KOFA  National Wildlife Refuge - February 2010 - photo by John Veevaert
John Veevaert    PO BOX 2182   Weaverville, California  96093  USA  (888) 689-8402


Return to the 2012 Tucson Show Homepage  

Show Reports
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Tucson 2012 Report 6 

It seems hard to believe that Tucson has come to an end... But is has for another year.


View of the floor of the Convention Center (Main)Show.  Attendance in 2012 was UP!

View of the specimens to be posted to the auction site for the Rocks & Minerals benefit auction later this spring.

There is one more new find to report on and then I will get into the dazzling cases that were on display this year.  I found out about a new find of sperrylite from Canada while at the GJX show last week.  Brad Wilson had with him a couple of flats of very sharp crystals to 1cm of sperrylite in quartz and epidote matrix from a prosect called the Broken Hammer Property, Val Caron, Ontario, Canada.  This is fairly close to the famous Sudbury locality. The crystals are brilliantly lustrous and very sharply defined.  Dave Bunk ended up with the best specimens and I am sure he will be doing something with them soon. 


A 1 cm crystal in matrix of the new sperrylite specimens. The matrix has been removed with an air scribe to reveal the crystal.
Now for the eye candy.  This year the theme for the show was Minerals of Arizona.  2012 is the centennial anniversary celebrating Arizona's admission into the United States as the 48th state. New Mexico was also admitted into the Union a short while earlier in 1912 as the 47th state. But being in Tucson it was all about Arizona this year.  In addition to the cases dedicated to minerals from Arizona there were other cases submitted by groups and individuals relating to other things mineralogical that were a pleasure to view.   It was not possible to get photos of everything - ok, it was, but I did not try as it would have taken about 500 photos.  I did not get any photos of two dazzling cases of minerals from the Houston club or Keith Proctor.  I have seen a lot of these specimens before and put images up in past reports.  Trust me though - both were explosions of color. 

The first stop is Morenci - one of the largest copper deposits in North America.

The stalactitic formations are nothing short of stunning.


Even a little Buddah with a tall cap ! Marty Zinn used to own this specimen.

A nearby case had the 1997 Show Poster specimen presented. 


Next stop Bisbee - Arizona's most famous mineral locality.

I can just imagine the mineral laden water dripping over the edge of this malachite cave formation. 

The finest connellite I have ever seen! Period!!

Another Bisbee case.  I am getting "bisbee drunk"...

I tried to get as many of the labels as I could with the specimen images.  You will see Evan Jones A LOT in these things.

Azurite on Malachite - a Bisbee Classic!

Cuprite var. Chalcotrichite in calcite. 

I would have no issue with crawling for 100 meters on my belly to some remote part of any mine to reach for this thing!
Spinel law twins of native copper. Mercy!
The next images are from the case of minerals presented by the Smithsonian Institution.  I am happy to know that as a US citizen I actually am co-owner of these! 

Diaboleite from Tiger!

Reticulated cerussite also from Tiger.

A killer vanadinite from the Old Yuma mine.

The label says it all.

A fine specimen of bladed leadhillite crystals from Bisbee.

One of the classic azurite roses from Bisbee.

This specimen was likely collected by Ed Over in the late 1930's and found its way to Art Montgomery.

An enormous 9-10 cm specimen of wulfenite from the Old Yuma mine from the Karen and John Cesar Collection.

Scheelite from all over Arizona - Hey Levett do you see this???

One of the largest scheelite crystals I have ever seen from anywhere.

A gem scheelite from Cochise County.

Next is the Tiger Case.  Australian Paul Melville owns this specimen.

A fabulous grouping of large diaboleite crystals. 

I was more or less looking like a slobbering fool when I saw this specimen of caledonite. Damn you Evan!

This would be a fine leadhillite from anywhere!  Evan again...

Yet another Tiger wonder.

How about a 5-6 cm linarite crystal?

This is a stunning papagoite/ajoite specimen from Ajo, Arizona.

A large copper specimen formerly owed by "the Duke".

An eye riveting mass of copper carbonate from Ajo.

The old Yuma mine is a famous lead mine known for wulfenite and vanadinite. 

My picture is a crime against nature but it was the best I could manage of this fine wulfenite.

I would take all three in a heartbeat. And it might be my last heartbeat...

This specimen was in a case dedicated to wulfenite from various Arizona localities.

On to the Red Cloud Mine - that is Ed Hutchinson on the left. When it was possible I actually collected
specimens from the Red Cloud mine - this was back in the late 1970s... The good old days - never thought I would say that in my life...

Lead Molybdate.

Very fine miniature from the Red Cloud.

Yet another.

And another.

A 3 cm orange window pane from the Red Cloud. 

This case featured specimens pictured on Min Rec covers.

An unreal gem cuprite from Bisbee.

Mark you lucky SOB.

Two more famous cover rocks.

A nice chunk of Bisbee on display.

I am happy that this did not get turned into 1 cent coins...

The Glove mine was well represented with its own case.  This specimen is about 35 cm across.

Chunky wulfenite crystals from the Glove Mine.

A 20-25 cm specimen owned by Collector's Edge out of Denver.

