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Denver 2009 Show Report

Last Updated: 3rd Oct 2009

By David Von Bargen

By David Von Bargen.

The Denver show has been expanding like the Tucson shows in that it consists of a club (actually a group of clubs) gem and mineral show as well as dealers selling in other areas of the main venue, motel shows and this year expanded to a joint show with stamp and coin dealers. There were 10 shows scattered at various venues along with a reception at the Colorado School of mines geology museum. In September, the mountains begin to become golden again with aspen and cottonwood and can provide showgoers with an alternative activity if they become overstimulated by minerals.

The mineral club show and the Colorado Mineral & Fossil show are the main venues for mineral dealers, while the Colorado Fossil expo is the main grouping of fossil dealers. This year, dealer sales appeared to be off a little, and one of their main complaints was the "Tucson creep" - ever earlier starts some mineral dealers begin sales. The night time activity at the motels has decreased with the increasing length of the shows.

The theme for this year's club show was "Fossils - Windows to the Past", but fortunately, most exhibitors kept to mineral themes.

Some relatively small dinosaurs that were able to be displayed.
Mosasaur skull - Denver Museum Natural History
Psittacosaurus - Rob Lavinsky specimen

A number of other museums brought other fossils to the show.
Various fossils, Mammoth tooth

Precious opal fossil replacements provided specimens of interest for both paleontologists and gemologists.
Precious opal replacing belemite - Australia
Virgin Valley, Nevada - Petrified wood

Setup day

There are many display cases and dealer booths to set up before the hordes of show visitors arrive.

Dealers need to get their specimens out for all to see.
Alfredo Petrov setting up

Some people were a bit more civilized in their setup (they did go in and rearrange things several times.)
MAD case setup

The Bonn museum brought a reproduction crown to the show.
Bonn Museum setup

Glass and plate reproduction.

There were lines of people waiting to get into the show Friday morning (even though the weather was beautiful).
Opening day

Judging the cases on Friday morning did mean that the visitors had to work around the judging.


Rhodochrosite stalagtite - Argentina; Meteor Hall specimen

Kristalle sets up in one of the rooms to the side of the main hall so they can close off and concentrate on setup.

Kristalle setup
Copper - Kristalle

Mountain Mineral International had several shelves of the new sodalite on nepheline crystals in addition to their usual assortment of minerals from Asia.

MMI had good selection of nepheline
Sodalite covered nepheline - Mountain Minerals International

Namibian phlogopite - Geodite minerals


MAD case

MAD exhibit
Galena - Missouri
Denver 2009

Rudolph & Proctor case

Denver 2009
Copper - Michigan; Bunny rabbit

UK minerals

Pyrite and calcite


Not everything was serious (but the minerals were)
Denver 2009

Cut and rough stones

Colorado minerals
One can find a number of displays of local minerals
Amazonite and Smoky quartz

Amazonite and Smoky quartz


Encoraging young collectors

Hutchinson Family

This was Shealeene's second or third exhibit in the show.
Denver 2009

School Group activities

The clubs have set up field trips for the various school groups in the Denver area. The children not only have fun, but they are given questions that they have to find answers for (drat - homework).
School group viewing exhibits

The gold panning is a very popular attraction and various heights of sluices are available for the different ages.
Denver 2009

Grab bags are very popular with the students and the club members end up with piles of crumpled dollar bills. Some teachers try to get the students to wait until they get back to school before opening, but are usually unsuccessful. Some students do look for better specimens from the dealers or even get some "collector" magazines.
Grab bags after the rush

The Vug booth was a popular place during the school visits with both Brandy and Justin face painting of minerals, fossils and rock picks.


Mr. Bones

Mr. Bones on the prowl

About a dozen students didn't return after the field trips. Police were curious because they all had been face painted with a rock pick. Justin, when asked, wasn't aware of any connection between the students. Mr. Bones, the T-Rex, wasn't talking, but he did have a satisfied look on his skull and appeared to have put a little flesh on his bones. Inquiries are continuing.

Article has been viewed at least 21312 times.


David, nice report, thank you. Hope you are well?
The photo of the MAD case has a picture not associated with our group. The one on the left is not a MAD case photo. You can see it doesn't have the white liner under it either. So I don't think we can lay claim to those minerals!
Gail Spann, Coordinator for the Mineralogical Association of Dallas ( MAD ) 2009

Gail Spann
3rd Oct 2009 2:01am
Thanks for spotting that - fixed

David Von Bargen
3rd Oct 2009 10:49am
Great Picture of Justin and I paintings faces! There aren't that many pictures of the booth, so I am glad you got one. I hope you don't mind, I used the photo on our facebook fan page. I gave you credit, and linked to you show report. Thanks Again!

Brandy Naugle
4th Oct 2009 7:17pm
No problems Brandy.

You did seem to be a bit busy Friday morning.

Another one:

David Von Bargen
5th Oct 2009 11:30am

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