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The Westward Look Show 2008

Last Updated: 12th Feb 2008

By Jolyon & Katya Ralph

The Westward Look Mineral Show 2008

Actually, here we're looking northwards

My first show visit for the 2008 season was the Westward Look show - a small show for high-end dealers to exhibit their best specimens for their best buyers. After a tortuous nearly 24-hour journey from grey wintery England I was justly rewarded with beautiful sunny skies and very fine minerals.

Collector's Edge

Steve from Collector's Edge showed some of his 'back room treasures' for our report. First, this gorgeous Red Dome Cuprite, which can only be shown best when backlit - here we backlit the top half to show the contrast between the normal view of the specimen in reflected light, and how it appears when light is shone straight through.

Backlit Cuprite from Red Dome mine, Queensland, Australia - Collector's Edge specimen

We have seen quite a few of the Apatite crystals from Sapo Mine in Brazil recently, but these new specimens of stacked crystals were absolutely incredible.

Stacked Apatite crystals on matrix, Sapo Mine, Brazil - Collector's Edge specimen

This specimen is a complete floater, perfectly terminated at each end, a curved string of crystals in a gentle arch - it is baffling to try to imagine how this formed.

Doubly-terminated floating chain of stacked Apatite crystals, Sapo Mine, Brazil - Collector's Edge specimen

Stuart Wilensky

There are several dealers selling this new pink/purple calcite from China, which has been described by some as pink calcite, rose calcite, and even amethystine calcite. Thankfully Stuart has just labelled his as 'Calcite on Calcite', but this specimen is almost certainly one of the best.

Pink calcite from the Fengiashan mine, China - Stuart Wilensky specimen

Crystal Classics

Crystal Classics had several cabinets of fine material, but a cabinet of minature specimens caught my eye - these are from the Rheinlander collection, and these were two of my favourites:

Dyscrasite crystal group from the Samson mine, Germany - Crystal Classics specimen

Bastnasite-(Ce) group from Pakistan - Crystal Classics specimen

Victor Yount

Victor Yount had a large array of specimens spreading from the bedroom to the bathroom in his Westward Look room. Many were spectacular, but I especially liked this enormous Trona specimen from Owens Lake, California.

Trona from Owens Lake, California

And sitting next to his bedside lamp was this enormous and gemmy plate of gem Sphalerite from Spain

Sphalerite from Spain

Mineral Classics

Over in the Mineral Classics room I met up again with the Kosnars and they showed me some of their recent acquisitions. Firstly, a new find of Vauxite from Bolivia, but with a much more intense colour than other recent finds - these really glow.
Flat of richly coloured Vauxite from Bolivia - Mineral Classics specimen

And they had more of the neat pseudomorphs of Copper after Aragonite - but this time they have tried to match an original unaltered Aragonite with eac of the pseudomorphs to give you a 'before' and 'after' set - very nicely done!

Matched pairs of original aragonite crystals with similar copper pseudomorps of Aragonite, from Bolivia - Mineral Classics specimens

Finally, they had a selection of very nice new Dioptase from Tantara mine, Congo, that could at first glance be easily mistaken for Tsumeb material - here is one example:

Dioptase from Tantara mine, Congo - Mineral Classics specimen

Jesse Fisher - UK Mining Ventures

Jesse wasn't exhibiting at Westward Look, but he couldn't resist showing off one of the better things of the 2007 finds at the Rogerley Mine in England - the 2007 finds of Fluorite are probably the best so far, and the 2008 mining season.

Fluorite from Rogerley Mine, England - UK Mining Ventures specimen

Gobin Minerals

The Gobin Brothers brought another suite of fine minerals to the show, including these:

Large Kunzite from Afghanistan - Gobin specimen

Another large pink calcite from China - Gobin specimen


Ausrox had an incredible selection of Tsumeb Azurite crystals - from the old Sam Gordon collection.

Azurites from Tsumeb - Ausrox specimens

Finally, the most impressive specimen of the show by far is this incredible find of Gypsum on Shoe from the gypsum beds of South Australia - it's estimated the shoe is no more than five years old, and shows how quickly the gypsum grows in these deposits.

"The Shoe" - a gypsum-encrusted shoe from Whyalla, South Australia - from Ausrox

Now, has anyone seen an Australian collector wearing just one shoe?

Article has been viewed at least 20733 times.


Got one of the stacked apatites we called the TREE, it is really fascinating!
I saw the two above also, very nice indeed!
We bought the two Crystal Classics pieces you show above, didn't know you had them on here....they are exquisite and we just had to add them when we saw them in the display case. Nice write up Jolyon!

Gail Spann
12th Feb 2008 6:32am
I really love those Corocoro psm's ;-)

Frank de Wit
12th Feb 2008 1:59pm
My daughter has more than 64 pairs of shoes! I am sure that she can spare one or two for future specimens! Whyalla isn't too far from Tasmania either.

Steve Sorrell
13th Feb 2008 2:06am
next showing is going to be gypsum on some pumps!! :-P

Matt Neuzil
13th Feb 2008 6:13am

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