I am not much for quartz of any kind but this scepter specimen from the Fat Jack mine is easy to look at.
Don't say it Marshall !!!

Evan seems to turn up all over this state.

The Harvard Museum had a very nice display of Arizona minerals - this spangolite is a killer depsite my bogus picture of it.

Another bogus image of a great specimen of cuprite from Bisbee in the Harvard case.

The Hilltop mine had a great case of wulfenite and other lead bearing minerals on display.

Two fine specimens from the Hilltop mine.

A very large wulfenite specimen owned by.... E.J.

The Rowley mine was next - yeah Evan owns this one also.

And he owns this one.

I don't  think Evan owns this one but I could be wrong. Wait a minute I am wrong.
 Evan Jones owns this one too.

Surprise surprise - Another Evan specimen.

A specimen of native copper on wood from Ray, Arizona  persented by the Flagg Foundation.
You get this when copper sulfate solutions encounter the carbon in the old mine timbers.

The 79 mine was represented with a great case of minerals - this is a cuprian smithsonite.

I can't believe this thing, as delicate as it is, looks this good! 

Exceptional wulfenite specimens from the 79 mine.

The Christmas mine had a lot of good specimens present in its case - the crystals are
typically small but the kinoite crystals on this Evan Jones specimens are huge!

The Ray mine had numerous stunning copper minerals on view.

One of the best of these I have ever seen before.

Golden calcite with cuprite inclusions.

The North Geronimo Mine (close to the Red Cloud mine) is the source of the nation's finest vanadinite specimens.

The wulfenite is not bad from their either.

More vanadinite from the North Geronimo Mine.

A case dedicated to gold and silver from various Arizona localities.

Element number 79.

More of element number 79.

An example of element number 47.

A few large chunks of element number 79.

An fantastic example of element number 47 owned by you know who.

A huge 19.9 pound specimen of native silver found near Tucson in 2006 with a metal detector.

A 70 1/2 ounce nugget found in 1989 in Mohave County, Arizona with a gold bug metal detector. 
When I use my metal detector I find old bullet casings and beer bottle caps.

The American Museum of Natural HIstory from New York had very fine Arizona minerals in their display.

One of the best Old Mammoth wulfenites I have ever seen.

A Bisbee classic - a slab of malachite and azurite.

A very fine native copper from Bisbee.
Ok, now for a few non-Arizona cases that were here in Tucson.

As I mentioned earlier New Mexico is celebrating their centennial too.

An untreated tanzanite as big as a Foster's Beer can owned by Marcus Budil.

Rick Kennedy put together a case of new aquamarines found in San Bernardinco County, California.

Aqua and smoky quartz.

A faceted gem Aquamarine.

Jesse Fisher and Joan Kureczka put an interesting case of feldspars on display.

Check out their labradorite with the schiller effect from Ylamaa, Finnland!

Chris Stefano brought a case of fine copper specimens from the U.P. of Michigan.

Enormous copper crystals to 10 cm across!!!

Quartz pseudomorphed by copper.  I have no idea...

A non-mineral display - two famous fireams from Arizona's past.  The USA seems to have a crazed fascination with guns... I missed that bus.
This year's show was very well attended.  Everyone could sense that attendance was up from last year.  Just about every dealer I spoke with reported that there sales levels were up from last year and I would have to report the same.  The mid-range market seems to be coming out of it's funk at last. 
There was very little in the way of new finds to report on.  I spoke with Tom Moore about that and he agreed.   The mottramite from the Ojuela mine, the sperrylite from the Broken Hammer Prospect and aquamarine from Vietnam were most impressive to me.  New finds from existing localities were best represented by the effenbergerite from the Wessels mine and bi-colored apatite specimens from the Golconda mine.  So most of the energy and excitment was centered around great minerals being dispersed from old collections.  There was no end to the demand for the best of the best specimens here in Tucson and I know several pieces sold in the $1,000,000 range.  Numerous pieces sold in the $100,000 and up range as well.   So there were a lot of smiling faces all over Tucson this year. 
As usual prices were all over the place.  If quality for the dollar is your guiding force you could find great bargains here. You simply had to hunt them down and not get impulsive. Many dealers have a lot of the same material and same quality. Their prices are tiered to their "normal" clientele. If color and pop with no regard to cost were your thing you could find what you wanted here as well.  Something for everyone is a recipe for a good show experience.
On a personal level the best specimen I found was an example of pink benitoite from the Numero Uno mine in San Benito County.  Many thanks to Maryann Fender for coralling this specimen for me.  I think also, based on what I saw in the display cases, I would like come back as Evan Jones when I die.
This will do it for me and the 2012 Tucson Show.  I have been here for 4 weeks and the daily does of adrenalin from seeing so many great minerals and visiting with scores of friends in the world of minerals has just about got me whooped.  Colleen and I will be working fevorishly for a few more days to get all the orders posted from here in Tucson and then we will be headed for some remote corner of the Arizona desert to relax, view the stars and look for birds.  If I am still around next year I will do it all over again.  Until then keep it euhedral!
Cheers,  John

Past Shows & Reports
PLEASE NOTE: The minerals that were offered on these pages are all sold
Munich Show
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