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Tucson 2018 - A Preview!

Last Updated: 23rd Jan 2018

By Jolyon Ralph



Here's a very brief summary of what we'll be doing, where you can meet us (tentatively), and how you can help support mindat.org during the most important mineral event of the year, as well as some information about the happening events going on during the show.

As things unfold, some of this may change, but you can keep tabs on us day-to-day by tuning into the Tucson Live Reports we will be running throughout our time at the show!


THE MINDAT SILENT AUCTION - Saturday, February 10th

The most important event for mindat.org during the Tucson Show is the Mindat Silent Auction held during the TGMS Saturday Night Program on February 10, 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Street, Tucson, Arizona. Every year we have over 200 items generously donated by dealers and collectors to be sold to raise funds for mindat.org.


Participating in mindat.org auctions is a key way to support mindat.org - by donating an item or bidding, you can help keep mindat.org operating and expanding! If you are attending the Tucson Show this year, please consider making a donation or attending the auction to grab some great specimens at a competitive price.

To arrange a donation pick-up, please contact Erin at erin@mindat.org.

You DO NOT need a ticket for the evening banquet to come in and bid, but if you want to enjoy the other benefits of the Saturday Night Program, tickets will be available on the TGMS website (http://www.tgms.org/show/)!

Please be sure to bring cash and/or checkbooks for your auction spending, as currently we are unable to take credit card payments for auction items - sorry! (We hope to have this in place before the Denver Show 2018.)

THE ANNUAL MINDAT MEET-UP - Sunday, February 4th

We usually meet up on the last Monday night before the TGMS show, but this year we're trying something different - to meet up during the day because too many people tell me evenings are too difficult.


So we're going to meet up at 1:30PM in the courtyard of the Hotel Tucson City Center around the food tent to (hopefully!) enjoy some good weather and to talk about rocks. Some of the dealers there are going to be unable to leave the room to join us, so we'll move the party around to say hi to them! Special priority given to dealers who stock up on drinks before we come round, we'll stay with you longer :) Or, for my Russian friends, Приготовь водку!


The Tucson shows start around the 25th but we won't be arriving until the 31st. So if you're one of those who likes to get in and get out early we won't be seeing you this year - sorry!

You're likely to see us out and about the show, running our usual Live Reports. There are also a few places you can find us being official behind a table - these are the best places to come by and check out our latest gadgets, get your newest mindat merchandise (more about that below), etc.:

Sunday, February 4th - Westward Look Sunday Evening Program, 6:30PM

This will be the first official mindat.org table during Tucson 2018, so if you want to be the first to see what's happening with mindat, this is the place to catch us!

The event will be held in the Sonoran Ballroom at the Westward Look Resort and includes a presentation from Ian Bruce on Chasing Minerals Across the Continents, along with special guests/presenters Diana Bruce, Martin Števko, and Phil Taylor.

Monday, February 5th - The Tsumeb Forum, 2PM - 7PM

If you miss us at Westward Look, you can find us set up at the Tsumeb Forum at the Elks Lodge (1800 N. Oracle Road, Tucson).

This year's Tsumeb Forum will be include presentations from Gail & Jim Spann on Tsumeb in Texas and Mike Rumsey & Mal Southwood on Early Tsumeb Specimens at the Natural History Museum, London, as well as a selection of dealers and refreshments.

This event requires an RSVP. Be sure to send that by February 2nd to debbie@crystalclassics.co.uk if you plan to attend.

Thursday, February 8th to Sunday, February 11th - The Tucson Gem & Mineral Show

If you still haven't had a chance to see us, find us at the main event: the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show at the Tucson Convention Center! We'll have a booth, as always, in the upper atrium. This year we'll be doing something new: a series of mindat mini-presentations at the booth!


Below is the provisional timetable of mini-presentations, but be sure to check our board at the booth at the start of the show day to confirm times. Note that we only have a very limited number of chairs, but we will keep the presentations short and sweet (20 minutes each).

Thursday2:00pmNew Features Preview
3:00pmUploading your photos to mindat.org (suitable for beginners)
Friday11.00amNew Features Preview
2:00pmHow to use mindat.org to help identify minerals (suitable for beginners)
4:00pmLocality Editing (for those with mindat.org experience)
Saturday1.00pmNew Features Preview
2:00pmHow to use mindat.org to help identify minerals (suitable for beginners)
Sunday11.00amNew Features Preview
12:00pmHow to use mindat.org to help identify minerals (suitable for beginners)
2:00pmCreating articles on mindat.org (for those with some experience of mindat.org)
3:00pmUploading your photos to mindat.org (suitable for beginners)

(You'll also have to keep a close eye on the display cases this year: in addition to our usual case dedicated to auction item previews, we'll also have our first ever Tucson mindat.org educational display case!)



