It was partly cloudy today with a high of 67 degrees. In spite of the clouds it was a nice day and comfortable T-shirt weather. Today I stopped by the Arizona Mineral and Fossil Show at the Ramada and Executive Inns to visit with some more of the early bird dealers and their rocks.
While crossing the courtyard at the Ramada Inn, I came across this table laden with spheres outside Room 190. These ranged in size from about 4 inches to 12 inches. The smaller ones appeared to be made from chalcedony and marble, with the larger ones from a shell-laden fosiliferous material. Shown center is a close-up of an 8 incher, offered at $120. These spheres all came with a wooden display stand and were priced from about $40 to $300, depending on the size. I'm no expert on spheres by any means, but I know enough of what goes into making them to consider $300 for a 12" sphere to be a pretty fair price.
On a table behind the spheres was this attractively displayed calcite specimen. It was about 18 x 24 inches and framed with what was obviously a custom fabricated, hand carved, wooden frame. This specimen was from China and was priced at $300.
Futher back in the Ramada Inn courtyard set up in front of room 159 was L & J Fossils, a Romanina cave bear specialist. If you were in the market for a complete Romanian cave bear, they had a big one offered at $50,000. This table was laden with cave bear skull and jaw parts. You could buy a jaw fragment with teeth from $20 on up to about $250 for a complete jaw bone. The fragment with two molars shown at right was priced at $25.
This dealer also had several boxes full of authentic, ancient Roman Empire coins and other artifacts such as pins and clasps, mostly fabricated from copper. I don't know anything about coins or collecting such antiquities, but I thought some of the coins showing emperor busts were pretty neat, and also found it remarkable that you could take your pick from several hundred for five bucks apiece.
Dernbach's in room 136 at the Ramada Inn showed these interesting and unique pine cone fossils from Argentina. Shown center is a fine specimen that was about 3 inches long. It was offered at $600. Shown right is a box full of less than perfect specimens that you could take your pick from for $25. As you'll see from the images below, some of these pine cones are striking when sectioned and polished and the "rough box" could be considered a potential source of some rather exotic lapidary material. The cut and polished specimens ran between about $250 and $500.
Dernbach's was also showing this lovely group of Mesosaurus fossils from San Paulo, Brazil and the Permian period of the Paleozoic era. An very aesthetic specimen to my tastes. It's just one of those art by God things, you know. Shown at right is a close-up of one of them. The entire specimen was about 24 inches in overall length. Unfortunately, I was a little shy of the $8000 net needed to take this one home.
I swung by the Executive Inn and in the lobby I found Jordi Fabre's "fishbowl" open. Traffic wise, this has got to be one of the prime spaces available at the EI, provided you're not shy, claustrophobic, and don't need a lot of space. Today was the first day Fabre Minerals was open for up-close showing in the fishbowl.
One of the specimens displayed was this nice neptunite from the Gem Mine in San Benito County, CA, shown at center. The neptunite crystal was about an inch high. It wanted $540. Shown at right is an interesting calcite with quartz from the Herja Mine in Romania. This large cabinet sized specimen was priced at $600.
Jordi also showed an entire case of striking green pyromorphites from the San Andres mine in Spain. The color of these specimens is somewhat of a rarity in minerals and these pyromorphites attract a lot of attention and stop-sees. The crystals are very lustrous. These went for about a hundred bucks and up. Shown center and in a close-up at right is a fine piece which Jordi had already sold to another dealer. It went for "a lot".
Fabre Minerals also showed this rhodochrosite from the Sweet Home Mine in Alma, CO. It is about 5 inches across. Note the clear quartz crystals scattered here and there among the rhodochrosite in the close-up. This gemmy little chuck was asking $4280.