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Competitive Fossil Exhibit ...

SO YOU WANT TO SET UP A COMPETITIVE FOSSIL EXHIBIT…

By Dick Gottfried

Here I am, a member of the TGMS, and a fossil nut.  I am not entirely out of place, as, since a child, I have always suffered from that affliction called ROCK POX, and have never been loath to “pick up a purdy rock” if I see one.  When I lived in St. Louis, we had a local fossil club, the Eastern Missouri Society for Paleontology, which had meetings every month and many field trips in the local area.  Missouri and Illinois are fossil-hunting heaven – you could find fossils almost in your back yard.  I could wax rhapsodic on and on, but that’s not the subject of this article.

Why not set up a competitive fossil exhibit?  I’ve never done that before, and fossil nuts are a rarity among gem and mineral collectors.

Examining my collection, I had to ask what specimens would be best to show?  Unlike many collectors, I did not specialize in one area. My specialty could be described as:  anything that ever lived at any time and anywhere on earth.  Therefore, I decided to limit the geography to the Missouri/Illinois area.  Of course, this mirrored the Minerals of the Midwest theme of the show. I had an adequate number of good specimens to choose from.

Next, how would I select them?  How could I keep them from looking “ho-hum, just a bunch of dusty rocks”?  Fossils don’t have any flashy colors like purdy rocks do.  Much of my collection consists of small animals, some of which must be stored in coin folders so that they can be examined without being damaged or misplaced.  Others must be seen up close to be appreciated.  So, after many hours of sifting, I came up with a bunch of fossils that I thought would be of interest.  I decided to only use specimens I had personally collected, prepared, documented, and written up on my computer.  This would be duck soup to label up and display!

Duck soup turned out to be a little more complicated recipe than I expected.  How did I want to arrange the display?  What type of order should it follow?  It could be the biggest in the back and the smallest in the front, but that wouldn’t make any sense.  That would be an unintelligible mish-mosh, and it didn’t “speak to me” -- bad feng-shui.   How about the oldest to the youngest?  I didn’t think that would impress anyone. Another gemisch! 

How about the evolutionary path or tree of life arrangement?  Bingo!  That would make sense, and, by golly, I had every phylum and most of the better-known classes.  With the proper explanation and background on the case lining, it should enhance interest into what the display is all about.  So, part of my background would be the TREE-OF-LIFE.  Onto the labels!

There are no specifications for labels, other than BROOOAD hints, so I will do what is most sensible to me.  The name of the specimen.  Scientific name.  Genus and species (if possible).  Plus, the name of the describing author and publication date of his paper. And do it properly and consistently.  This is standard practice in the literature, and, of course, I had all this information at my fingertips (cough, cough).  After ascertaining that this was correct (via the internet, etc.), add the common name. Then the phylogeny (phylum, class, order and family), the stratigraphy (period, epoch, series, formation, member), and the age of the fossil in millions of years (MYA), remembering that you start with the oldest date and end with the most recent (I tend to reverse this often, and it would be embarrassing to be dinged because of this).

Now go back and check my spelling… what, spellcheck doesn’t recognize any of the technical names or geological formations?  Humph!  Why does it seem that my fingers misspell when my brain doesn’t?  OK, Dick, go back and check every spelling, word by word.  You know that you will probably misspell the one word that one judge is the world-expert on, and will take great pleasure in shaming you loudly and in public! (I know that won’t happen, but if I’m going to set up an exhibit, it’s going to be correct and done right).

Since specimens were collected over a wide geographic area, a map is required -- preferably a geological map -- so that the fossil locations can be pinpointed.  This should add the proper dimension to the display. And what about an explanation why all these marine fossils were found in the middle of the continent?  Hmmm…Oh yes, I had written a paper on this and it is still on the internet.  Grab it and plagiarize myself!  Now the exhibit is now coming together.  Let’s see how it looks it at the show. 

Seriously, I am looking forward to the criticisms of the display from the judges because this will be my first exhibit, competitive or otherwise, and it has already been a great learning experience for me.

