Snapshots from the Tucson 2000 Gem and Mineral Show
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Japan Law Twins - Early Birding at the InnSuites

It was a beautiful, cloudless day today on Thursday, January 27th with a high temperature of 65°, perfect conditions for browsing the Show. I had hoped for a picture and stopped by V-Rock Shop on Main Street to see if the tardy 2+ meter amethyst geode they were expecting had arrived, but it had been further delayed and wasn't expected now until sometime next week. The InnSuites Hotel is just a few blocks south of V-Rock Shop so I ventured on down there in hopes of getting in a little early bird browsing and rock shopping, and I wasn't disappointed.

The InnSuites is one of four locations for the Arizona Mineral and Fossil Show, which are organized and promoted by Martin Zinn Expositions. The Arizona Mineral and Fossil Shows are public shows and retail customers and traffic are welcome by most of the participating dealers. The other Arizona Mineral and Fossil Show locations are at the Executive Inn, the Ramada Inn and the Mineral and Fossil Marketplace. The InnSuites is located at 475 North Granada, between the Executive Inn and downtown Tucson. The Executive Inn, Ramada and Marketplace shows are clustered together within easy walking distance of each other at the intersection of North Oracle Road and Drachman. The show at the InnSuites has enjoyed rapid growth in the last several years and has picked up many of the dealers who formerly showed at the La Quinta, which terminated its show last year.

The show at the InnSuites will host approximately 140 dealers and artists this year. It does not officially open until Sunday, January 30th, but I found several dealers there already set up, or nearly so, and ready to rock. Shown at left is the Arizona Mineral and Fossil Show guide for their 2000 shows, which features some cool cover art by Wendell Wilson, editor of the Mineralogical Record.

Crystal Springs was well underway with their setting up in the Buckley Room just off the lobby in the InnSuites. They had already set up extensive selections of Bolivian amethyst clusters with humongous crystals, Peruvian pyrites and quartz sprays with pyrite, and some Deccan Traps zeolites. New for Crystal Springs and at Tucson this year are Japan law twin quartz crystals from a new locality, the Pampa Blanca Mine, Inca Department, Peru.

Quartz belongs to the hexagonal crystal system, and in the trigonal trapezohedral class quartz shows several types of twinning, including Brazil Law twins, where the twin plane is perpendicular to an a axis. Dauphine twins are another type of quartz twin which is a penetration twin with the c-axis the twin axis. Japan Law twins are the rarest twin form of quartz, with the twin plane {1122}, and specimens exhibiting this habit are highly sought after by collectors and quartz connoisseurs. Above left is a view across Crystal Spring's showroom at the InnSuites and at right is an overview of the display of the twins, which occupied several shelves populated with some larger clusters, and approximately 10 flats filled with smaller specimens. Anticipating strong interest in these I inquired if they had more of the twins that weren't displayed yet, but what you see is the extent of what they have.

Above left is a view into one of the flats where the smaller specimens were displayed. The smaller pieces in these flats were keystone priced and the spread ran from about $20 to $300 each. Most of the larger pieces were net priced. At right is an exceptionally nice 14 cm cluster with numerous twins on matrix which was offered at $800.

At left is a very pretty 5 cm twinned crystal priced at $40 keystone. My heart skipped a couple of beats over this one until I noticed that it had been broken and repaired - note the break line right between the twins. Still a very pretty piece, but... At right is a a larger, 7cm specimen that wasn't as etched and hadn't been broken. It wanted $300 keystone.

At left is another cluster of twins on matrix. This cluster measured about 11 cm overall and it was offered at $800. At right is a 4 cm twinned crystal which was priced at only $20 keystone. It was rather gemmy, but it wasn't as symmetrical as the top dollar getters and the terminations were a little tatty, but the price was right on for the less than affluent collector desirous of a Japan law twin. I've certainly seen lesser j-twins priced considerably higher...

Above left is a smaller cluster about 7 cm overall with a prominent twin, the longest crystal measuring about 4 cm in length. This piece wanted $200 keystone. To its right is a gemmy 7 cm twinned crystal which carried a price of $450 keystone.

Above left is a 19 cm cluster on matrix especially nice to my tastes. I tried counting the twins on this piece but there were so many I kept getting lost. I forgot to write down the price on this one but I recall it wanting about $1500 net. Note the quater for scale. At right is another cluster with larger twinned crystals on matrix. This one measures about 17 cm overall and it wanted $3500 net.

For the dealer looking for a flat of twins from Pampa Blanca, Crystal Springs had just this one, part of which is pictured above left, with a total of 54 specimens for $500 net - less than ten bucks a pop. That's a quarter included for scale. The top dollar getter in this assortment of j-twins was the large cluster shown above right. The larger crystals on it in the foreground of this picture were about 4 cm in length and this specimen was commanding $8,500 net.

A number of dealers dropped in at Crystal Springs and checked out these twins while I was photographing them. They all remarked on these rocks using technical mineralogical jargon like "awesome" and "wonderful". Given the rarity of Japan Law twins, the new locality and the aesthetics of a number of these pieces, it's a pretty safe bet the highest quality pieces and best bargains to be found among these Japan law twins will be snapped up very quickly. Early birds...

Crystal Springs Mining and Jewelry Company, Inc., Email: PO Box 40, Royal, Arkansas 71968 Phone: 501.991.3357 Fax: 501.991.3281

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