2016 was a very busy year here for us at the Collector's Edge. Bryan and Graham had several special projects running and it kept all of us on our toes! Besides our normal busy show schedule, we bought and took to China one of the largest float coppers known, as well as undertook some very interesting mining projects.
We start preparing for the Tucson show as early as November. It takes everyones help to get all the minerals prepared, priced, and safely packed for the show. Graham usually starts hauling down pallets of wholesale specimens in mid-December. Our wholesale venue is always the first to open. Craig Wibirt is wearing his "Shop Early-Shop Often" colors in the following photo.
Our wholesale location will be moving in 2017. Not very far! Just across the street to 1801 Oracle Rd. Please contact Craig at 303-918-8796 or Graham at 720-318-8933 for directions and information.
The Hotel Tucson City Center was our main hub again this year. Suite 170 is our base of operation until the main show starts.
The courtyard was full of dinosaurs again this year. They are a lot of fun and people are snaping photos with them all day.
There are big changes ahead for this venue. The dealer parking lot in the front of the hotel has been sold to U-Haul for a new storage facility. This space will NOT be available for show use anymore. Also, The hotel has built a wall around the hotel for guest security. This will eliminate even more parking spaces. It will be very interesting to see how the show staff are able to handle this situation. We understand that there are remote parking lots being arranged.
All mineral aficionados look forward to the Westward Look show every year!
Steve goes all out to put our best foot forward there. All of the finest specimens we have for sale are on display in Suite #311.
Evan Jones was this years' featured collector at the show. His collection of Arizona minerals is world class!
Things got really hot at our annual Tucson Show party! We went to Mr. An's. It is a Teppanyaki style restaurant that really makes a show of the meal.
In the following photo the chef is trying to get Greg Mayes to beg like a dog for his shrimp!
Mike Hollonbeck and his wife attended the party this year. He has helped us out several times and we cannot thank him enough!
Several members of the CE team were honored to be invited to the banquet hosted by the View Stone Association of China. It was a lot of fun and the food was excellent!
The following photo is the group shot taken during the dinner.
Shades of Blue was the show theme at the main show this year. There were many great displays put together by collectors, museums, and clubs from across the country.
This was the last year for the chandeliers over our booth unfortunately. They are showing their years and the floor plan is changing for the 2017 show. It just seemed like time for a change. Be sure to stop by our booth next February to see what we do next!
Bryan always likes to have a special exhibit within our or booth. This year he invited Fred Holabird, from Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC., to exhibit artifacts and gold recovered from the shipwreck of the SS Islander.
Fred Holabird was in the booth for the entire show and was working closely with Bryan promoting the SS Islander display. There was a steady stream of people looking at display.
Fred and Bryan stopped for a quick photo during a busy day at the show.
The case in the following photo was one of my favorites in the show. The GIA really did a great job with it!
We certainly had a great selection of blue minerals! The new plumbogummite specimens Graham found in China sold briskly and were one of the few new things at the show.
We were honored to announce at the main show that we acquired the Gerhard Wagner collection and would begin marketing it at the Denver show later in the year.
Soon after the show graham started to plan the movement of the float copper he bought to take to the Chenzhou show.
Bryan took a ride on the copper when it was delivered. We needed to bring in special cranes to lift the 53,000 pound specimen!
Our Chinese operations manager ZengZeng put together this picture showing how our Chenzhou Show booth came together. I really like this booth design that Graham and the Chinese construction company came up with.
The booth in the following photo was just inside the main entrance of the convention center. There were cases with some exceptional specimens from worldwide localities displayed there.
The opening ceremony at the Chenzhou show is rather elaborate.
Graham has become a bit of a rock star in China!
I really love Chinese food and it is the thing I look forward to when it is time for me to travel there. The large bread ball in the following photo is hollow and the wait staff breaks it up after it cools on the table for a few minutes.
After the Chenzhou Show in May comes the Hong Kong Show in late June. Steve covers this show for the company.
The booth at this show is beautiful too. I wish we could make our booths here in the states look this way!
The show in Hong Kong is put on by UBM and it started as a jewelry show. The last couple of years it has been a little slow, but we see a lot of future potential here.
Steve does not like Chinese food very much. He is putting on a brave face for the next photo...
The Collector's Edge Minerals was also able to partner with Thomas Nagin on his exciting program Mineral Explorers this year. The current season will run through the summer of 2017 on PBS. Please tune in to see what we will find!
The East Coast Show, held at the Big E in Springfield, is always the highlight of August. I miss going with Steve, but Graham goes now and they set up back in the wholesale area of the show.
Steve can't help putting out some of our retail specimens though!
One of the best parts of this show is the special exhibitions put on. This year Peter Megaw showed his Mexican mineral collection.
His collection is excellent and was the talk of the show.
Soon after the East Coast Show comes the Denver Gem and Mineral Show. It is our home show and we always have a blast visiting with everyone. The highlight of the show this year was the 90th birthday party we hosted for Bob Jones.
Zengzeng and Tina greeted everyone with free drink coupons at the door. What a welcome!
Bryan gave a few words of inspiration to open the festivities.
Several hundred people attended the party to celebrate Bob's birthday.
Steve updated everyone on the latest acquisitions at CE.
Bob gave a fun talk and most of his family was able to attend to celebrate with him.
The Jones clan with Bryan and Kathryn.
Bryan travels to the Munich show every fall to look for collections and other new finds that we can offer to our customers.
Steve and I wrapped up our last road trip for the year by late November. Like I said at the beginning of this update, we start working in November to prepare for the Tucson show. Before we know it we will be in Tucson again. We should be about ready to go on the 26th of January in room 170 at the Hotel Tucson City Center.
Graham is in China now on one last buying trip for the wholesale department, as well as picking up a few things for retail. It is getting harder and harder to find things there, but Graham always manages to find a few special specimens.
We have several projects working at the moment, which should make 2017 another notable year. Keep checking our website for updates. Also, one of the projects we are working on now is a new website. Our new inventory management system will be integrated with the website, so we will be updating the website much more frequently, with a much greater diversity of specimens.
Our weekly webstream Minerals Live continues to grow a larger audience and we thank all of our viewers for that. Steve, Graham, and I enjoy doing the show and hearing all the feedback from our viewers.
We here at the Collector's Edge want to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers. Without you, we could not do any of this. We extend our best wishes to all of you and your families this holiday season!