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Denver Mineral Show - Part 3 - DGMS Show
The Denver Gem and Mineral Society show is held in the Merchandise Mart, not far from the Holiday Inn which holds the Colorado Mineral and Fossil show. This is a club run show, and has a great family feel to it, with many displays from local collectors including children and families, and activities to encourage kids in the world of minerals. The show has many exhibits - this year's theme was Creede Mining District, Colorado - and also has talks each day.
Set up for the show was Thursday, opening to a steady crowd on Friday morning.
Our booth came together on time, we have three adjoining rooms to make one large space with over 12 cabinets of minerals, plus 4 sets of drawers of minerals, so it is a full day's set up to get everything arranged.
To see a video of our best minerals, please click here.
Silvers, Red Beryls, Rhodochrosites, Native Leads, and a wonderful blue Fluorite on display
We had a wonderful selection of Chrysoberyl var Alexandrites from Fort Victoria, Zimbabwe on display with very well formed sixling cyclic twinning.
Arizona Minerals - the bottom two shelves were specimens from the E. O. Stratton collection, with information on Stratton and his collection.
Pretty in Pink - new Rhodochrosite from Wuton Mine, China
Rhombohedral Rhodochrosite with purple Fluorite - centre specimen, with two smaller discoidal crystals at the front
New flattened discoidal Rhodos, two with purple Fluorite from China.
Richard Jackson and the case of minerals from the Bejing exhibition
Malachite to the left, and Adamite to the front, with the book that accompanied the exhibition.
Mimetite (clear sparkling crystals) and Segnitite (yellow green crystals) from Campo Sur, Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Mexico.
This was a really pretty and unusual specimen with Rosastite (turquoise blue), Calcite (flat colourless hexagonal disks on Rosasite) and Hemimorphite (elongate radiating clusters of whitish crystals), from Ojuela Mine.
Parisite on Calcite from Muzo Mine, Colombia
Topaz from Shamozai, Katlang, Pakistan
Calcite from Cardin Mine, Picher, Oklahoma, with pink centre caused by Neodymium. Crystal approx 50cm high, see pen for scale.
Azurite from Milpillas Mine, Mexico - 4 by 4 inches in size.
New Aquamarine from Frade Mine, Coronel Murta, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Horizontal colour changes indicate previous terminations before the crystal continued to grow, and then later was etched.
Another new Aquamarine.
Tourmaline from Pederneira Mine, Brazil with watermelon colouring.
Another Pederneira Mine Tourmaline
The mine is most well known for Benitoite and Neptunite specimens, but other minerals such as Joaquinite are also found. The minerals occur in white Natrolite veins or layers in a grey Crossite matrix. The veins are sitting in fractures in the matrix and where the veins cross you are more likely to find mineralisation. Steve and John had a range of material available from mine run (unetched) material (which was already sold out) to prepped specimens, and cut stones. Preparation of a specimen can take 15-20 hours of labour, and they are doing all the prep work themselves.
Steve holding a piece of 'mine run' - an unetched specimen showing the white Natrolite veins which may hold Benitoite.
Steve holding a very large prepared specimen with many blue Benitoite crystals on white Natrolite.
The Stonetrust had a great display of Fluorites from Weisseck Mountain, Lungau, Salzburg, Austria. The recent Mineralogical Record has an article about this location and mining for the Fluorites (a challenging task!). I reported a find of the Fluorites at the Ste Marie show earlier this year, with specimens seen in Watzl Mineral's booth. The Fluorites mostly have cubic form with stepped growth, and are quite dark colour until backlit.
New Fluorites from Weisseck Mountain, Lungau, Salzburg, Austria, on display in the booth of the Stonetrust
But what I did not know until this show is that Fluorites exhibit an amazing colour change effect when lit by different types of lighting (such as tungsten light or daylight lighting). Stephanie and Robert Snyder were very helpful to show me the colour change with different lighting - the effect is very pronounced and I tried to capture the changes on my camera, however what the camera recorded was not quite the same as what the eye saw.
Fluorite over CREE LED light (2400 K colour temperature) - purplish on camera, but more purple and green to the eye
Fluorite over Mecury monochromatic light - this green is a pretty good representation of the green in real life.
Fluorite over compact Fluorescent light (6500 K colour temperature) - teal blue
High Intensity Discharge LED, superbright light (5000K colour temperature - close to daylight) - deep blue similar to the Annabel Lee Mine blue Fluorites.
Robert Snyder kindly sent me some professional photos to show the colour change. These photos were taken by Anton Watzl, Snr.
Fluorite - photo by Anton Watzl Snr.
Dave Bunk was exhibiting for the first time at the Denver Gem and Mineral show sharing a booth with Lithographie who produce the extraLapis magazines, and other books.
Dave Bunk at his booth
Sphalerite, Quartz, Andradite from El Mochito Mine, Honduras
Galena with Quartz on Andradite from El Mochito Mine, Honduras
This show is great for teaching, and on opening morning school children come in to visit the show. Exhibitors are often on hand to explain minerals to the children - such as Paul and Penny from Wollongong University of Australia. Their display was on Australian Gypsum, and they were giving out free 'lucky dip' Gypsum specimens with labels to the children and explaining the inclusions in the Gypsum, as well as explaining the importance of labelling your collection - what a great way to encourage the next generation of collectors!
Paul and Penny from Wollongong University in front of their display.
I happened to walked past the Smithsonian Institution's exhibit whilst curator Mike Wise was there for their curator presentation. The Smithsonian has about 380,000 specimens in their collection, including minerals and gemstones, as well as a meteorite and rock collection. They have about 7 million visitors a year, and most visitors go to see the famous Hope Diamond, but end up looking at the rest of the exhibit. The exhibit represents only 2% of the collection. Much of the collection is a reference collection which is available to the scientific community for research.
Mike Wise from the Smithsonian in front of their display.
Creede Mining District minerals and old mining company share certificates.
Photo of the Creede Mining District above some displays
Creede mining district display by Ed Raines
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