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Quartzite - 2018
  
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Robert Seitz




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PostPosted: Jan 14, 2018 18:15    Post subject: Quartzite - 2018  

Chance favored me passing through Quartzite, AZ on 12 January. Time was limited so I randomly selected the Desert Gardens Rock and Mineral Show. I understand there were somewhat over 100 dealers? Some of them even had minerals of interest to me. Better luck yet. Several I knew and they advised heading over to Tucson next week.

I found a Barite-coated Fluorite from Cave-in-Rock, IL and Sphalerite, Quartz from Peru, and will post those later in my collection.

On to Tucson in a week or so.



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 Mineral: Quartz (synthetic)
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 Mineral: Fluorite, Quartz
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A number of Moroccan dealers with the usual suspects. Some dialogue with them about what will be fresh in Tucson vs most of stock in quartzite.
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 Mineral: Cuprite
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Bruce Woods Intl has some Milpillas material of interest to me - azurites, cuprites, etc
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 Mineral: Azurite
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Milpillas Mine, Cuitaca, Municipio Santa Cruz, Sonora, Mexico
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Milpillas Mine, Cuitaca, Municipio Santa Cruz, Sonora, Mexico
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Jan 14, 2018 20:10    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

Most collectors familiar with Tucson consider Quartzite as a large flea market. Many of the dealers selling there have very low end, and often overpriced, material. Most of the customers and dealers buying there are looking for low end material, but, to be honest, occasional bargains can be found there if you have enough time to look carefully. BOB
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Robert Seitz




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PostPosted: Jan 15, 2018 00:55    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

Yes. It was worth the look but there was little of interest. However, finding even one or two specimens can be worth looking. Tucson requires much trawling as well.
What's always fascinating in Tucson is the range of cost going a few miles. Truly - value is in the eyes of beholder.
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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Jan 15, 2018 02:29    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

Robert, do you mind telling us a bit more about Quartzite; the origin of the name; is it a small town; farming community; are the mineral dealers mostly permanent? What makes them want to sell there? It sounds similar to Uis near Brandberg; an old mining town now mostly geared for tourism.
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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: Jan 15, 2018 03:59    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

The one time I tried to go to Quartzite [a small retirement town in the dessert - mostly trailer homes - few real buildings - I could hardly find the 'mineral dealers' for all the other dealers of junk, jewelry, western-'things', home-made everything, more junk, kitsch, antiques and fake antiques, etc. Maybe now they have all 'mineral persons' in one place, but when I went they were mostly mixed and I gave up in disgust. I believe once, long-ago, briefly, in the area, but not too close to the town there had been some small mining there - nothing substantial. When there is no 'event' at Quartzite there is little there but heat, dust and a gas station, unless you live there in a trailer.

While those azurites and related minerals looked OK, the few prices I saw looked VERY high for what they were.
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Jan 15, 2018 07:01    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

For those who have never been to Tucson, Quartzite, or Arizona in general, PETER L gave a quick summary. So, for those planning on which venues to visit at the 2018 Tucson Show here is a bit more info.

Arizona is a very scenic state and a state of huge income disparity. There are many very wealthy folks who both live there and have winter homes or condos there. Unfortunately there is also a hi population of folks in poverty. These include many Native Americans and folks of Mexican and other Hispanic origin. This wealth disparity makes for huge differences in communities. Tucson, being a city with a large tourist base, has all types of communities, but Quartzite, a small scrubby desert town 120 miles west of Phoenix is largely a down and out trailer town of down and out people.

The "Quartzite Show", as a flea market, goes on pretty much all year long with all manner of "stuff", but in the winter months attracts even more dealers including the lower end mineral dealers. Many of these would be better labeled "rock dealers". In that area, the desert land is flat with no nearby mining or, to my knowledge, rock collecting in general.

