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Minerals & Gemstone 480x104
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Mineral Explorers: Complete Second Season

I recently watched the second season of Mineral Explorers, a television documentary of mineral exploration and inside glimpses to to the mineral and gemstone hobby. The second season is now available in a three-disc DVD set consisting of seven episodes. The series is produced and narrated by mineral dealer Thomas Nagin, the owner of Crystal Springs Mining and Jewelry Co. The footage of this series is sharp, information, and well-done. In addition to providing a glimpse at the specimen mining operations at some of the mines, it also provides excellent footage of three dimensions mineral close-ups of quality mineral specimens.


Mineral Explorers fills an important void in mineral education, by providing an interactive presentation of important mineral discoveries. It provides the ability for those interested in the hobby, especially children, to develop an appreciation of how minerals are mined and brought the market.

The first DVD in the set includes the Peruvian localities of Mundo Nuevo and Pasto Bueno, both high up in the Andes. Mundo Nuevo is well-known for its large and splendent Pyrite crystals associated with Quartz, and Pasto Bueno produces Rhodochrosite and tungsten minerals.


The second DVD delves more into the mineral hobby, featuring stories from the road, and some background on the great Tucson show and Arizona copper minerals. There is also an episode on Southern California, documenting some of the famous gem pegmatites of the region and visiting some renowned collectors.


The third DVD is on Spain and Portugal, with an episode going behind the scenes at the the most famous Pyrite locality in the world, The Mina La Rioja in Navajun, Spain. This locality produces the perfectly shaped cubic type of Pyrite well-known by all collectors, and the footage show how these incredible crystals are found and pulled out of the ground. The episode on Portugal concerns itself with the Panasqueira Mine, one of the most important ore mines in Europe today, with a special focus on the mineral Apatite so famously produced from this mine.

Click here for a link to the official trailer for the second season on Vimeo.

Click here to order the complete DVD set of the second season.

The 2018 NJ Gem and Mineral Show

The NJ Gem and Mineral Show has been renamed this year from its former title, with "New York" being dropped from its name. Although it does attract people from nearby New York, (such as myself), it is, after all, in New Jersey. Many locals call it the "Edison Show" after its location in Edison, New Jersey.


This show is now the largest gem show on the East Coast, and there was an impressive attendance during my visit on Sunday. The focus of the show is broad, with a balance of mineral, gem, jewelry, and fossil dealers. There was a healthy presence of some important mineral dealers that had both new interesting material.


A very impressive fluorescent mineral display was set up in the Junior Ballroom. There were ten display cases of fluorescent minerals, with UV lights above each. The exhibit was put together by the Franklin Mineral Museum as well as by fluorescent collectors such as Steven Kuitems and Richard Bostwick.


One of the main attractions of the show was “Titanoboa: Monster Snake", a 48-foot long life-like model of the largest fossil snake ever found. It was presented in the process of swallowing an adult crocodile, which was likely one its primary food choices. The exhibit belongs to the Smithsonian Institution, and was previously seen at the Florida Museum of Natural History. After the show ended, it was shipped to the British Museum in London for further exhibition.


A nice surprise at the show this year was Avant Mining, run by James Zigras with a full room of large and beautiful Quartz crystals from his new and productive Quartz mine, which he aptly named the Zigras Mine, in Garland Co., Arkansas. Large individual crystals and impressive Quartz clusters, all recently mined, could be seen in this room.


Amanda Adkins, once a star in the TV Series Prospectors, now runs a company called Prospectors USA Mined Gem and Minerals with her partner Ryan Brimley. They had some interesting material as usual, but some unusual and complex Pyrite crystal clusters from Texas (from the DFW metro area) stood out as very interesting. Alan Benson from Alan's Quality Minerals had a large lot of newly mined Fluorite cubes, many of them with Quartz, from the Diana Maria Mine. (See our Tucson show reports for more information about this locality.)


This year, Shannon & Sons Minerals was back, with their very large booth that included many rare species. They had a new find of light yellow, transparent yellow Calcite crystal clusters with complex crystal growths from Mina Rey y Reina, Charcas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico. While walking through the show, I came across a very interesting greenish banded Jasper labelled as "Swamp Bogwood" at the JH Stone Galleria booth. I have never seen this material before, but these nice patterned slabs were unique and affordable, and were labelled as coming from McDermitt area in Oregon.


