The first weekend in January I headed out to Quartzite, Az for the Desert Gardens Mineral Show. One of the many shows/shops that run from Jan-Feb every year. For me it’s one of the better shows to pick up rough material for cabbing, slabbing & tumbling. There are nice specimens there as well, just not the type we specialize in. Funny though, now that I think about it I bought a lot of specimens this year too. I was only able to make it to the Desert Gardens show due to time constraints though.
Desert Gardens is only a part of the Quartzite buying opportunities. There are also the permanent shops like T-rocks and three other big shows, QIA Powwow, Tyson Wells, and Prospector’s Panorama. Like I mentioned though, I only had about half a day to look.
I’d been to the Desert Gardens show 2 years ago so I was familiar with some of the vendors and what material would be available. I ended up picking up 2lbs of turquoise rough and ends from the Campitos guys, half stabilized and half raw. It was a pretty good deal and I wish I would have bought more now that I think about it.
After Campitos I came across another turquoise vendor who was selling some deep, green turquoise
that I hadn’t seen before. I only ended picking up a few small pieces of this material because it was so expensive. The mine owner was an older lady who has owned the mine for over 20 years and told me the name of the turquoise but I forgot! I’ll try and find out and update this post.
Next it was on to the vendors I’d shopped with in the past. They always have great specimens and offer great discounts. They are where I sometimes get carried away buying specimens which don’t quite fit with what we try to focus on, West/Southwest US and Japanese minerals. We don’t want to have to buy a warehouse to store our minerals…yet. I picked up a bunch of yellow apatite specimens at one vendor. The thing I love about yellow apatite is the vibrant yellow color of the crystals. They really stand out against their matrix and look beautiful.
On my final walk through I noticed a vendor from Canada who had some small gold specimens. I wanted to add 1 or 2 to my personal collection so I started picking out some and then the owner, Jacques Chabot, told me to wait a minute as he had some better pieces, and wow did he. Gold is one of the reasons I got into collecting minerals. Long story, but I use to collected silver coins and small gold and palladium rounds, but I never had any gold specimens. They really are one of those pieces that belong in every collection. When etched properly they are stunning to look at. Must be in our DNA to love gold. Anyway, below are a few of the pieces I picked up. The piece on the left is available in our testy shop www.etsy.com/shop/rt395minerals .
Last stop before heading home was T-Rocks on the other side of the freeway. This place has a lot of rough. I walked away with some Mexican Lace & Ocean Jasper rough as well as some other odds and ends, but well worth stopping by.
Until next year….