I was at the Quartzite Show 1 time as part of my first Tucson show. At that time, our youngest daughter lived in Phoenix (about 3 hours North of Tucson) so we were out there for the winter season. Not collecting anything like I saw at Quartzite, I bought nothing. BOB
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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Jan 15, 2018 08:32    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

Peter does not paint a nice picture of Quartzite. Anyway, with a lot of people trying to survive and make a living, I will probably find Quartzite a rather interesting place.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartzsite,_Arizona

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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: Jan 15, 2018 09:47    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

Pierre Joubert wrote:
Peter does not paint a nice picture of Quartzite. Anyway, with a lot of people trying to survive and make a living, I will probably find Quartzite a rather interesting place.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartzsite,_Arizona


It's what we call 'real Americana'. It is true that the town seems to live off of a perpetual flea market, with some events through the year that bring additional mobile homes and sellers/buyers. It was a long time ago now I was last there. To be honest I did find one good buy - because a guy selling mostly junk antique didn't know what he had. He had what I realized was a nice piece of polished silver ore [no location] he had piled with other odd pieces of metallic objects - mostly from old railroad parts. I got it for a dollar. But, that said, I spent several hours just rolling my eyes at things people couldn't pay me to own. Maybe it has changed and I'm being unfair, but I think most of what is sold there is an acquired taste and not for most mineral collectors. Do you like paintings on velvet of over-sized eyed children?
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PostPosted: Jan 15, 2018 09:49    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

The Snowbirds love the place during the winter since there is plenty of places for them to park the big RV's and the town provides services for them, It use to be the cheapest place to buy gas coming out of California on I-10. Strange little town in the middle of nowhere.
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Joseph D'Oliveira




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PostPosted: Jan 15, 2018 09:57    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

Hi Pierre,
I went to Quartzite in 2016 as I always wanted to experience it and maybe I could find some lower end stock to buy. We took a day and drove up from Tucson and as said previously, the place is a huge flea market with a combination of mineral dealers and trinket sellers. For the most part, the mineral dealers are together in one part of town and there are quite a few but getting through it in a day is fairly easy.

The main attraction of this area to snow birds is the free desert camping. There are many public areas where you can park your travel trailer for free and enjoy the desert. It is also relatively close to California, only a few hours east of San Diego.

Quite honestly, I found Quartzite a waste of time, there is a lot of low end material and anything that is remotely interesting is generally grossly over priced. I guess everyone has the high end mentality these days. (you can see that from the pictures) If you do come here and would like to see Quartzite as a curiosity, you can make the drive and like me, you can say I've done that.

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bob kerr




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PostPosted: Jan 15, 2018 13:03    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

my experience with visiting the piece of Americana called quartzsite - DUST!! - EVERYWHERE!!

bob
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PostPosted: Jan 15, 2018 13:31    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

Pierre Joubert wrote:
Peter does not paint a nice picture of Quartzite. Anyway, with a lot of people trying to survive and make a living, I will probably find Quartzite a rather interesting place.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartzsite,_Arizona


My guess is if you find it interesting it will be for sociological / social anthropological reasons. There is a special breed in the USA who live all year, every year in mobile homes, usually moving rarely - some never moving. A lot of them [stable pop. ~4000] are parked at Quartzite and they have a special unique life style and community. As someone who drove in with a car, I felt out of place to begin with. Maybe better to go collecting at the Kelly Mine in Magdalena, NM. Great museum in Socorro at the University!
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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Jan 15, 2018 13:54    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

Peter Lemkin wrote:
Pierre Joubert wrote:
Peter does not paint a nice picture of Quartzite. Anyway, with a lot of people trying to survive and make a living, I will probably find Quartzite a rather interesting place.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartzsite,_Arizona


My guess is if you find it interesting it will be for sociological / social anthropological reasons. There is a special breed in the USA who live all year, every year in mobile homes, usually moving rarely - some never moving. A lot of them [stable pop. ~4000] are parked at Quartzite and they have a special unique life style and community. As someone who drove in with a car, I felt out of place to begin with. Maybe better to go collecting at the Kelly Mine in Magdalena, NM. Great museum in Socorro at the University!