I must admit that the displays in the show have always been intimidating to me as they are so fantastic.  The professional collections have been world-class, something that I never thought I could compete with.  However, most of these displays have not been self-collected, nor are most of them set up by amateur hobbyists who just love collecting.  I have many fossils that I have purchased, and many that have been offered as freebies at fossil club meetings.  However, the fossils on display in this case have all been collected in the field personally by me, and prepared by me.  I am proud to put these on display, and hope that it will spark an interest in others to this hobby.

"Mineral Treasures of the Midwest"

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Society

proudly presents ...

2017 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®

Below is a list of states that TGMS has designated as "Mineral Treasures of the Midwest."   With the list of states we have also listed some of the possible minerals that you just might see on exhibit February 9th through the 12th ... another exciting time at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®.

Michigan: Copper Country Minerals ... Native Copper, Native Silver Copper in calcite, etc.; Celestine and Native Sulfur, Maybee area

Wisconsin: Chalcocite, Flambeau Mine, Laddysmith; Calcite, Shullsberg area

Illinois: Fluorite, Calcite, etc. from Illinois-Kentucky Fluorite District

Indiana: Celestine, Fluorite, Calcite, Millerite

Ohio: Fluorite from Auglaise, Clay Center, Calcites,  Pyrite, pyritized brachiopods

Missouri: Galena, Chalcopyrite, Fluorite, Calcite from Viburnum Trend

Kentucky: Fluorite (see Illinois) Millerite, Hall's Gap

Tennessee: Fluorite, Sphalerite, Calcite, Elmwood-Carthage

Arkansas: Galena, Calcite, Sphalerite from Tri-State District; Quartz, Hot Springs, Wavellite, Dolomite, Smithsonite ps Dolomite

Oklahoma: Galena, Calcite, Sphalerite from Tri-State District;  Gypsum, Jet Plains;

Kansas: Galena, Calcite, Sphalerite from Tri-State District;.  Ruby slippers, Emerald City (just checking to see if you're paying attention)

Iowa: Keokuk Geodes

S. Dakota: Barite, Elk Creek, Rare and Lovely Phosphates, Tip Top Mine; Gold, Homestake Mine, Lead

N. Dakota: Best known for fossils

Call For Papers

The 38th Annual
FM-TGMS-MSA
Tucson Mineral Symposium

"Mineral Treasures of the Midwest"

Saturday, February 11, 2017
Tucson Convention Center – Crystal Ballroom

Call for papers

The thirty-eighth Annual Symposium held in conjunction with the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® will take place on Saturday, February 11, 2017.  The symposium is cosponsored by the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society, the Friends of Mineralogy, and the Mineralogical Society of America.  As a tie in with the show, the symposium theme is the same as the show theme: "Mineral Treasures of the Midwest".  Presentations on descriptive mineralogy, classic and new localities, and related subjects are welcome.  An audience of amateur and professional mineralogists and geologists is expected.

Anyone wanting to present a paper should submit a 200-300 word abstract to:

Julian Gray, Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, 26385 NW Groveland DR, Hillsboro, OR, 97124; juliangrocks@gmail.com.   

Presentations will be twenty minutes in length. 

Abstracts must be submitted by August 31, 2016.

.... For Minerals!!!

All The Way From Connecticut To Arizona - For Minerals!!!

A couple of months ago a correspondence was received at our TGMS Office from a lady in Connecticut asking for assistance in helping her eight year old daughter Hannah, an avid rock hound, enhance her Tucson visit by recommending "dig sites."  This information was referred to me to try to assist her in making this visit a positive experience.  All the "dig sites" I could think of were either closed to the public, dangerous (snakes, heat, rough terrain) or only 4-wheel drive accessible.  So with the help of Pat McClain, we came up with a plan. I created a collection of Arizona, New Mexico and California minerals in our traditional egg carton and Pat made a "goodie bag" including a T-shirt, coloring book/crayons and “A Quest for Shiny Purple Crystal” storybook. Merritt Simmons also contributed some very colorful Moroccan specimens.  Hannah was also given a couple of passes to the Desert museum so she could explore their Geology exhibit and little "dig site."

                  Nancy .... Hannah ... Becky

                  Nancy .... Hannah ... Becky

I met with Hannah, her Mom Becky and Grandmother Nancy, at  Purple Heart Park to give her all the gifts from TGMS.  She was so excited with everything I brought and they were all so complementary of our willingness to help out a little girl who loves rocks and encourage her in her hobby.

