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The 49th TGMS Show, February 13-17, was yet another success. It opened with a Wednesday evening reception and a talk by Michael Scott, retired president of Apple Computer Company. Tucson's mayor, Bob Walkup, and Brig. General Scott Gray, 12th AF Vice Commander at Tucson's Davis-Monthan Airforce Base, were in attendance. Mayor Walkup also attended and spoke at the official opening of the Show, which was held half an hour after the show actually opened at 10:00 a.m. Paid attendance was excellent, reaching nearly 19,000, plus more than 5,000 school children who attended as guests of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society.


The theme of the Show this year was "Minerals of the Andes," and a wonderful selection of specimens was exhibited by private collectors and museums. The annual poster adhered to the theme by featuring a superb Peruvian pyrite from the collection of Marvin Rausch, photographed by Jeff Scovil.

Michael Scott brought four exceptional exhibits. A free-standing pedestal supported a superb 22-inch-wide, 42-pound ammonite from Bearclaw, Canada; it showed a beautiful play of colors. Another pedestal held a giant silver mace, the end of which was set with a brightly lit hexagonal-prismatic crystal of aquamarine weighing some 22 pounds! Scott's two display cases were specially designed for the show. Each held a small selection of superb minerals and jewelry from his remarkable collection, recently featured at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana, California. These items included an amazing tiara holding the largest faceted tanzanite in the world, 250 carats. The white gold ribbon holding the tanzanite was set with 803 brilliant-cut tsavorite garnets and 913 diamonds. A superb crystallized gold, a large natural diamond crystal "sphere" or cluster, a suite of three tanzanite crystals showing the mineral's trichroism, a superb natural emerald on matrix with an accompanying cut emerald, and a marvelous gold collar necklace which held a fancy-cut Bolivian ametrine weighing 87 carats are just some of what Scott exhibited.

The general feeling among visitors was that the array of exhibits was perhaps the best ever. Certainly the two dozen museums which exhibited brought out their best. The Smithsonian proudly displayed the 858-carat Gachala emerald normally kept in that Museum's Gem Hall. In the same case was the Marjorie Merri-weather Post emerald necklace done in art deco Indian style by Cartier in 1928-29. The necklace, which consists of 24 baroque polished round emerald gems opposed by the same number of smaller equally gemmy emeralds, caused much comment. In keeping with the theme of the show, the Smithsonian showed a large display of choice Andean specimens including two marvelous proustites and a gemmy Bolivian phosphophyllite crystal with a companion faceted gem of 26.9 carats. The exhibit also held rare franckeite, andorite, helvite and canfieldite specimens, all from South America.

In contrast to the theme, Collector's Edge and Steve and Clara Smale each offered a superb selection of minerals from China in anticipation of the 2005 theme, "Minerals of China." Each display contained exceptional specimens recently mined, and the variety of species, including kermesite, fluorite, calcite, stibnite, pyromorphite, garnet and more, gave visitors an excellent idea of what that vast country is currently producing. Yet another display of choice Chinese minerals appeared, thanks to the Gemological Association of China. The case held a huge blue hemimorphite, a superb large purple fluorite group, a choice scheelite, a very colorful inesite, a nice 6-inch azurite rose, an odd orange-colored quartz, and fine specimens of spessartine and stibnite. Again, this exhibit gave viewers a wonderful look into the mineralogy of China.

Gene and Roz Meieran, always faithful exhibitors, joined by Bill Larson, offered a wonderfully interesting and showy case of quartz with seemingly every variety and crystal form of this ubiquitous mineral. Another superb exhibit by a private collector, Rock Currier, highlighted minerals from the theme region. Currier's many journeys to South America as a mineral dealer gave him ample opportunity to obtain choice minerals from that continent. His ability and tenacity in ferreting out choice pieces was obvious in this display. Part of the exhibit was a golden suite of various pyrite crystal groups showing some of the many crystal forms of that common sulfide. The Penn State Museum also had a nice array of pyrites which even included a pyrite sphere with a lovely crystal-filled vug.


A second display by Rock Currier featured minerals from his personal collection that were not from the Andes region. Of particular interest was his suite of rare specimens from the Mammoth-St. Anthony mine, Tiger, Arizona. Rarities such as hydrocerussite, diaboleite and leadhillite were fun to see, and caused many an Arizona collector's pulse to quicken.

A small vertical case held a very attractive display of gold from Australia. Placed by LaTrobe University of Bendigo, Australia, the display was a harbinger of things to come in 2004, the golden anniversary of the Tucson Show. Another fine gold display from the W. R. Danner collection also held some interesting examples. Even more interesting was a letter written in 1936 by an itinerant prospector working the ground near Johannesburg. In the letter he expressed his disappointment in the Rand area by declaring it to be "too patchy." Imagine that!


