Museums, collectors flock to Tucson for Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show

Published: Jan. 30, 2016 at 1:35 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:23 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Millions of dollars will be spent by some of the world's biggest collectors and museums during the Tucson Gem, Mineral, and Fossil showcase.

Some of the world's largest museums send representatives to scout the show for new items to display.

For two weeks, Tucson residents will have a chance to check it out.

A full juvenile Allosaurus is on display at the Arizona Mineral and Fossil Show at the Hotel Tucson City Center Inn Suites on Granada Avenue.

Peter Larson of the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research said the remains are 145 million years old and were dug up in Wyoming.

From the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Black Hills Institute has fossils on display at museums worldwide.

Larson said three museums have expressed an interest in purchasing the Allosaurus.

Ian Bruce, who works for Crystal Classics, said they have acquired an exquisite collection of minerals from one of the largest collectors in California, and all of it is on sale. Most of his customers are private collectors.

"We have people that come to this show with enormous budgets. Some of the private collectors come here and spend a few million dollars," Bruce said.

For the next two weeks, all of Tucson turns into a museum of sorts, displaying some of the most unique and rare items dug up from deep under the earth.

Marty Zinn, who runs the Arizona Mineral and Fossil Show, said this is a great year for those looking for amethyst geodes.

"They have them in all sizes this year, and for whatever reason the color of the amethyst is wonderful. The crystals are large, the geodes come in all sizes and the prices seem to be the best they've been in a long time," Zinn said.

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