Thank you all so much for your donations and encouragement in making this kind of thing possible. This is our future, we must not let it slip away.

By Diane Braswell

2016 SARSEF Winners!

ANOTHER SCIENCE FAIR SUCCESS

By Anna Domitrovic

Well, the SARSEF organization switched things around on us this year.  Rather than mid-March, the science fair and judging happened the first week in March, with judging on the 3rd and awards presentation on the 5th at 2 PM for K-5th grade and at 7 PM for middle and high school. But that didn’t deter our intrepid group of judges. Jeannette and Bob Barnes were new to the judging team this year. But return judges Elaine and Bob Royer served as coaches. It was “the girls” judging against “the boys” for the kindergarten through 5th grade projects, and your team leader (that’s me!) judging the middle school, 6th through 8th grades, projects. Longtime team participant, Janet Reue, couldn’t join us on judging day as it’s her docent day at the Desert Museum (the nerve!), but she did help on Saturday presenting our elementary school awards. Those of you who expressed an interest in SARSEF on your membership applications but didn’t make the cut this year, hang in there! I plan to give all of you a chance at participating in this community outreach event.

As for the winners… we went to a 6th grader for the middle school award. Asiel Carranza goes to Gallego Intermediate Fine Arts School. His project, “Measuring the Weight Resistance of Different Metals,” was more in the engineering category, but it got our attention anyway. Using different metal rods, each topped by a five gallon bucket, he added water to the bucket until the rod bent. He then compared how much water in weight was needed to bend each rod. Kelley Brooks-Cavaletto is Asiel’s teacher.

The elementary school project awards came from the 4th, 2nd and kindergarten grades. Our 4th grader was Daria Muratalieva for her project, “Jumping for Geodes: Can You Tell the Inside from the Outside.” She started with ten golf ball-size, uncut geodes and attempted to predict the color and size of the internal crystals by studying the outside, then cracked them open to see if her hypotheses were correct. 70% right on the color, but only 30% on the size. Daria goes to Painted Sky Elementary where she is taught by Mrs. Ronnie.

Aviel Arellano, a 2nd grader at Casas Christian School where his teacher is Yvette Robinson, got our nod for his project, “Are These Rocks Thirsty?” He gathered examples of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks, and then determined how much water they would absorb when left to soak. He determined that granite was the least porous and highly recommended granite for countertops. Great advice, Aviel!

And finally, Dalton Grissom, a home schooler at the kindergarten level, received our award for his project, “Awesome Crystals.” This was a crystal-growing experiment using some typical mediums, but the work that went into it and the execution of his displayed project couldn’t be overlooked by our judging team. Pictures even showed him wearing protective gear! Good for you, Dalton and congratulations to mother Kathy.

After our judging job was done, we sat in the caucus area to recap SARSEF 2016. More than 1500 projects were submitted this year. One thing we noticed as we looked for projects to judge in our category was the absence of “cookie cutter” themes. One can tell when a project was designed after science fair idea books. We’ve seen many projects with “what’s the best thing to clean pennies” or "growing salt" and "sugar crystals." But this year was different. New ideas and different ways of doing those tried-and-true projects. It was fun and interesting.

This community outreach event is and has been something very special for TGMS for quite some time now. At the awards presentation program on Saturday, mention was made of an article in the newspaper announcing the very first science fair back in 1955. And lo and behold, guess who was also included in the article as one of the first sponsors? Yes, it was none other than the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society. That is certainly something to be proud participants since the very beginning. And this year, special thanks, kudos, accolades and all things grateful and cheery go to our judges Elaine and Bob Royer and Jeannette and Bob Barnes, and to award presenter Janet Reue. Can’t do this for so many years without the team effort! So we can all take a breather for now, but let’s not forget … there’s always next year to look forward to and anticipate.

