M&A gears up for the 2011 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show

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Late January must be around the corner, because a few lucky staff members at M&A’s Tucson office are gearing up for their annual trip to the Gem & Mineral Show. Their mission: to purchase a unique mineral or fossil specimen for M&A’s growing collection.

Janis Blainer-Fleming, a geologist, and Anna Urizar, a scientific illustrator, have been making the annual pilgrimage together since 1990. Cynthia Herleth, another scientific illustrator, joined the duo a few years later. They select specimens based on a “cool factor” that blends both scientific and artistic criteria. To these seasoned rock hounds, it’s like being a kid in a candy shop.

The “Gem Show,” which typically spans the first two weeks of February, is the second largest in the world. Thousands of treasure hunters travel from every corner of the globe to see displays from museums and private collections and to buy specimens from over 250 mineral, gemstone, jewelry, and fossil retail dealers. These dealers are spread out at over 40 sites around Tucson. To learn more, click here.