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Tucson 2014, Day 6 cont

by Pete Brush on 02/12/14

  1. Last day continued

    One of the shows I put down a ways on my list is the 22nd St show. Not that it's any less than the other ones but because fossils ain't my thing. Nevertheless it is a good show to go to even if you you're not into the dinos and old bones. Yes there's a lot of it. Here are a couple of examples to show your kids. Go on! Give 'em thrill

    This happy character is/was a ground sloth



    Not sure how to pronounce these guys name but judging just by their teeth, they probably weren't cute and cudely


    I suppose this show hits a little too close to home. The kids I work with think those were some pets I had while growing up.

    Now to the reason why I like to do this show. There's always some overlap with other shows. In this tent there was fossils, knick-knack stuff, rough, and specimens. Leslie spotted a guy that had some purple scapolite in matrix and entered into a little ****ering session and came away wit this little guy



    And on the Knick-Knack dept. I've always liked these quartz spheres with the red, plumey stuff inside them. Yes, I used to know what the red stuff was but I can't remember now, I'm a contemporary with the guys on top and remembering isn't one of our well known attributes



    So with funds running as low as our energy level, we'll bid farewell to the Tucson Gem show for this year. Hopefully we'll be back to do it all over again next year when we'll forget our sore feet, the running here, there and everywhere, the gray hairs you get trying to balance what you want with what you need, raising the money to spend (not fun) and spending the money you raised (very much fun ) except when you spend over the money you raised (still fun and you knew you were going to do it anyway Lol).

    By tomorrow at this time we should be at home with Tulip and Marble, unpacked and relaxing. Next week I'll put together a wrap up on Tucson 2014.

    Hope I gave you a good tour

    Pete
    Pete (AKA Ruffysdad)
    www.westerngem.com

Tucson 2014, Day 6

by Pete Brush on 02/12/14

  1. Day Last!

    So it's an earlier night than I expected. Thanks to my buddies at mapquest I saw a lot of Tucson tonight, a lot more than I expected but not what I wanted. How do you "depart from" a road you're not on and in which direction do you depart? When I hit that bit of stupid and couldn't find any of the roads they listed in the area, that was pretty much it. So I missed the JEA reception and learned that next time I'm bringing my GPS and screw mapquest
    dThe day started out pretty well though. Did the usual morning stuff and headed for ASU to check out the mineral museum. Man, that is a spread out campus. We promptly got lost in that maze of roads but we wandered around until we found a parking garage that wasn't packed. This should be a warning to anyone that wants to see their collection (And it's well worth the effort) to go on a weekend. School's in session and traffic was the word of the day. When we found one however, it just happened to be right by the football stadium so we could get our bearings and happily found that we were only about 2 block from the Flandrau Hall Observatory where the collection is stored. They were in the middle of putting up a new main display so that area was blocked off to us but we only paid the student rate for admission so that was ok. So without any comment, here are four of the specimens that were on display

    Wulfenite


    Get a load of that big cut Sphalerite with a faceted piece of Wulfanite behind it


    Their collection of Chrysocolla, Malachite, Azurite, and Turquoise is awesome!


    Not to mention their collection of Gold Specimens


    That's it for the museum. There's a lot more though. Leslie and I spent a good 2 1/2 hours there and could've spent a lot more. Btw, getting there will become a lot easier next year when the new trolleys will be operational.

    22nd ST Show next
    Pete (AKA Ruffysdad)
    www.westerngem.com

Tucson 2014, Day 5 cont

by Pete Brush on 02/12/14

  1. Day 5,

    Things keep coming up and I found I needed to pick up some spray diamond for a fellow cutter so I made a side trip to the electric park again. No big thing though because one of my fav things about the electric park show is that the parking is free and plentiful So off we went and parked in the back lot. It was a little slow there today so I got a couple of shots of the outside vendors.



    This back area of the show is a lot of fun with some really nice specimen and rough (mostly cabochon) dealers. Found what we wanted at the Diamond Pacific tent (Remember them? U/V light and free cookies?) and headed down to the Congress St transit station. Caught the first shuttle to anywhere and wound up at the Howard Johnson show. We wandered up the street to the African arts village but didn't see much that was of interest to us so back down to The HJ and a couple of little shows around it. Most of the stuff was specimen dealers, some so-so facet rough and some rock trinkets and such. But rough's wherever you can find it and while poking around in a trinket and specimen shop I found some prepackaged Topaz, Imperial color and cheap enough so that I decided to go through them and pick out the best to play with. I'll let you know how it turns out when I get a chance to cut some of them. The 2 in the bottom left are the ones that got me interested in this lot. There are some that will wind up in my driveway but some show some promise



    After that we wandered around some more and found the 7 color jade vases that RJ talked about. I totally agree that these should be looked into before buying. The brochure said they were coated in an acrylic and then heated. My question is that with a material like Jade, that's capable of taking a high shine and durable enough to retain that high polish for many years, why would you coat it in an acrylic resin? That's enough of a question for me to hold my wallet until I see further proof of it's authenticity.

