The Roaring 20's at the Gem Show rolls along with our next installment of Flapper Girls, Moonshine and Cigars...oh wait, sorry wrong topic, this is supposed to be about Crystals. If you insist...lets geek out with crystals!
For those who are new, here is a quick refresher for how the blogs work: Once you have read through the Blog, if there is something you want, that is stated to be available, please text me, at 720 352-3224 to get on the reserve list. The reserve list does not lock you into having to purchase the item, rather it puts you on a list to be notified once the item is inventoried. You will then be contacted in the order your message was received.
Day 4 once again met us with blue sky's and sunshine! Right outside the house we are staying in, is a cluster of Saguaro Cactus. I captured this bird right as it was taking flight in the morning sun from the tallest in the group.
The gang of us headed out to capture some of the Amethysticles in the morning light so people could have a sneak peak before we offer them on the Live Sale tomorrow. We had a lot of fun playing around with these very long crystals. It is not every day that we see crystals this long. You can see the Citrine phantoms!
We of course had to replenish our Auralite 23 stock. There were very few large pieces this year, however we did select two of the most lovely I have yet to come across. This piece with the phantoms is coming back with us to CO. You can see the phantom in the second photo. I don't often see phantoms because the tips generally have a red Hematite coating. This is kind of like a flat bud cluster. This piece has loving and nurturing energy I think after spending some time with it.
This large bud of Auralite 23 knocked our socks off. What a power house and so perfect. Often the larger clusters have large chips on the tips which is so unfortunate, but not this piece! It has found its home, but we wanted to share.
I have been an addict for Amethyst hearts this last year. This piece is also coming back to CO. Great saturation and luster of course. It comes from Brazil but looks like it could be Uruguay the quality is so good.
As I do seem to be addicted to the Amethyst hears, how could I pass up the opportunity to snap a pic with the largest one we have ever seen?
We spent the evening inventorying these Pink and Peach Amethyst shapes which will also be offered at Jan 28th Live Sale. It comes out of Brazil and forms in drusy botryoidal shapes often in geodes as you can see. They are really lovely in person when you start looking at the details.
Story time!!! For weeks now, Karen has been working to connect with a female mine owner from Zambia who we recently met. She is the youngest of 6 children, and has a 4 year old daughter of her own. Though she is the youngest, she is taken over all the operation from her mother who has been in business for 47 years. They employ 32 people in the local village. They work in an open pit mine in Zambia close to the border of Zimbabwe. This woman also works closely with other miners and brings their products to the U.S. for them. Because of this wonderful working relationship, we were very lucky in that we finally got Congo Citrine again!!! It has been years since we have carried these clustered specimens. Continued below...
After a lot of messaging back and forth, Karen set up a time to meet in this woman's hotel room after she traveled on a 26 hour flight to the U.S. Luke and I happened to be closer to the hotel at the time the meet was set, so we went over to find a small hotel room filled with wrapped packages the size of a large balloon. We cut them open and inside, wrapped in newspaper was what you see laid all over the bed in flats. This is a new find of Amethyst and Smoky Quartz which forms in scepters and comes from Zambia. We had about 15 of them that we were recently offering on FB and IG. Due to their popularity and our love of them, Karen worked to make this deal happen so that we were able to pick every piece our heart desired before they were even brought to the booth for the show.
Please note that all the pictures here are terrible and taken in a hotel room with next to no lighting. We had the door open so we could see better while we unwrapped the pieces to add more light. Every piece has glass like luster and the scepter formations are what you would see in the very high end specimen dealer rooms when you visit a gem show. I'm guessing like the last batch, that many of these have enhydros as well. The best part besides having these stunning specimens, is getting to work with our new friend. She takes pride in supporting her village and her family. She grew up in the business and has worked in it for 17 years. She has kind energy and a big heart. It is evident in the crystals she shares and we can't wait to help her spread them to the world.
We offered this 10.5" Dogtooth Calcite with a large Sphalerite attachment on our Crystal Club today and though it was not claimed, we could not let it go, so it will come back with us to CO until it finds its forever home. Such a beauty. If you missed our post on social media today 1/27, make sure to check it out as we provided some interesting information on the mine situation going on in Tennessee where these coveted specimens come from.
