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: Re: Tucson Highlights
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:09 pm 
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Barbra Voltaire wrote:
Rhodochrosite in the 1st pic?
THAT is a showstopper.
Tourmaline ain't bad either.

Yes, rhodochrosite from Sweet Home mine. Beautiful specimen!


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 Post subject: Re: Tucson Highlights
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:43 pm 
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dchallener wrote:
This unusual lace agate slab shows triangular zones reminiscent of tourmaline slices--perhaps grown around included quartz crystals?
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I would appreciate people's guess as to how this formed. Did a set of quartz crystals turn into agate?


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 Post subject: Re: Tucson Highlights
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:26 am 
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OK, image dump incoming!

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From a local rest stop. I wonder how often these are stolen.

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I always love seeing this display from Ales at Ravenstein. He's a real topaz connoisseur, even putting me to shame.

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Speaking of topaz, I really liked this big guy, though at 1.50/g it was a bit untenable.

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Imperial topaz army and their Goliath.

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A nice agate-banded opal from Ethiopia. Regrettably priced just a bit higher than I could afford, but nice to see they are still somewhat available.

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Ethiopia has also been producing these fine (but sadly unstable) crystal opals for some time. This dealer found an amazing way to display them, in snowglobe spheres! Amazing, but alas quite pricey.

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Speaking of Ethiopia, I got my hands on a bit of sunstone reportedly from Ethiopia. It is very rich in copper, with many showing brilliant schiller and others showing red, green or blue zones. If it turns out to be a genuine deposit and bigger facet-grade stones are found it will provide some real competition to Oregon. Some showed an odd feature where they were red in reflected light because of an abundance of copper, but blue in transmitted, similar perhaps to some of the diffusion-treated andesine. We'll see!

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For the lapidarist for whom preforming is a way of life.

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Big 'ol lemon quartz facet rough.

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Big 'ol moonstone rough. I didn't get it, but several of its smaller siblings. Regrettably this particular batch liked to cleave the wrong way and make long prisms with the sheen oriented to the small face, but early polishing has produced some really beautiful blueish-silver sheen so I think it'll be worth cutting.
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It's kind of hard to find top-grade moonstone in the rough (presumably the best Indian rough is processed domestically) but this Madagascan material can be nice.

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One dealer had these amazing, extremely blue Cs-rich beryls. Apparently they are not generally alkaline-rich enough to qualify as Vorobyevite (loosely defined as that is), but not Cs-rich enough to qualify as pezzottaite either. But nevertheless they are truly exceptional gems. The 'color change' label actually refers to their pleochroism, as they are green when lit through the side. Honestly, given how blue they are I wonder what wt% iron they have as well.

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He also had some skardu 'emeralds' on matrix (some of these do reach emerald color range, and they do contain chromium. A bit unusual for the area--if only you could get some atypical chromium into those big topazes they get there too!)

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It's a snail. I was very tempted by this one even though it was a bit pricey and I have no use for it.

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A beautifully presented suite of star rose quartzes. Truly an underappreciated material.

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Shortly before the major extinction that wiped them out along with much life on earth, ammonites were starting to lose their dang minds and diverging from the classic spiral to make weirder, wilder shapes with their shells. No wonder they went extinct.

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A lovely suite of aquamarines and heliodors.

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I found a dealer selling that same old "brazilian turquoise" material, and one of them actually gave me a scan! The database item pictured here isn't calibrated for the specific raman I took it on, but the match of spectra is unmistakeable. No wonder nobody wants to sell this material by its real name! Technically this is likely not pure dickite, but clay minerals don't have the best lineup of raman spectra and dickite is likely the dominant constituent anyway.

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A nicely-saturated pink quartz. I suspect a bit of irradiation to bump the color up, though the dealer said it was untreated.

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Rusgems had some new synthetic blue rutile. To be honest, novel as blue rutile is the color is not that attractive in my opinion.

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A nice piece of yellow danburite with cat's-eye sheen. Just a bit too expensive and fractured to pick it up, though I did get some from the same dealer last year and cut a couple cabs. They came out pretty nice.

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Chrysoberyl, eh? Well, as you would guess from the color definitely not. Fortunately I had my raman on me, and could thus determine it was actually sillimanite (except that small, very orange one which was sapphire). At their request I also scanned a suspicious morganite (kunzite) and a cat's eye chrysoberyl ring (actinolite), and a strand of morganite beads (beryl, so at least there was some good news!)

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One of the dealers at Hotel Tucson City Center (whose name, to my shame, has slipped my mind) had a small display of fakes, including this Chinese amethyst/citrine overgrown on a natural colorless quartz cluster, as well as some fake Moroccan trilobites. Very interesting stuff--many of the Chinese fakes are easy to spot because of the prominent chromium phantoms they add in, but that obviously won't be true on all of them.

