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More Along the Strip Continued
Thursday February 1st - The weather was rainy and sometimes windy today with a high of 62 degrees.

I left the Discovery Inn went on south down the strip a little ways. It started raining again so I ducked into the Treasures of the Earth tent and took these shots while I was waiting the storm out.

Here's some fluorescent halite which was collected from the Salton Sea in California in 1954. They showed me a piece under shortwave UV and it fluoresces with a very bright orange color. While it was raining the tent leaked above these pieces and one was damaged before the drip was noticed. The largest specimen has a piece of sage brush sticking out of its top. These specimens were priced from $10 to $500. I'm still kicking myself in the butt for not buying a small piece of this stuff when I was there. I'll be back to see if they've got any small ones left...

Sulfur stalactites? Well, kinda... These are deposits that were left on the leaky joints of steam pipes in a Pennsylvania steel plant after a hundred or so years of operation. These pieces were collected when the plant was scrapped. They were offered from $20 to $200.

An Oligocene sea turtle, Stylemus nebrascensis, from Nebraska. $3000 for this one.


A 15,000 year old Russian cave bear skeleton. This one's a composite, assembled from the remains of several of its species. This one will cost you a buck a year.

The rain subsided after fifteen minutes or so and I headed on down the strip to the Pacifica/AKS Show at the Holiday Inn Express. While I was browsing there I met J. Blue Sheppard of Millennium, Inc. in Room 144.

"Blue" owns the Kelly Mine in New Mexico, which is world renowned for its smithsonite. Of course, he brought some to the Show. The two large pieces center left were offered at $4500 each. The large piece center right commanded $6000. The smaller pieces in boxes surrounding the center pieces were priced between $700 and $1000.

J. Blue Sheppard also happens to own the Stuart Mine in California, which produces quartz, lepidolite, and gem quality pink tourmaline. The gem quality material is five times rarer than gem diamond and costs ten times more than pure gold. The specimens in this picture ranged in price from $95 to $1600. Also available through Millennium Inc. was The Story of Tourmaline, an informative video which presents a lot of information regarding this popular mineral and its history.

It was getting dark and I was close to exhausted so I headed back up the strip and had called it a day as far as browsing and filming was concerned. However, I just couldn't resist poking my head in a few rooms on my way back. If I hadn't done that I would have missed these beautiful mesolites from India which were brought to the Show by Thomas G. Nagin of Crystal Springs Mining and Jewelry Company and displayed in Room 153 at the Days Inn.

There was a whole shelf of specimens priced between $70 and $1800. There were also numerous larger pieces laying about here and there. Here's two of them. The foreground piece was offered at $2200. The larger piece in the background wanted $5800.

Right next door in Room 152 were some very remarkable pieces of vivianite from Bolivia. The deep lustrous green color of this material was stunning. The specimens in these shots were offered from $90 to $9000.

I'll be returning to these two rooms with my 35mm to try to get some images that do more justice to these magnificent mesolites and vivianites. There were many other gorgeous specimens to spend time with here as well.

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