Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tucson hotel shows

Now on to the mineral shows! Tucson is the world's largest show, there are actually many different shows at hotels throughout the city, all of these shows together last over a month! We need energy for this, so it's good to have a healthy breakfast!  Eloïse with Dr. Emma Bullock (Smithsonian) at Poco and Moms Cafe. 

Land of the Lost!
Eloïse, Tony and Alyssa take a break from shopping for minerals.

After running to the airport to pick up Tony, we head over to Hotel Tucson City Center, temporary home of Marty Zinn Expositions Tucson show, and we are immediately transported back to the late Cretaceous.  Seriously, dozens of plastic dinosaurs for your....yard?  Living room?

Allright!  Ugly rare minerals!  Really, how many emeralds can you look at?  This is effenbergerite (BaCuSi4O10) from Wessels mine, in Jordi Fabre's room.

These are also great, aegirine (clinopyroxene group, NaFeSi2O6)  with smoky quartz and feldspars from Malawi.

Tony and Eloïse are looking at nice specimens of hematite epitaxial on rutile. Epitaxial growth means one mineral grows on top of another mineral and it grows in the same crystal orientation as the first mineral.  Hard to visualize if you are not looking at examples, maybe we should make a special display.  It's important, epitaxy is one common way to create semiconductors!

One way to draw a lot of buyers into your room is to have free wine!  Even better, make them mineral-themed wines!

Good strategy, the wine worked!  We bought this amethyst "scepter" from Hallelujah Junction, Lassen County, CA. A scepter forms as the amethyst grew like a cap on the smoky quartz base. This mineral comes from a deposit on a mountain (Peterson Peak) that straddles the CA-NV border. Most minerals fall down into NV but this one came down on the CA side so we had to have it for our CA display!

Museum staff comparing notes (bragging about what great things they found) over lunch.  Alyssa, George Harlow (American Museum), Tony, Jamie Newman (American Museum) and Cara Santelli (Smithsonian).

By the way, if you've never been to Tucson, the Sonoran Desert is beautiful! 

At the Westward Look hotel, a high-end venue.  This tourmaline, a famous "blue cap" from the Tourmaline Queen mine in San Diego County used to be on loan to the L.A. County museum. Now we might be able to buy it if we had a few million dollars.

Amazing lavender and blue tourmalines also from the Queen mine. These are sort of new on the market after being hidden in a private collection for many years...anybody want to buy us one? 

Fun times, (top) at Sky Bar with Mike Rumsey, curator at Natural History Museum London,  French mineral dealers Laurent Thomas and Christophe Gobin (middle) Cara Santelli and Emma Bullock, both from Smithsonian (bottom) Tracy Worthington from Harvard, Jamie Newman from the American Museum and Raquel Alonzo-Perez, new curator of Harvard Mineralogical Museum.

In honor of Tony's recent retirement, there were many celebrations. Actually not just Tony, another giant in the field, Carl Francis, curator of the Harvard Mineralogical Musuem retired last December. He and Tony are great friends and started their curator jobs the same year, 1977. This is a dinner party for musuem curators from around the world to toast Tony and Carl!  Speech!

Old friends and colleagues, Carl Francis, Jeff Post (Smithsonian), Tony and George Harlow (American Museum).

Tony and Carl with their successors, Eloïse and Raquel!

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