Pictures from the 2002 Tucson Show

Well, You've all been asking for them for some time, so here they are! I finally managed to post some of the photos that I took at the Tucson Show in Feburary of 2002.

It's a huge page with lots of big pictures so it may take a while to load. I purposely did not reduce the size of the pictures so that you can see all of the details. I hope that you like it and let me know what you think!

Best regards, Carl.

Every year the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society puts on one of the world's finest minerals shows. This grand event has evolved into a major mineral fest and each year individual collectors and institutions from around the world contribute by displaying some of the finest minerals in existence.

Each year the show has a different theme usually based on a particular mineral species or locality. This years theme happened to be my favorite, Africa! I went anticipating to see many amazing African specimens and ones from Tsumeb in particular. I was not dissapointed! Of course there were also some amazing cases of non-African related minerals as well.

Altough more than half of the cases displayed were owned by individual collectors I have decided to post pictures only from cases put in by museums and similar institutions. Also, the related web links are provided for your convenience.

OK Lets start big! This is one of the world's greatest mineral specimens ever! It is none other than the Newmont Azurite.

This stunning azurite is in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. It was found at Tsumeb in 1952 and was given to the museum by the Newmont Mining Corp.

Here are some other pieces from their stunning case of African minerals.

We have here an arsentstumebite pseudomorph after mimetite from the early days of Tsumeb.
Some really cool rhodochrosites from the N'chwaning mine in South Africa. Including a very fine large faceted example.
There are two mindblowing specimens of cuprite from Onganja, Namibia (one of my favorite localities). One is a large cluster that has the characteristic malachite coating, the other a beautiful euhedral crystal of gemmy red cuprite.
There are also three very nice aquamarine crystals from Jos, Nigeria. These are good sized and very gemmy throughout.
Also present was probably the best example I have seen at the show of the new find of Poldervaartite.
The last picture is of a very aesthetic Tsumeb combo. Bright yellow, gemmy mimetite on a contrasting soft pink matrix of cobaltian smithsonite. Wow!

I only got one picture unfortunately of a really neat case put in by the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History. It is an informative display of minerals that are cast type pseudomorphs. The green ball-shaped one in the center is from Tsumeb.

Next up is the extremely creative and aesthetic case put in by the Michigan College of Mines. Their case looked like an oldtime mineral cabinet and even had some original documentation from A.E. foote and others displayed alongside an old microscope and a drawer of classic specimens. Very classy!

The pretty chalcedony is from Idar Oberstein, Germany.
The really cool zincite is from the famous deposit at Franklin, New Jersey.
The calcite with copper and the silver are both excellent examples of what the Keeweenaw Peninsula in Michigan has to offer.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History put up a really nice case of large specimens from several diverse localities in Africa. I was bummed that my photo of their mindblowing Tsumeb azurite came out dark but here are some of the other pics.

Here we have an overview of the case and closeup shots of a hopeite from Broken Hill, Rhodesia (Yes it's named after the great Broken Hill in Australia). Also, there is a kermesite from Que que, Rhodesia and a cuprosklowdowskite from the Shinkolobwe mine in Zaire. Needless to say, these are very nice pieces!

Now we have some non-African minerals. Here are two outstanding specimens from Bisbee, Arizona displayed by the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. The one on the right is the exceedingly rare mineral graemite.

The Pacific Mineral Museum located in Vancouver, British Columbia is a new institution and they have put on a stunning display of African minerals. I can't wait to visit this new museum and I urge everyone to go to their website and check them out!
This first rock is perhaps one of my favorite specimens at the show. I like it cause of the brilliant, fiery orange color and the waxy luster. What is it? It is a unique cuprite included calcite from Onganja, Namibia. This kind of reminds me of the candy corn we eat around Halloween. Wow!
Next pic is an ajoite included quartz crystal from the Messina mine in the Transvaal district of South Africa. Those of you that know me know that these are among my favorite pieces to collect.

Third is a prehnite from Brandberg, Namibia. This is a very nice representation of the species.
This amblygonite is a very interesting piece.

Here are some very nice rough and cut examples of spessartine garnets from Marienfluss, Namibia and a rare and beautiful mineral known as jeremejevite. This is from the original find near Swapkomund, Namibia.

The Harvard Mineralogical Museum had a case of new aquisitions that were also nothing short of amazing. I was only able to get two decent pictures (lots of people and draining camera battery) but here they are! Beryls on the left and a VERY large ettringite on the right.

I can't wait to get to Italy to visit the Natural History Museum of Milan. They have quite an impressive collection as evidenced by these two minerals.

This is rhodizite from Madagascar. Rhodizite and the closely related and recently described species londonite (below) are also two of my top favorite minerals. Have you guessed by now that they are all my favorites! : )

Now, the following minerals are on display from the Houston Museum of Natural Science. As you can tell by the pictures these pieces are all amazing as far as quality and aesthetics go. I believe that several of the Tsumeb pieces in the case are regarded as the best examples in the world. This is one museum that I definitely need to visit!

Lastly, I am going to end with a somewhat blurry picture of the fabulous Oppenheimer Diamond from the Smithsonian Institution. It is simply stunning to see this 253.7-carat diamond octahedral crystal in person and there were plenty of people admiring it in awe. It was discovered at the Dutoitspan mine, near Kimberly, South Africa in 1964.

Now would be a good time to thank all the really cool people that make this show what it is. They take a risk and haul their minerals across the world and spend so much time and effort setting them up so we can see them. We owe them all great thanks for their dedication and passion. This includes museum curators and staff, all the private collectors who generously share their collections, and all the staff, volunteers and workers in Tucson and also those on the Tucson Show comittee.

So Thanks!