New Era Gems had a large selection of a new type of "Blue Cap" Tourmaline from Tanzania. The "Blue Caps" are part of multicolored crystals with white and black color zones below the blue caps. These are quite different the traditional California Blue Cap Tourmalines that we are more accustomed to. New Era Gems also has a whole flat of Cat's Eye Tourmaline cabochons. These are rarely encountered, and seeing an entire flat of all different colors was quite interesting.


Khyber Gem Stone, a dealer specializing in minerals from Pakistan and Afghanistan, had a new find of Ruby crystals, bright red in color, in a contrasting marble matrix, from Gilgit, Pakistan. This locality has been producing gem minerals such as Aquamarine for some time, but this is a totally new discovery. The prices were remarkably affordable, and I couldn't resist picking up a piece for myself.


Ziga Mineral had a flat of red Calcite, from a new find in Brookville, Indiana. At the western wall of the convention center, several tables were set up by TJ's Rocks, featuring some very large Selenite Crystals that were very typically shaped in flattened, transparent, colorless crystals. These were from the otherwise unknown locality of the San Rafael Swell, near Green River, Utah.


As I was completing my rounds on the show floor, I encountered Bryan Major of Ultra-Rocks, who always has some new finds that he digs and discovers, year after year. This year was no exception, and Bryan had some large Amethyst crystals from Union Co., South Carolina from a newly discovered and very productive location. Bryan is yet to name the mine, and will be taking to social media to have some of his online followers come up with a name.


Show Floor at the NY/NJ Mineral Show
Show Floor at the NJ Mineral Show

Fluorescent Willemite (Green) & Calcite (Red) from the Sterling Hill Mine, Ogdensburg, NJ, Franklin Mineral Museum
Fluorescent Willemite (Green) & Calcite (Red) from the Sterling Hill Mine, Ogdensburg, NJ
Franklin Mineral Museum

Fluorescent Hardystonite (Purple), Willemite (Green), and Calcite (Red) from Franklin, NJ, Steven M. Kuitems
Fluorescent Hardystonite (Purple), Willemite (Green) & Calcite (Orange) from Franklin, NJ
Steven M. Kuitems

Fluorescent Willemite (Green) Vein in Calcite (Red) from the Sterling Hill Mine, Ogdensburg, NJ, Franklin Mineral Museum
Fluorescent Willemite Vein in Calcite from the Sterling Hill Mine, Ogdensburg, NJ
Franklin Mineral Museum

Fluorescent Calcite from Bound Brook, NJ
Fluorescent Calcite from Bound Brook, NJ
Richard Bostwick and Tema Hecht

Life-sized model of Titanoboa, devouring a dyrosaurid, as a main exhibit feature of the show
Life-sized model of Titanoboa, devouring a dyrosaurid, as a main exhibit feature of the show
Smithsonian Museum

Giant Arkansas Quartz Crystal from the Zigras Mine, Garland Co., AR
Giant Arkansas Quartz Crystal from the Zigras Mine, Garland Co., AR
Avant Mining

Very Large Arkansas Quartz Crystal Cluster from the Zigras Mine, Garland Co., AR
Very Large Arkansas Quartz Crystal Cluster from the Zigras Mine, Garland Co., AR
Avant Mining

Pyrite Crystal from North-Central Texas (DFW area), Amanda Adkins, USA Mined Gems and Minerals
Pyrite Crystal from North-Central Texas (DFW area)
Amanda Adkins, USA Mined Gems and Minerals

Fluorite on Quartz from the Diana Maria Mine, Frosterley, England, Alan's Quality Minerals
Fluorite on Quartz from the Diana Maria Mine, Frosterley, England, Alan's Quality Minerals
Alan's Quality Minerals

New find of Calcite from the Mina Rey y Reina, Charcas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Shannon & Sons Minerals
New find of Calcite from the Mina Rey y Reina, Charcas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Shannon & Sons Minerals

Swamp Bogwood, a Greenish Banded Jasper from McDermitt, Oregon
Swamp Bogwood, a Greenish Banded Jasper from McDermitt, Oregon
JH Stone Galleria

New Style of Blue-Cap Tourmaline from Tanzania, New Era Gems
New Style of Blue-Cap Tourmaline from Tanzania
New Era Gems

Cat's Eye Tourmaline Gemstones, New Era Gems
Cat's Eye Tourmaline Gemstones
New Era Gems

