Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tucson Gem Shows

For two weeks at the beginning of February each year, Tucson, Arizona "becomes a bustling, international marketplace of buyers and sellers at the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase...There's something for everyone...from gold and diamonds to granite bookends and glass beads, and from fine specimens of dinosaur fossils to opals dug from the Australian Outback."

In honour of the start of the 2010 show, which begins today and will be attended by many of my beading friends, I thought I would share some photos of various gems and minerals on display a little closer to home at the Royal Ontario Museum.

One of the larger pieces you will find there is an "intriguing mixture" of clear crystalline and smoky quartz from Arkansas, as well as a sheet of native copper from Michigan.

There is a beautiful piece of artwork called "Dream Cloud" which is carved from a boulder opal, together with a boulder which has been broken open to show the opal inside.

The star of the ROM's Gems and Minerals exhibit is this 896 carat piece of cerussite, which is the largest cut gem of this mineral in the world. It's known as one of the ROM's iconic objects and "its dispersion (or fire) is more intense than a diamond's. Dispersion is seen as the rainbow of colours visible as one moves around the stone."

So if you can't make it to Tuscon this year, you might want to visit the ROM and have a look at the various chunky and sparkly bits they've have there. They might not be for sale but they're awfully interesting to look at.

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TalithaDillingham0 said...
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