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What's Hot in Tucson 2008 - DVD Review

Last Updated: 26th Jun 2008

By Jolyon & Katya Ralph

What's Hot in Tucson 2008

Reviewed by Jolyon Ralph.

It semeed that wherever I went in Tucson at this year's show, famed mineral collector Dave Wilber was already there with a film crew, talking to the camera and describing specimen after specimen (see this biography on the Mineralogical Record website to learn more about Dave.)

Now after several months of editing, the days of video recorded have been edited down by Blue Cap Productions into a double-disc DVD - and I'm pleased to say the wait is most certainly worth it.

Even if you did get to Tucson this year, you could not have seen everything. Many of the fabulous specimens that are shown on this DVD never got as far as the main shows, being snapped up almost as soon as Dave Wilber had left the room (it's almost fair to say that some of the video could have been released on a disc as 'What's NOT at Tucson'!). And, of course, the American Mineral Treasures exhibits at the main show are featured (although only a few select cabinets, again due to running time - however another DVD dedicated to this is in the pipeline).

The video quality is excellent, I watched one disk on a DVD player connected to a large-screen TV, and the second disk on my computer using the DVD-ROM, and in both cases the quality was as good as you would expect from a DVD.

Dave's huge passion for minerals and encyclopedic knowledge shine through, although sometimes his overenthusiastic adjectives run away with themselves (I think he invented a new word 'spectastic' at one point) almost to the point of irritation - but here is a man who is passionate about minerals, and that is what counts.

My only real criticism of the DVD is that sometimes specimens are shown without mentioning the locality, or with a very vague locality. While it doesn't always make sense to read out a full locality name when describing the mineral, it would be a good idea for the 2009 DVD to keep records of everything and add the mineral names and localities as captions at the bottom of the screen.

And of course, what would be really nice is if Blue Cap could go Blu Ray, and produce a high-definition disc version for future productions - this would really show off the minerals to their best. Unfortunately at the moment the costs for doing short-run Blu Ray disks are prohibitive, but let's hope that changes over the next year or two.

The DVD is available for a very reasonable $29.99 plus shipping direct from Blue Cap Productions, and Bryan from Blue Cap has offered members and visitors a 10% discount (enter the code 'mindat' during the order process).

Sample Clips

Here are two short clips from the DVD - note these are converted to play on the web so the video and audio quality is not as good as it appears on the DVD, but it gives you an idea as to the content.

Rob Lavinsky (The Arkenstone) - Kunzite from Afghanistan

Two specimens from the cabinet of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Article has been viewed at least 15974 times.


I received my copy last week and it is everything I imagined it would be. Blue Cap Productions has really filled a void in providing quality videos of important events in our hobby. I met Dave Wilber at this year's Tucson show and really enjoyed our conversation. He was looking at my Montana agate display and knowing Dave is into agates as well, had a great discussion on this topic as well. Well done Dave Wilber and Bryan Swoboda!

Brooks Britt
26th Jun 2008 12:29pm
Bryan has emailed me to let me know that the DVD is now available in Europe from Crystal Classics - contact them at - shipping to European customers should be much cheaper!

Jolyon & Katya Ralph
26th Jun 2008 1:51pm
Crystal Classics is also pleased to offer a 10% discount on the DVD to Mindat members and visitors, please use the same code 'mindat' when placing your order with us!

Robin Rennie Hansen
26th Jun 2008 5:56pm
Look for my husband as he shows our spinel twinned fluorite on a "sidewalk" interview. What fun and thanks to Bryan and Dave for this DVD set!

Gail Spann
1st Jul 2008 4:11pm

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