Denver Mineral Show Report 2013

Welcome to the 46th Annual Denver Gem and Mineral Show.

The Kristalle and Crystal Classics team arrived on Friday the 7th September before the optional jump start of Marty Zinn’s (MZExpos) Colorado Mineral & Fossil Show at the Ramada Plaza Hotel. We never know what to expect from the weather in Denver, it can be very changeable at this time of year. This year we were welcomed upon our arrival with a record heat wave and temperatures that Denver has not experienced for more than 200 years – up to 100 degrees F or 38 degrees C.

As usual we brought a great selection of minerals from all over the world, including a huge variety from Tsumeb, Namibia. Our room, 133, was set up by Saturday the 8th September and we were ready for business with four display cabinets filled with a fine worldwide specimens and books, and two drawer units of mineral cuties.

The Kristalle room at the Colorado Mineral and Fossil Show

Our room 133 at the Ramada Plaza

Mineral specimens on display in the Kristalle room at the Colorado Mineral and Fossil Show

Mineral specimens on display in the Kristalle room at the Colorado Mineral and Fossil Show

Minerals on display

Mineral Specimens on display at the Colorado Mineral and Fossil Show

Two volumes of a complete 5 volume set of James Sowerby's "British Mineralogy" Kristalle recently obtained.

Here are two volumes of a complete 5 volume set of James Sowerby’s “British Mineralogy” we recently obtained.

Fluorite from the Berbes Mining area, Ribadesella, Asturias, Spain.

A cluster of richly coloured interlocking purple cubes of Fluorite from the Berbes Mining area, Asturias, Spain.

Euhedral Cerussite crystals, mostly twinned, from Anarak, Iran

A superb plate of lustrous euhedral Cerussite crystals, mostly twinned, from Anarak, Iran

Legrandite from the Ojuela Mine, Mapimí, Durango, Mexico.

Some of the minerals in our cabinets including a great Legrandite from the Ojuela Mine, Mapimí, Durango, Mexico.

Octahedral Galena crystals from Joplin, Tri-State District, Jasper Co., Missouri, USA.

A bright cluster of parallel octahedral Galena crystals from Joplin, Missouri, USA.

As the heat wave continued we had our first look around the Ramada for anything new to hit the mineral world. Since the show did not officially open until Wednesday a lot of dealers had not yet arrived, and there were not many people around. We did however manage to see the first of the new finds at the show – new Pyrite specimens from Colombia in the room of Cornerstone Minerals, discovered earlier this year in April.

Pyrite crystal groups from the Orienti Mine, Chivor, Guavió-Guatéque Mining District, Boyacá Department, Colombia

A selection of Pyrite crystal groups from the Orienti Mine, Chivor, Guavió-Guatéque Mining District, Boyacá Department, Colombia

Pyrite from Colombia

A closer look at one of these Pyrite crystal groups

The weather continued to be hot with high humidity until Monday afternoon when heavy dark clouds began to appear and quickly covered the sky. We realised something was about to change.

The storm hits with torrential rain outside the venue

The storm hits with torrential rain outside the venue

Just one of the casualties!

Just one of the casualties!

Following the big storms of Monday, Colorado was in for more bad weather with the rain getting worse. The skies continued to open and Colorado experienced the heaviest rain falls recorded for more than 50 years. Floods closed roads and washed out entire cities such as nearby Boulder. Within one week this area of Colorado had as much rain as it normally has in a year… Never the less, everyone had to continue with the show and thankfully our journeys to and from the show were not badly affected.

Once the Colorado Mineral and Fossil show as fully open on Wednesday, several more new finds were on display. One such spectacular new find was released by RIL Inc. and Great Basin Minerals. Over the last 18 months these guys have been working under extreme conditions at the Rowley Mine in Maricopa County, Arizona. They dug a new 300 foot adit and retrieved the finest Wulfenite and Mimetite specimens so far known from this locality. The colour ranges from bright translucent honey yellow to a rich fluorescent orange.  Amazing pieces from an old time favourite location.

Wulfenite from Rowley Mine, Arizona

A complete pocket of these magnificent Wulfenites from the Rowley Mine.

Wulfenite from Rowley Mine, Arizona

A closeup of the pocket

A single crystal of Wulfenite

A single crystal of Wulfenite

Wulfenite and Mimetite from Rowley Mine, Arizona

A wonderful Wulfenite specimen with associated Mimetite

Wulfenite with Mimetite from Rowley Mine, Arizona

Another great Wulfenite with Mimetite

Mimetite from Rowley Mine, Arizona

Mimetite from Rowley Mine

Just to make the find even more incredible, there was a bonus – some great specimens of Diaboleite!

