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Monday January 29th - The weather was sunny today with a high of 72 degrees.

Several of the wholesale shows officially started today. It's Showtime!

I thought I might as well stop back at the tent I've been watching them set up and see what they've been up to today. Butterflies? Mounted Big Game Heads? Yep... there's something for everybody at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, I guess. Last year at this tent somebody was selling dried piranha with realistic looking plastic eyes glued in. Pretty cool...

They did get manage to get some more rocks set up since I last stopped by. These unusual geodes were a little more interesting than the dead animal heads.

I stopped in at the Ramada Inn next door to the tent and set up a display of Bob's Rock Shop brochures in the lobby. Not much happening there yet. It will be buried under rocks and fossils in just a few more days.

I ventured a couple of blocks down the street to the Best Western Executive Inn again, where a number of dealers are already set up and open for business. Although the show at the Executive doesn't officially start until February 2nd, the hallways were already crowded while I was there. By this weekend it will be hazardous navigating them.

Some extremely fine cubic pyrite specimens from Navajun-(La Rioja)-Spain were displayed by Antonio Ros Vazquez, General Director and Manager of Minas Victoria, s.l. in Room 157 at the Executive Inn. The two rockhounds choosing among cubes are Camillo and Amaya Steiner, owners of Steiner's stailas, Mineralien & Steinschmuck. Some of these specimens are truly spectacular, with very sharp edged cubes fractally arrayed in gray clay-colored matrix. They were offered from $20 to $2000.

A few rooms up the hall in Room 152 was Valadares Minerals, a Brazilian mineral exporter. They showed some nice blue kyanite crystals in matrix from Barra Dos Salinas, Minas Gerais, Brazil. These specimens were offered from $5 to $60.

Valadares Minerals also displayed a little tourmaline forest, with crystals from at least five different Brazilian mines. These assorted mono, bi and tri-colored crystals were offered from $20 to $425.

Quartz crystals anyone? You won't walk by Room 145 at the Executive without noticing Carlos Vasconcelos's specimens posed by his door. The large yellow specimen in the foreground is a 27" high, 150 pound, smoky citrinated quartz crystal from the Galileia Mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil. You'll only need to part with $15,000 to take home this chunk!

I also admired the 29" high, 45 pound, dark smoky crystal peeking out from behind the foreground specimen. It has an extremely sharp and well defined point. It also exhibits a complete fracture close to the middle of the crystal. According to Carlos, this crystal was found by the miners in two pieces on opposite sides of a vug. Apparently it had been broken when the material surrounding it faulted. After being separated for probably many thousands of years, the two pieces are once again united. If you're on a budget, this specimen is a little less expensive than the first, and will only set you back $9000.

Aw, what the heck, I'll take 'em both!

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Index to Advertisers
AA Mineral Specimens
Alpine Minerals
Arizona Mineral Company
John Betts Fine Minerals
Lawrence H. Conklin, Mineralogist
Extinctions Fossils\
Gemart Services
Mineral of the Month Club
The Mineralogical Record Magazine
Rock of Ages
Rocks and Minerals Magazine
RockWare Earth Science Software
Simkev Micromounts
Shannon & Son's Minerals
Silver Supplies
The Sunnywood Collection
Tysons' Fine Minerals
UC Minerals
Dan Weinrich Fine Minerals
Wilensky Mineral Video
Williams Minerals Company
Wright's Rock Shop

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