Friday, February 22, 2013

Tucson part 3: The Main Show

The Main Show is the main event! Exhibitors at this show receive a stipend to help cover travel expenses. Much appreciated. Our exhibit is also an important way for us to advertise our amazing collection and museum to the community of gem and mineral fans! So this year we chose our best fluorites, Eloïse and Tony came up with some great labels and called the exhibit "Fluorite Fun Facts".
Off we go, set-up begins the day before the show opens to the public. Looks like our case is along "museum row"  We are in between National Museum of Scotland and Royal Ontario Museum. Time to carefully unpack all the minerals and find a nice way to arrange them in the case.
Done!  Looks good.  Wish we had a few more fluorites from localities like Russia, China and Europe.  We have some big gaps in our collection. We do have some great fluorites from the Americas, including a local favorite, the Felix mine in Azusa, Los Angeles County.
Just a few cases down is Harvard Mineralogical Museum. Kevin Czaja, Raquel Alonso-Perez and Tracy Warmington.
Katherine Dunnell and Kim Tait from Royal Ontario Museum. Their minerals were trapped in US Customs! This is a lot more difficult for the people who come from outside the US. Those labels look fantastic, they can stand on their own!
We also contributed this specimen to the SMMP case (Society of Mineral Museum Professionals). This case was called "Odd and Unusual Fluorites". This weirdo was donated by Kay Robertson. Fluorite from Bavaria, Germany with a very strange crystal forms, tetrakishhexahedral crystals! Fluorite crystals are usually cubes or octahedrons. Thank you Kay and we're glad your odd fluorite got its moment in the spotlight!
Another big breakfast, we need the energy for another full day at the Convention Center.
Overview of the Main Show, this is the same space the AGTA show used the previous week. Déjà vu.

More fluorite exhibits:
From Rob Lavinsky's Chinese collection (4 pictures below).
 Unbelievable association of fluorite, quartz and bournonite. Very jealous!
Fluorite on lollingite from Inner Mongolia, China. Love the penetration of lollingite in the pink fluorite.

From the Houston Area Mineral Society (4 pictures below).

 Bill Severance had a great case, very fine fluorites (above and the 2 pictures below).

Harvard Museum (7 pictures below).

From the Spirifer collection, fluorite from Poland (2 pictures below).
That's very promising for our possible field trip to Poland!

From Alain Martaud's collection: French fluorite.
Just that many locations we don't have in our collection!

From Gail & Jim Spann's collection (3 display cases total). All from China! (2 pictures below).
Unfortunately, the picture doesn't show the fire this fluorite displays. It just jumps out when looking at the case!
Is this really fluorite?  This mineral is a new find from Inner Mongolia. Dealer Rob Lavinsky had a few at the Westward Look but they were sold before we got to see them. This one was bought by Jim and Gail Spann and made it into their exhibit at the Main Show.

We also went to see a new exhibit at the Flandrau Science Center, University of Arizona, "Crystalline Treasures: The Mineral Heritage of China". This exhibit is curated by Rob Lavinsky.
Wish list!
Oh wow!!!!!!! That is some quartz!
Wish list!

And, back at the show!
A nice donation from Bill Severence.  New shattuckites from Congo. These were at Munich but we didn't see them. Interestingly Tony tested one for Brian Kosner of Mineral Classics and got an XRD match for plancheite. He re-tested this one and did find shattuckite. They are most likely shattuckite with some plancheite mixed in. The two minerals are very similar, copper silicates. Plancheite just has a little more water in it.
More parties! There was a fun "Meet the Curators" party hosted by Jordi Fabre (Fabre Minerals) and Jim and Gail Spann (private collectors and major supporters of the new Perot Museum in Dallas, TX) Thanks for the great evening!
Looks like a good time. Left to right: Bryan Swoboda (Blue Cap Productions) Christophe Gobin (Gobin Minerals), Mike Rumsey (Natural History Museum London), Tony, and on the floor (a little early in the evening) is Alan Hart (Natural History Museum London).
After a week of trying to get this CA garnet for the museum, success! Joel Siegel came through and bought it from Shawn! A few council members had made offers of part of the money, which was nice but Shawn wanted the full amount. Thank you Joel and thanks also to the California mineral collectors Rick Kennedy and Justin Zzyzx who helped find Shawn and helped convince him to give the museum a good price. Tracy Warmington from Harvard and Jeff Post from the Smithsonian join us in admiring our new acquisition.
This is also a good time to bring your unknown minerals to the appropriate expert for identification.  Tony thought this ugly mineral might be from England. Mike: "Ugly mineral? Yeah, probably English" 
ROM's fluorites have finally arrived and they are great!  Cool Canadian fluorites that we've never seen before!
This is one of the competition mineral cases, the phosphophyllite in the front row won the Lidstrom Trophy. Private collectors can compete for best minerals or best collections.  There are also many levels starting with juniors. For all the kids who collect minerals and didn't know about this type of event, they are great fun and you can win money!
Speaking of awards, our case won the Friends of Mineralogy award for Best Educational Exhibit by an Institution! So cool, we've never won that award! Seems like Cal Academy of Sciences always wins it.  Not this year!
The show finally ends, now we have to pack up and start the long drive home.
There is only one person with the key to the cases, we must wait and wait. With Carol Lucking (Denver Museum of Nature and Science) and Kim Tate (ROM).

And a cool picture from Jamie for the end. We have been really pleased to receive the support of collectors and dealers this year, and were proud to take home a lot of goodies. We will create a special case for new donations and acquisitions, we promised. Just give us a few months! Dear friends, see you soon, in Munich, in Tucson, or, hey, even better, at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County!

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