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Tucson Show 2011

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For the first time ever, Mandy and I were going to the Tucson show for just five days. In the past we would stay two or three weeks, and we also lived there for three years. Usually we get the bulk of our business done in the first few days anyway, and we had some exciting mineral acquisitions pending back on the East Coast that we needed to return for.

As we were planning to fly out to Tucson, New Jersey was hit with a giant snow storm that closed all of the area airports and cancelled thousands of flights, including ours. We wound up waiting online for eight hours at the airport just to get a new flight to Tucson the following morning. However, that flight wound up missing the connection to Tucson and cost us another day! Thankfully we were able to make it into town the evening before the official start to the "Arizona Mineral & Fossil Show" so all was not lost.

We stayed at the Inn Suites, which tends to be the hub of mineral activity during this portion of the Tucson show. This was important since it allowed us to accomplish much more and have easy meetings with the people who brought things to show us.

There was some exciting new material at this year's show but, for us, just as much excitement came from individual specimens. You can click here to go to our Tucson auctions now!

Cuprite with Silver - Russia

While the cuprites from the Rubtsovsk Mine in Russia have been around for more than a year, there was a recent find of particularly fine specimens with fantastic associations with native copper, native silver, and rare halides like miersite! Thankfully we got an early chance to go through some of the best material and pluck out a few specimens with significant associations. While there was a reasonable selection of cuprite specimens available, the associations with silver and miersite were few and far between. These cuprite specimens are such incredible examples of the species, the specimens from this find are no doubt going to be future classics. You can click here to go to our Tucson auctions now!

The alabandite specimens from the Uchucchucua Mine in Peru were also available. These specimens first started trickling out of Peru last year, however it is my understanding that all of the available material has been recovered and what is being offered for sale is all that there is of this material. These specimens represent the absolute pinnacle of the species and are truly extraordinary. By the time we were leaving the show, it appeared that most of the material had already been sold. We acquired a few specimens that were unique in some way, either in terms of associations (i.e. rhodochrosite, fluorite) or pseudomorphism. Again, to my thinking, being that this material is so extraordinary for the species and that the find has already been exhausted, these specimens are sure to be future classics. You can click here to go to our Tucson auctions now!

Alabandite with Rhodochrosite - Peru

Chromian Lawsonite - Greece

One of the truly "New" finds we came across were the chromian lawsonites from Cape Marmari in Greece. These specimens represent an entirely new color for the species and are quite unique indeed! These specimens were collected by a single individual who hiked to this remote locality and was lucky enough to recover a small cache of these incredible specimens. The find was limited to just a few flats of material that were readily being snatched up by collectors who recognized their significance. You can click here to go to our Tucson auctions now!

We were surprised to come across a small group of rutile specimens from Azerbaijan! These incredible specimens originally hit the market sometime in the 1990's. It was a small, one time find that hit the market and disappeared almost instantly, with no specimens seen since. We were stunned to come across a small group of them - all of exceptional quality! Their prices were also quite stunning however. We did manage to pick up a pair of specimens regardless, as you never know if you'll see them again. You can click here to go to our Tucson auctions now!

Rutile - Azerbaijan

Rhodochrosite with Tourmaline - Brazil

Perhaps the most exciting find of the show were a group of rare pegmatite rhodochrosite crystals from the Pederneira Mine in Brazil! Examples of rhodochrosite from pegmatite localities are exceptionally rare indeed. However, even more exciting was the fact that there were just four examples of rhodochrosite in association with TOURMALINE! This association is UNHEARD of and is very exciting to say the least. There was just a small handful of this material available that came from the miner who ran the operation for well over a decade. It came from a tiny, one time find that he personally collected. The entirety of the find consisted of a handful of tiny, partial rhodochrosite crystals with just a few complete crystals (all apparently floaters). In this find there were just FOUR rhodochrosite crystals that had this tourmaline association. Of course we immediately took all four. The dealer knew they were significant and priced them accordingly, however it was a situation we simply could not pass up. Finding these specimens was certainly one of the high points of our trip! You can click here to go to our Tucson auctions now!

One particularly novel find that we came across was a rare group of amber specimens - IN MATRIX! I had never seen amber in matrix before and was quite impressed! Additionally, these specimens were from Switzerland! After seeing an example of amber in matrix in an old museum, the collector was determined to hunt down the old antiquated locality in the hopes of acquiring some of this unusual material for himself. Going off the general locality given on its old label, the collector and his partner used GoogleEarth to closely examine satellite pictures of the region. After finding what looked to be the remains of an old quarry they set out on an expedition to the area. After a significant amount of time, labor, and expense they were rewarded with a sizeable boulder of this unusual material! They had to use a helicopter to get it out but luckily helicopters are in ready supply thanks to Switzerland's mountainous terrain and world class skiing! You can click here to go to our Tucson auctions now!

Amber in Matrix - Switzerland

Rhodochrosite - Japan

Aside from these finds, we came across a number of very exciting individual specimens. Some of these finds were specimens people brought to the show for us and some of them were lucky finds. Just a few of the highlights include an incredible mimetite var. campylite from Sicily, a large dioptase and wulfenite combo from Tiger, an exceptional chlorargyrite with cerussite from Broken Hill, a very impressive old time wurtzite from Greece, cumengite on anglesite, and much, much more. We will be listing all of this material up for auction in the upcoming weeks - all starting at just $1 as always, so be sure to check them all out! You can click here to go to our Tucson auctions now!

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