An interesting private museum, Crater Rock Museum of Central Point, Oregon, showed a choice selection of minerals including a gemmy Jonas mine tourmaline and a fine Bolivian vivianite about a foot long. This museum is privately funded and operated by the Roxy Ann Gem and Mineral Society, Inc. The Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Museum, an exciting new facility that is making significant growth strides, had a wonderful display of specimens of minerals from pegmatites; the museum also showed aquamarine, a superb faceted Tourmaline Queen mine elbaite, pretty benitoite, choice Glove wulfenite and a significant Chinese pyromorphite. A second case by this new group displayed very nice mining artifacts.

A rare specimen in the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum case caught this writer's eye: a lovely chalcophyllite from Rancaqua, Chile. And sitting all by itself in a two-foot case, thanks to Bill Larson of The Collector), was "Big Mamma," a rich red ruby estimated to be over 10,000 carats in weight. This amazing crystal is from the Mogok Stone Tract in Myanmar (Burma).

Following the theme of the show, the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals had a very nice display of rarities like krohnkite, cylindrite, proustite, and more from the Andes region. Another theme display that was exceptionally attractive came from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Included in the display were uncommon wurtzite, cylindrite, a colorful blue vauxite eight inches wide and a very fine fluorapatite. All specimens were from the Siglo XX mine, Llallagua, Bolivia.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County also put in a "theme" case. Noteworthy was a fine creedite from Colquiri, a variety of pyrites of different forms, a rare sigloite, a bright arsenopyrite, and an exceptionally large curving siderite, all from the Dr. Mark Chance Bandy collection. Bandy was a mining engineer, then manager, at the Llallagua mines for some 11 years.

Terry Szenics, for whom szenicsite is named, displayed some wonderful copper minerals from the Atacama Desert region including very attractive crystallized chrysocolla with quartz, choice azurite and cornetite. Still another exhibit of rarities from the Andes region was put in by Dr. Georg Gebhard as he featured type locality species from the Atacama Desert region. The exhibit included salesite, percylite, changoite, dretzite, nantokite, szenicsite and more.

One historically very important exhibit was placed by the Mineral Museum of Bonn, Germany. It was a varied display of exceptional specimens and historical literature from some of Germany's classic deposits: manganite from Ilfeld, linnaeite from Littfeld, a huge galena and siderite specimen from Neudorf, rare zinkenite from Wolfsberg, even the type locality mineral samsonite from the Samson mine. Exhibits like this give viewers the educational and enjoyable experience of seeing specimens they might never otherwise see.

Of all the exhibits, the one that seemed to cause the greatest stir was a two-case display by Dan and Dianne Kile. One case was filled with wonderfully prepared microscopes and the complicated attachments that go with them. Visitors seldom see such "behind the scenes" equipment so vital to our science. The second case was a stunning display of self-collected minerals which this diligent and energetic couple had gathered through the years. These included superb smoky quartz crystals, choice amazonite, interesting Manebach-twinned feldspar, covellite, sphalerite, and spessartine, all from Colorado. A display like this offers proof that good minerals are still to be found in the field, and encourages collectors to get out and look for them. The piece that dominated the case was a huge specimen of very dark smoky quartz and choice rich blue-green amazonite some ten inches across.

A second exhibit that caused considerable excitement was placed by Jim and Joyce Vacek. Their collection is made up largely of some of the finest azurites to have been found in recent years. As viewers walked from Exhibit Hall #1 to Exhibit Hall #2 they were stunned by a superbly displayed case of azurite of almost every form, ranging from small azurite geodes to crystal spheres to stalactites of azurite crystals to superb crystallized specimens. The display grouped the azurites by locality, so specimens from several deposits in Arizona and more from Tsumeb filled a newly designed display case that was, in itself, a lovely thing to view.

One of the free-standing displays, courtesy of the Arizona Historical Society, was a three-piece suite of complexly designed silver objects created using both the chasing and repousse techniques. The central piece was a large dower chest some three feet wide. With it was a well formed sahmador or incense burner in the form of a full-sized turkey. The third piece was a Sopera, a soup tureen with a lid at least fifteen inches across.

Two regular dealers from Switzerland, Siber and Siber, had a nice display of minerals from an old European collection, including sphalerite from Trepca, Yugoslavia, a Bleiberg, Austria wulfenite and a couple of very nice American variscites. Phelps Dodge Mining Company supported the show with a very nice display of just three huge specimens, an azurite, a malachite and a massive bornite. For micromounters the Cleveland Museum of Natural History had a very interesting display of microminerals, each placed under a microscope lens for viewing; next to each one was a photograph of what you should look for when you view the micromount.

