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|There is a block with tents filled with minerals from Morocco on one side of the street on the Southeast corner
of Helen St. and Alder Ave. This is not far from the new Mineral City show. There are quite a few buildings
and businesses that have slowly accumulated in this area (although now things seem to be moving MUCH
faster). After looking at the Moroccan stuff on the Helen/Alder corner, cross the street to the side that has
the block building as well as tents. This building used to house Top Gem years ago but now carries minerals
strictly from Madagascar. The tents in this lot have Moroccan minerals also.
This year there was some above average material in the Morocco tents. I really don't know where to start as I
saw and bought quite a lot of good things!
There was some spectacular Botryoidal Hematite from the Irhoud Mine. There was one tent that had some
that was far and away better than the rest. I ended up getting a dozen nice specimens, some of which are
bigger than the one shown here.
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|2019 Tucson Gem Show Report
Updated March 2, 2019
12:00 PM Eastern
Morocco Tents on Helen Street
You are on Page Five.
|Above Left: Vanadinite crystal cluster from Morocco
Above Right: Wulfenite crystals - Morocco
Immediate Left: larger Cerussite with barite - Morocco
lower center- unusual chalcopyrite
from Morocco that I probably should have gotten.
Lower Right- Lower quality hematite flats
|There was some galena crystals coated with a sparkling druse
of cerussite and accompanied by bladed Barite. Some of the
galena crystals had nice octahedral shapes but since there is a
druse coating the galena shape isn't too obvious. The cerussite
druse varies in size. Some of the druse coating is a very tiny
crystal size and some had larger cerussite crystals on the
druse. To add further variety, the barite blades varied in color
from white. tan, peach, pink and orange colors! Some of the
blades made rosettes, some tried to form them and some made
no effort at all.
I ended up buying several flats of this material which hailed from
|Some of the vendors (the ones with
poorer material) tried uplifting
messages to encourage a sale.
I wasn't buying what they were selling
in that regard.
|As the travel guides sometimes say in
relation to traveling to a foreign land:
"Prepare for a hefty dose of hassle".
In other words, the Moroccan's
subscribe to the theory that high
pressure sales tactics work.
|Sometimes, when I would ask what a
flat of minerals cost they would give me
an answer and if I didn't immediately
pull out my wallet in response to their
answer they would ask "How much do
you want to pay?" This is a clever
tactic on their part. If you're not
carefull you'll be "wanting to pay" for
something that you really don't want to
pay for at all.
|There was some specimens with much
larger cerussite crystals on the galena
and on barite. I bought a few of these
but didn't take pictures.
There was also some single cerussite
crystals, presumably some larger ones
that detached from the plates. I did
buy a flat of those but the quality is
poor. They are good crystals but are
|There was some native silver about. Some had herringbone-type crystals and
some were ram's horn wires. Several of the dealers had some in good to great
quality. There was one guy there that was crazier than a shithouse rat but Boy
did he have some good silver!
|If you're interested in a nice wire silver
specimen be sure to let me know as I
currently have some very good ones
|With the fear of inducing silver toxicity, I'll now move along to the next item. Vanadinite is synonymous with
Morocco. Over the years the supply and quality have been cyclical but this year was a return to the lush
times of vanadinite. I saw specimens similar to the big hits of '06. The prices are much higher now than
they were back then, but still a relative bargain compared to the last decade of sparse supply.
|The larger pieces like the one shown
below were priced at around a
thousand bucks. These will be marked
2 or 3 times that price by most sellers
- if not even higher!
The one shown at right was much
larger than usual but had small
cherry-red vanadinite crystals on the
barite blades. Most of the pieces of
this type are usually much smaller in
|Penny for scale. The color is
slightly off on these photos.
I saw several really nice
clusters of quartz crystals that
were red in color and were a
type of "cactus quartz".
Huge smoky barite crystals.
|The next part of my Tucson Report
deals with digging. Each year I do
some digging when I am Out West.
CLICK HERE to join me in the quest
for wulfenite crystals at the FINCH
|Cerussite is a lead mineral and it is
shockingly dense and heavy for its
size. People expect the more widely
known lead mineral, galena, to be
heavy but the cerussite, being a
transparent crystal, is usually found to
be surprisingly heavy when picked up
by someone that is unfamiliar with it.
|Right: My odometer shows that my Trip
to the Tucson Show and back was
almost FIVE THOUSAND MILES