Snapshots from the Tucson 2002 Gem and Mineral Show
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Danburite: It's What's for Dinner...
Composition: CaB2(SiO4)2

Hey, rockhounds - now here is a anecdote that is destined to become an urban legend from the Tucson Show. I initially heard this tale about 3rd or 4th hand and regarded it as so incredulous I thought someone was pulling my leg and didn't really believe it at first. But I finally heard an eye witness account from Pete Tescione, a Tucson dealer who was sharing space in Room 136 at the Executive Inn with French dealer Marie-Louise Navarro.

So here's the scoop... A rather disheveled looking individual came into Room 136 and his appearance caused the attending dealers some concern. However, the dealers were occupied with customers and this individual appeared to be just looking, so the dealers continued to concentrate on answering questions and catering to the needs of the collectors they were already engaged with and servicing. However, it wasn't long before everyone's attention was completely distracted by some nasty crunching sounds coming from the corner of the room.

When Pete looked over, the strange person's back was to him but Pete could see the guy was up to some kind of no good, and initially thought he was in the process of breaking up a specimen in his hands. However, when Pete moved over to where he could better see what was happening, he was flabbergasted to witness this guy in the process of biting off pieces from a calcite encrusted, San Luis Potosi danburite specimen, chewing them up and swallowing the shards! Needless to say this caused the dealers a great fright, as the danburite eater wasn't a small guy and was looking pretty out of it at that point. The dealers were concerned the danburite eater might become violent when they attempted to stop him, with very possible disastrous consequences for numerous specimens lining their glass shelves if there was an ensuing struggle or any wild thrashing about.

When the dealers finally established communication with the danburite eater and suggested to him it was time for him to leave their room, the mineralogical gourmet reportedly seemed incredulous himself and disbelievingly responded with, "You mean... you want me to leave?" It took the dealers some additional coaxing and rather delicate maneuvering to convince this guy that yes, they really did want him to leave. When the danburite eater finally got the message and was persuaded to comply with repeated requests for him to leave, his parting words were something to the effect that "You guys don't know what you are doing and are making a big mistake - I have thousands of dollars with me..."

Needless to say, the dealers weren't too anxious to have this guy as a customer and were very relieved just to get the danburite eater out of their room without further damage or a violent incident. When they returned to inspect the damage they found a magnum sized pharmaceutical type container full of pills left on the table where the danburite eater was having his crystalline desert...

Danburite is calcium boron silicate, a member of the orthorhombic crystal system. Popular with specimen collectors are very nice prismatic danburite crystals which come from San Luis Potosi, Mexico. These exhibit a diamond shaped cross section and a wedge-like termination. Danburite has a specific gravity of 2.97-3.02 and a hardness of 7-7.25. It is brittle, with one indistinct cleavage, and exhibits an uneven to conchoidal fracture when broken or bitten into...

Now according to metaphysical authorities, "Danburite's healing properties work well with the vision and heart chakras. The pink variety works with the heart chakra to bring self-love to the user. The frequencies help to connect us more fully with ourselves. Danburite also enhances creativity by helping your thoughts to flow easier. The colorless variety increases psychic vision and promotes connection with angels and guides while opening visual awareness of other realms, planets, and dimensions. Danburite intensifies all other healing energies as well. It is often called the 'stone of joy and celebration' encouraging people to get along with others."

Just for the record, I wish to note that danburite apparently does not mix so well with pharmaceuticals... What ingesting the danburite crystal connected this poor soul with was some authorities from the Tucson Police Department, who offered to arrest and charge him with theft. This did not seem appropriate to the now out of a danburite dealer, as it wasn't quite like the guy stuck it in his pocket to conceal it with the intention of shoplifting. "Well then, how about destruction of property?" suggested the cops, who seemed to feel it was a good idea to take this mineralogical gourmet into custody. But the dealer just wasn't comfortable with bringing criminal charges against the danburite eater. However, it was suggested to the officers there could be some rather deleterious medical consequences to ingesting danburite shards and so the danburite eater was taken off to a hospital for medical evaluation and treatment. Hopefully the doctors there brought in a chakra specialist along with the internist to provide this mineralogical connoisseur some follow up counseling and education regarding which minerals are appropriate to eat - and which minerals aren't...

Marie-Louise Navarro Room 136 Executive Inn - Le Moby Dick, Av. Bassaget, 34280 Carnon, France Phone/Fax: 04-67-50-66-36

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