It is with great sadness I'd like to announce Dr. Hanneman passed away on December 12, 2020. His legacy will live on forever!
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 Post subject: So, what did you get this year? (Lots of images)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:26 am 
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I had a glorious week in Tucson. My priority was nice gem crystals to wire wrap but I also got some gem rough that I was hoping to show off. Even more I'd like to see what goodies other people found! My thought is that this provides a handy cross-section for future people looking back to see what was available in shows past.
I didn't see anything that was both new and wide-spread this year. New Era had some new 'nickel agate' as well as those gorgeous Mahenge Garnets, but those were one-offs. There did seem to be a lot of nice facet-grade rose quartz, as well as some of that lavender quartz. Cheaper sugary hessonite was pretty available and mtorolite (zimbabwe chrome chalcedony) had a big presence, bigger than last year I think. I got a bit of those but mostly just bits of this and that that was neat and I could afford. Here are pictures of some of the highlights and/or things that I happened to grab from the pile.
I did my best on the color in these without getting out my lamps, but they're not 100%.
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I love trapiche sapphires. These were cheap, and I liked the ones I got from the seller last year (polished one, front and center, is from then) so I got a bunch more. Can't wait for my new sintered lap and warmer weather to cut some slices.
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Yellow, green and blue beryl. Not too profound but there is a bit of facet rough mixed into some of those big piles of cheap stuff sometimes.
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Some more aquamarine--really nice color and a good, silky chatoyance. Should make for fun cabbing.
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Speaking of chatoyance, these were apparently a new find out of Skardu. They were calling them emeralds, and in the hotel light they looked like a nice minty green. In other light they're more just blue, so I don't know if there is any Cr/V in them. They have a more pronounced sheeny chatoyance than your typical aquamarine cat's eye, plus some nice crystal form.
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Someone at Kino had nice Katlang topaz rough on the cheap. This beautiful bicolor is just over 4 grams and clean in the center.
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Not perhaps as exciting as the gorgeous, morganite-like colors of the Mahenge Garnets, but these were apparently also a new find of big malaia-style garnets in Africa. A bit dark, but with a beautiful red to red-orange color. Most pass the white paper test (albeit not with flying colors) and the rest do fine with the mirror test. For the pretty affordable price I'm willing to find out how they'll cut up, but I suspect they'll be nice.
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Some nice sugary hessonite for the right price. I really like how sleepy hessonites look (after just getting some back from our overseas cutter) and I got to pick a bunch out on the cheap.
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Here's an oddball I found in a bucket of low-grade umbalite: a rhodolite with a sugared texture just like sugary hessonite. Should cut up interesting if it's not too dark.
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Just a fun collector's stone: Pakistani zoisite. It also comes in green and purple, but I do rather like this awkward in-between hue that can't make up its mind.
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Also on the menu, some smaller pieces of rose quartz with the best color I've seen. They're very silky of course but I think they'll cut up nicely with really good color (it's more reddish than orangeish in person).
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This is nothing new, but some of that fun lavender quartz. There wasn't as much of this as there was normal rose quartz but it was pretty available.
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I lucked out and found some nice blue tourmalines. Not much but cheap and with a very rich blue. That said, its blue can't match...
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Gem silica! One of the Chinese sellers at Kino had some old stock Peruvian material at an attractive price, and I sorted through to find the ones with the best translucency, even coloration and a lack of inclusions. I am hopeful that they'll facet up some great stones. I guess the theme for this year is "Stephen buys a bunch of translucent gems and wants them faceted anyway".

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Last but not least, some semi-polished rough of rainbow lattice sunstone from Australia. This is one of my favorite oddball stones and it was a lot of fun to pick some nice pieces at a good price.

Anyway, those are most of my highlights, gem-rough-wise. Does anyone else want to share their various finds?