New Find of Ruby in Marble from Gilgit, Pakistan, Khyber Gem Stone
New Find of Ruby in Marble from Gilgit, Pakistan
Khyber Gem Stone

Calcite with Duftite from Tsumeb, Namibia, Rocksaholics
Calcitewith Duftite from Tsumeb, Namibia
Rocksaholics

Indicolite Tourmaline in Pollucite from Konar Province, Afghanistan, Rocksaholics
Indicolite Tourmaline in Pollucite from Konar Province, Afghanistan
Rocksaholics

Large Amethyst Geode Pair from Brazil, Nativa Gems
Large Amethyst Geode Pair from Brazil
Nativa Gems

New Find of Red Calcite from Brookville, Indiana, Ziga Mineral
New Find of Red Calcite from Brookville, Indiana
Ziga Mineral

Bryan Major from Ultra-Rocks with his New Find of Amethyst from Union Co., SC, Ultra Rocks
Bryan Major from Ultra-Rocks with his New Find of Amethyst from Union Co., SC
Ultra-Rocks

Unusual Rutilated Quartz/Smoky Quartz Combo from South Carolina
Unusual Rutilated Quartz/Smoky Quartz Combo from South Carolina
Ultra-Rocks

Very Large Amethyst Crystal Cluster from a New Find in Union Co., South Carolina
Very Large Amethyst Crystal Cluster from a New Find in Union Co., South Carolina
Ultra-Rocks

Large Gemmy Amethyst Crystal from a New Find in Union Co., South Carolina
Large Gemmy Amethyst Crystal from a New Find in Union Co., South Carolina
Ultra-Rocks

Very Large Selenite Crystals from the San Rafael Swell, Utah, TJ's Rocks
Very Large Selenite Crystals from the San Rafael Swell, Utah
TJ's Rocks

Hershel with the Large Selenite Crystals from the San Rafael Swell, Utah, TJ's Rocks
Very Large Selenite Crystals from the San Rafael Swell, Utah
TJ's Rocks

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® 2018 Recap

This post is a recap of our detailed coverage of this year's Tucson mineral events. The city of Tucson, Arizona, hosts the largest and most significant agglomeration of mineral and gemstone shows every year at the end of January and early February. This year, our reports have been more detailed than ever before.

Please see the listing below for links to each section of our news posts:

InnSuites:

Other Shows:

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® Scenes and Displays:

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® Dealer Minerals:

2018 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® Collector's Edge Minerals

This post, our final in the series of the 2018 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®, is a tour at the booth of Collectors Edge, a prominent mineral dealer from Colorado. Collector's Edge traditionally has the largest and most audacious booth on the show floor, with several outstanding specimens in the hundreds of thousands of dollars category. Some of these photogenic centerpieces are pictured in this report.

Collector's Edge also conducts specimen mining, and has gone into old localities and invested in mining them once again for specimens. The most notable new find at their sprawling booth this year was golden brown Barite on orange Calcite from the Elk Creek Mine, Meade Co., South Dakota. The quality Barite from this locality are classics among collectors, and it was quite refreshing to see new material.

Another exciting entry from Collector's Edge was a suite of exceptional Pyromorphite from the Bunker Hill Mine, Kellogg, Coeure d'Alene District, Shoshone Co., Idaho. Pyromporphite from this mine is considered among the world's best, but mine production has ceased and specimens have not come from this mine in quite some time. Collector's Edge had recently acquired the personal collection of Bob Hopper, Sr., the mine owner and operator, with many exceptional Pyromporphite specimens from the mine.

One more noteworthy comment from Collector's Edge. Their staff had mentioned that they have started a new mining operation for Rhodochrosite, directly up the hill from the famous Sweet Home Mine in Colorado. The hope is that they will find new specimens exploiting the same vein as the Sweet Home Mine. This operation would be solely for specimens, and would be a new mine tunnel not connected to the Sweet Home Mine, although it would be adjacent to it. The new mine has been named the Detroit City Mine. We hope this operation will be productive and look forward to seeing, once again, a fresh supply of one of the most incredible minerals in the mineral kingdom.


