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Denver Show 2010

Last Updated: 3rd Oct 2010

By David Von Bargen

Denver 2010

In the third week in September, the Gem and Mineral clubs of the Denver area hold a joint show with exhibits from many private collectors as well as from a number of museums. There are nine other privately organized shows with dealers, a number of which are clustered around the Denver Coliseum. A major venue for minerals is the Holiday Inn show promoted by Marty Zinn. He also has a fossil show that is in the Merchandise Mart. The attendance did seem to be down a bit this year, it was pretty easy to find a parking space at the Holiday Inn, unlike previous years.

Jewel Tunnel (Rock Currier) in tent at Holiday Inn Show

A nice selection of large and sharp octahedrons of cuprite were available from a number of dealers. These will most likely be instant classics for cuprite.

Russian cuprites

Thursday is setup day for dealers and exhibitors.

Exhibition cases ready for filling

Denver is sort of unique in that dealers have rooms where they can set up their wares.

Hallway with dealer rooms

Dealer setup

MAD (Mineralogical Association of Dallas) setup

MAD setup later

MAD setup much later

MAD setup - "Kibitzing welcome"

Museum case setups

Dealer room setup (Collector's Edge)

The show emphasizes getting youngsters involved in the hobby with school class field trips to the show on Friday morning and scout excursions on Saturday. In addition to the displays, the eastern area of the hall contains many educational and fun activities. Grab bags can be purchased, there is gold panning, several federal and state agencies provides outreach and free literature to the public. Many of the area clubs also have demonstrations of various aspects of the hobby and there was mineral and rock identification services. Mr. Bones also provided entertainment to many by "eating" attendees.

Gold Panning setup

Ready for the kids

Friday morning

Grab bags

Grab bags - the "rush"

Importance of minerals

Mr. Bones attacks.

Brandy Nagel face painting

The Creede mining district was the theme for the show. Many fine specimens of native silver, amethyst and barite were on display, along with some good examples of the rarer minerals from the area.

Silver from Creede - Colorado School of Mines

Silver in amethyst

Silver wires

Sowbelly agate



Miscellaneous Creede minerals

Dave Bunk put in a major case of Creede minerals with mining stocks as background.

Dave Bunk case

Dave Bunk case

Dave Bunk case

Galena - Dave Bunk

Young collectors are showcased

Results of field collecting

Smoky quartz

Prospectors cup competition

It wasn't all Creede.

Moss agate

Mining artifacts - Cincinnati Museum.
Copper fan.

Scrimshaw on datolite - Phoenix mine

Copper - Phoenix mine

MAD case

Enjoyed by all

Adjacent to the main show was the Fossil Expo.

Cory in Fossil expo

Fossil group


There were even some fossils scattered throughout the main show.

Opalized shells

Dealers had some new finds and some nice recycled material.

Chinese rhodochrosites - Collectors Edge

Chinese rhodochrosite - Collectors Edge

Silver, Chanarcillo - Kristalle

Chrysoberyl, Zimbabwe - Crystal Classics

One could find some old (and new) books at the show.

Agricola's De Re Metallica 4th printing. Dan and Diana Weinrich

There was the release of the "Jim and Dawn Minette Collection" book at the show. Saturday afternoon some of the authors and photographer were on hand to sign the book. I tend not to like "vanity" press books put out by people who have built collections by "silver picking", but many of the pieces in the book were field collected, exchanged or purchased serendipitously and the descriptions detail how they were obtained. Their major collections were borates, smithsonites, thumbnails and "mistresses".

Minette book signing - Dawn Minette-Cooper

Minette book signing - Jeff Scovill

Minette book signing - Paul Pohwat (Smithsonian) Si and Ann Frazier

Next year the theme of the show will be Russian minerals.

Michael Leybov, Marie Huizing, Donna Leicht and Ludmilla Egorova

Who is this man and why will he show up in the Jan-Feb Rocks & Minerals?

Marie Huizing in the auction prep room


Setting up for the Saturday night silent auction

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Great article David! I especially like the rear view of the MAD team with the reflected view in the mirror - and the teaser, too... with the "who is this man?" But I have a question - vis-a-vis the Minette collection - what does "mistresses" mean in context of mineral collecting?

thanks for the report!

Maggie Wilson
27th Sep 2010 12:40pm
It is a term that Paul Pohwat uses to describe specimens that don't fit the main specialties - "Even with a plan, however, many collectors encounter specimens that do not fit their criteria, but they still want them. In spite of reason and whatever discipline collectors may have imposed on themselves, they fall madly, uncontrollably in love with certain specimens that do not fit into one of their specialties."

David Von Bargen
27th Sep 2010 11:42pm
So Maggie, I guess we call those pieces "Pool Boys"?

Gail Spann
2nd Oct 2010 8:29pm
A better term might be "cicisbeo" (although "Pool Boys" would best work for hydrated species).

David Von Bargen
3rd Oct 2010 9:04pm

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