I would say we wrapped up the day with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, but as we ate around 6:30pm and its now 1:14am as I write this, I would be lying. Karen and Bruce just went to bed about 30 minutes ago, after we worked all evening to inventory and set up for the Live Sale on the 28th.. Cheers to a long day filled with great team work all around.
This exact photo happens every year on our way to this same restaurant, however one my old phone, I could never capture it very well. With the new phone, it doesn't do it justice, but it at least gives you an idea. The Moon is a sliver and Mercury is above shining bright! Another beautiful day!
Day 5 was a little bit of a different day as we did our first Live Sale in our 23 years of going to Tucson. Luke and I cut our buying short for the day so we could head back and set up. Karen and Bruce were off on their own getting some pretty amazing specimens, two of which you will see at the end of today.
At the very start of the morning, we pulled the Charoite spheres out to capture a picture before left the house. Talk about the Barries (the best) but they actually look like large mouthwatering berries that I wish I could eat, or maybe the gumdrops from Willy Wonka!
Speaking of specimens, this was Bruce and Karen find. We used to carry Azurite in Kaolinite and could find rather easily. Over the past few years however, it has thinned out. Mainly what we see now, are finer specimens with large individual Azurite suns like you see here. They could not pass this box up. We will be showing them on our 2nd Live Sale from the Gem Show on Feb. 2nd if one catches your eye!
If you were part of our Crystal Club, you know that Luke and I stopped at our favorite Herkimer miner's room today to stock up on a few pieces. We sold these two, however, I have will be going back because I am waiting for a special parcel to arrive. If you would like a larger Herkimer Diamond (Quartz) from Herkimer, NY, please text me right away. The piece on the left was very clear with some inclusions of Anthraxolite, while the piece on the left was more of a Smoky Quartz and somewhat included, but had a great rainbow! These differences in clarity grades make a large difference in cost, just like actual Diamonds.
Can you guess what this piece is? To give you perspective, you are looking down, and through the length of it. If you are thinking Fulgurite, then you are correct. We are bringing a few of these back. They will range around the $40 to $50 mark. If you are interested in one, again please let me know and I can select a few others. In all the places we visit, I have only seen these at one location, and they are a good size for this material. For those unfamiliar with Fulgurite, it is formed when Lightening strikes the sand and turns it to glass. It creates these tubes that you see pictured here.
I have been looking for these everywhere, but have seen very few from what I expected to see. We have never had them before. I am drawn to the banding and uniquely artistic designs each one has. It is called Silk Agate, and it comes from Madagascar. However some pieces have the orange coloration of Carnelian. Both Carnelain and Agate are a variety of Chalcedony. The Agate variety is called so when it is banded and Carnelian when it is Orange. I in all my technical knowledge, dub these Agnelian! They will be available on a future Live.
OK, don't tell Karen...but Luke and I did it again. Last year we stocked up on very Old Stock Seraphanite from Russia and it was a hit. I was very much hoping a little more would be available this year and my hopes became reality. I know we have said the mine has not been producing for more than 5 years last year and that is still the case. There is very little of this with any of the Russian contacts and if they do have it, it is ungodly expensive. These pieces come from one contact that thankfully has had some old stock that they let trickle out. They only brought two small 12x12"" boxes of it. As a reality check that is like bringing one beer to share at a Bronco's football game with the entire stadium. Luke and I gathered as much as I could before I thought Karen would really kill me. New this year there will be a few polished slices that display really well in small stands.
Here are a few fun pics for you. These are Black Tourmaline in Quartz. We do have one of the long pieces available for anyone interested.
These are Lodalite included Quartz cabochons.
Many of you are familiar with pink opal from Peru but have you ever seen it rough? This is how it comes prior to being made into hearts spheres eggs etc.
Luke and I headed back to the house around 4 to get everything ready for the Live at 6. It take a bit of prep work to lay everything out and get the lighting and props we need. These were some Oura Verde Quartz Spheres that we were offering. I would strongly suggest reading about this stone in Melody's book. Some great properties one of which they don't ever need to be cleansed or energized. We do have a few available still for anyone interested.
After the Live Sale which was an absolute blast we grabbed a quick bite to eat and pulled out some new inventory to ooooooh and ahhhhh over. The above crystal you are seeing are natural Ametrine points from Boliva. The best location for Ametrine and the hardest to find. As long as I can remember Karen has wanted one of these. Unfortunately they were always a bit out of her price range. This year however the man who has these is retiring and was giving some close out prices. This enabled us to get some for the business! We will have a few available. Message me to get on the reserve list.