    A little further on we went down the side of the Clarion motel and found a bunch of mineral dealers with their back doors open and specimens and rough all over their patios. We went through several and found a Pakistani dealer with a couple of pieces of peridot like I've never seen. I'm sure all of you are familiar with the normal apple green of good peridot. Well these two pieces had that plus a very faint blue kick in the color under filtered (overcast) sunlight. These were the only two that showed that particular color so we snatched them up The crystal is Leslie's and she actually threatened me with serious bodily harm if I even thought of faceting it so I bought the other one for myself.



    That's about it for today. Tomorrow we're heading for the ASU mineral museum, more poking around and then heading over to the reception of the Jewelers Ethics gang, headed up by Lisa Brooks-Pike. It'll be a busy day and I might not be able to post on Friday night. I should be able to post sometime on Saturday at the latest and will post my wrap up comments later next week after I've had a bit of time to decompress

    Pete
    Pete (AKA Ruffysdad)
    www.westerngem.com

Tucson Day 5

by Pete Brush on 02/12/14

  1. Day 5: Man does not live by rocks alone

    When you're in Tucson for the show, you generally eat, sleep and breathe rocks so eventually you can hit an overload point. Don't fight it, go ahead and take a little break to refresh yourself. The Tucson area is loaded with all sorts of diversions that you should find interesting. This year Leslie and I picked out 2 of them, one having nothing to do with rocks and the other one guaranteed to make a lot of the show rocks look lame (That one's tomorrow). For the one having nothing to do with rocks we found that the Titan Missile Museum's only about a mile away rom our Motel.



    These things date from the cold war that some of you my age will remember (Duck and Cover) and some may not. Either way nuke tipped ICBM's were a part of our lives for a long time and this museum tells the story of peace through MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) and the other fun things we grew up with. A lot of the docents were actually stationed here and were the men and women that had the keys to send these missiles to their targets.



    The tour winds into the control room and across to the missile silo where plexiglass windows have been installed so you can see an actual Titan II missile in it. Certain days they take the visitors all the way to the bottom of the silo but this wasn't on of them. The missile in the silo is a real one but it's never been fueled so therefore they're able to display it here. The fuel for these things is so dangerous, poisonous and just about everything else that's nastyous that if it had been loaded, even once, it would be too hazardous to display.



    If you travel to the gem show and start becoming stone blind, remember the show's too big to take in all of it so take it easy on yourself. You won't see it all and it will be here whenever you decide to come back. Take it easy a bit and enjoy Tucson and the surrounding area



    Now, back to the rocks
    Pete (AKA Ruffysdad)
    www.westerngem.com

Tucson 2014, Day 4 cont.

by Pete Brush on 02/12/14


  1. On with the rocks now We did a lot of poking around near the riverpark and found some bricks of this stuff. Another one for my fab fakes library. Not sure if it's actual turquoise dust that's been compressed or even chalk but they weren't trying to pull any fraud with the stuff. This piece cost me a buck fifty



    Now across the road to the GJX show where we met up with Rick and Reed before they left for Denver to put together 3 new faceting machines for me As I said before, sometimes things just don't work out and the amethyst I was hoping to buy was one of them. On the other hand, sometimes things pop up right in front of you and this was one. I certainly wasn't expecting to buy any citrine. When it comes to facet rough, I tend to get dead set in my preferences and citrine has just a very narrow color band that I really like so I was quite surprised to find this stuff in the next booth. Yes it was heated and disclosed and I'll do it again when I put this up on my website. Most of the good citrine is heat treated amethyst these days anyway so it's no big thing to me. Anyway this is the color I really like in this material. I'd have bought more but my pockets are starting to dry out and I can always get more.



    After that we split up with Leslie and I heading for the electric park. When we got there Leslie took a right in the main tent and walked into a wall of gemstone beads and got sooooo tangled up in them that it took all of her bead money to get them off. I was going to take a picture of the ones that stuck to her but she hustled them off to fedex and sent them to our house with the Maw sit sit

    That wasn't the end of our adventures at the electric park though. On the way out of the main tent I stumbled into a so so looking pile of sphene rough. Now sphene's one of my fav stones to cut and the dispersion of the stuff is incredible so even though I was taking a chance on this, I picked out the best looking ones I could find. I'll take another look at them when I get home and may cut a few of them. If I cut them, I'll post some pics on the ISG pics of stones thread.



    One more stop before we called it a day. Had to go to the Diamond Pacific tent at the electric park. Beside's selling high quality lapidary equipment, they always have cookies! So, while wandering though their tent full of toys and munching their cookies we found this little gem. It's a four watt, long, short and combined, battery powered UV light. I picked it up for just 80 bucks It might not be a super-duper expensive light box type but it's showing Leslie's diamond ring has a lot of reaction. Not surprising there, it's a champagne diamond. Anyway, at 80 bucks it's good enough for what I want to do with it



    That's it for tonight. Tomorrow we're heading for the triton missile museum and then to the insuites show. We might squeeze a couple of the lesser known shows in before we leave on Saturday. Some of you may be too young to remember how dumb we were during the cold war and may not know what the triton was but those of us that thought we'd be safe even if a nuke went off nearby, if we would just "duck and cover" like the gov't told us to, we remember these things.

    Pete
    Pete (AKA Ruffysdad)
    www.westerngem.com