One case held what are sometimes called, "pig's feet," a name that has nothing to do with the animal world but is applied, rather, to fine blue celestite crystals in geodes from Madagascar, these were from the Robert Grant collection. The American Museum of Natural History and George Harlow, who always enters a fine display, filled a case with some remarkable specimens: a six-inch azurite crystal, for instance, as well as a fine morganite, a huge Japan-law quartz twin, a fine tourmaline, a lovely blue euclase, and a choice rare andorite. Tucson's own local museum, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (thanks to Collection Manager Anna Domitrovic), had a very nice display of minerals from the mines of Southern Arizona.

From across the country in Cartersville, Georgia, the Weinman Museum put in an exhibit of minerals from that state, including rutile, staurolite, kyanite, agatized coral and the like. An exhibit that the youngsters really enjoyed was the Cincinnati Museum Center's display showing celestite and how it is used to color fireworks--sort of a giant flame test idea! This seemed appropriate since the 50-year show anniversary celebration in 2004 will include a fireworks show atop "A" Mountain to be held during the February 11 evening reception.

Another exhibit the kids liked was placed by Penn State University. It consisted of a long strip of itacolumite hooked to an electric motor which, when activated by pushing a switch on the outside of the case, caused the rock to flex up and down: itacolumite is known as "the rock that bends."

For the academics at the show, Fred Wicks placed a wonderful educational display explaining the research he had been doing on serpentine.

Each year the California Academy of Science enters a fine display, and this year was no exception. The display featured a suite of sulfosalts, many of which are quite rare. These included baumhauerite, freieslebenite, livingstonite and meneghinite, as well as some familiar species like proustite. Faceters were attracted to an exhibit done by the American Geological Laboratories. The display was made up of all the varieties of beryl shown in both the natural crystal form and as finished faceted gems. One very refreshing exhibit, with "fresh" being the operative word, was a choice display of elbaite tourmalines recently dug. The discovery was made on October 29, 2002 by four diligent miners: Dana and Ken Gochenaur, Jim Clanin and David Kalamas. The pocket has been called the B.A.T. pocket; it is in the Cryo-Genie mine, San Diego County.

It is impossible to list all the exhibits: after all, there were well over 150 of them, all very attractive and informative. The museum exhibits were exceptional as usual, but many private displays rivaled them. Well known collectors like Bill and Carol Smith, Tony Potocek, Mike and Mary Jaworski, Norm and Roz Pellman, Walt Gaylord, Kay Robertson, Harold and Erica Van Pelt, John McClean and Bill Larson, Bill and Diane Dameron, Ed Steffy, Rob and Mandy Rosenblatt, George Godas, John Callahan, Thomas Moore, and the M.A.D. group from Dallas all had displays that added much to the Show.

Surely one of the most exciting exhibits from the point of view of visitors entering through the Church Street entrance was Stan, who especially wowed the kids! Stan is not a person but a dinosaur, a huge skeletal framework of a 25-foot-high Tyrannosaurus rex which had been dug by the Peter Larson team. Of course what they brought to the Show was a lightweight copy of Stan, since the actual skeleton would have been quite impossible to haul in and assemble. Larson became internationally well known when his team discovered "Sue," the most complete remains of a T. rex ever found; the beast was named for Larson's associate, Susan Hendrickson. After a complex legal battle over ownership of the fossil, it ended up at Chicago's Field Museum. Larson's has described the discovery, excavation and ensuing legal battle in his book, Rex Appeal, copies of which he made available and signed during showtime.

To mark the passing of John Sinkankas, the Geoliterary Society, the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society and Bob and Evan Jones offered viewers a wonderful opportunity to reminisce about this great man. The exhibits ranged from photos of John, to specimens from his personal collection, to copies of books he had written, to other memorabilia, all as a salute to the first individual to be awarded the Carnegie Mineralogical Award.

The 24th Annual FM-TGMS-MSA Mineralogical Symposium was held Saturday, February 15th. The theme was "Minerals of the Andes" and Robert Cook led the discussions.

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Hillman Foundation presents the annual Carnegie Mineralogical Award each year to someone who has made a significant contribution to mineralogy and education. This year, Dr. Terry Wallace, Jr., formerly a professor of the University of Arizona and a long-time active member of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society, was granted the honor. Terry's contributions to the science, to education and to the annual TGMS Show have extended over years and have been very significant.

The Friends of Mineralogy provides two significant awards for the best article in the Mineralogical Record and in Rocks & Minerals magazines. These awards, made possible by a donation from Kay Robertson, are announced at the Show's Saturday night awards ceremony each year.