There is more than 1 person on earth that loves minerals that also finds places like Quartzite interesting. The same can be said for Uis, 'lots of dust', but people love the place (so do I). Anyway, best thing is if you have to go that way again, just make sure your car has enough fuel in the tank so that you can carry on driving through Quartzite:-)

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Robert Seitz




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PostPosted: Jan 15, 2018 14:47    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

With all that said. I have found mineral specimens in the most surprising of locations - roaming the outdoors, and at flea markets, antique shops, junk stores, garage sales, and, yes, even Quartzite. Sometimes I wonder about the journeys travelled by the specimens. Traveling through in this case or on travels working at mines it remains interesting looking and the conversations with the people are also sometimes interesting, sometimes depressing but worth having.
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Jim Robison




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PostPosted: Jan 15, 2018 17:34    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

As an Ex Arizona resident who drove through Quartzite many times on the way to and from Los Angeles I saw Quartzite all through the year. Only stopped there to get gas and something to eat. Quarzite has one main street, and it runs parallel to the Interstate which bisects the city. Seeing the place at prime visitor time is an astonishing experience. I suspect the estimate of 4000 year round residents is somewhat optimistic. My recollection is that the total is somewhere around 1000, including the surrounding area. There are a lot of RV's and trailers there parked year around. but I can guarantee you that Quartzite in the summer is not somewhere you go to relax. Daytime high temps are routinely over 110 degrees F in the summer.

And yes, it is dry and very dusty. People visit there during the late fall, winter and very early spring months and then vanish. The wind is constant, and the desert floor is very dry.

Coming into the city in peak season is an astounding experience. As the interstate enters the five or six mile wide valley, the horizon is dominated by a sea of white. There is easily over a square mile of white with thousands of RV/trailer homes. The temporary population is well north of 50.000 residents and maybe closer to 100,000. There are many venues for buying, selling, and swapping, and parking is at a premium. Be prepared to walk a lot just to get to the action.

All that being said, it is an experience that many people enjoy and look forward to. Many visit once and call it good for life. For those who live there, they are an interesting collection of free thinkers and people who cherish a rustic experience. Main business is catering to the passing drivers, who make this a stop between either end of the route. Gas is cheaper than in California, and that is a factor, California gasoline taxes are considerably higher than in Arizona.

I suspect there are few if any motel acomodations in season, so most people make it an in and in out one day trip. Enjoy the visit.
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PostPosted: Jan 16, 2018 03:23    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

There are prospectors (" deep fried desert rats", as I've heard them called, rather unkindly) who bring their field collected material to Quartzsite to sell. If you have studied minerals carefully, you can often find rare things in Quartzsite that were unidentified or misidentified by those prospectors. It pays to keep your eyes open, study, and be patient. If you lack study and patience, you can go to one of the high-end shows in Tucson and find the same rarities... with 2 extra zeros added to the price ;))
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PostPosted: Jan 16, 2018 15:41    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

Hey some folks around here live, work and play where the temps during the summer hit 110+ on most days. So yes we are deep fried desert rats.
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PostPosted: Jan 18, 2018 12:12    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

Is it me or are the prices for those azurites quite ludicrous... I love Milpillas azurites but common, those prices are extremely high... Maybe in 2030 those prices would be realistic!!!
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PostPosted: Jan 18, 2018 12:21    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

striker.svr wrote:
Is it me or are the prices for those azurites quite ludicrous... I love Milpillas azurites but common, those prices are extremely high... Maybe in 2030 those prices would be realistic!!!


That kind of heat effects the mind. Those prices are by the standards I know insane. Maybe it is a kind of AZ version of 'bargaining' as in middle-eastern countries. You first mention ten times what you think you must get and hope they won't fight you down half way. But a lot of those into crystals as healing stones will pay high prices and don't know that crystals that 'don't heal, only sit there and look nice' often cost much less. [no offense to those who might believe crystals can do things other than tell one a lot about atomic structure, structure of the Universe, and Natural beauty].
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PostPosted: Jan 18, 2018 12:21    Post subject: Re: Quartzite - 2018  

Speaking with that dealer in general and regarding shows he will be at in Tucson (two of them). I find those locations normally have dealers with comparatively inflated prices. Quite clearly that has impacted mindset. Whether it impacts sales is another story. The marketing of minerals is indeed a 'Wild West' environment.

That's the beauty of looking widely when we can - the minerals and the discussions. Yeah!
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