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Denver Show September 14, 2000
After the first official day of the show although some buying and selling has been going on for several days now I'll try to get some thoughts to the www audience. First We'd like to apologize for the link problems with some of the pictures. We had to try to combine Kevin's web pages he made on his computer to mine. Somewhere in the transfer process all his picture links got lost. To make things worse I then tried to transfer the Emineralshow to a new laptop I bought to bring to Denver so we could be online while at the Holiday Inn Show. I only gave myself three days to get it worked out and that wasn't enough. I ended up bringing my old computer and monitor to Denver filling up half the back of my truck with the two huge boxes and leaving the new toy at home for the family to use. We now answer e-mail and do updates after a long 11 hour day at the show (with NO chairs provided by the promoter) back at my room in the Motel 6 with the monitor on the chair and the keyboard and mouse on the bed. I have also learned why the other internet show guys don't try to do a booth at the show as well as the show on the internet. Most nights end up going till 1-2:00 AM and back up at 6 in the morning.
Now to some of the rocks I've seen while at the show. I have to start off by saying a big thank you to China for all their minerals. This country is supplying more quantity and quality than anywhere else by a huge margin. There are Chinese dealers here in huge numbers trying to get some of that cold hard US cash. I have seen lots of the new pyromorphite all over the hotel including a large grouping about a foot and a half across covered with the green crystals. Kevin also saw a couple of Killers at Victor Younts booth a major museum was looking at for possible purchase (I have heard they have passed on one of these large pyros for now). Top pieces of cinnabar, arsenopyrite, scheelite, fluorite in lots of colors, wolframite, cassiterite, stannite, realgar, orpiment, and calcite in a wide varieties of color and form are available. I bought a large lot the first day and will be featuring some of these on the show when I get time. Quartz in scepters and herkimer like double terminations started to come out some last year and this year they are plentiful (see pic below). Yesterday I picked up a cool calcite that the Chinese dealer didn't know if it was quartz, barite, or calcite(see pic below).
The specimen is a water clear hexagonal crystal with a pyramidal termination that looks so much like quartz. There were still a couple of pieces left about 1.5 inches long by 1/2 inch wide and would run $40 so let me know if you are interested and I will pick on up for you if they are still available. These are somewhat reminiscent of old time English classics. My favorite mineral I have seen at the Chinese dealers are the sky blue hemimorphite. These are botryoidal in form with swirling shapes and patterns . I will have to get a picture and would like to get one for myself. I've got to get this posted now before I head to the show so all for now.
Denver Show September 15, 2000
Today the Club Show, which is the main core show in Denver, opened. A large line formed waiting for the doors to open, and then the rush was on for everyone to get to their favorite dealers before the show became overly crowded. With over a hundred dealers this doesn't sound possible, but with the number of collectors who attend the show it does get VERY crowded around most booths. Friday is also the day that many of the schools in the Denver area have a field trip to the show, so busloads of children are also in attendance. All in all the atmosphere at the show is electric.
The displays at the show are absolutely awesome. Most of the major museums in the US have cases, as well as some from outside the US. Many more cases are put in by universities, private individuals, and groups of collectors. The variety and quality of the displays is mind-boggling.
The theme of this year's show is Minerals of the San Juan Mountains. This includes a great deal of the most famous specimen producing mines of Colorado. Beautiful rhodochrosite, quartz, barite, fluorite, huebnerite, and calcites were in abundance. The case shown below included all self-collected specimens and was quite impressive.
There were also a very fine case of specimens purchased for $50 and under. This was especially intriguing as it showed that you can build a nice collection without breaking the bank.
Another aspect of this show is that since this is one of the major shows in the US, a large number of visitors from across the world make the trek to Denver. This year the dollar is very strong compared to many of the other currencies. As a result the foreign attendance was down a bit, but it is still amazing how many languages you can hear walking about the shows.
Well, that's about it for now as once again it's late. We'll get some pictures of the show posted soon, as well as a LOT of specimens that we've picked up.
Denver Show Report Part 3
My strategy when heading into the show is to first hit the dealers I think might have some bargains and go look at the high class stuff at dealers like collector's edge last. I'm not worried if someone beats me to that awesome $15,000 Sweet Home Rhodochrosite. I go there strictly to look.