Fluorite and Dolomite from the Dongpo Ore Field, Chengzhou, Hunan Prov., China, Mined in 2016
Fluorite and Dolomite from the Dongpo Ore Field, Chengzhou, Hunan Prov., China
Mined in 2016

Purple Fluorite from the De'an Fluorite Mine, Wushan, Jiangxi Prov., China
Purple Fluorite from the De'an Fluorite Mine, Wushan, Jiangxi Prov., China

Calcite Crystal on Amethyst from Artigas, Uruguay
Calcite Crystal on Amethyst from Artigas, Uruguay

Rhodochrosite Crystal on Quartz from the Blue Moon Pocket, Sweet Home Mine, Alma, CO
Rhodochrosite Crystal on Quartz from the Blue Moon Pocket, Sweet Home Mine, Alma, CO

Elbaite Tourmaline var. Indicolite from the Mawi Pegmatite, Nuristan, Afghanistan
Elbaite Tourmaline var. Indicolite from the Mawi Pegmatite, Nuristan, Afghanistan

Hot Pink Manganoan Calcite from Bou Azzer, Morocco
Hot Pink Manganoan Calcite from Bou Azzer, Morocco

Pyromorphite Recently Released from the Collection of Bob Hopper Sr., Miner Owner and Operator of the Bunker Hill Mine, Kellog, Idaho
Pyromorphite Recently Released from the Collection of Bob Hopper Sr.,
Miner Owner and Operator of the Bunker Hill Mine, Kellog, Idaho

Elbaite Tourmaline V Crystals from Paprok, Nuristan Prov, Afghanistan
Elbaite Tourmaline V Crystals from Paprok, Nuristan Prov, Afghanistan

Large Barite Crystal on Calcite from Elk Creek, South Dakota. This is one of the largest crystals of this find recently mined by Collector's Edge.
Large Barite Crystal on Calcite from Elk Creek, South Dakota.
This is one of the largest crystals of this find recently mined by Collector's Edge

Nice Display of the Barites and Calcite from New Mining Operations at Elk Creek
Nice Display of the Barites on Calcite from New Mining Operations at Elk Creek

A Particularly Aesthetic Barite on Calcite from New Mining Operations at Elk Creek
A Particularly Aesthetic Barite on Calcite from New Mining Operations at Elk Creek

Large Beryl var. Morganite from Corrego do Urucum, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Large Beryl var. Morganite from Corrego do Urucum, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Left to Right: Beryl var Heliodor from Volodarsk-Volynskii, Ukraine, Rhodochroite with Tetrahedrite from the Millenium Pocket, Sweet Home Mine, Alma, CO, Beryl var Aquamarine from the Angicos Mine, Medina City, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Left to Right: Large Beryl var. Heliodor from Volodarsk-Volynskii, Ukraine
Rhodochrosite with Tetrahedrite from the Millenium Pocket, Sweet Home Mine, Alma, CO
Beryl var. Aquamarine from the Angicos Mine, Medina City, Minas Gerais, Brazil

2018 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® Dealer Minerals Part 2

This post is a continuation of the dealer minerals at the 2018 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®. I couldn't fit all the pictures and content into a single post, so this is the second of my posts of some of the new finds or remarkable minerals presented by the dealers at the show.

Moving along the show floor, I encountered the booth of Luis Burillos Minerals, where I was shown a new find of large crystal plates of brownish-green Clinozoisite from Cerro San Cristobal, Yauli Province, Peru. These crystals were pretty nice for a usually unremarkable mineral. They were from the same deposit as those from Jaroslov Hyrsl that I saw at the InnSuites show.

Unique Minerals had several fascinating finds from the ever productive Ojuela Mine in Mapimi, Durange, Mexico. This classic locality, considered to be among the most famous and significant mineral specimen deposits in the world, just doesn't stop giving. Unique Minerals sported an entire shelf of newly mined (2017) brightly colored, Ojuela minerals, with the most eye-catching being bright yellow Legrandite in radiating fans, similar to the classic, highly desirable material from past decades. Other interesting Ojuela minerals included Paradamite (a rare Adamite dimorph) in highly desirable lustrous yellow crystal clusters, dark bluish-green globular Rosasite, and banded reniform Malachite.


Well-Arranged Molecules had their usual suite of minerals from the extinct Jeffrey Quarry locality in Asbestos, including some outstanding Vesuvianite, an unusual colorless Grossular, and many fine Grossular var. Hessonite crystal clusters. Well-Arranged Molecules also showed me something quite outstanding: Remarkably large, colorless Quartz crystals with an alpine-type look and feel, from a new find in the Manihar Valley, Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh, India.