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 Post subject: Re: So, what did you get this year? (Lots of images)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:20 am 
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Hey Stephen,

sorry we didn't met, we have been nailed at the booth at the AGTA Galleria so, no big possibility to move and scout for stones, was able to sneak out to visit the GJX just across the road for 10 mins only...... :( ........however we had only 2 afternoons out of 10 days for wandering and, of course visited the New Era room at the Riverpark, really nice stuff there!!! :D

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 Post subject: Re: So, what did you get this year? (Lots of images)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:39 am 
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Thanks for posting the pictures, Stephen!

For those of us unable to travel this year, the eye candy is still nice.

PS: I'd love to know what the UV response is to the Skardu "emeralds"


Last edited by drsue on Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: So, what did you get this year? (Lots of images)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:46 am 
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Wow Stephen you scored big time.

I got something vicariously from New Era. After reading Nathan Renfro's article on the new chromium bearing chalcedony recently discovered in Africa, I was able to score a magnificent specimen by just emailing Steve Watowski and buying one sight unseen:
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Score one for Barbra!...Yes! It is a gorgeous slightly greenish blue!


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 Post subject: Re: So, what did you get this year? (Lots of images)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:48 am 
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Ooh, that one does look really nice! Much nicer than what I was seeing on display--maybe they put out some of the less exciting pieces, or the best ones had already been picked out. Well done indeed!

OK, I had one more really cool thing happen. I got a lot of tourmaline crystals from the same dealer who had the chatoyant 'emeralds.' One in particular, mixed in the 5/gram material, struck me as odd. It had a much more open green color than the others, was chunky with no good crystal faces and had decent clarity, enough that I thought there might be a good stone in it. Best of all, though it is a slightly yellowish green through the side, down the C it has an exquisite emerald green color. It stood out, I scooped it up but didn't give it another thought. Until today, when I was looking through what we'd gotten and noticed the matrix attached. It wasn't cookeite or cleavlandite as is typical for tourmalines--it was a very fine-grained white stone with tiny black needles. I'd seen that matrix before, but only on one type of gem from one locality. A few quick turns to see two directions of cleavage and a look under a fluorescent light for the yellow zones to light up to ice the cake, and there was only one possibility: It's a nice big chunk of Afghan hiddenite. The real, honest-to-goodness Cr-bearing stuff. Farooq was selling it for 100/gram last year in smaller pieces so I feel pretty good about this purchase.
So that's my most fun Tucson story! Here are some pictures:
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I probably should have spotted that right away but I really wasn't expecting it. It weighs in at 28 carats.

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 Post subject: Re: So, what did you get this year? (Lots of images)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:34 am 
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I bought a few sizes of these new "Mahenge Garnets". Here are a few of them

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Some spinel from Tajikistan.

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Spessartine garnet from Tanzania

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Some of the Purple Garnet from Mozambique

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 Post subject: Re: So, what did you get this year? (Lots of images)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:24 pm 
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Some good finds posted. Garnets seemed to be out in full force this year with lots of impressive varieties and interesting colors. Keep the posts coming....

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 Post subject: Re: So, what did you get this year? (Lots of images)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:40 pm 
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I went nuts over two things - emerald in matrix and topaz crystals.
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(some of these topaz are from earlier trips to Tucson)
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From the Muzo mine in Columbia
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All 3 of the emeralds are also from the Muzo mine - the one in the middle is bigger than an inch.
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The emeralds are actually greener than the picture shows - this one is basically inside a vug


The emeralds do fluoresce red, so i assume they are Chromium.
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I also got a couple nice plates. This one is an aqua, and is really blue in real life - not clear.


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 Post subject: Re: So, what did you get this year? (Lots of images)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:32 pm 
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One more thing that I *didn't* get, yet am still wondering about. Someone was selling a "ring saw", which looked like a regular rock saw with the center removed. It resulted ins something that looked more sturdy than a band saw, with most of the advantages. He was demonstrating cutting agate slabs with it, and also doing scroll saw like work. Very interesting - anyone have any experience with one?


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