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Fakes & FraudsNew Gimmicks @ Tucson?

30th Jan 2016 23:49 UTCPaul Stephen Cyr

Thought this would be a 'fun' thread for all of us not at the shows. By all means, please don't waste your precious time humoring me!

2nd Feb 2016 17:01 UTCHolger Hartmaier

I don't attend the Tucson show(s) on an annual basis, so my comments may not add anything new. My previous visit was in 2014 when we attended all the satellite shows as well as the main TGMS show. This year, I had some unused flight credits that were about to expire, so at the last minute I flew down and attended the shows this past weekend, which included the start of the Arizona Mineral and Fossil Show at various venues. In general, I am always impressed by the quality of minerals on display. Most of it is out of my price range, but the shows provide opportunities to see examples of top quality material. As far as outright gimmicks go, I would class the following as a couple of examples that stood out for me on this latest visit:

- Dealers that have no labels and no prices on any of the specimens on display in their cabinets. I would have to assume this must be some clever marketing ploy on the dealers' part. However, as a collector, visiting hundreds of dealers' rooms and being expected to ask questions about each and every specimen in each room quickly turns what could be an otherwise pleasant browsing experience into pure drudgery.

- I noticed many "high end" dealers advertising 50% off (or keystone) sales. How disappointing when 50% off meant that the item was still priced into the stratosphere. I don't know if the frequency of 50% off sales has increased compared to other years and is a sign that prices have peaked or if the dealers have added the discount to the asking price. It seems like exorbitant prices are being asked for material which seems to be commonly available- i.e. $US 400 for a small Peruvian pyrite! No need to whine further as mineral pricing is a favorite Mindat discussion topic already.

On a positive note, I truly enjoyed my mini-vacation. The weather in Tucson over the weekend was sunny and warm, perfect for sipping a cold beer under the palms in the courtyard of the Hotel Tucson City Center. There were lots of happy collectors taking away shopping bags and flats full of minerals. For a brief period of time and space, everything seemed right with the world.

2nd Feb 2016 17:54 UTCBob Harman

Just one brief observation from me. I believe that many of the examples you see in hi end dealer cases at Tucson and the other big shows are those pieces previously passed on after private calls to the dealers' regular customers. Within my narrow collecting scope of Indiana minerals, I get private calls and either pass or express further interest in the Indiana mineral items. If the examples then sit in the dealer stock for some time after being passed on by their regular customers, the examples finally wind up in the dealer show cases at "keystone pricing" at the show for all to see. CHEERS.......BOB
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