One of the first places I head is the International dealers room. The last two years Ronnie Mackenzie of South Africa has had a nice selection of very reasonably priced S. Africa and Namibian material. I was the second person at his booth and grabbed a very nice calcite on smithsonite that I thought Kevin might like before the other fellow picked it up. I think he was waiting to see if I was going to put it back down but I figured Kevin would make it into the International room before long and sure enough he came in within a few minutes and was glad to purchase the piece I had been holding in my hand for him. I picked out some dioptase, cerussite, and azurite from Tsumeb as well as some ettringite and sturmanite from S.Africa. Here is a picture of a couple of the dioptase Ronnie was offering.
From there I headed over to Rock Craft by Yittri a Midwestern dealer who has had some very interesting pieces from old collections the last few years. I picked up a neptunite, benitoite combo from them last year that replaced my old one I had in my collection and they had another one that I almost bought this year pictured below.
I saw a very nice cabinet smithsonite from Kelly for $85 (Ross Lilly of NorthStar Minerals remembered this one when we were talking about the show) that should have been snatched by a collector and a specimen of covellite crystals on matrix from Summitville, CO that went to a German dealer in quick fashion. They once again had some nice Midwestern fluorites that I love so much including this beauty I picked up with no damage and a pale blue on deep yellow color.
There was a lot of very nice old material including much from Tsumeb at Western Minerals. There were some pretty good buys on the front tables but when you moved to the back tables the prices rose exponentially. Les Presmyck also had some bargains on his front tables. The best went quickly however as Kevin showed me a minrecordite on dioptase miniature he had picked up for a song right when the doors were open. Now I knew why it took him a while to meet me in the international room.
As you likely have heard by now a group are drilling and preparing to try to re-open Tsumeb for specimen collecting. One of the main players in this venture is Ian Bruce(?) who looks awfully young to have the kind of money I imagine it would take to try such a venture. Kevin found a couple of nice Tsumeb pieces he that were already out of the ground including a bargain on the hard to find ludluckite. I made a quick trip to see the Rocksmiths who always have a great selection of material at great prices. They also get pretty busy with folks lined up with purchases soon after the show opens. Here is a shot of the crowd at their booth.
They bring about three times more material than will fit on their tables so those with the time can dig through the hundreds of flats on the floor in search of a piece for their collection. They had a large lot of Chinese minerals including the now famous pyromorphites at some great prices. New for me this year were some super hematite kidney ore from Morocco that could be had in a small cabinet size piece for $25 or less. Schooler's of the Kansa City Area also had some nice pieces of the recent Chinese minerals as well as a nice selection of meteorites and fossils.
The worst part about being a dealer at the show is the lack of time to look around. I can't sell rocks unless I'm back at the booth so I headed out of the Main Club Show back to the Holiday in by 1:30 before the folks at the main show started to head off to the other shows.
Final Thoughts on Denver 2000
In the past I have seen some minerals show up in one of the Chinese dealers booths at Denver and the next year it hits the market fully. The spessartine garnets, blue hemimorphite, and "Herkimer" like quartz all showed up in one booth before being found in several booths the next year. The things I saw this year to keep an eye out for were the clear hexagonal calcite I mentioned and pictured earlier. Also from China were some sharp clear to white barite blades on clear quartz crystals. From China or Morocco (I can't find my notes on them) I saw some nicely crystalized smithsonite almost looking like Tsumeb material. I've found it is often best to wait for more to show up because the prices often come tumbling down. Agreat example of this is the ruby sphalerites and tabular Apohpyllite which when they first came out were super expensive and later could be found at bargain prices. If you don't have the money to hang with Bill Gates or Uncle Sam Walton's clan and have to be first to have something be patient and you will likely find it much cheaper later. This applies primarily to new finds not old collection material that makes a reappearance on the market. Thanks for checking out the Emineralshow and look for another Show during Denver next year. We have decided to give up our booths so we can concentrate on better coverage of the show and more updates for our internet customers. So long from the crew of the Emineralshow.
Stan, Kevin, and John