Diaboleite from Rowley Mine, Arizona

Diaboleite from Rowley Mine

Diaboleite

Diaboleite

Keith Wentz (President of RIL Inc) was very proud of the achievements of himself and his team at the Rowley Mine, however they came at a price. A few members of his team including Keith himself had to be hospitalized with the effects of lead poisoning. Despite the cautious use of face masks and breathing apparatus and the utilisation of pumping machines to help oxygenate the air in the adit, the high temperatures exacerbated the problem and a number of the team succumbed to the effects of the poisoning. A stark reminder to us all about the hazards of mineral collecting!

Another new find at the show this year was from the Deccan Traps volcanic province of India, courtesy of the Matrix India team. Local miners were digging a water well and at around 30 feet deep they came across a cavity lined with Stilbite and green Apophyllite. The flat terminated Apophyllite formed hemispherical aggregates of radiating crystals beautifully contrasting with the white Stilbite.
Apophyllite-1_web_375apophyllite2-web-375Apohyllite-India

Andreas Stucki from Siber & Siber, Switzerland with Ian and Wayne.

Andreas Stucki from Siber & Siber, Switzerland with Ian and Wayne.

On Wednesday night we were invited to the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, very pretty little town a few miles west of Denver city and close to the mountains. The School of Mines organises an event each year in conjunction with the Mineral Show. As well as their own wonderful collection on display, they have a special collector’s display area. This year Safaa and Richard Jackson (of the Collector’s Edge and local residents) were featured with a selection of specimens from their personal collection, as well as well known collector and show organiser Marty Zinn.

Worldwide specimens from the personal collection of Richard and Safaa Jackson

Worldwide specimens from the personal collection of Richard and Safaa Jackson

Richard and Safaa Jackson's gem minerals

Richard and Safaa Jackson’s gem minerals

Tourmalines from the collection of Marty Zinn

Tourmalines from the collection of Marty Zinn

A particularly beautiful pink Tourmaline slice from Martin Zinn's private collection.

A particularly beautiful pink Tourmaline slice from Martin Zinn’s private collection.

One of our favourite displays at the Colorado School of Mines was this cabinet filled with faceted gemstones and a beautiful Tiara – the Miss Colorado Crown has 613 stones consisting of Diamond, Zircon, Sapphire, Ruby, Amethyst, Elbaite Tourmaline, Peridot, Topaz, Citrine and Garnet. The crown was created by Molberg’s House of Jewelry and is on loan from the Rocky Mountain Jewelers Association.

GemCabinetCSM

Gold and Silver specimens alongside Gold jewellery and artifacts, from the Allison Boetcher collection

Gold and Silver specimens alongside Gold jewellery and artifacts, from the Allison Boetcher collection

After this very enjoyable evening our team had an early start on Thursday morning for set up at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show at the Merchandise Mart (fondly called ‘the Main Show’). Thick grey clouds were hanging over us all day and the rain never seemed to stop. Luckily we were able to use a loading bay to unload our cabinets and minerals directly from our truck, and we stayed mostly dry during the unloading process.

unloading in the rain

unloading in the rain

Showcases in position and minerals in boxes waiting to be displayed

Showcases in position and minerals in boxes waiting to be displayed

...but first the cabinets had to be cleaned - Liz Hacker on glass cleaning duty!

…but first the cabinets had to be cleaned – Liz Hacker on glass cleaning duty!

Displaying specimens to their best effect is one of the most time consuming processes in setting up at a show, and there is definitely an art to it. After a long day we are finally ready and our cases were filled with all the fine minerals we had brought to the show.

Kristalle's room at the Denver Gem and Mineral show with fine minerals on display

Display cases filled with minerals ready for opening day

Here is a brief selection of the minerals we had on display (if you see anything that takes your fancy, please contact us to find out more details on this or a similar specimen!)

Grossular Garnet from Jeffrey Mine, Asbestos, Quebec, Canada.

One of our many fine specimens of Grossular Garnet (var Hessonite) from the Jeffrey Mine, Quebec, Canada.

Beryl var. Emerald from the La Pita Mine, Mun. de Maripi, Boyacà Department, Colombia.

Beryl var. Emerald from the La Pita Mine, Colombia.

Fluorite with Siderite from Allenheads Mine (Beaumont Mine), East Allendale, Northumberland, England, UK.

A fantastic purple Fluorite with Siderite from a classic British locality – Allenheads Mine (Beaumont Mine), Northumberland, England.

carved Fluorite bowl from China

Something different but no less popular was this carved Fluorite bowl from China

Native Silver from the Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon, Lima Department, Peru.

A very fine Native Silver from the Uchucchacua Mine, Peru.

Rhodonite with Franklinite from Furnace Mine, Franklin Mining District, Sussex County, New Jersey, USA.

eye catching strawberry coloured Rhodonite with Franklinite from the Furnace Mine, Franklin, New Jersey, USA.

