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What should constitute what is a "New Find"?
  
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Mar 04, 2019 16:31    Post subject: What should constitute what is a "New Find"?  

Whenever we discuss any of the major shows, whether it be Tucson, Munich, Denver or the other shows, one topic that routinely comes up for discussion is "new finds". It seems that this topic is discussed rather glibly without much thought as to what really should constitute a "new" find. I would like to bring this topic up here for comment.

I think all of us would agree that mineral specimens coming out after opening a totally new mine or specimen locality would constitute a "new find". I also think that mineral specimens coming out after reopening a long closed mine or locality (such as the Sweet Home Mine in Colorado or the Illinois fluorite district) would be considered "new finds".
But it gets murkier and maybe just a bit of semantics or opinion whether a mineral locality or mine in continuous operation with one not so good year followed by a year of new hi quality specimens really constitutes a truly "new" find.
After all it could just depend on a weekly or monthly basis of working and finding new collectible mineral pockets.....a few not so good pockets....and several subsequent pockets, a month or two later on, of hi quality examples. Using one definition, "new finds" really come each time several examples are removed from each new pocket during commercial mining or specimen mining.

Just semantics or more? Any thoughts?
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Scot Krueger




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PostPosted: Mar 04, 2019 18:35    Post subject: Re: What should constitute what is a "New Find"?  

I think you are trying to thread a needle with the "What's New?" question. Even the stunning Sweet Home rhodochrosites found since the 1990s were from an "old" locality. I would certainly consider any new find at an old locality which is either the best ever found or even significantly better than has been available in many years to fit the bill. And there was a lot of material at Tucson 2019 that would fit the label. The stunning large epidotes from Peru of the last 2 years would qualify. There is excellent new amethyst again coming out of Jackson's Crossroads, "best ever" smoky quartz scepters coming from Hallelujah Junction, beautiful new amethyst "pineapples" coming out of the Reel mine again. I saw monster garnets coming from Maine that would rival the old Rassel garnets from Massachusetts. The Rogerley fluorite mine is producing some of the finest material ever. The new Elk Creek barites are among the best ever found. There was brand new silver from Spain, deep green fluorite from Madagascar, blue hemimorphite from China, killer tapered quartz from Colombia, stunning yellow brucites from Pakistan and some of the finest acanthites I've ever seen coming out of Bulgaria. I did not find the 2019 show to be lacking in "What's New?" material. And if your interests stretch to meteorites, you can't get any newer than the fresh 2018 fall from Cuba. The challenge is to wade through the 3000+ dealers to find the ones with truly new and interesting material.
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bob kerr




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PostPosted: Mar 05, 2019 14:47    Post subject: Re: What should constitute what is a "New Find"?  

I guess I probably started this “debate” since for the last 5 years in my Tucson reports I have stated “There is once again nothing new of significance.” The key words of course are “new” and “significant”.

So, what is “new and significant” – to me it’s simply;
- something we haven’t seen before, and
- is available in large enough quantity and in a large enough range of quality so collectors of all levels can acquire specimens (i.e.: they get the crowd excited).

There are lots of past examples that I think qualify such as:
- Milpillas (azurites, malachite pseudo, volborthite and the world’s best brochantites),
- Poteryaevskoe Russia (world’s best cuprites, copper crystals and many pseudomorphs of copper and cuprite many with silver).
- Dalnegorsk Russia (clear cubes of fluorite and sulfides especially)
- Madan Bulgaria (gem sphalerites, cavernous galenas among the excellent sulfides)
- Crocoites from Tasmania
- Tourmalines from Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as Russia and Brazil
- Zeolites from India (especially green apophylites and cavansites/pentagonites)
- Chinese Fluorites and Calcites (a huge and wonderful variety of colors and xl forms)
- Chinese Mimetites and Pyromorphites
- Moroccan vanadinites (they go on and on), silvers/acanthites and blue barites
- Rogerley Fluorites

This is just to name a few – there are lots of others – these each “got the crowd excited” (well, at least they got me excited). Some of these are still producing but these would not be considered “new” - unless they are an order of magnitude better - the new barites from Elk Creek are much better than previous but not new and not enough of them to be significant.

To me, very few - if any - finds in the last 5 years qualify as “new and significant”. Perhaps I am just jaded but then again maybe the “Golden Age” is coming to an end.

By the way, when was the last time you saw anything new/significant from Arizona??.

bob
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Scot Krueger




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PostPosted: Mar 05, 2019 15:30    Post subject: Re: What should constitute what is a "New Find"?  

I have great sympathy for the desire to see another one of "those years" at Tucson. My father was at the show in the 1970s when the killer San Francisco Mine wulfenites burst onto the market, and the flat he brought back found welcome homes in many local collections. I was personally there in the 90s when the recent killer rhodochrosites from Sweet Home Mine flooded the floor. It is one of my great regrets that I did not bust my meager budget to buy what was a low-end piece at the time. Similar pieces have an extra zero on the end today. But I think it unrealistic to expect such a world class deposit to be discovered every year, never mind multiple times in a year. These are "once a decade" events and should be treasured for the brief blaze of glory they leave in the mineral collecting firmament. As a lifelong New England collector, who grew up worshiping the best-in-class babingtonites from the Lane Quarry, I would have to rank the two new best-in-the-world finds from China in the list of big recent finds. And these are still available, although pricey.
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bob kerr




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PostPosted: Mar 05, 2019 21:03    Post subject: Re: What should constitute what is a "New Find"?  

Scot Krueger wrote:
But I think it unrealistic to expect such a world class deposit to be discovered every year, never mind multiple times in a year.


Scot - it is indeed unrealistic to expect such finds every year - but it was, however, indeed happening thru the 80's, 90's and 2000's and early 2010's. The finds were not all Sweet Home Rhodos or Red Cloud wulfs but every year there were multiple great finds many reaching new levels of species quality. The list of examples I put together in my previous post is just a very small sample. I could've made a much much longer list that would indeed include those Chinese babintonites - and also:
- N'Chwanning hausmanites, rhodos, olmiite and many others
- Elmwood TN calcites, sphalerites, others
- Idaho pyro's
- Swiss gwindels
- Batopilas silvers
- Utah topaz, bixbyites, red beryls
- Erongo aquas with schorls
- Merilani tanzanites and others
- Norwegian anatase
- San Pedro Corrolitos mimeties
- Vera Cruz and Guerrero amethysts
- Lots of AZ wulfenites (Finch, Defiance, 79, Rowley, Puzzler, Old Yuma, N Geronimo and on), - almost all these localities are now closed or too risky to access (and explosive now cost an arm and a leg to use)

There are so many other great finds also - these indeed got the crowd excited. The term "Golden Age" was totally appropriate.

A list from the last 5 years or so would be much smaller and much less interesting.

bob
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Tobi




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PostPosted: Mar 06, 2019 02:30    Post subject: Re: What should constitute what is a "New Find"?  

Bob Harman wrote:
What should constitute what is a "New Find"? [...] Just semantics or more? Any thoughts?
In German, the term "Neufund" (= new find) has actually two meanings, I think most German-speaking collectors would agree:

1. Something completely new (new locality or a new mineral from a known locality).
2. Something already known that comes out again after a while or in another quality level.
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