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January-February 2015

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Chips from the Quarry

TUCSON—A World Apart: Come February and the celebrated Tucson Show, and collectors will once again be cocooned in their own little world of minerals, margaritas, warm weather, and friendship renewals. Well, actually, it's a big world because it's the world's largest and longest-running gem and mineral show, lasting for weeks, and it's shows (plural), for there are approximately forty going on simultaneously.

However, the focus is and always has been on what has become known as the Main Show, this year being held 12–15 February at the Tucson Convention Center. This is the show that started it all some sixty-plus years ago, the show with the biggest-named dealers, the most awesome exhibits, and the greatest drawing power. This year, with its theme of Minerals of Western Europe, promises to be no exception.

YOUR SHOW CALENDAR: Although the tranquility of the desert is definitely an Arizona attraction, it's the mineral-related activities that captivate show-goers. The kick-off event is the twenty-second annual Mineral Madness Showcase and Sale that will be held at Tucson's Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, on Kinney Road, the weekend of 17–18 January. It offers families the opportunity to learn more about minerals and to add treasures to their collections. Included in the weekend are mineral activity stations; free egg-carton collections for kids; micromount viewing; mineral painting; fossil, gemstone, and jewelry demonstrations; and a mineral sale with thousands of specimens in all price ranges.

For those lucky enough to be on the guest list, a reception is planned at the University of Arizona Mineral Museum in the Flandrau Science Center for Friday, 6 February, beginning at 5:30 P.M. As we go to press, all details have yet to be finalized, but in the past this popular annual event has included refreshments, a special exhibition around a theme with invited exhibitors, and a prominent speaker. The exhibition generally runs for a year, but the reception is by invitation only because of space limitations. To be added to the “invited” list, email and enter “February 2015 Mineral Reception” on the subject line.

Then on Saturday, 7 February, from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M., David Waisman's Fine Mineral Show at the Westward Look Resort will present its annual Collector Day in the resort's lobby, this year featuring Raquel Alonso-Perez of the Harvard Mineralogical and Geological Museum and a specimen display representing Over 200 Years of the Harvard Mineral Collection. The following evening, 8 February, is the show's Sunday social (beginning at 6:30) and program (beginning at 7:30) in the Sonoran Ballroom, with a panel discussion by “second-generation collectors.” These include Evan Jones, Will Larson, Brian Kosnar, Christoph Keilmann, and Krystal Dorris; Bryan Swoboda, himself a second-generation collector, will be the moderator.

The Hotel Tucson City Center, home of Martin Zinn's Arizona Mineral and Fossil Show, will host two Friends of Mineralogy (FM) events. The FM general meeting and social is planned for Tuesday, 10 February, at 4:00 P.M., and the FM board will have a breakfast meeting on Saturday, 14 February, at 8:30.

Two evenings of half-hour lectures are scheduled at the Pueblo Gem and Mineral Show at the Riverpark Inn Hotel on South Freeway Road. Monday, 9 February, will see John S. White, Marco Campos-Venuti, and Bob Jones take the podium; Don Lum, Peter Megaw, and Federico Barlocher will speak on Tuesday, 10 February. Refreshments will be served both evenings prior to and following the programs.

LOOK US UP: While in Tucson, do stop by the Rocks & Minerals booth to renew your subscription, pick up some back issues, discuss an article you'd like to write, or just say “hello.” As in past years, we'll be in three locations: the Ballroom at the Arizona Mineral and Fossil Show in the Hotel Tucson City Center, 31 January–10 February; the Sunday evening program at the Westward Look Show, 8 February; and the Main Show, 12–15 February.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Many thanks are extended to the authors in this special Minerals of Western Europe issue, especially to John White for writing two articles, to William Besse for preparing several maps, and to Jeff Scovil for providing so many wonderful photographs.

Maryanne and John Fender (Fender Minerals) underwrote color costs in the Museum Notes column. Donors to the Color Fund contributed toward color in the remaining articles and also toward the addition of an 8-page signature. All are thanked for partnering with Rocks & Minerals to enhance the publication with color photography and extra pages.

ADDENDUM: Paul W. Pohwat's Connoisseur's Choice column on aragonite has been deferred until the March/April issue so it can be printed in its entirety rather than in two consecutive issues. It will appear in two parts in that issue, part one being aragonite from Western Europe, and part two being aragonite from the rest of the world. Color costs for the column are being underwritten by the Houston Gem and Mineral Society, in memory of Arthur E. Smith, and the Cincinnati Mineral Society.

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