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Ancient artifacts catch the eyes of Tucson gem show enthusiasts - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Ancient artifacts catch the eyes of Tucson gem show enthusiasts

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TUCSON- Pre-historic relics are plentiful at the Co-Op Mineral and Fossil Gallery; from the hulking presence of a mammoth to the grim nature of fish fossils to the daunting dinosaur.

"It's like walking into a museum of ultimate beauty and antiquity,” said Thomas Lindgren, president of GeoDecor.

Lindgren’s fossil fixation dates back to his childhood years.

"From the day I started digging dinosaurs or digging fossils or collecting eggets in Minnesota as a youngster, I always have been extremely excited and passionate about what I do,” Lindgren said.

One of the big attractions at the GeoDecor exhibit is a 23-foot long Stegosaurus skeleton, which was discovered in north central Wyoming in 2011.

"After it was prepared, they realized it was at least 90 percent original -- unbelievably complete,” Lindgren said.

The Stegosaurus is going for $3.5 million.

Also featured is a Tyrannosaurus Rex skull, dug up in Montana.   

“This one was discovered in 2015 near the Fort Peck reservoir in Montana so this is the first time this dinosaur skull has ever been at public exhibition,” Lindgren said.

For 21-year-old Adam Ball of Midland, Texas, visiting the Tucson Gem show is a tradition.  

He’s the co-owner of Ammolite Enterprises, having helped run the business since 8th grade.

This is Ball’s tenth year visiting one of Tucson’s most prominent events.

"You can still come back here with expectations of there's a new fossil, there's a new mineral, you can always find something new that you don't know and even if you don't buy anything you can just learn so much from just talking to all the dealers and stuff. That's what I find fun,” Ball said.

The Co-Op Mineral and Fossil Gallery is located at 1635 N. Oracle Rd.

Doors open at 10 a.m. and close at 6 p.m.

The show continues through February 11.

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