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The Tucson Gem Show is On!

tucson gem show

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2021 TUCSON GEM SHOW

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Our team is gearing up for the 2021 22nd Street Mineral, Fossil, Gem & Jewelry Show in April–that’s right, the gem show is on!
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The show was postponed to April 8-25 for vendor and customer safety and we, along with all 22nd Street Show vendors, are taking every possible precaution to ensure the well-being of everyone who attends the show. The staff at Eons Expos, who put on the show, have run two successful gem shows in Denver and New York/New Jersey without a single case of COVID-19 being contracted by a vendor or customer.
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Some of their safety precautions include:
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  • Air filtration: although not a requirement, the Main and Showcase Tent will have aggressive air movement via 50-ton HVACS equipped with MERV 13 air filters, which have the most effective air filtration rating and are used in hospitals
  • Aisle width: all Tucson gem shows are required to provide 12′ wide aisles to enable and encourage social distancing
  • Controlled entries: the Showcase Tent will have one entry and one exit in order to monitor capacity limits. The Main Tent will have controlled entries at each end and three ‘Emergency Only’ exits on the sides
  • Staff screening: all show staff and security officers will be subject to daily temperature checks and health evaluation
  • Enforcement: uniformed armed security will be onsite to quickly eject anyone who refuses to mask up
  • Face masks: 100% required with no exceptions
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For more details on safety precautions being taken at the show, click here:
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https://22ndstreet.show/covid-19-information/
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That being said, we would be delighted to see everyone’s friendly faces at the booth this year! The Aerolite team–Beth, Marissa, Max, and Melissa–will be in their usual spot in the upscale Showcase tent.
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See you all then!
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The Tsarev Russian Meteorite

tsarev russian meteorite

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The Tsarev Stony Meteorite

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Witnessed meteorite falls are some of the most spectacular events that occur in the natural world. That an event so rare is also actually seen to occur by human beings is almost equally as unbelievable, but they do happen. Advances in video technology, and how widely available dashcams and home security cameras are, allow us to witness more and more meteorite events.

Before the ability to record video became widely available to the general population, however, people had other means of reporting fireballs and strange occurrences in the sky. Scientists have found petroglyphs in ancient dwellings which appear to depict fireball-like events; meteorite events have been described in paintings, newspapers, and letters before scientists even knew they actually happened.

In the absence of video footage to confirm the meteorite falls or fireballs, eyewitness accounts become very important and, in some cases, can be tied to later finds. Such is the case, it appears, for a meteorite found in 1968 in Russia.

1968 was already a memorable year, marked by a worldwide escalation of conflict. However, in Volgograd Oblast–the primary site of the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II, one of the largest and bloodiest battles in history–a remarkable discovery was made in the quiet fields near the rural village of Tsarev.

“Tsarev,” which translates to czar, is one of the largest stone meteorites found in Russia (the USSR at the time) that resulted in one of the largest meteorite showers in Russian history. Eyewitness accounts revealed that the meteorite shower happened on December 6, 1922, though the stones were not found until 1968. The mineral composition of Tsarev is consistent with that of ordinary chondrites: olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, maskelynite, calcium phosphates, nickel-iron, troilite, chromite, ilmenite, and rutile.

Academic samples of the Tsarev meteorite reveal large grains of nickel-iron, light grey areas with a well-preserved chondritic texture, and dark areas containing a matrix with olivine grains and relics of chondrules. Though its parent body remains unknown, experts suspect the meteorite may have originated on or near the surface of the body.

These meteorites may have undergone regolith processes and can provide valuable information in the search for parent bodies of these chondrites. Among the many finds scientists made when analyzing the meteorite was the discovery that the isotopic composition of the noble gases found in Tsarev appear to be comparable to that of solar wind, a stream of particles and plasma released from the Sun’s upper atmosphere.

View our available inventory of Tsarev stone meteorites here.

⋆ ✴ ⋆ ✴ ⋆ ✴ ⋆

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Odessa Meteorite Crater

odessa meteorite crater

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ODESSA METEORITES

Imagine stumbling across a meteorite crater!

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Craters are pretty delicate – like everything else on Earth, they are at the mercy of their environment and many of them have been eroded away by the elements. The Wabar craters, for example, in Saudi Arabia have slowly disappeared over time because the shifting sands have filled them in. Even still, craters are some of the most fascinating geological features on our planet’s surface and new ones are still being discovered today.

In 1892, a rancher looking for a lost calf on horseback had one such experience. He found not only the missing bovine, but he also stumbled upon an odd depression in the landscape, now known to be the Odessa impact crater. Located in West Texas, the crater is now recognized as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service. The crater itself is home to species of cactus, sagebrush, and other plants. The rim of the depression is surrounded by fragments of limestone, which stretches for miles in every direction. Beds of brownish sandstone were also found beneath the surface.

As most know, the Odessa crater was verified as a meteorite impact crater when a geologist noticed an odd paperweight sitting on a desk in the office of Odessa’s first mayor, Samuel R. McKinney. The paperweight, McKinney explained, was a rock that had come out of the center of the crater. This rock was later confirmed to be a meteorite by the head curator of the Department of Geology at the United States National Museum, now the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution.

The crater is estimated to be about 63,500 years old. It is no longer as deep as it once was, having been slowly filled by soil and debris eroding its original features. However, the crater remains a popular site and is one of the largest impact craters in the United States. Odessa meteorites are a nickel-iron metal and suspected to have crystallized from a melt. These irons belong to the coarse octahedrite class, which describes the way alloy metals in iron meteorites are structured. Some Odessa meteorites display dark fusion crust, caused by the meteoroid’s flight through the atmosphere.

Odessa meteorites are particularly hard to find; they’re highly collectible and have a fantastic background story. Few, if any, new specimens come out of the craters at Odessa, Texas, which has been all but picked clean by meteorite hunters and their metal detectors. We have not offered Odessa in quite some time, and are more than honored to have such fantastic pieces in our current inventory, which you can view here –> https://dev.aerolite.org/product-category/iron-meteorites/odessa/

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Admire Kansas Meteorite

admire kansas meteorite

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ADMIRE METEORITES
Gemstones from Outer Space

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The Admire meteorite was found in 1881 in Kansas by a farmer plowing a field. It’s named after the city of Admire in Lyon County (meteorites are named for the places they were found). You might think Kansas–or more generally, the Midwest–is a hot spot for meteorite falls. Meteorites, however, fall randomly across the surface of our planet, and they could land anywhere. Why, then, do so many meteorite finds happen in Kansas?

It’s a combination of factors; the soil in Kansas contains very few indigenous stones. The Kansas soil is also very fertile, so it’s farmed intensely. Meteorites frequently turn up as a result of this farming and, since Kansas soil contains such few stones, these meteorites are less likely to be mistaken for terrestrial rocks.

Scientists believe, after much study, that the Admire pallasite formed at the core-mantle boundary of an ancient asteroid. Pallasites are the rarest of meteorites; less than 1% of all meteorites are pallasites, and even fewer still contain un-shocked crystals, something which academics were surprised to discover in the Admire pallasite.

About 1 in 100 of these crystals, remarkably, lend themselves to faceting, something that is not possible with shocked crystals. Admire is one of the only meteorites that produces these “space gems.” When sliced and polished, Admire meteorite slices present a wealth of richly-colored, angular crystals of different sizes and shapes.

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