Dan Kile received the Rocks & Minerals magazine award for his July/August article, "Occurrence and Genesis of Thundereggs Containing Plumes and Moss Agate from Del Norte area, Saguache Co., Colorado." Jesse Fisher received the FM award for his Mineralogical Record September/October article, "Gems and Rare Element Pegmatites of Southern California."

Friends of Mineralogy awards are also given for the best educational displays, one to an individual and one to an institution. Virginia Tech Institute received the Best Case Institution award for "Pyrite 'Disease.'" Georg Gebhard was given the individual award for his superb case "Two Famous Andean Deposits." The Werner Lieber Photography awards this year were given to Gene Reynolds, Amateur Category, and Saul Krotki, Professional Category. Two major awards given each year at Tucson and which are eagerly sought by exhibitors are the Lidstrom award and the Desautels award. The Lidstrom award for the best single specimen went to Bill Larson, a perennially staunch supporter and exhibitor at the show. The Desautels award for the finest mineral display went to Carolyn Manchester, who regularly exhibits superb minerals at the show.

In the competitive arena a group of exhibitors were recognized. Award winners among the youngsters were William Larson (Junior) and Lauren Megaw (Junior Master). In the Advanced and Master's categories, awards went to Gretchen Luepke-Bynum and Roy Foerster respectively. There was also a "Best of Theme" category, and the winners (by specimen size) were: thumbnail--Paula Presmyk; toenail--Francis Sousa; miniature--Ed Huskinson; small cabinet--Bill Besse; cabinet--Marv Rausch; and lapidary/jewelry--Aleta Huskinson. Given every two years is a new recognition award named for well known species collector William Wallace (Bill) Pinch; Pinch himself was the first recipient of the award in 2001. The award is given in the form of a gold medal by the Mineralogical Association of Canada to recognize major and sustaining contributions to the advancement of mineralogy by members of the collector-dealer community. In 2003 the Pinch medal was given to Mark N. Feinglos, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition of the Duke University Medical Center. For the finest Mexican mineral displayed at the Show, the Miguel Romero Sanchez memorial Award is given. This year the award went to Peter Megaw, who was also the recipient of the Romero Award in 2000. Peter's personal collection of Mexican minerals is well known and highly regarded; also, those of you who thoroughly enjoy the marvelous special exhibits seen at the Show each year owe a debt of thanks to Peter, who works tirelessly as Special Exhibits Chairman on the Show Committee.

2003 Satellite Shows

A Beaucoup Conge

Centurion Jewelry Show (Westin La Paloma) (Howard Hauben)

Days Inn/Convention Center (Globe/X)

Executive Inn (Zinn Expositions' Arizona Mineral & Fossil Show)

Fine Minerals Int'l Gem & Mineral Forum (Danny Trinchillo)

Flamingo Travelodge (American Indian Exposition)

Gem & Jewelry Exchange (GJX) Show Tent (Alan Norville)

Gem Mall (Gem & Lapidary Wholesalers)

Hilton East (Rio Grande Catalog in Motion)

Holiday Inn Express (Pacifica/AKS Gem Shows)

Holidome (G&LW)

Howard Johnson's (Pacifica/AKS Gem Shows)

InnSuites Hotel (Zinn Expositions' Ariz. Mineral & Fossil Show)

Intergem Tucson (Int'l Gem & Jewelry Show)

Kino Sports Complex (Tucson Electric Park Gem & Mineral Show) (Hartley Enterprises)

Kino Veterans' Memorial Comm. Center (Best Bead Show)

La Quinta (no promoter)

Manning House (Gem Galeria) (GemCast Productions)

Mineral & Fossil Co-op (Bill Barker)

Mineral & Fossil Marketplace (Zinn Expositions)

Norcross-Madagascar Warehouse (Madagascar Minerals)

Pueblo In (formerly Four Points Hotel) (Atrium Productions)

Quality Inn (AKS Gem Shows)

Radisson City Center (formerly Holiday Inn/City Center) (GLDA)

Rapa River Gem & Mineral Show (at Boatner's service station)

Rodeway Inn/Grant Road (GLDA)

Sabbar Shrine Temple (Bead Renaissance)

Top-Gem Warehouse on Main Street (Mike New)

Tucson Convention Center (AGTA)

V-Rock Shop (V-Rock Shop)

Vagabond Plaza (formerly Ramada Inn) (Zinn Expositions' Arizona Mineral & Fossil Show)

Westward Look Resort (Dan Waisman)

Windmill Inn (Whole Bead Show)
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Title Annotation:Show Highlights; Tucson Gem and Mineral Show
Publication:The Mineralogical Record
Geographic Code:1U8AZ
Date:Jan 1, 2004
Previous Article:2002.
Next Article:2004.

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