2016 TGMS - Recap!

Our 2016 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®, “Shades of Blue: Minerals of the World” theme was a huge success!  Folks exclaimed constantly at the quality and diversity of the blue minerals on display and how good everything looked in our new exhibit cases.  There are rainforest societies that have over 50 different names for green … we now have 100 different names for blue! Everything from the expected Azurite and Aquamarine to the unexpected Liroconite (British Museum of Natural History) and type specimen of Spangolite(!) (Yale) were present in profusion.  And that’s not to mention the huge sapphire (Smithsonian) and amazing array of blue gems and semi-precious carvings (GIA, Helen Serras-Hermann).  Arizona blues from Bisbee, Morenci and Miami were everywhere (UA, AZDM, Presmyks, Graemes etc.) and the Best of Theme case was packed for a change.  Blues of the World cases were prolific (Rudolph, MAD, Smithsonian, Sanders/DeMark, NMIMT etc.). The Blue theme was also different enough from past themes that it brought out the best in science/education from many of our exhibitors; at least six cases were devoted to detailed explanations of the multitude of ways why we see Blue.   Clearly a popular theme … popular enough that the “loyal opposition” pitched up with Reds (Meieran and Larson) and Orange (complement to blue) (FM) to represent the rest of the spectrum.  I don’t know how many people asked me if we’re going to use ROY GBIV as our theme choices for future years …

As always, the TGMS volunteers came through handily, despite decimation of the ranks by a particularly nasty flu bug this year.  As always, the teams of volunteers who roll up their sleeves and get things looking shipshape deserve the lion’s share of the kudos for exhibits, not me.  Wayne Klement and his crew (Donna Pugh, Jerrold & Anneliese Foley, Ted & Janet Rupp, Bob & Jeannette Barnes, Larry Klement, Denise Zimmerman-Collins, Marilyn Reynolds, Deborah Alderman) did a great job with case lining … which he tells me is much easier than it used to be with the new case features (and the cab don’t hurt).  Robert Crowell and his crew (Louis Pill, Tim McClain, Elaine Hughes, Bob Melzer, Bob Barnes, Richard Nassi, Ellen Alexander) got our cases together and in place in fine form.  Nancy Howard (with bed-ridden John by her side in spirit) did a sterling job wrangling the exhibits move-in & move-out forces (Tim McClain, Eric Weiland, Mike Hollonbeck, Bob & Yvonne Lind, David Clement, Karyl Lynch, Dave Cormier, Marilyn Reynolds, Jeannette Barnes, Kathleen Heitzman, Bob O’Donnell, Ron Pellar, Bob Morgan, Susan Weiland, Laura Schauss, Bill Beese) who keep our exhibitors happy … and their specimens safe. We can’t overlook the great job of security accomplished again by our friends from TPD, especially Officer Mark Evanoff, who again watched the Smithsonian case and learned the story of the Logan Sapphire cold.  And Ellen Alexander again led her docent team (Richard Nassi, Bruce Kaufman, Kim Filips, Jerry & Mary Glazman, Victoria Fila, Steve Slaff, Ortrud Schuh, Brad & Linda Ross) to drawing people’s attention to things they might otherwise overlook.  This program has really gained traction over the last few years.  Finally of course I have to acknowledge the huge effort that Pat and Rose put in to make exhibits … and the entire Show … special and just right in all respects.  I get emails from them both regarding some detail I’ve overlooked … at midnight or 2 am in the weeks leading up to the Show (I usually get them the next morning after I’ve had a decent night’s sleep) and marvel at their dedication to TGMS and our Show; it goes way beyond anything I could ever expect from a simple employee!

Once again we also have to credit the genial welcoming attitude extended by our TGMS members and volunteers to all our exhibitors, vendors and attendees …It is this personal touch that sets us apart from the commercial shows and similar shows worldwide … and makes our exhibitors and the public come back every year.   Pat yourselves (and each other) on the back for another job very well done … and then roll your sleeves up again for “Mineral Treasures of the Midwest.”  (You might want to consider some weight training too since this encompasses some of the finest ever fluorite and galena localities!)

Peter Megaw - Special & Guest Exhibits Chair

VISIT TUCSON

Look for our branded racks at more than 50 shows and other locations throughout the metro area, with free Official Gem Guides, Uniquely Tucson brochures and Official Travel Guides.

Get psyched by following us on Twitter using TucsonGems.

Be sure to also check out our website, tucsongemshow.org, as well as our mobile site for smart phone.

