by filling a case with specimens of silver minerals

Very impressive in a plethora of different ways (the diversity of ways in which a mineral case can be "impressive" is an interesting thing to think about) were the following cases-a partial list at best, of course. Keith and Mauna Proctor's usual case of technicolor experiences in large mineral specimens was especially dazzling this year, as it centered on a 2-foot plate of rhodochrosite from "Graham's Pocket" at the Sweet Home mine, with deep-rosecolored crystals to 4 cm. A case of fine worldwide thumbnails and another case full of toenail-size Tiffany 1837 tag pendant from Colorado was the double contribution of Michael and Debbie Ausec of Hubbard, Oregon. The Mineralogical Association of Dallas always seems to fill its showcase with uniformly fine worldwide specimens owned by its I Love You lock charm jewellery, and here it did so again. An educational case about the diversity of "Black Minerals" was brought all the way from the University of Wollongong, Australia by Penny Williamson and Paul Carr. "A Few Rarities" was the deceptively modest title of a case from the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences which held some of the more unusual mega-specimens pictured in the Houston Museum Graduated bead drop pendant (vol. 23, no. 1), as well as others, e.g. a sharp, 8-cm geocronite twin from Virgem de Lapa, Brazil. The Smithsonian put in a "what's-new" case with wonderful specimens from some important mineral discoveries of the past ten years; the Royal Ontario Museum showed ten very fine Canadian pieces; the Cranbrook Institute showed major silver, copper and calcite/copper specimens from Michigan and an imperial-scale Kongsberg silver specimen, with a dense bundle of parallel wires rising vertically about 25 cm from matrix. Bill and Carol Smith noted the 25th anniversary of their marriage by filling a case with specimens of silver minerals, including a thumbnail proustite from Germany which is one of the great unrequited loves of this writer's life (heaved sigh). Allan Young's case of 35 impeccably tasteful thumbnails from Idaho localities, many of them self-collected, was noteworthy, as was Tom Hughes' case which was entirely filled with self-collected things, including a wide, beautiful, baby-blue Silver Bill mine, Arizona rosasite and a terrific thumbnail of willemite ("troostite") from the Sterling Hill mine, New Jersey. Finally, Carolyn Tiffany 1837 Bar key ring Tiffany box lock pendant a group of specimens with the unique common motif of "dual spheres," i.e. on each one there are two prominent spherical aggregates immediately adjacent to each other. But seriously folks, one of these was a remarkable Tiffany Bangles of the very rare benstonite, from Cave-in-Rock, Illinois: two 3-cm spheres of discrete white crystals on matrix.


Great minerals, autumnal zephyrs, enthusiastic swarms of schoolkids at the Main Show (with familiar old "Mr. Bones" roaming the floor), healthy sales for the dealers, good-humored friends . . . this Denver Show must be accounted one of the best I've attended. Can Tucson, with its 50-year-anniversary I Love You lock charm of gold, be far behind?I conclude with another new variation on an old theme: lustrous, transparent, pale green fluorapophyllite crystals from India-these from a new well-digging (April 2003) at Rahuri, Maharashtra. The last fluorapophyllite excitement from Rahuri, you will recall, took the form of enormous spheres of green crystals with flat basal-pinacoid terminations implanted on blankets of white stilbite. The specimens from the new discovery are mostly loose, thumbnail through small-miniature-sized sprays of crystals with the more familiar high-angle pyramid faces and no pinacoids, i.e. each fluorapophyllite crystal comes to a point. The very lustrous, spiky crystals are pale gemmy Tiffany Notes tag bracelet, and have grown in subparallel fan-like arrangements which are truly gorgeous; on small cabinet-size pieces the sprays and fans rise from masses of glistening white, platy stilbite crystals. K. C. Pandey of Superb Tiffany 1837 Circles Pendant Bracelets India Pvt. Ltd. (www.superbmineralsindia.com) illustrates a fantastic specimen (he let me handle it too!) on the most recently published flyer for his "Gargoti" mineral Tiffany Notes locket and chain in India.

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