 2 of my report will come very soon with news from the Fine Minerals International "house" show, and the Westward Look show - check back soon!

Article has been viewed at least 28263 times.


Outstanding report! :) It's the next best thing to being there. I'll be eagerlay awaiting Part 2. All the specimens here are superb, but I absolutely love the Planet Mine chalcanthite from Shannon Minerals. Amazing! :)

Tim Blackwood
Cohasset, Minnesota, USA

Timothy Blackwood
9th Feb 2010 9:34pm
Nice report!
Thanks for sharing Jolyon.
Nauroz Nausherwani

Nauroz Nausherwani
11th Feb 2010 4:44pm
Thanks for this great report!

Nice Coquimbite!



Steffan Giadach Axt
20th Feb 2010 1:26am

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