Schlema Mineral Show, Saxony, Germany - October 2009
7 October 2009
On the weekend of October 3rd, I was in the ancient Silver mining area of Saxony, to visit the 14th annual Mineral Show in Schlema. It is a very good show with a special emphasis on minerals. There are no jewellery, lapidary or non mineral/mining items allowed so over the years this has become a major gathering place for serious mineral collectors who just want to see minerals.
The show is held in the original working man's club which was built to entertain the miners and their families by the WismutAG mining company, when the Uranium and Silver mines of Schlema, and the surrounding towns like Aue and Alberoda, where operated.
During their working years these huge mines of this famous metalliferous province produced some very important mineral specimens like the fabulous Silvers, Proustites and Pyrargyrites that adorn the collections of most major museums around the world.
On the second floor of this venue is the Schlema mining museum which is an absolute must if you are visiting the area, you can follow the history of Schlema from the very beginning of the mines to the rehabilitation of the old dumps today. Check out this link for more details:
It is fascinating to see pictures from the area around Schlema before the Russians began mining Uranium after the 2nd world war. Highlighted here was the huge task of rehabilitating the huge Uranium waste heaps in this part of Saxony, which used to dominate the landscape, and required a multi-billion Euro investment to clean up.
There is still a very active self collecting scene in this region and new mineral species are still found occasionally (even today) on some of the dumps that are not yet fully landscaped.
One of the busy halls at the show
It is also worth noting that the biggest show for minerals in Saxony is held in the town of Aue (the date for 2010 is 2nd May) with 70 plus exhibitors from all over Europe with well over a thousand people attending in a day. For more details about the Schlema or Aue shows please contact Schlema show organisers Peter and Katrin Schlegel (A.-Schweitzer – Strasse 13; 08280 Aue; Phone: +49 (0)3771-53977).
The show in Schlema was really surprising. Most of the major mineral dealers from Germany attend the show and there was a great selection of new finds, classic minerals, rare minerals and mining memorabilia to be seen.
Baryte - Pohla, Erzgebirge, Germany
A great Native Bismuth from Schlema
And there was a new book written by Jörg Stark about Uranium minerals in Saxony (Uranminerale in Sachsen) which continues the work from Carl Schiffner in 1911.
Peter Wittur from Schömberg was offering self collected Garnets from Serifos, Greece which he found in the beginning of September. Peter regularly collects in and knows the Serifos locations pretty well and found these dark brown red Garnets with the new combination of Quartz in a single pocket. For the show he could only prepare a few of the Garnets he found, which are originally coated in Limonite but clean up very well to produce lovely display quality specimens as pictured below:
Garnet and Quartz from Serifos, Greece
Marcus Grossmann was exhibiting at the Schlema show for the second time and told me that he likes the relaxed atmosphere at the show and enjoys the picturesque area. He showed me some new Quartz specimens from Ganesh Himal found in August and also told me that he is expecting some great Aquamarines for Munich.
Quartz - Nepal
Another well known dealer Bernd Schumacher had some new Aquamarines with Schorl from the new find in the Erongo region in Namibia. The combination of the deep blue Aquamarine and black Schorl crystals was very striking. There was a quantity of this material at the Denver show but the specimens on offer here were a fraction of the price of those offered in the States.
Aquamarine and Schorl from Erongo, Namibia
Mr Pankow who was originally from Bulgaria and now living in Olbernau brought some nice Galenas with Calcite from the Madan, which where found 2 months ago.
Galena - Madan, Bulgaria
My friend from Leipzig Andre Gloger had just bought a new collection of classic minerals (and also some traditional miners costumes from the area):
Andre Gloger ready for action
Wolfgang Wendel was exhibiting for the first time at the show in Schlema and had a great selection of fine classic minerals.
Marcus Grossman at Wolfgang's booth
Fritz and Irmgard Schlegel, the parents of show organiser Peter Schlegel, have a small booth selling self collected rare species from the dumps of the Schneeberg area. Fritz Schlegel is in his mid seventies and still actively collects on the spoil heaps, he has found 8 new species over the last few decades!
Fritz and Irmgard Schlegel's booth here pictured with their granddaughter Diana Schlegel
The atmosphere at this show is really relaxed and you can feel the passion for minerals in the people who are visiting and exhibiting in Schlema. This show has striking similarities to the Bakewell show (that's where we'll be next weekend!) where the whole theme is about the love of collecting minerals, and only minerals!
Lapis also displayed their publications at the show
In summary the Schlema show was very well attended and I was pleasantly surprised by the good quality and variety of the minerals on offer.
Autunite - Bergen
Lastly, look who's label I happened to notice on one of the stalls. The Brits get everywhere...
Author: Diana Schlegel
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