Monday 1 June 2009

Crystal Caves Home to Half-Tonne Treasure Chest

René Boissevain pictured with prized Maroccan Fossil purchased for a song in Tucson

René Boissevain, creator and founder of The Crystal Caves in Atherton, together with his manager Jim Russell recently embarked on a two week buying trip to the Tucson Gem Show in Arizona, US; returning home with a half-tonne treasure chest of rare gemstones, crystals, fossils and jewellery.

According to Mr Russell, their Tucson treasure is now on display which he says is a magnificent collection not yet seen in north Queensland.

“While some of the extra special pieces have been curated into the Crystal Caves themselves, the remaining gems are now on display in the gift shop,” he said.

The Tuscon Gem show is the biggest and most comprehensive show of its kind in the world, with miners, wholesalers and collectors from every continent showing off their very best gems each day for the two week duration of the event.

The show effectively takes over the whole city of Tucson, Arizona, with every conference centre and accommodation house playing host to the exhibitors and buyers.

Mr Russell said they were amazed at the very competitive prices being offered at the show this year.

“With increased international competition among vendors this year in Tucson, we were able to purchase many items - from beautiful Malachite carvings, rare stibnite crystals and even Australian Opals - at the lowest prices we have ever seen. And as a result, have been able to pass the savings on in our gift shop,” he said.

The new stock and exhibits are expected to continue following The Crystal Caves recent success with visitor numbers this year which recorded much higher traffic than any previous records and still growing.

Mr Boissevain said he believes this success is partly down to the fame of Crystal Caves’ prime attraction, the biggest Amethyst geode in the world, known to visitors as The Empress of Uruguay.

“Since being introduced into our collection last year, the Empress of Uruguy, word is rapidly spreading, with people from far and wide becoming aware of what a truly breathtaking sight she is.

• To find out more about Tucson Gem Show visit:
The Crystal Caves at 69 Main Street Atherton was established in 1983. Open seven days.

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