January 30

    We continue continue our participation at Just Minerals for a second day, but pack out on Monday night so that John Veevaert can have the space for a one-day day on Tuesday. The crowd was steady with good sales on Monday. That has been the general report from dealers around town. The other report is that there is very little new in the way of specimens to add to inventory. I was unable to get out at all to see if any new dealers had opened or those waiting for shipments to clear customs had put out new items. The photo below shows what the shopping situation looked like the days after opening. We took plenty of inventory, so second-day shoppers had a good selection.

     Well, It's July and Tucson reports got stuck after Westward Look. I'm sorry about that, TGMS was very busy and we were exhausted when the days were done.

   We have had some family death and health issues, so  I have been away from business issues since the shows. I'll catch up and post on FaceBook when I do so. Thanks for your patience.  Leonard

      I quickly toured the grounds in search of any newly opened door and finally got lucky! I think I was the first to enter the room of Geofil, a mining company working in Portugal and Mozambique. The African locality is a major 20 year old project with 100 miners seeking tourmaline and rarities. I Portugal they work at the famous Panasquiera Mine where they had been very successful in acquiring superb apathy specimens which I now own. This need a bit more preparation, so there will be no pictures immediately, but trust me, they are nice! From Mozambique, they had many tourmalines in clouding fine facing material in crystals and several bi- and tri-color specimens, which are now also waiting a bit of lab work. I recommend you visit them you are in town. Nothing beats buying directly from the mine! I left with a smile but went in search of other treasure from two rooms featuring Madagascar minerals, Polychrome and Little Big Stone. Neither had Madagascar material I could use, but the first had some nice pieces from Congo and I got a fine wulfenite. The second had a new line of beautifully crafted brass and mineral lamps that would grace any modern decor. y shopping time had expired, so I left the hotel and retrieved about 50 flats of nice specimens and headed back to the Elks Club to set out merchandise for Just Minerals which opens tomorrow. 

     Next it was back to Inn Suites to socialize. We parked on the street and took a walk throw the Fine Minerals International house. There the specimens are singularly impressive, case after case. I know I have some good inventory, but when I go there and see what Danny Trinchillo has put together I wonder if I should just donate it all to museums and surrender. If you are a dealer (or savvy collector) you owe it to yourself to visit Danny's back room which is filled with cases of half-price pieces that most collectors would covet and could afford!

     From there it is a few steps to the hotel lobby where I had heard there were drinking glasses that resemble tourmalines. There were and much more of interest. Ayoung mineral enthusiast who is a glass blower has created wonderful thing. Linda certainly thought so and quickly started choosing items for our dining room. I became fascinated by glass reproductions of tourmaline crystals. They are crystallographicly correct and could easily fool a novice collector, but are properly labelled and represented as what they are, art glass. I acquired on for $300 that would easily sell for the times that if it were a real crystal. After our glasses were packed we head home for a good rest before the chaos we call Just Minerals in the morning.

This page features Show Reports, Travel Notes, and other Items of Interest as they strike my fancy.

January 25.

     More dealers opened today, the show is maybe 20% open. That helped us keep comfortable since there were more doors to go through to look at minerals in warm air. We will be below freezing agin tonight.

     China is still in the lead for specimens but the US is gaining with some big name US dealers working fast to open tomorrow. I even managed to find nice Italian and Swiss  specimens to purchase.

    My first stop today was a visit to John Seibel who is one of the great filed collectors and an old friend. Between fishing trips, John had returned to a locality in Utah that he had collected previously and had enlarged a pocket of sharp magnetite crystals with yellow appetites. In fact he had found enough to be wholesaling them from his Inn Suites room. I love US localities so I really enjoyed seeing them. See the photos below. Prices range from under $100 to around $4000, keystone. They are well worth it.

     The new owner of the hotel has spent a lot upgrading the public areas . See the new lnn Suites (aka Hotel Tucson, City Center) lobby and reception below. We can only hope he does the same with the rooms, which are as needy as ever. There are still plumbing and other problems. But we can hope.