Well-Arranged Molecules also had several well-formed, lustrous, dark brown Zircon crystals on matrix from Store Jufjord, Seiland Island, Alta, Finnmark, Norway. These fine Zircons are associated with dark Mica (presumably Biotite.) This find in the far northern area of Norway has been well documented by Spirifer Minerals (see their article on this here). Spirifer Minerals, located directly across the aisle from Well-Arranged Molecules, indeed had many more of these Zircons from their recent expeditions. Also at Spirifer Minerals were the new finds of skeletal and hoppered gray Halite with Tolbachtite from Lubin, as well as orange Calcite from a basalt quarry Luban, Poland. (Both these finds were mentioned earlier in my report on the InnSuites, where Spirifer Minerals first showed me these new finds.)

Heading down to the Kosnar brothers, who share an adjacent booth, I noticed Brett Kosnar of Kosnar Gem Co. had some interesting cut gem finds, the most fascinated being a champagne-colored Zircon from a new deposit in Tanzania. This material is highly lustrous, has great fire, and exhibits excellent color and transparency. Kosnar Gem Co. also had a bright green, gemmy Titanite that sparkled with a remarkable brilliance and dispersion.

Bruce Wood Minerals had a delicate but highly desirable combination of mint-green Fluorite with Huebnerite on Quartz from Mundo Nuevo, Peru. The association, crystal formation, and lack of damage on this piece was remarkable. Near the entrance to the booth, Bruce Wood also had a giant red Elbaite ("Rubellite") Tourmaline crystal cluster from the Cruzero Mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil. This was quite a conversation piece, and no doubt brought some show spectators into Bruce Wood's booth.


Paradamite from a new find in the Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango Mexico, Unique Minerals
Paradamite from a new find in the Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
Unique Minerals

Legrandite from a new find in the Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango Mexico, Unique Minerals
Legrandite from a new find in the Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango Mexico
Unique Minerals

Giant, Lustrous Grossular Garnet Plate from the Jefferey Mine, 
Asbestos, Quebec, Canada, Well-Arranged Molecules
Botryoidal Blue Rosasite from a new find in the Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
Unique Minerals

Giant, Lustrous Grossular Garnet Plate from the Jefferey Mine, 
Asbestos, Quebec, Canada, Well-Arranged Molecules
Large Grossular Garnet Plate from the Jefferey Mine, Asbestos, Quebec, Canada
Well-Arranged Molecules

New Find of Giant, Alpine-Type Quartz Crystals from the Manihar Valley, Kullu, Himichal Pradesh, India
New Find of Giant, Alpine-Type Quartz from the Manihar Valley, Himichal Pradesh, India
Well-Arranged Molecules

Highly Lustrous Champagne-Colored Zircon Gem from a new find in Tanzania, Kosnar Gem Co.
Highly Lustrous Champagne-Colored Zircon Gem from a new find in Tanzania
Kosnar Gem Co.

Large Rare Green Titanite Gem from ***???***, Kosnar Gem Co.
Large Rare Green Titanite Gem
Kosnar Gem Co.

Newly Mined Zircon Crystals with Mica from Seiland, Alta, Finnmark, Norway, Spirifer Minerals
Newly Mined Zircon Crystals with Mica from Seiland, Alta, Finnmark, Norway
Spirifer Minerals

Large and Lustrous Spessartine Garnet Crystal on Matrix from ***???***, Mineral Classics
Large, Lustrous Spessartine Garnet on Matrix from Shengus, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
Mineral Classics

A Delicate but Undamaged Combination of Mint-Green Fluorite with Huebnerite on Quartz from Mundo Nuevo, Peru, Bruce Wood Minerals
Pristine Mint-Green Fluorite with Huebnerite on Quartz from Mundo Nuevo, Peru
Bruce Wood Minerals

Large Red Elbaite Tourmaline Show Stopper from the Cruzero Mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil, Bruce Wood Minerals
Large Red Elbaite Tourmaline Show Stopper from the Cruzero Mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Bruce Wood Minerals

Very Large Fluorite with Muscovite from Chumar Bakhoor, Nagar, Gilgit, Pakistan, Rocksaholics
Very Large Fluorite with Muscovite from Chumar Bakhoor, Nagar, Gilgit, Pakistan
Rocksaholics

Rusty James from Throwin' Stones Revealing his Minerals.net T-Shirt at the Show
Rusty James from Throwin' Stones Revealing his Minerals.net T-Shirt at the Show