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Speaking of fake trilobites, they weren't even trying with this one!



(ok just kidding it's the husk of a mantis egg sac I found on an agate)

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There was a new find of high quality gem silica in Arizona this year, and man was it nice! Lots of superfine druzy specimens and cabochons. I didn't ask, but others have said it started at 45/g.

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Speaking of gem silica, this was my 'couldn't quite make it work, dagnabbit!' of this Tucson. This amazing, electric blue gem silica from Peru, with enchanting translucency, was alas just a thin layer on a lot of matrix, with separation of the translucent chalcedony and blue chrysocolla (or whatever) at one end and enough cracks to make me very nervous. Maybe just one thin cab in it. But gosh darn, what a cab it would be! I offered more than it was worth to me but couldn't quite get it to work :(

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Oh Katlang, never change!

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I love seeing this one year after year, a very classic opal pseudomorph from Australia. I forget after what.

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A neat curiosity, plumbian microcline from Broken Hill, Australia. This is not ~technically~ amazonite, since it is microcline rather than orthoclase (like the Vietnamese material), and it actually shows. The color is a slightly murky green, and it has a silky translucency lacking the typical issues that amazonite rough has.

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Golden rutile on quartz. A nightmare to ship, not doubt, but a beauty to behold!

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My big victory of the show! One of my favorite dealers had a tray of cab-grade Mozambique tourmalines, including two with a nice purple color. I thought to myself, if you see a purple Mozambique tourmaline at a good price, you buy that purple Mozambique tourmaline. I then brought them out to Mikko and Alberto at their AGTA display, and they put it through their GemmoSphere uv-vis-ir spectrometer. And, the one pictured above is actually cuprian! I couldn't believe it. We scanned every other tourmaline I got from him, none of which were cuprian. We went back and got more, including some very dark purples that were too dark to scan. So they'll get trimmed and heated, just in case.

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 Post subject: Re: Tucson Highlights
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:13 pm 
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#-o Stephen, please leave them alone.

This purple color is so much more beautiful than any blue apatite-type induced color. If you experiment, just heat the smallest cast off piece.

I predict the Mn will change valence and go colorless....right before it vaporizes into the ether. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Tucson Highlights
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:57 pm 
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Don't worry, I won't heat that one. The ones I am going to experiment on are overdark to the point of looking black, even though they do have an open c technically.

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 Post subject: Re: Tucson Highlights
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:01 pm 
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Fantastic Stephen! Thanks for showing everyone your great finds.

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 Post subject: Re: Tucson Highlights
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:14 pm 
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This year I didn't buy as much as I normally do, as a lot of the stone money has been going to Lyme treatment the past year.

Here's a few things I did pick up.

Morganite

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Sapphire from Kenya

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 Post subject: Re: Tucson Highlights
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:18 pm 
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Some fancy color Tanzanite

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Kornerupine 8.23 ct piece

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Some Aquamarine

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A little over 1000 carats of Umba Sapphire

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 Post subject: Re: Tucson Highlights
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:22 pm 
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dchallener wrote:
One of my favorites was trapice tourmalines -- $6/gram (Thanks to Stephen for pointing these out)

Another was a 6.6 red zircon - beautiful, and no orange for $270. Now set in a necklace.

Lastly chrysocolla stalactites in quartz - one cab and several slabs. The cab wan't finished, so I bought it while still on the dop! but it was "on my list of things I have been looking for" -- so I didn't mind.

I also got some nice alaskan covelite, some maw sit sit, and a beautiful piece of gem varascite (or metavarascite - I'll have to check it with a Raman) and some translucent amazonite.

It was a great show!

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A nice big tourmaline stick showing triangular zoning, picked from an inexpensive bin of cab grade material. Not sure of locale, but it looks a bit Madagascan.

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These trapiche tourmalines were just being sold as chrome tourmaline. Not all of them have good trapiche patterning but some are oustanding. Pictures taken after slicing of course.

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Finally found one of these!

The blue dot chrysocolla cabs are hard to come by. Glad you found one. I have a few.

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 Post subject: Re: Tucson Highlights
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:47 pm 
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I think next time I go, I need to shadow Barbra or Stephen so I will see and learn lot more!

Meanwhile, I got off on a green thing for my early facet rough purchases.
Attachment:
greens.JPG
greens.JPG [ 50.57 KiB | Viewed 1053 times ]

Mali Garnet, Chrome Diopside, Peridot and Prasiolite.

There was a fair amount of tourmaline available -- but priced beyond my current budget. John Dyer had an amazing huge morganite that looked like fireworks exploding in the gem.

I guess I also need to learn how to take decent photos with my cell phone by my next Tucson trip since I have nothing but snapshots of the scenery.

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