January 27

I made it to see the gentleman with the silver specimens. There were a limited number unfortunately, but we did purchase 3 unusual locality specimens for Canada and one old Czech piece. I returned to the inns Suites and walked around most of the afternoon in search of something new and exciting, but it was not to be. There were few new rooms open early and when I resigned myself to returning to buy pieces I had seen earlier they were gone. A word to the wise, if you like it grab it! I gave up and joined Isaias Casanova and Geoff Krasnov at the Elks club where we we set up the tables for the Just Minerals Event. An unexciting report from an unexciting (an still chilly) day!

                        Miniature Wire Silver

                        Glen Lake Mine

                        Ontario, Canada


See my show schedule page for a GOOD NEWS announcement about parking at the Inn Suites.

We have had high winds, cold air, and lots of rain so far but the forecast for the opening of shows is better, although tonight (ja. 24) we are expecting a mild freeze.​ Last night we had a great sunset, though.

Check down this page for TUCSON 2017 notes.

​I'll add some from Denver as soon as I can.

January 28

     Always hopeful, I was away early to be at the official opening day of the Show at the Inn Suites. Technically this is one of Marty Zinn's Arizona Mineral and Fossil Show venues and we need to thank Marty for his years of hard work promoting shows so dealers like me can make a living. I suppose you have concluded that hiss the place to be this week but that is only partially true, there are some excellent  mineral dealers at the former Pueblo Inn, now River Park Inn. I did sneak over there and take a quick look on Wednesday and visit with several old friends, But the Inn Suites is general better shopping for me due to the number of foreign dealers there. I posted a photo of the lobby earlier. By today it had several dealers booths too.

100% Glass! Can you believe it?

Tomorrow, I'll be on the beat again. I have an appointment to see a collection of silver specimens, one of my favorites, and will be setting up our tables at the Elks club for our show that starts on Sunday. The life of a mineral dealer is never slow! But mine is easier than the folks who run multiple venues at the same time. At least our shows don't overlap.

This is what they were delivering. You can tell me what it is. It looks like a cross between an alligator and a Gila monster.

January 24     Tents have been up all over town for a week or more, but most are still empty. Yesterday and today saw lots of action at the satellite shows. A few opened partially over the weekend but mostly there is a lot of moving in. Each day a few more rooms at the Inn Suites will open with the foreign dealers generally early to be able to clear customer and unpack their palettes and containers. So setting up photos are below. Theses show new tents at the Inn Suites that were made necessary by a new security wall along the east parking lot and reduce parking infant of the hotel. It took a lot of men to deliver one of the ​'critters ' to populate the yard beside the pool. 

The Alma Rose, one of the wold's finest specimens. This Rhodochrosite is from Alma, CO and is perhaps better that the Alma King in the Denver Museum of Science. This was the first showing outside of Oregon since the museum acquired it over a decade ago. The Rice family also purchased the Alma King, but allowed it to be purchased by the Coors Foundation for return to Colorado. Nice folks!!!

The above left photo shows IC Minerals booth in the foreground and mine to the rear just before 10 AM. On the right you see part of the crowd at my booth and Dan Weinrich's in the background. This was at 10:15.

February 1-6

February 1 allowed time for a morning of unloading and storing our sale minerals and loading our best quality specimens and needed hardware for the Westward Look Fine Mineral Show north of town. We checked in by 3 PM and were pleased that our rental trophy cases were waiting outside the room. We quickly rearranged the room furniture to accommodate the cases and assembled our portable table-top cases. After dinner, I began placing larger specimens in the cases. By 9 AM on Thursday, Cal and Keith Graeber arrived and we began in earnest setting up our display. We opened the room around 3 PM to the customers who were already checking for rooms where they could be first to see what was available. The show opened officially on Friday morning to the largest crowds we have experienced in many years of participation there. The crowds continued heavy throughout the weekend, so much so that I was able to escape from the room only long enough to see a few of the other rooms and to see the excellent display brought from the Rice Museum in Hillsborough, OR (greater Portland). Below are some photos of the resort grounds and some of the Rice's specimens.

