Hi Friends- The 2017 Denver gem and mineral shows are officially over and we are happy to say it was a success. While the overall consensus was that attendance was somewhat down compared to last year, there were still plenty of new and interesting things to be seen and old friends to re-connect with.
The show started for us at our warehouse location at 16026 W. 5th Ave. Building 100, Golden, CO 80402, where we were open for business starting the week of September 4th. Lots of dealers and other wholesale customers like to come in and see us early to stock up for the show or for their own retail locations, and this year was no different. If you have a resale tax number and want to get some deals on wholesale minerals from finds new and old, come check out the warehouse sometime! Look for this building and perhaps Graham Sutton will be there to help you out too.
The "official" Denver mineral showcase started with the new Fall Colorado Mineral and Fossil Show, a continuation of Marty Zinn's well-known show, but at a new location (Denver Airport Crowne Plaza Hotel & Convention Center) and organized by a new promoter, Sandra Gonzales.
The new venue is a big improvement on the old Ramada Hotel near downtown, which was beginning to show it's age. The Denver Airport Crowne Plaza has spacious convention center rooms for both wholesale and retail dealers, as well as numerous "ballroom" type spaces for larger wholesale dealers.
We had two booths at the Crowne Plaza show, a wholesale booth manned by Craig Wiburt where we offered our usual selection of minerals by the flat to buyers with a valid wholesale license, as well as a separate booth in the retail area where we offered our "keystone" or 50% off inventory to both the public and other dealers.
Sales were good at both locations, with a flurry of activity on the first day, which is when everyone wants to see "what's new." We had a number of exciting new things to offer at the show, including numerous Pyromorphite specimens from the famous Bunker Hill Mine in Kellogg, Shoshone County, Idaho. Pyromorphite from this mine is known for it's brilliant luster, bright and varied color ranging from orange to yellow to green, and varied crystal form.
A nice 8 cm. Arsenian Pyromorphite from the Bunker Hill Mine.
Vintage postcard of the Bunker Hill Mine and Mill (photo copyright Mindat.org/Gunter Grundmann)
A shelf of fine Bunker Hill Pyromorphite specimens for sale at our booth at the Denver Merchandise Mart.
Another popular new item we offered at the Denver show this year were Chinese fluorite from two recent finds: one is in Fujian Province and features dodecahedral overgrowths on octahedral crystals, with interesting green to violet color. Many of these crystals have green bodies and intense purple 'spots' or color centers, and are on a pleasing matrix of sparkly white quartz:
A nice example of the new Fujian Province, China fluorites showing light green dodecahedral overgrowths on purple octahedra. (11.5 cm specimen)
An example of light green fluorite crystals with intense purple color centers on quartz from new finds in Fujian Province, China (15.3 cm across)
We were also excited to offer another batch of new Chinese fluorite from the Manaoshan Mine, Dongpo Ore Field, Chenzhou Prefecture, Hunan Province, China. While this region of Hunan Province has long been known for it's excellent and varied fluorite specimens, there are something special, with intense lime-green coloration, large crystal size, and interesting morphology in which complex 'stepped' octahedra often have mirror-bright cube faces which offer windows into their gemmy interiors. The frequent association of the fluorite crystals with lustrous pink dolomite and white to pink calcite crystals made these real winners, and they sold briskly both in wholesale and retail.
Fabulous large Manaoshan Mine, Hunan, China Fluorite with Dolomite on Quartz specimen (33 cm across). Note the rich green color and interesting morphology of the fluorite crystals.
We also brought out some great orpiment specimens from our 1999 specimen mining project at the Twin Creek Gold mine near Winnemucca, Nevada. Some of these had not been offered for sale before and they generated a lot of interest amongst both collectors and dealers. Generally recognized as the best in the world for the species, Twin Creeks Orpiment has fiery-orange color and great luster.
Lovely 9.5 cm wide group of bright orange Orpiment crystals from the Twin Creek Mine.
In addition to the Crowne Plaza show and our warehouse "open house", we also had a room at the annual Denver Fine Mineral Show, part of the Fine Mineral Show series (including the Westward Look in Tucson and the Houston Fine Mineral Show) organized by Dave Waisman and his team. The Denver Fine Mineral Show takes place at the Marriott Denver West Hotel, a great venue which happens to be just a few convenient miles from our offices in Golden!
There were some fantastic minerals to be seen at the Denver Fine Mineral Show this year, and we were proud to offer some of our best minerals at this venue. Richard Jackson put together a beautiful case of our new Bunker Hill pyromorphites:
Bunker Hill Mine Pyromorphite case at the Denver Fine Mineral Show (photo by Erin Delventhal/Jolyon Ralph Mindat.org)
Here's a shot of some of our real "show stopper" minerals at the Denver Fine Mineral Show:
(photo by Erin Delventhal/Jolyon Ralph Mindat.org)
New Collector's Edge Employee and sales/marketing specialist Phil Persson in front of cases at the Denver Fine Mineral Show (photo by Aaron Cross)
Phil Also gave a talk on his masters thesis research on unusual Colorado pegmatites at the Fine Mineral Show:
We also held our annual Customer Appreciation Party Friday evening, September 15th at the Denver West Marriott Hotel. It was a well-attended and enjoyable event, featuring hors d'oeuvres and refreshments as well as am interesting presentation by Jeweler's Mutual, an insurance company specializing in gemstone and mineral specimen insurance.
Shifting gears again, on Thursday we journeyed over to the Denver Merchandise Mart to set up our booth at the annual Denver "Main Show" which ran this year from September 15-17th:
This year was not only the 50th Anniversary of the Denver Mineral Show, but also a Silver and Gold theme, so the exhibits were truly outstanding. The show advertising (above) also featured one of my all-time favorite mineral specimens, an ~8 cm curved wire of native gold on limonite matrix from the Ground Hog Mine near Gilman, Eagle County, Colorado (Denver Museum of Nature & Science Collection).
Here's a shot of part of our booth at the Denver show- we are in the J-aisle alongside other great dealers such as Dan & Diana Weinrich, Kristalle, and Stonetrust. We had a broad selection of minerals from finds both old and new, and two large floral arrangements added some nice character to the room.
Here's a quick video of what our booth looked like at the main show for those that missed it. Here are a few more photos of some of my favorite specimens and cases at our booth:
I thought this large single Sweet Home mine Rhodochrosite crystal was particularly nice; note the small purple fluorite crystals perched on the upper face. Specimens is ~7 cm across.
These pink apatites from Nagar, Pakistan are amongst the best pink apatites in the world, and this specimen boats a very large (~6 cm) single crystal with great color on muscovite matrix. These apatite's fluoresce quite nicely (lemon-yellow) under shortwave UV light as well.
These Malkhan, Russia Tourmalines are known for the deep cranberry-red color and good luster. I thought this was a particularly fine crystal, with large (~18 cm tall) size and a little contrasting albite.
Here's a real mineral trifecta: A large crystallized gold from California, A deep purple amethyst from Uruguay, and a fine cranberry-red tourmaline on quartz from Russia. We like color here at Collector's Edge!
It's hard to beat this color combination: neon-green Elbaite Tourmaline crystals with pink Kunzite from the famous Mawi pegmatite in Afghanistan. The tourmaline crystals have grown over and around the kunzite making for wonderful aesthetics. Specimen is ~25 cm across.
Here's a nice juxtaposition of a large Beryl var. Aquamarine from Pakistan behind an exceptional one of the South Dakota barite's which we help mine for each summer at the Elk Creek locality.
Well that's all for now- thanks again to all our friends and customers who came out and saw us at the 2017 Denver mineral show: we really appreciate it!