Our t-shirts will be available from 1) the Mineralogical Almanac booth in the lobby at the HTCC show, 2) at the Sunday Night event at the Westward Look Show, 3) at the Tsumeb Forum at the Elks Ldoge, and 4) and at our Monday meet-up. Don't expect any to be left for the main show, they usually sell out pretty quickly! Some of these are in VERY LIMITED NUMBERS in the popular sizes.


For everyone who is proud of their crystallography addiction (just be careful about visiting dyslexic relatives). Perfect for mineralogists, crystal enthusiasts, chemical engineers, or anyone who just enjoys a slightly off-color but delightfully nerdy joke.



By popular demand, a simple mindat.org logo tee. If you find yourself referencing mindat.org daily, this is a great way to save yourself some time in conversation - just point to your chest!



Since bringing the Welcome to Tsumeb design to Tucson this year, we've had many asking whether there will be more - here they are! While the original shirt was a limited edition on 'dioptase' (ish) green, this run will be on 'cerussite' tan, which should make it perfect for digging in any of the various 'tan' dirts. Of course, it's fine for just wearing around town also. The design features the headframe of the De Wet shaft and is the perfect way to show your passion for Tsumeb.




For use at home or in the field, the battery-powered microscope allows you to study tiny things anywhere! Easy to take in the field or to the show (of course it also works at home!). Features regular lighting as well as UV and includes a kit of relevant tools for the examination of small objects plus a 2 megapixel digital camera eye-piece!



If you haven't had a chance to see this bit of technology yet, be sure to stop by one of our booth locations and see it for yourself. In short, the ARC is a display case with a LCD screen as the front panel - this allows for a whole new dimension to the art of display! The possibilities are endless!

More details about the ARC can be found here: the Augmented Reality Cabinet, but come by any of our booths to see it in action!



There are a multitude of things going on during the Tucson show - too many to hope to make it to all of them. But here are some of the things happening around Tucson that are worth checking out!

Dinosaur Meteorite Exhibit

January 25 - February 10 at the 22nd Street Show's new Showcase Tent

A massive interactive Dinosaur Meteorite Exhibit hosted by Dinosaur Brokers and Aerolite Meteorites. This exhibit includes the public debut of a skillfully rendered dinosaur and meteorite display. Open to the public daily.

There will also be an event on Friday, February 2 from 5:30 - 7:30 PM that includes a talk by Geoff Notkin (of Meteorite Men fame), a food truck round-up, and a DINOSAUR - METEORITE LASER SHOW (I don't know whose idea that was, but I'm fairly certain they deserve a promotion). Tickets for the event are FREE, but there are only 250 available and they must be picked up in person at the Show Office (in the Showcase Tent) of the 22nd Street Show.

Somewhere in the Rainbow's "A Modern Gem & Jewelry Collection" Exhibition

January 31 - February 15 at the University of Arizona Flandrau Museum

The Flandrau Museum will be displaying the Somewhere in the Rainbow's "A Modern Gem & Jewelry Collection," an educational display that features historic works alongside the creations of modern jewelers.

The Flandrau Museum also hosts the University of Arizona Mineral Museum (which is well worth a visit), as well as several other current exhibits featuring fossils, the surface of Mars, the solar system, and more.

Saturday Collector Day 2018

February 3, 10AM - 4PM at the lobby of the Westward Look Resort

The Saturday Collector Day is an all-day event showcasing the private mineral collection of a special guest. This year's display will be the Minerals of Mexico collection of Dr. Peter Megaw, who will be on hand to answer questions and chat.

Westward Look Sunday Evening Program

February 4, 6:30PM - social hour, 7:30PM - presentation, at the Sonoran Ballroom at the Westward Look Resort

The Sunday Evening Program features presentations from behind the scenes of the mineral collecting world: hear the stories from the experts themselves!

Presentation: Chasing Minerals Across the Continents - Ian Bruce
Special Guests / Presenters: Ian Bruce, Diana Bruce, Martin Števko, Phil Taylor

The Tsumeb Forum

February 5, 2PM - 7PM at Elks Lodge

A collection of Tsumeb dealers, refreshments, and, most importantly, speakers!

