Tucson 2014 Sneak Preview

Write By: tmmadmin Published In: Mineral Show Reports Created Date: 2015-02-05 Hits: 1393 Comment: 0

Every year before flying off to Tucson, we begin to wonder, what will we find this year that is new and exciting? Well, as 2013 draws to a close, we have begun to hear about some exciting new finds that we think will surface in Tucson. Of course, you never know what will turn up, especially in Tucson: sometimes we see wondrous new things from previously unknown localities, sometimes new finds from familiar mines, and sometimes there's nothing really new at all! Here's a sneak preview of a half-dozen of the new goodies we have heard may be available this year in Tucson.

Specimens from a new find at the Lily Mine in Peru of this extremely rare copper mineral surfaced at Munich this year. Luckily we already have one, which turned up on a specimen of druzy chrysocolla we purchased last year in Tucson. The deep forest green crystals are pseudo-rhombohedral, and can reach up to 1 cm. We've already set up a meeting with the mine owner, and hope to choose a few of these ultra-rare and very beautiful specimens to bring home.

The Adelaide Mine's Red River find has continued to produce, and is now turning up heftier crystals than last year's rather delicate examples. It turned out that these were so fragile that we couldn't ship them, but mine owner and chief miner Adam Wright tells me that recent work has produced some sturdier specimens. I have my fingers crossed!

Orange River Quartz
After a bit of a hiatus, the Orange River area of northwestern South Africa has again been turning out fine examples of these brilliantly colored quartz crystals. The crystals, ranging from thumbnail to miniature in size, have a brilliant luster, the result of the already hematite infused outer layer of the crystal being subsequently covered by a final thin coat of totally clear quartz. I am hoping that there will be a good supply of these specimens, so I can get them at a reasonable price.

New mimetite specimens have emerged from Mina Ojuela in recent months, in a new style that is different from anything seen before from this mine. The mimetite crystals are formed as stalagmites with a distinctive cudgel-like shape. The color is a bright yellow and yellow-orange, and specimens have reportedly available in thumbnail and small miniature sizes. I hope there are some bigger ones, as they look really neat!

There are reports of a new find of shattuckite in Anhui Province in China, of all places. The microcrystals are a pale turquoise color, formed into hemispheric bubbles, and have been seen in cabinet and large cabinet sizes. I'll have to see if more of these surface at Tucson.

Chalcopyrite with Siderite
We saw a handful of examples of this material in Tucson last year, and Guizhou Province in China has apparently continued to yield new material. The chalcopyrite is formed in large crystals in a bright shiny golden color, and is mixed about 50%-50% with lustrous brown siderite crystals. If the price comes down a bit, these will make a good addition to any collection.

Some of the other new finds we've seen include cerussite on malachite, wulfenite, and greene demantoid garnets from Iran; diopside and chrysoberyl from Madagascar; crystallized arsenic from Japan; proustite, prehnite, and vanadanite on black managanese(?) from Morocco; naturally iridescent quartz from India; and lots more. Of course, with over 5,000 vendors in town, we are almost certain to see a lot more that's new, and we will keep our eyes peeled for the latest and most exciting finds to bring home.

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