Gold wire from near Santa Liena, Venezuela

A Gold wire specimens, nicknamed ‘the snake’ from near Santa Liena, Venezuela

Last but not least we had this amazing new find of Gold specimens from Eldorado Co., California, USA. A young prospector searching for Gold over the last five years, using a metal detector, discovered these specimens and Wayne had the chance to acquire some of them shortly before the Denver show. Discovered near Georgetown, not far from the Eagle’s Nest Mine in Placer Co., this Gold is found in the same formations as the Eagle’s Nest Gold specimens and has to date produced crystals up to 1″ long. Both specimens pictured below are very well crystallised and exhibit flattened octahedral crystals.

Native Gold from El Dorado Co., California

Native Gold from near Georgetown, El Dorado Co., California

Native Gold from near Georgetown, El Dorado Co., California

Native Gold from near Georgetown, El Dorado Co., California

 

Each year the Denver Gem and Mineral show has a special theme, and this year’s theme was Tourmaline with many brightly coloured displays.

Impressive Tourmaline slices from Madagascar on display by the University of Wollongong, Australia.

Impressive Tourmaline slices from Madagascar on display by the University of Wollongong, Australia.

The display by Harvard University Museum showed a mix of Tourmaline specimens and polished slices.

The display by Harvard University Museum showed a mix of Tourmaline specimens and polished slices.

A very informative display from the Californian Academy of Science asking: "What does it mean to be a Tourmaline?"

A very informative display from the Californian Academy of Science asking: “What does it mean to be a Tourmaline?”

One of our favorites was the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum display, which featured Newry Tourmaline. Amateur field collectors  discovered a large quantity of gem Tourmaline in 1972 at the Dunton Mine in Newry, Maine. A selection from the find was featured together with cut stones and "watermelon" cross sections.

One of our favorites was the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum display, which featured Newry Tourmaline. Amateur field collectors discovered a large quantity of gem Tourmaline in 1972 at the Dunton Mine in Newry, Maine. A selection from the find was featured together with cut stones and “watermelon” cross sections.

The most amazing collectors cabinet was by far the one from Jim and Gail Spann from Rockwell Texas. The vast variety of Tourmalines from all over the world was astonishing.

The most amazing collector’s cabinet was by far Jim and Gail Spann’s of Texas. The vast variety of Tourmalines from all over the world was astonishing.

Beautiful Tourmaline cut stones and crystals from the Himalaya Mine, San Diego Co., California were on display from the North Jaffco Gem & Mineral Club.

Beautiful Tourmaline cut stones and crystals from the Himalaya Mine, San Diego Co., California were on display from the North Jaffco Gem & Mineral Club.

Martin Zinn not only had a cabinet at the Colorado School of Mines - he also put on this magnificent display of his finest Tourmalines at the Main Show. Some of the pieces were accompanied by drawings and featured on postcards. Others immortalized on front covers of mineral magazines.

Martin Zinn not only had a cabinet at the Colorado School of Mines – he also put on this magnificent display of his finest Tourmalines at the Main Show. Some of the pieces were accompanied by drawings and featured on postcards. Others immortalized on front covers of mineral magazines.

Sterling Hill Mining Museum had a very interesting display of collection sets dating as far back as 1830

Sterling Hill Mining Museum had a very interesting display of collection sets dating as far back as 1830

It was difficult to focus only on the special displays at the Show when so many of the dealers had such great specimens to offer. As is the norm, it is impossible to show you everything, so here are just a few of highlights:

Evan Jones from Unique Minerals had, as always, a fabulous display of Milpillas Azurites in his room. They were displayed with this complete set of polished Variscite slices from Clay Canyon,Utah – a real treat for the eyes.

Azurites from Milpillas Mine, Cuitaca, Sonora, Mexico and Variscite slices from Clay Canyon, Fairfield, Utah County, Utah

Azurites from Milpillas Mine, Sonora, Mexico and polished Variscite slices from Clay Canyon, Utah

Also in the Unique Minerals booth was this great Legrandite from the Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico.

Legrandite from the Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico

Legranite from Ojuela Mine, Mexico

Stephanie and Robert Snyder from Stonetrust also had a great selection of worldwide minerals on display.

Stephanie and Robert Snyder from Stonetrust.

Stephanie and Robert Snyder from Stonetrust.

Calcites from the Elmwood Mine, Tennessee

Wonderful honey to amber coloured Calcites from the Elmwood Mine, Tennessee from the Stonetrust.

With these pictures we say goodbye and hope you enjoyed our show report. Our next report will be from the Munich Show (Mineralientage) at the end of October, in Germany. This year the Munich Show celebrates its 50th Jubilee with a special exhibit of Gold from the best private collections and Museums from all over the world. We can’t wait!

Thank you from the Kristalle and Crystal Classics team.

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