Tsumeb in Texas - Gail & Jim Spann
Early Tsumeb Specimens at the Natural History Museum, London - Mike Rumsey & Mal Southwood

This event does require an RSVP by February 2 - please RSVP to debbie@crystalclassics.co.uk

Friends of Mineralogy - National General Membership Meeting

February 6, 4PM - 6PM, Hotel Tucson City Center food tent

The Friends of Mineralogy will hold its national general membership meeting. FM's objectives are to promote, support, protect and expand the collection of mineral specimens and to further the recognition of the scientific, economic and aesthetic value of minerals and collecting mineral specimens.

Friends of Mineralogy - National Business Meeting

February 10, 7:30AM - 10AM, County Inn & Suites by Carlson (705 North Freeway)

The Friends of Mineralogy will hold its national business meeting. This meeting is open to public attendance, but only FM board members and affiliate representatives will be speaking.

Tucson Gem & Mineral Show Speakers

February 8 - February 10, at the Tucson Convention Center

Speakers, presentations, and various organization meetings are ongoing throughout the duration of the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. Below is a schedule of the events held in conjunction with the Main Show.

Thursday, February 8th

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (Crystal Ballroom) Mineral Photography Seminar - Jeff Scovil
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (Crystal Ballroom) Minerals of the Santa Eulalia district, Chihuahua Mexico - With an Emphasis on Crystallographic Variations of Calcite, Fluorite, Quartz and Rhodochrosite - Dr. Peter Megaw
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm (Crystal Ballroom) Society of Mineral Museum Professionals Board Meeting
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm (Crystal Ballroom) Society of Mineral Museum Professionals Membership Meeting
5:00 pm – 6:00pm (Crystal Ballroom) Society of Mineral Museum Professionals Program: Transformation of the Mineral and Gem Halls at American Museum of Natural History - George Harlow, curator of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History

Friday, February 9th

9:30 am - 6:00 pm (Turquoise Ballroom) Arthur Roe Memorial Micromount Symposium
9:30 am - 10:00 am (Turquoise Ballroom) Welcome and Scope Setup
10:00 am – 10:45 am (Turquoise Ballroom) Topaz and Friends - Herwig Pelckmans
10:45 am – 11:30 am (Turquoise Ballroom) Exploring the Minerals of Wind Mountain: An Alkaline Intrusion near the Border with Texas - Michael C. Michayluk
11:30 am – 12:15 pm (Turquoise Ballroom) Arizona Minerals Oddities - Mark Ascher
12:15 pm - 4:00 pm (Turquoise Ballroom) “Freebie” Tables, Socializing, Specimen Trading Session
1:15 pm – 2:15 pm (Crystal Ballroom)) The Influence of Gemstones Through History - Eric Fritz
2:15 pm – 3:15 pm (Crystal Ballroom) TBA
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm (Crystal Ballroom) Geo-Literary Society Meeting & Speaker - A Crystallographic Evaluation of the Original Koh-I-Noor Diamond - Alan Hart

Saturday, February 10th

11:30 am – 12:30 pm (Turquoise Ballroom) Crystallography and Lore of the Coinage Metals - Dr. Terry Wallace
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (Turquoise Ballroom) Tiny Treasures-Collecting Small Gem Crystals - Rich Olsen
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (Turquoise Ballroom) California Blue, a Prospectors Story - Rick Kennedy

10:00 am - 2:00 pm (Crystal Ballroom) 39th Annual FM-MSA-TGMS Tucson Mineral Symposium: Crystals and Crystal Forms
9:55 a.m. Introductory statements – John Rakovan
10:00 Crystals and crystal forms - John Rakovan
10:15 Distorted crystals - Pete Richards
10:45 Calcite twins - Terry Huizing
11:00 Sphalerite & wurtzite polytypism and morphology - John Jasczak
11:15 Pseudomorphs of Magdalena - Virgil Lueth
11:30 - 12:00 Lunch Break
12:00 Multiple forms on isometric crystals - Herwig Pelckmans
12:15 Crystal drawing programs and the AMCSDB - Marcus Origlieri
12:30 Hemimorphism: Symmetry and forms in tourmaline - Barb Dutrow
12:45 Breaking the law: Exceptions to the classical laws of crystallography - John Jaszczak
1:00 The many forms and habits of Chalcocite at the Flambeau Mine - William Cordua
1:15 Dendrites - Boris Kantor

Saturday Night Program
An evening consisting of awards, dinner, a cash bar, and, of course, silent auctions! Information about the Saturday Night Program will be available at http://www.tgms.org/show/ - please come out to support mindat.org and grab a few bargains along the way!

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