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Tucson 2008 TGMS Show report - Part 2 - American Mineral Treasures Exhibition

Last Updated: 1st Apr 2008


The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show 2008

I gave a brief report while I was at Tucson with a video walkthrough - but I waited until now to start my main reports because there is simply too much to talk about.

Let me be clear, other people have said this before, but it is true. This is the best mineral show thematic display that has ever been on show anywhere in the world. You will never again see such an incredibly fine selection of minerals under one roof. Every single case was world-class, and when put together, they were simply unbelievable.

So, I am not going to do my usual report showing highlights from these displays. That would do them no justice at all.

I am going to try my best, with YOUR help, to document EVERYTHING completely. I have photos and videos galore, and I will add to these with your photos when you find something better. We will build up the most complete online reference to this phenomenal event.

Index of Displays


These will be updated to individual articles for each cabinet


The Alma Rose

Specimens from the American Philosophical Society

The Benitoite Gem Mine, California

Bisbee Mine, Arizona

Bunker Hill Mine, Idaho

Butte, Montana

California Gold

California Pegmatites - Tourmaline, Beryl and Other Pemgatite Minerals from the Peninsular Ranges

The Candelabra - Blue Cap Tourmaline

Specimens from the Carnegie Museum

Colorado Barite

Colorado Gold

Crater of Diamonds, Arkansas

Denny Mountain and Spruce Ridge, Washington

Dunton Mine, Maine

Eden Mills, Vermont

Elk Creek, South Dakota

Elmwood Mine, Tennessee

The Findlay Arch

The Flambeau Mine, Wisconsin

Franklin and Sterling Hill

The Glove Mine, Arizona

Graves Mountain, Georgia

Green Monster Mountain, Alaska

"Herkimer Diamonds", New York State

Hiddenite, North Carolina

The Himalaya Mine, California

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Illinois Fluorspar District

Italian Minerals - Sulphosalts from Marble Cavities (token European exhibit!)

Jacksons Crossroads, Georgia

George F. Kunz

Magdalena Smithsonite

More from the Magdalena Mine

Minerals of Manhattan

Meikle Mine, Nevada

Michigan Copper

Minerals from the Mineral Trust collection

Montana Moss Agates

The Morenci Mine, Arizona

Mount Antero, Colorado

Mount Mica, Maine

American Classics from the Natural History Museum, London

New Mexico Bureau of Mines specimens

Old Yuma Mine, Arizona

One Hit Wonders - Localities famous for one type of mineral or a single find

Pikes Peak, Colorado

Pulsifer Quarry, Maine

Ray Mine, Arizona

Red Cloud Mine, Arizona

Artifacts from the Red Cloud Mine

Red Fluorite from Colorado

Red, White and Blue - Patriotic Minerals!

Minerals from the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

Apatite from Sapo, Brazil - Token South American cabinet!

Gail and Jim Spann's Desautels Trophy winning display

Sweet Home Mine, Colorado

Tiger, Arizona

Tourmaline Queen Mine, California

Tri-State District

Twin Creeks Mine, Nevada

Utah Gem Rhyolites

Ultraviolet Minerals display

The Viburnum Trend

Labelling Issues!


Of course, with so many specimens on show, there had to be a few mistakes in the labels - and some of these were quite funny - I don't want this to in any way detract from the fabulous quality of the specimens at the show - both those on display and those for sale, but I couldn't resist taking snaps of these things that amused me.

Firstly, is there a town of Baja in the state of California? No, I don't think so either. Hint - it pays to check your localities on mindat.org BEFORE you send your labels off to be engraved.


Cumengeite from ... Baja, CA?


Second lesson. When copying out the mineral name from an old label, do make sure you read the FULL label!


Topaz with... ????


Third lesson. Nothing this good comes from Tennessee in reality - the name Tanzanite should really have been a clue here.


Tanzanite from ... Tennessee?


And finally, if you do have to remove a specimen from a cabinet during the show, do take the stand and label with you, especially when people start wondering what they are meant to be viewing!


An unbelievably clear wulfenite!


Come back soon!


This page will be updated with links to the details of individual cabinets. Bookmark this page!




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Comments

Great to see Washington represented (Denny Mountain/Spruce Ridge)! I'm surprised not to see Daybreak Mine Autunite or Washington Zeolites mentioned anywhere though :(

Karl Volkman
21st Feb 2008 4:24am
There was at least one Daybreak Autunite in one of the cabinets (maybe the 'One Hit Wonders' - I can't remember right now).

