Natural Bridges Nat. Mon., Utah - October 2009 - photo by John Veevaert
John Veevaert    6152 Mia Vista Dr., Reno Nevada  USA  (888) 689-8402



 

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Tucson 2018
 
It is the Wednesday after the last day of the Tucson Show.  Most folks have gathered their things and are back home wherever that may be around the world.  Ronna and I will stay on here for one more week.  We've many orders to ship from here in Tucson and, frankly, the weather is nice here as compared to back home in Reno. 
 
In this segment I will cover many of the displays that were available to see here.  But first how about this clever display arranged by Scott Werschky's oldest son Leighton.  Pretty cool!


I have had this affliction before.

 


Isaias Casanova chatting with a visitor in his booth at the main show.

 

The theme for the main show this year was crystals and crystal forms.  Many displays I think struggled with what this theme was supposed to embody.  Actually compared to past show themes this one was okay but I will go back to 2008 and the American Mineral Treasures theme (it is worth a few minutes of your time to click that link and poke around).  There will never ever be anything like that one so perhaps trying to compare any year to another is an exercise in futility.  They are each different and they each are designed to enlighten the collecting public and various aspects of this fascinating hobby.  Actually, having a theme like the one this year scratches an itch I have since I frequently belly ache about the lack of interest in aspects of minerals such as crystal form, associations, chemistry and so on.  

Not all of the cases attempted to be centered on the theme.  Some were just stunning collections of mineral specimens in private collections.  So as you peruse these you'll see non-theme related cases mixed into the line up.

 

 


Jesse Fisher & Joan Kuresczka had a fine display of feldspars depicting all possible crystal forms.

 



Carlsbad, Baveno and Manebach twins & untwinned crystals.  Who says feldspar in boring?

 


A couple more from Jesse and Joan!

 

 


Copper crystals showing various isometric forms.
 

 

 


Phil Gregory had a really exceptional collection of toe nail sized specimens.
 
 
 

U of A had a nice collection of specimens donated to them from the Davids. 
 
 

One of the finest Daybreak mine autunites I have ever seen. The specimen is about 15 cm across. 
 
 
 

I love these Glove mine wulfenites. 

 


Leave it to the Spanns to break out the good stuff - a case of Brazilian eye candy.
 
 

These tourmalines colored by copper are the BOMB !
 
 

Just a few more incredible specimens...
 
 
 

I have never seen a finer rhodochrosite from Brazil ever!
 
 
 

The MAD group also know how to throw a good rock party.
 
 
 

It was tough to single out the best rock in the case but this one got my attention.  Benitoite!
 
 
 

The wildest calcite specimen I can ever recall seeing.
 
 
 

Check that Brazilian polyhedroid agate out and that fluorite with quartz from China!
 
 
 

This case was dedicated to quartz and it many forms and its myriad inclusions. 
 
 
 

These yellow colored quartz crystals are very odd.  That is a nice chunk of Georgia sitting next to it.
 
 
 

These two smoky amethyst specimens from Madagascar caught my eye. 
 
 

A Montana classic from Crystal Park.
 
 

This case was dedicated to twinning in calcite.
 
 

"Fish tail" twin
 
 
 

C-Twins in calcite.    
 
 
 

This case won the best of theme.  Some very interesting forms in this one.
 
 

The classic iron cross from a pyrite twin.
 
 

Every specimen in this case was just sensational!
 
 
 

A knock out legrandite from the Ojuela mine.
 
 
 

The finest rhodo in the world comes from South Africa. Period.
 
 

This case featured the numerous forms pyrite can take with crystals and wooden models.  Old school!
 
 
 
 
 

Textbook examples.    
 
 
 

More textbook examples.
 
 

Good stuff!
 
 

California collector Dan Carlson had a fine group of specimens including...
 
 

"Magneto".  This is one of the few non benitoite specimens I regret selling. My original image on the right...
 
 
 

Mineral Wines guy Brett Keller with his Benitoite Collection.
 

I could be wrong but I believe Brett has etched most of these himself.
 
 

Brett also had his Toe Nail size collection on display.  The front line are specimens he's used for all of his wine labels.
 

The whole shooting match with the wines included.
 
 
 

Another fabulous case of twinned minerals.
 
 

Check out this corundum contact twin. 
 
 
Okay, that is it for Tucson 2018.  What a busy 2.5 weeks it has been.  On a personal note I am going to scale back my sales as a dealer next year and get back to what I do best which is scare up deals and post them to the web. Being stuck in a booth for days at a time is not what "rocks my world".   So that will be a change for me in 2019!
 
