• Created By : 28-Jan-2015
  • Write By: tmmadmin
  • Published In: Mineral Show Reports
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Scenic Denver

September 2012 was Jeanne and my first time visiting the Denver Show, and I'm happy to report that we had a terrific time! The weather was stellar, with only one day of showers, and the rest of our stay was all sunshine and warm (and hot) temperatures. Since we were new to this show, we had to bumble around a bit trying to find all the new (to us) venues. Since we skipped the bead, fossil, gem and jewelry shows, and focused on minerals, this was made a bit easier.

  • Created By : 27-Jan-2015
  • Write By: tmmadmin
  • Published In: Mineral Show Reports
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Attending the Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines Mineral Show is truly a unique experience for a mineral collector. It is held every year at the end of June in this charming city in the Vosges Mountains of Alsace-Lorraine. It is now the second largest mineral show in Europe, after Munich. This northeastern corner of France is a popular tourist destination, with quaint villages tucked into picturesque mountain valleys, and vineyards that are famous for their white wines. Ste.-Marie and the nearby towns host many very fine restaurants, featuring great food and delicious regional specialties that help make the show a gastronomic delight as well as a delightful mineralogical experience.

  • Created By : 27-Jan-2015
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  • Published In: Mineral Show Reports
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The weather in Springfield, Massachusetts in early August is usually insufferably hot and unbearably humid. To everyone's surprise and delight, this year the humidity was at comfortable levels - around 60% - and the weather was cool and rainy on Friday, the first day of the show. By special invitation, I am invited to go into the big building at the Eastern States Exposition on Thursday, which is set up day for the dealers. This means I get a sneak preview of the material being exhibited, and can pick out some of the extra-special specimens before the crowds arrive on Friday. There is a price for this privilege, though: I have to wear a 3" x 4" sign on a lanyard around my neck, identifying me as a "Big Spender." As you might guess, this seriously undermines my negotiations when I bargain to get the best price. My solution to this problem: I turn the badge so the blank side faces out. This doesn't fool anybody, but at least I feel a bit less of a buffoon.

As has been the case in the past, there were no major new finds in evidence, as dealers were probably waiting to unveil them at the Denver Show in September. A little detective work paid off by turning up a few interesting things that were new and interesting, though not earth-shattering.

  • Created By : 27-Jan-2015
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  • Published In: Mineral Show Reports
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View of the show from the balcony


Eric enjoys the show with collecting buddies Dick Holmes and Tom Klinepeter

After the chaotic confusion of Tucson, the East Coast Show (usually referred to as "The Springfield Show") was a delight, with all the dealers in a single, air conditioned venue, plus plenty of nearby parking. By the time the show started on Friday morning, the parking lot was already half full and there were long lines at the ticket booths. Organized by Marty Zinn and run by Laura Delano and a great crew, the show has grown into what is hands down the best mineral show east of Denver (and west of Tucson!). Pretty much anyone who is anyone east of the Mississippi in the mineral world showed up, giving me the chance to mingle with mineral collectors and dealers - especially the regional dealers who don't set up at Tucson or Denver. As has been the norm for several years, I discovered only a couple of truly new finds on display. Nevertheless, I turned up plenty of very fine, classic specimens from recently recycled collections, as this has become the source of some of the most interesting items available these days. For me, the best part of a show is handling the specimens and doing side-by-side comparisons of the pieces, labels and prices. Of course, I'm always on the lookout for a "wow" specimen among a bunch of "gee, that's interesting" pieces. I had a lot of fun talking minerals, haggling over minerals, drooling over minerals, and purchasing some choice pieces for our website. The highlights of these are detailed below.

Ossipee Mountains, Ossipee, New Hampshire, October, 2011


A pristine 3" smoky quartz crystal is removed from the pocket


Fortunately, it cleaned up pretty good!

What a perfect day for collecting! It was early October - the sun was shining, the temperature was in the low 70's, and the bugs had packed up and headed south for the season. Our day started with the long drive up from Western Massachusetts to Ossipee, NH, which is about halfway up the eastern side of the state. The fall foliage was at its peak, which unfortunately was none too glorious due to 6 weeks of heavy rain and the lack of a killing frost. We arrived in Ossipee at about 10:30 AM.

  • Created By : 23-Jan-2015
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2.7" Sharp Flashy Gemmy Orange GROSSULAR GARNET Crystals Asbestos, Quebec

It is a ten hour drive from our home in Greenfield, MA to Bancroft, Ontario - the home of the Bancroft Gemboree. I drove up with a couple of buddies from the Keene, NH Mineral Club, as we planned to go collecting for three days after the show. I last visited this show in 1998 (15 years ago), when it was still a relatively small indoor/outdoor event. This year was the show's 50th anniversary, and they celebrated the event in style with dinners, speeches, etc. There was some rain in the morning of the day I attended the show, but by noon it was over and later the sky cleared.