Jolyon

Jolyon & Katya Ralph
21st Feb 2008 11:22am
...that's what I call a glass-clear wulfenite!!
I wonder how the finder noticed it...

Chris

Chris Mavris
22nd Feb 2008 12:22am
In our Mineral Section meeting in Houston Wednesday night, those of us who attended and a few who didn't discussed the cases while my slides showed. I mentioned the lack of a prominent locality from the list - the quarries in Paterson and Prospect Park, which have been producing world class specimens for more than a hundred years. Others wondered about the inclusion of some "one-hit wonders" in the list, i.e. the Flambeau Mine, the Meikle Mine, while others were left off. Our general conclusion seemed to be that the bias, if it existed, was towards "pretty" minerals rather than black or white, and towards Western localities rather than Eastern ones. Our most senior collector, who has field collected all over New England, was amazed that Moat Mountain, NH and other significant New England localities were left off the list. Just a general opinion from Houston, TX. We weren't surprised at the lack of a Texas locality, since there are no really classic ones outside of the uranium pegmatites in the Hill Country. We just don't have a lot of pretty minerals.

Stephen C. Blyskal
22nd Feb 2008 4:12pm
In our Mineral Section meeting in Houston Wednesday night, those of us who attended and a few who didn't discussed the cases while my slides showed. I mentioned the lack of a prominent locality from the list - the quarries in Paterson and Prospect Park, which have been producing world class specimens for more than a hundred years. Others wondered about the inclusion of some "one-hit wonders" in the list, i.e. the Flambeau Mine, the Meikle Mine, while others were left off. Our general conclusion seemed to be that the bias, if it existed, was towards "pretty" minerals rather than black or white, and towards Western localities rather than Eastern ones. Our most senior collector, who has field collected all over New England, was amazed that Moat Mountain, NH and other significant New England localities were left off the list. Just a general opinion from Houston, TX. We weren't surprised at the lack of a Texas locality, since there are no really classic ones outside of the uranium pegmatites in the Hill Country. We just don't have a lot of pretty minerals.

Stephen C. Blyskal
22nd Feb 2008 4:29pm
Stephen,
The process for choosing which localities were to be included in the "official" AMT exhibit and book was actually fairly democratic. At Gene Meieran's instigation, a group of collectors, dealers, and museum people originally compiled a list of around 100 localities in the US that have produced great specimens. This group included some prominent East Coast folks such as Carl Francis, so I son't think there was necessarialy a "Western" bias.

The initial list was then circulated to a wider group of knowledgable collectors/dealers/curators, who were ask to rank the localities with the idea that the top 35 vote-getting locations would make the final cut. Obviously, this had to be done or the whole undertaking would have become unmanagable, and obviously someone's favorite would be left out. For those who were particularly miffed by this, there was the option to apply to the TGMS directly and mount your own display. Some folks did exactly this. Grass roots democracy in action.

Cheers,
Jesse

Jesse Fisher
22nd Feb 2008 5:32pm
You've only seen a small selection so far of what was on display. This year was a very special event, with an unprecedented number of individuals and institutions coming together and putting in the effort to make sure this was the best it could possibly be. When you consider the amount of work that had to go in to organizing this (and the cost) you'll understand what you missed.

You'll see good minerals in future shows, very good minerals. But I stand by what I said - something of this scale won't be repeated again in a long time.

Of course, I'd love to be wrong and I'd love future show organizers to prove me wrong in a big way. But that isn't going to happen any time soon.

Jolyon

Jolyon & Katya Ralph
3rd Mar 2008 1:11pm
At our Mineral Section meeting last night a further discussion of the Tucson Show took more than half the meeting. One of our collectors who also docents at the Houston Museum of Natural Science said the HMNS had requests for 100 specimens from it's collection for the displays at Tucson. He also said the final number that were sent was around 20, and they went by private jet. The word from the museum president was that he would never let so many of the prize specimens of the museum out at one time (the dragon gold, the Alma Queen rhodo, the big emerald, etc. etc.) again. That's why you won't see a display like this year's AMT display again. The risk for collectors and museums to have their specimens possibly damaged while being handled or transported is so great that they don't want to take the risk. The top specimens, like the ones I mentioned, are not replaceable. It's amazing that so many top specimens made it to the display cases.

Stephen C. Blyskal
6th Mar 2008 8:36pm

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