Visit Tucson 2.jpg

Find our app (coming soon) at the App Store and Google Play.

Find the best accommodations by calling our Visitor Services team at 1-800-638-8350.

Stop by our Welcome Tables at Tucson International Airport (baggage claim areas) and TCC during the shows.

Come to our Visitor Center in La Placita Village for all the latest information on Downtown restaurant openings, local attractions and directions!

#5 Report From Munich - 2015

Report on Munich 2015 - TGMS Roving Reporter, Paul Harter

DAY 5!!!

The official first day of the Munich Show is for trade only.  But rest assured, just as in Tucson those who want to visit the show on the first day find a way to get in.  Early access is universal.  So my initial suggestion to the Show Committee is to revisit the idea of early access, say Wednesday afternoon from 3:00 to 6:00.  Charge a fee just as Munich does,  I believe the early access fee is either 50 or 100 Euro.  One aspect of this show which is so different from Tucson is that there are no satellite shows.  Everything is at this one venue.  I know such is not the premise of the TGMS show, simply an observation.  The second observation is the amount of space dedicated to activities for the youth.  The space allocated is reasonably central in location and not buried an out of the way corner.  My second suggestion is to move Junior Education to a more prominent area so that everyone who attends the show sees the effort which goes into youth activities.  Enough of this and on to the show.

Gemworld – This aspect of the show occupies one entire building with a special pavilion area for the high end displays of fine jewelry, gemstones and carvings.  It is a site to behold.  One of the gemstone dealers in this area is Paul Wild.  He also made available for the special exhibit in the mineral pavilion some of his finest facetted stones.  We are talking about some in the 100+ carat size.  Entire areas are dedicated to vendors of pearls, every color one could imagine from snowy white to golden, black, pink and on and on.  Finished jewelry is abundant from the finest evening wear to everyday pieces.  Perhaps one of the best aspects of Gemworld is the space dedicated to new designers.  Great innovation in design and execution.

Fossilworld – Although TGMS does not focus on fossils it is enjoyable to visit this hall and see stunning examples of preparation.  A huge mastodon dominated one end of this hall and overlooked two large sandboxes into which fossils had been mixed.  The youth can did for fossils and then have them identified.  A great youth activity.

Mineralworld – The first thing one notices about this hall is the countries from which so many dealers hale.  The net is far and wide.  The second is the number of dealers who travel to the US not only for the TGMS show but also other venues.  In this hall there are generally three tiers of dealer space, tables to highly staged booths with rigid walls and netting to create the appearance of a ceiling.  My good friend Jim Bleess, who attended the show with Von Ceil Bleess, has always said one cannot just look at the eye level shelf, you must look in the boxes.  This is so true with this show.  Just ask the budding sphalerite collector Les Presmyk about his finding specimens for his second area of collecting.  A second enjoyable aspect of the Show is the opportunity to see friends who have visited Tucson in the past but for one reason or another do not visit any longer.  I had a pleasant visit with Michel Jouty whom I have visited in France and we laughed about his time at the Frontier Motel.  At 86 he is still an active collector.  As with the TGMS show, books are also a significant part of the Munich show.  At Munich all of the book dealers are located in one area.  Perhaps this could be considered by TGMS at a future time.  Then the last stop in the A6 hall is the high end dealer area.  The perimeter is surrounded by many dealers that we see in Tucson, both at Marty Zinn’s show and also at the TGMS show,  Jordi Fabre with his usual good inventory, Karp with their well-chosen inventory (BTW, for those of you wanting a cuprite or copper ps. you had better act soon for not too many were available at the show) and so many others.  Each of the high end booths is immaculately designed and staged.  Crystal Classics booth looked like you were entering into a store on 5th Avenue in New York City.  I particularly liked their display of minerals from Tsumeb.  Arkenstone had a well-designed compact booth with well selected specimens.  Both of the Watzl brothers had gorgeous booths with well-chosen specimens, mostly from Europe, Africa and China.  In a reversal of roles the Larson gang from Fallbrook, whose booth is frequently the “hangout” out for so many of the foreign guests in Tucson,  while always on the hunt for a specimen, gemstone or a piece of rough, held court in the booth of Alain Martaud.  Alain always displays fine material and on occasion will “exit” a fine French specimen from his collection.  Last but not least are the great dealer champions of the TGMS show, Dona and Wayne Leicht, accompanied by the always personable Lois Nelson.  They displayed a small but attractive case of their trademark inventory of gold.  Always a treat to look at.  They also had a “pile” of flats loaded with European minerals at a 50% table.  These were selling like hotcakes, not to mention sales from the display cases were active.  Lastly the special exhibit area was themed “rough and cut”.  Simply stunning beryl’s, tourmalines, ruby, sapphire, tanzanite, kunzite,etc.