Tucson 2018, in general, was perplexing. There are a growing number of satellite shows which are diluting the concentration of minerals around town.  Admittedly I am part of that new trend with the Just Minerals Event  and Tsumeb Mineral Forum.  There's several other new venues that have opened up for whole sale material.  I think this is due to a frustration with the existing venues such as the Hotel Tucson City Center and its loss of parking and deteriorating grounds and the "needle in a haystack" hunt for good rocks at the Riverpark or Pueblo.  They can be found there but it is a challenge.  Hence many dealers are banding together to form their own "center" of like material to attract buyers.  And the buyers are finding them. 
 
Also mineral prices for the best specimens are just nothing short of hard to imagine.  Several rooms at the Westward Look show were filled with not one or two mansions worth of minerals but blocks of mansions worth in Beverly Hills.  The talks I had with numerous dealers and collectors is that there are like maybe 40 - 50 people in the world who collect at that level but the other 99.995 % of us can only dream about owning minerals like this anymore.  Many collectors have basically said they are done collecting because they can no longer afford what they want.  So they come to Tucson for the friendships and good times and to stare at the rocks they wish they could afford. And man are there A LOT of good rocks that can be found here in Tucson!!!  But there are still some magical moments when a mysterious person or persons swoop in and make a huge splash buying up a half million dollars worth or even a million.  It happened to several dealers here in Tucson this year.  But I assure you I was not one of them... ;)
 
Another item talked about a lot was the surge of new "younger" dealers coming into the hobby who know virtually nothing of what minerals are or why they are important.  The general feeling is that they are in this "game" to clean money from some other source and the result is a bit funky.  They frequently offer busted rocks with 5 digit prices or pieces that are very common for the same. These are just really hard to stomach.  But they were here in large numbers.  So... Those of us who have lived with minerals for most of our lives can wade through all this nonsense but the new folks coming on to the hobby have to be scratching their heads so hard that their scalp is about gone.  Is it time for some governing body to emerge to reign in this insanity?  It was talked about before but the approach was wrong and exclusionary.  It feels like it is time for something or some governing body to create an association of dealers that meet a certain criteria.  This is hard though since above all it must be fairly administered and not exclusionary.     
 
I don't know what the answer is but I will fall back to my old song and dance which is: learn all you can about mineralogy and visit museum or universities where you can see high quality collections of minerals on display. Before you start prying $100 bills out of your wallet  ASK QUESTIONS of the man or woman selling the rock and have them tell you why the thing is worth $150, $5,000, $30,000, $74,000 or $1.4 million.  If you are forking over large sums of cash and not asking detailed questions about what it is you are paying for, and then the day comes when you want to sell the specimen(s) to improve your collection, and are told that you can get 25% of what you paid for it/them, well then that is on you.  Informed buyers can do A LOT to bring this hobby back in to the realm of reason. 
 
Alright my 2018 rant is over. All of the above is just what it is important to me and what I think is only important to me and I could be wrong.  As I have said before there is no where else I would rather be than in Tucson in January and February and I will continue to do this as long as I can.  I love it here and enjoy spending time with the many people who are part of this community and of course immersing myself in the world of minerals.
 
See you all here again next year,
 
 

Past Shows & Reports
PLEASE NOTE: The minerals that were offered on these pages are all sold
1999
Munich Show
2000
Sainte Marie Show
Munich Show
2001
Sainte Marie Show
Munich Show
2002
Tucson Show
Sainte Marie Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2003
Tucson Show
Sainte Marie Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2004
Tucson Show
West Coast Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2005
Tucson Show
West Coast Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2006
Tucson Show
Bologna Show
Sainte Marie Show
East Coast Show
Munich Show
2007
Tucson Show
Dallas Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2008
Tucson Show
West Coast Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2009
Tucson Show
West Coast Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show

2010
Tucson Show
San Francisco Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show

Munich Show

2011
Tucson Show
San Francisco Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show

2012
Tucson Show
West Coast Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show  
Munich Show

2013
Tucson Show
Sainte Marie Show
Crystal Days (Poland)
East Coast Show
Munich Show

2014
Tucson Show
Denver Show 

Munich Show

2015
Tucson Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show 
Munich Show

2016
Tucson Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show 
Munich Show

2017
Tucson Show
Munich Show

2018
Tucson Show

 
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