One of the show stoppers, and the featured gem of this year's Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is called the Weardale Giant. This massive fluorite specimen was unearthed this past July at the Rogerly Mine in England. It will be the centerpiece of the 'Official' Tucson Gem and Mineral Show at the Tucson Convention Center, which starts February 14th.
Fluorite is the theme of this year's show, and hopefully, if you were not already conversant in the many forms and colors of this wonderful mineral you have wandered any of the numerous shows open now and been floored by the variety.
The Rogerly Mine is located in the North Pennines ore field. This locality is famous for its many colors of Fluorite. Additionally, the term 'fluorescence' may have originated with the minerals pulled out of these mines.
The fluorite found in this area of the world not only fluoresces under black light (as do most fluorites) but it has a mild fluorescence under natural light. Most of the fluorite specimens from the Rogerly are dark green under artificial light. Under natural light they show deeper shades of purple or blue. Under fluorescent light (you can buy cheap black lights at Summit Hut or Ace Hardware - they are marketed for scorpion hunting) they shine a bright blue.
The wonderful thing about most fluorites is that the cost is relative to specimen quality, but unlike many gems the low end is very affordable even to a novice collector.
The Rogerly Mine specemins are available for purchase directly from the folks who mine it U.K. Mining Ventures. They are located in room 144 at the Hotel Tucson City Center (St. Mary's and Granada).
Check out the three color phases of a typical inexpensive Rogerly Mine specimen.