2021 – The Year of Fluorescent Minerals

By: Conrad North, #1904, Centennial, CO, darksideoflight22@outlook.com

It seems like it was just yesterday… actually it was about 365 yesterday’s ago…that the FMS announced that the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society (TGMS) will feature fluorescent minerals as its 2021 Show theme.

In line with that announcement, and the 50th anniversary of the FMS, the TGMS Show Committee invited the FMS to take the lead in planning one of the largest displays of fluorescent minerals ever presented.

During the past year, numerous meetings, phone calls, and e-mails transpired between the FMS Tucson 2021 Show Committee and the TGMS Show Committee in resolving locational needs, display requirements, city services, and a host of other open ended questions. We are pleased to announce that the major issues have been resolved and we have secured a large, dark, display area in a room just off the main display floor at the Tucson Convention Center. This area could accommodate approximately 100 fluorescent display case (it did 78 in 1996) so we have space available

We are still building our exhibitor list and accepting requests for participation from FMS Members and individuals, so our numbers are not yet firm, but we currently have commitments for approximately 30 or more cases of high-quality fluorescent minerals from all over the world.  Both museums and individuals will be displaying so we would invite you to display a case or two.

Even though we are requesting that exhibitors bring their own cases and lights, we realize not everyone has display lights and/or cases. So, we will have a limited number of display cases and display lights for those able to only bring their minerals to the Show.

Since we are not yet sure of our final number of exhibitors or our light/case requirements, we are currently limited to providing lights and cases on a first come, first serve basis. So, the sooner you sign up as a prospective exhibitor, the more likely cases and/or lights will be available. We are also working with three light manufacturers (UV Systems, Inc. Way Too Cool, and UVP) to explore possible show pricing discounts if exhibitors wish to purchase a light at the show. We are also looking at the potential of renting lights as an alternative to acquiring a light. When finalized, details of these programs will be provided on the FMS website and future issues of the FMS Waves.

Courtesy of UV SYSTEMS, Inc.

Wanted: A Poster Child

As noted in an earlier Waves, one of the early tasks is to find a photogenic mineral specimen—perhaps several—that we can submit to the TGMS show committee to consider as a possible subject for a show poster. We are looking for a nice display-quality white-light crystal specimen that contains at least two different colored fluorescent minerals.  A calcite/ fluorite specimen from Dalnegorsk or Morocco would qualify, for example, as would a calcite/scheelite specimen in which both species are well crystallized. The specimen must be of sufficiently high quality under both white light and ultraviolet light that it would be suitable for use on a poster for the 2021Tucson Show. This opportunity to enter this competition is open to everyone.

If you have a specimen that you would like to be considered, please take both a white light and UV photograph of it and send them to either Al Liebetrau at al@uvminerals.org , or George  Polman at gpolman@polmanminerals.com.

Don’t worry about the quality of your photographs because they will be used only to select candidate specimens. Any specimen or specimens that are selected for a TGMS show poster will be professionally photographed.


As you can imagine, there are many, many tasks that must be completed to assure the show comes together eighteen months from now. To date, we have assembled a large group of people to man the ten subcommittees of the Show Committee, but as expected, we need additional assistance to help with some of the finer points. So, we are seeking additional resources to assist us in putting all the parts together.

Please take a look at the list below and see if there is an area that interest you:

1 – Communications

2 – Displays (exhibitor participation)

3 – Cases (internal components)

4 – Lights

5 – Setup (assistance/coordinate)

6 – Publicity

7 – Programs/Presentations

8 – Visitor Assistance

9 – Tear Down (disassembly/storage)

10 – Response (trouble shooting)

Al Liebetrau will be leading the planning effort, with assistance from George Polman and myself. The opportunity to serve on the TGMS-FMS show committee is open to anyone, so please contact Al Liebetrau at (al@uvminerals.org or 531-504-4751) if you would like to contribute. Committee actions will be reported on the web site and in the Waves going forward.

Don’t Miss It!

It may be many years before you will have an opportunity to display in such a large exhibit of fluorescent minerals (possibly record setting), so you won’t want to miss this one.

The dates of the 2021 TGMS Show are February 11-14, 2021

Put the dates on your calendar. This is one show you don’t want to miss!