Blue Apatite Crystals! Hard to find and they usually fly off the table. We snapped up about 6 of these crystals and will have them on the upcoming Live Sale on Feb. 2nd.
I'm not sure the evening lighting did these two justice however they are Cassiderite. For those of you who are specimen collectors this is one to have in your collection! The black crystals you are seeing are actually metallic. These also come from Bolivia.
A nice peaceful way to end day 5! Blue Calcite from Argentina carvings of Quan Yin and Buddha heads.
Welcome to day 6! This is how the morning started out This line is probably a good 1.5 city blocks long and about 4 people wide. Some shows like to keep everyone out and make them all push and shove to get to the goods. A bit annoying for us but its kind of a tradition at the same time. Karen and Bruce were experiencing the same thing at a different location so we were all in the same boat.
You may recognize these from last year and though I was not planning to add more I turned around and Luke had selected them all. They were so popular I figured why not as he had already put in the work to find the good ones. It's always fun to have a crystal Gasper (cigar)...or wand!
For those who have not seen these pink/peach Amethyst from Brazil I showed one that I had in late 2019 on a Live Sale and a number of people wanted it. I completely forgot about getting more in the hustle and bustle however it was the first thing I saw when I finally got into the tent and no one else was selecting them! Of course I quickly grabbed as many lovely pieces as I could (which still was not many because they are rare) but it was a nice surprise. Another that we will soon have on a Live Sale.
Luke found two Prasiolite Waterfall Amethyst pieces while searching for a special order. One sold on the Crystal club and this one is coming back to Hands of Spirit. We have had a few smaller pieces in the past and were so excited to find two more. These are the only times we have ever seen this color. Natural Prasiolite is rare so it was an excited find for us! Plus there was next to no waterfall Amethyst available. They told us a few years ago the mines had closed and it sadly seems to be true.
Luke's Mother Marcia moved from CO to AZ this summer after being there since the early 70's. She now lives in the same retirement community as one of her sisters and sister's husband so they came down to spend part of their day with us. I think she enjoyed helping us sort through some crystals.
We of course stocked up on Azurite/Malachite specimens.
Karen grabbed the only 3 Datolite crystals she could find!
And we will have some crazy cool specimens of Chrysocolla with Shattuckite!!! The Shattuckite displays a slight chatoyancy in some cases. Some of the specimens even have botryoidal formations! We are really excited for these! They are somewhat fragile.
This year our traditional lunch sitting in the parking lot eating Mexican food drinking beer and listening to Mariachi music included Luke's family. It was a lot of fun. Karen is missing as she took the picture. She is actually getting pretty good at using the iphone!
For those on the Crystal Club you saw the super large crystal clusters of Vanadanite but for those who missed it we are bringing back 4 specimens that have great color great luster and large crystals!!!
Can you guess what this one is? It took me a minute when I saw it but the color was a good hint. This is a Prehnite specimen! Usually you see them in botryoidal form as in one big ball but this is more of a cluster. Always fun to see different formations!
We also will have some rare Lazulite specimens coming back with us! Karen and Bruce really enjoy selecting these. They are not easily come by.
One of my favorite people to see in Tucson is a friend we met about 6 or 7 years ago. He and his buddies own the original mines where Red Beryl was found in the Thomas Range UT in the 1800's by Manard Bixby. This is where the name Bixbite comes from!
This specimen above found it's home but I wanted to share so you could enjoy how incredibly special and rare this piece is. It is Red Beryl (Bixbite) the black crystals are Bixbyite the small champagne crystal in front are Imperial Topaz and they are all sitting on a pseudomorph of garnet into Sanidine Feldspar!
This piece is also extremely rare. It was the only cluster available and I counted 9 crystals growing in the Feldspar matrix. There is one other I have posted in our stories on FB and IG with a transparent Imperial Topaz and a Red Beryl growing next to it! Please message us if you have interest in either of these asap please.
To wrap up our night I will leave you with elegance personified. This is a double spray of Scolecite from India. I have not seen sprays this nice in awhile. I could not pass this piece up and the dusky sky made for a stunning photo.
We hope you have enjoyed all the Darb (wonderful) photos shown. We appreciate you following our travels and hope these blogs bring much fun and light to your life.