In mid-February of 2014, the mineralogists from the Department of Mineral Sciences went to Tucson, Arizona for the 60th Annual Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. Held every February, the Tucson Show is one of the largest shows of its kind in the world and is regularly attended by representatives of the Smithsonian Institution.
Our presence at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show is not restricted to acquiring specimens for our collections. Each year we set-up temporary exhibits that highlight some of the best gems & minerals from our collections.
At the "Main Show", held at the Tucson Convention Center, there are lectures and display cases in addition to more wholesale and retail dealers. Displays are presented by museums, dealers and collectors and typically relate to the theme of the year's show. Exhibitors may also simply display new acquisitions or specimens of personal interest. This year's show theme was "6o Years of Diamonds, Gems, Silver and Gold". We decided to exhibit the "Post Diamond Tiara" and various diamond crystals from around the world, highlighted by a pile of loose natural diamond crystals from Zimbabwe that weighed nearly 4 pounds.
The Tucson Gem & Mineral Show is one of the highlights of our year and we look forward to attending every year. It has always been a great venue for finding new and exciting specimens to add to the National Collection. The "Show" also provides us with an opportunity to showcase specimens which are generally not on public display in the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.
We can hardly wait until next February!