Treasures from Tucson

Quantity was the operative word at Tucson: 33 separate shows, gems by the pile, bushel bags of pearls. Recent mine finds included Russian demantoid—in kilo bags—at Pala International's booth at the AGTA show, and spectacular transparent rhodocrosite from the Sweet Home Mine in Colorado, shown at Iteco. The standards—ruby, emerald, sapphire, tanzanite, etc.—were well represented along with the unusual and the bizarre. The unusual included demantoid from Iran that gem hunter Gary Bowersox carried around in his pocket. The bizarre included the inevitable coprolite (fossilized dinosaur dung) and a "new" supply of 1950s and 1960s "Ford-ite"—agate-like color-layered cabochons of old Ford Motor Co. paint! On the education front, there were dozens of seminars, panels, association conferences, press conferences, and the usual meet-me-in-the-aisle conversations. All provided attendee
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