Some of the museums extensive                                        A wonderful Molybdenite                                                                      A mind boggling Autunite

​         collection of NW zeolites                                                   from Washington                                                           from Washington and maybe the world's finest.

The Resort Lobby Entrance                                   Our room (306)                                       The scenery next to our building

January 31

     This is a shopping day again because it is opening day at the AGTA and GJX shows downtown. These are both gem and jewelry

​shows. AGTA occupies the space we will be in in a week for the grand finale TGMSshow. GJX is across the street in a huge temporary structure. While these are not mineral shows they can be the source of the odd specimen. Sometimes we find a gem crystal, but often they are in gem dealers booths where the prices are absurd. Cal and I looked at a beryl crystal and allowed we would buy it if we could get it for $3-4000. The dealer wanted $17,000. Such is life at these shows. We did find a gem mineral dealer from Africa who was selling off some of his personal collection. We bought several old pieces that were quite nice and the fluorite shown below that was too cute to pass up.

      In the afternoon, I made a quick trip to see the new show being managed by Marcus Origlieri in a former cinema just north of downtown. It is called 'Tucson's New Mineral Show" (TucsonsNewMineralShow.com)  That works for me! It was well organized and had a nice starter group of dealers. I think it has great potential to grow and become important, particularly if the threatened Inn Suites parking problem comes to be.

​    I then made a hurried trip south of town to the giant flea market known as the Kino Mineral Show to see equipment dealers that I buy from for my lab. Then it was home to change clothes and take a break with about 35 the international mineral folks at the Gaslight Theater for a fun evening of old time melodrama with lots of good music.

    Below are photos of a superb weloganite from Canada and the "bunny" fluorite from Namibia scored at the th GJX. Minerals are where you find them! Both are small miniatures.

January 29

​Today was sunny and the most pleasant day so far in Tucson this week. Of course we had to be indoors because it was the first days of the Just Minerals Event, our short sweet wholesale show. We arrived at 9 AM for a 10 AM opening and there was already a line of customers at the door, as is usual. When we opened we had a crush of traffic. We stayed very busy until lunch time then had a normal number of customers until closing. Beyond that I can report nothing from the show scene, but probably missed nothing since Sunday is usually pretty slow. We are looking forward to 70 F in the afternoon tomorrow and a mild week following, a welcome change. If you are in town and haven't visited our show come on over, you are sure to find some good deals as every dealer have many half price specimens that are very good. See my Show Schedule page for details.

Leonard Himes     Dealer in Fine Mineral Specimens

January 26

​I spent the day wandering the halls of the Inn Suites as usual. The number of early open rooms seems to be less this year, but the ballroom, Green Mountain and Collectors Edge were and the minerals were awesome. There were many trucks unloading and so by Saturday all will be in order.

​In the afternoon I assured Cal and his crew with unloading Rogerly fluorites into the UKMV room. As usual it was packed the moment the door opened at 5PM. There will be some left today I'm sure and I strongly advise anyone interested in them to shop immediately. Production this year was very limited and issues with the mine threaten any mining this year or maybe ever by UKMV.

​Be sure to go to the ballroom if just to see the amazing iridescent ammonites. They may not be minerals in my sense, but they are astoundingly beautiful. My old friend and supplier Clive Queit was there. Clive is transitioning his business to his son, so this could be his last year here. I hope not. H ei always interesting to chat with. Clive has supplied all manner of Namibian species over the years. One thing I have avoided purchasing from anyone was amethyst from Goboboseb; there was just too much at studio prices. But Clive had one I couldn't resist. It has the right combination of size, deep color, mirror luster, and it is a scepter on matrix. The photos below illustrate that as best I could without my proper photo set-up. It is now in a private collection.

    A grapefruit tree by our building.           Bob Jones and Sharlene Harvey at the Rice Exhibit                             Rice Director Julian Gay and Curator 

                                                                      Sharlene is the daughter of the museum's founders.                         Leslie Moclock speaking to Sharlene