May 30, 2013 9:56 AM   Subscribe

Very neat, thanks! Favorite part of any natural history museum is that secluded, dusty corner where they keep all the rocks.
posted by midmarch snowman at 10:06 AM on May 30, 2013

It is slightly concave in structure so it also gives a nice sense of 3-dimensionality - like an Azurite vug.

Ok, so before I googled 'vug,' my brain immediately saw this as a misspelling of 'Azurite vag' and I was like, WOW, Tucson, not cool.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:15 AM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

As somebody whose partner is from Tucson, I'm about as tired of hearing about the mineral show as I am hearing about how you can't get good Mexican food here.

But like eating burritos when we visit, these pictures prove that he might actually be right about the awesomeness.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:15 AM on May 30, 2013

Wait, how the hell does this happen with silver? Will a geologist come explain to me how this is possible? Omg.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:18 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Jesus Christ, Marie! They're mi---

posted by entropicamericana at 10:36 AM on May 30, 2013 [6 favorites]

Jesus Christ, Marie! They're ohyousonofabitch
posted by backseatpilot at 10:38 AM on May 30, 2013 [8 favorites]

The show itself is truly and literally beyond comprehension. Every hotel in the area is sold out, not to people staying there, but to vendors who turn them into shopping malls. Along the street, in office fronts, in convention center spaces, anywhere there is space to put up card tables full of (I'm sure literally) every single geological product known to man. Last time I went years ago, we calculated how many vendors there must be and I want to say we figured 200,000. No possible way to see the whole thing.
posted by cmoj at 11:05 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Even as someone whose interest in minerals is almost nil, going down to the gem show is always fun. It helps that we can just walk a few blocks and be in the middle of it; I'd hate to have to deal with parking. And I always end up with some cool prop for my gaming group, or weird widget of some sort from a far-distant land.

Although I did almost by a two-pound chunk of raw tiger's eye this past year, so maybe it's getting to me.
posted by MrVisible at 11:23 AM on May 30, 2013

cmoj, that sounds insane and kind of fun. Like the SXSW for gem hounds.

Cue a Tuscon native, reminiscing about when the gem show was just some dudes with shiny rocks in a cavern. You know, when that shit was really underground.

I'll see myself out now.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:38 AM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

That website puts the geode back in Geocities.
posted by furtive at 12:01 PM on May 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

Tucson is a land of contrasts.
posted by mbrubeck at 12:15 PM on May 30, 2013

Also, the form a mineral takes or can take is often dictated by the space it is trying to grow in.

You'd be surprised by some of the spaces they try to grow in.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:49 PM on May 30, 2013

I LOVE the Tucson gem and mineral show and, as cmoj mentioned, it's beyond comprehension. My ex-husband is a jeweler and we used to drive down from Phoenix annually to attend. Jewelry, gemstones, and all other kinds of wonders; plus the parties at night are typical for any con.

One year I bought a 7mm emerald for $2.50; sold it to a jewelry store for $300 (where they'll turn around and sell it for $900).
posted by _paegan_ at 5:52 PM on May 30, 2013

the mineral bug bit me earlier this year in a big way and i've already planned a spa weekend in Sedona with my sister next winter that has the condition that it coincide with the Tucson Gem and Mineral show. preferably at the end of the show when no one wants to pack up what's left of their stock.

the thing that blows me away most about mineral shows is the sheer volume of mind boggling stuff on display (and it's all for sale!). if i could i would buy everything on that page, especially all the copper variants.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 8:36 PM on May 30, 2013

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