I know I have missed people and rest assured this was not intentional by any means.  There are so many good friends in Europe that it is difficult to help but not miss someone.  One I did miss dearly was Dave Bunk.  Dave is continuing his treatment for leukemia, is getting better every day and expects to see all of us in Tucson.  Get well!

We cannot leave Munich without a mention of the food.  Bavarian food is an exceptional cuisine.  From the beer, which at one time was viewed as a food not a beverage, to the traditional pork dishes, to the vegetables and heaty soups.  But of course for those looking for other cuisines, you need not look far.  My personal favorite is perhaps the finest meal known, calamari imported from Patagonia, Argentina for an appetizer and pasta with a butter sauce covered with sliced white truffles.  A meal worth raveling 8 time zones to eat.

The final thought is my visit with the founder of the Munich Show Johannes Keilmann.  The Mineralien Tage Munchen and the TGMS show are the two finest shows in the world.  As he said to me “we must never let these die”.  

So long until my next visit to Munich.  I hope you can join me.

Paul S. Harter

#4 Report From Munich - 2015

Report on Munich 2015 - TGMS Roving Reporter, Paul Harter

DAY4!!!

Setup in Munich continued on Thursday.  As usual the mineral dealers were well ahead of all others.  The Munich show is unlike the TGMS show.  Think of all Tucson venues in 4 jet airplane size hangers and compressed to a three day show.   In addition the staging and setup occurs over several days, not just 36 hours that are available to TGMS et al.

Gemworld is a spectacular combination of high end gemstones and gorgeous jewelry.  One great aspect is competition for young jewelers.  I cannot wait to see the new work.  Much like the Spectrum awards given by AGTA which recognize great achievements, these awards go to young designers and jewelers.   One gets an opportunity to see the finest work of faceters, carvers and jewelers.  This is an aspect of our show that merits additional consideration.

I know TGMS cannot be everything for everyone, but one great youth activity is two large sandboxes filled with sand and small fossils.  You can sift the sand in the search for fossils.

Food - the TGMS food trucks beat the food in Munich.  But, Munich tops TGMS when it comes to beer, wine and Champagne.  A very casual atmosphere in which friendship is valued.

Minerals - there are some exceptional minerals coming from Iran.  Beautiful orange wulfenite.  We have seen glimpses of this material.  I expect a substantial amount in Tucson for the 2016 show.  Also saw a lot of very nice demantoid garnet from Iran.   The crystals were on matrix and large, up to 10 mm.  I am looking for some faceted to see this material compares with that from Russia and Namibia.   Kristalle had a table of European classics and other locations that were moving on their 1/2 price table.  Crystal Classics had a wonderful selection of Tsumeb material.  Quartz is so prevalent.  Jim Bleess was in quartz heaven.   Perhaps the best piece he saw was a Swiss closed gwindle, smoky that was every bit of 5+ cm in height.   A superb specimen for a quartz collector.  Rob Lavinsky was moving at a frenetic pace working on the next deal.  Stay tuned to us we dust for new posting.  Selfishly it is always nice to see a specimen from our home state.  There are a few Red Cloud wulfenites and three turquoise specimens from Kingman.

Bavaria is a special area with great regional, formerly national, pride.  The Muncheners are getting ready for a football match with Frankfurt on Friday night.   We are staying in he Marienplatz and I expect it will be hopping after the game is over.

Lastly, if anyone has any doubt as to respect our show has earned our banner is the first one sees when they walk in the A6 hall.   See picture below.  Let's support the TGMS dealers who have so loyally supported our show.

So long for now.  It's 11:30, time for bed and then a big day at the show.