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Tucson Mineral Shows 2006 - The Clarion & Smugglers Inn


A short ride to the east, a beautiful sunny day, A-10 Tankbuster aircraft circling overhead, it's the Clarion Hotel show.

Jordi Fabre always has interesting things, and this time is no exception.

Unlike most dealers, Jordi hasn't lost sight of the special theme of this year's show - Canadian minerals - and had some fabulous new Diopsides on manganoan vesuvianite from the Jeffrey Mine in Quebec.

More new items from Jordi included...

... a very nice large cluster of Colemanite from Turkey.

He also had a fine selection of the best of the new find of Rhodochrosites from Peru.

There were several Chinese dealers at the Clarion show - most were showing the ubiquitous Chinese fluorites:

but some had more variety - these wire silvers were some of the most expensive items from the chinese dealers

although smaller wires could be bought for as little as $6. How genuine these are remains to be seen...

Excalibur Minerals had a great room packed with interesting things. If you enjoyed the warm Tucson winter and wanted to take some natural warmth back with you to colder climes, they had just the thing:

And now to the Smuggler's Inn:

Leaving the Clarion, we turn our attention to the Smugglers Inn show, and a brief visit (we will return this week) brought us face to face with the ever-hard-working Alfredo Petrov, another great contributor.

Alfredo was telling us about how his Vivianite crystals are selling - as you know Vivianite needs to be kept out of the dark to avoid it turning black. "New Age" people are buying Vivianites to deliberately leave out in the light in their houses - after a year or so they go black - which is apparently because they suck up all the evil in the house. Then they throw out the crystal and buy a new one! Alfredo just has to sit back and wait for next year and the buyers to return! (Please note that Alfredo certainly isn't promoting this idea - the customers are perfectly capable of making up such silly ideas on their own without any help from Alfredo!)

Most of the dealers in the Smuggler's Inn were Chinese or Russian - both of which had the similar selling strategy of leaving all pieces unlabeled in price and waiting for you to ask for a quote. No doubt the price depends on how much they think they can get away with, and prices varied widely between dealers, even from one room to the next for very similar material. This particular russian dealer had a good stock of Uvarovite, including a few pieces with some quite respectable crystals.

Inside the ballroom two main dealers were doing clearance sales "outlet style", this picture shows some of Dave Bunk's "Keystone" items (anything listed as "keystone" means 50% off in some strange Tucson code).

Across the room, CE Wholesale (Collectors Edge) were offering discounts on some great minerals, including these fabulous orpiments from Nevada.

They even had this very happy calcite for sale, obviously delighted to be offered for 50% off.

Next Page: Westward Look Show

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