From Thursday, February 13th through Sunday, February 16th, we showcased our special exhibit "Arizona's Best" at the 2020 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show at the Tucson Convention Center. The theme of the show was 'World Class Minerals' so we chose to display a few of our favorite specimens
(see earlier blog post) from historic Arizona mines and unique localities. The show was a huge success and we were very honored to be a part of it! Check out our photos below.
A great view of our case before locking it up. We displayed nine top specimens and were positioned next to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in spot D11 on the Convention Center floor. The star on the Arizona flag in the background of the case represents copper production.
First and foremost, we included a special shout out to our Monday Crew volunteers - Arizona's Best!
The centerpiece of the case was this copper specimen (with gypsum crystals) from the Ray Mine in Pinal County. Copper is the official State Metal of Arizona, and for good reason! AZ’s copper mining industry has powered the territory and state’s economy since the 1870s, driving settlement patterns through the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today Arizona is still #1 in copper production, supplying nearly 66% of the copper used in the country and generating ~$7billion dollars annually.
To the right of the copper was this fantastic chalcoalumite from the Copper Queen Mine in Bisbee. Amazing color! Copper minerals are so beautiful and we are lucky to have many diverse and unique specimens.
We chose to display this calcite from the United Verde Mine, Jerome due to its unique bird's nest formation. Specimens like this are not uncommon BUT Jerome is a unique locality to find them. This one is a favorite!
This gold on milky quartz from Big Bug is an excellent Arizona specimen.
Azurite snowball, anyone? Not only is this specimen from the Copper Queen Mine in Bisbee gorgeous, but is unusually large for such a formation. Another favorite!
The case wouldn't be complete without a classically beautiful azurite and malachite specimen from the Copper Queen Mine. This one is a stunner.
This beautiful turquoise slab (with pyrite) is from the Morenci Mine in Greenlee County. Turquoise is the official State Gemstone of Arizona. The Morenci Mine is a historic mine that is still in production today under Freeport-McMoRan. Underground mining started in the late 1800s and open pit mining started in 1937.
Petrified wood is the official Arizona State Fossil! This specimen is a bit different, however, than classic rainbow wood, with a green color may be caused by the mineral chromium (Cr). Chromium petrified wood is rare and popular with collectors. When wet or exposed to humidity it will turn a dark green color!
Last but not least, wulfenite! This specimen is from the Glove Mine in Santa Cruz County. Wulfenite was named the official State Mineral of Arizona in 2017 thanks to the efforts of local mineral clubs and mineral enthusiasts. Wulfenite is a lead molybdate mineral.
It was fun to see colleagues and visitors enjoy our case. We always have a blast at the show and are looking forward to next year.