Munich Mineral Show - 3rd Show report (ENGLISH VERSION)

4 November 2009

Continuing on with our show report...

Andreas Guhr of Mineralien Zentrums, and Rare Earth Decor,  had a booth across from us in the International Mineral Pavillion, and he had this very large specimen of Rubellite  with Albite and Quartz, found in April 1978 at Jonas Mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil, which caused quite a stir. The specimen was about 50cm in height, and the Rubellite was a fantastic deep rasberry red colour.

Rubellite, Albite and Quartz from Jonas Mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Paul Balayer had brand new finds of Olmiite, Oyelite and Celestine from the N'Chwaning Mines in South Africa. They had been mining in N'Chwaning II mine, following a fissure of Oyelite (a white Borosilicate mineral) finding excellent specimens on matrix:

Oyelite on matrix
Oyelite on matrix - white encrustations after Calcite

Then three months ago they uncovered a pocket of Olmiite, with blocky, lustrous salmon pink crystals. It is thought to be a new type of Olmiite - XRD has confirmed it is Olmiite and they are continuing with analysis. The specimens of Olmiite also have small white balls of Oyelite on the matrix. The whole pocket was removed and all the specimens saved.

Paul Balayer
Paul Balayer, with his new Olmiite specimens

Olmiite specimen from N'Chwaning II
Gorgeous specimen of salmon-pink Olmiite with white Oyelite

Paul has also been involved in a new find of Celestine from N'Chwaning III mine. This new mine is about 2 kilometres away from N'Chwaning II mine. There has not been too much new material out of this mine so far.

German dealer Armin Schoeler from Frankfurt had some really interesting news to tell us. His father Kurt was a miner in Siegerland, Germany who then moved to the Harz Mountains, and then to Wolsendorf, in Bavaria. He was collecting minerals - both as a self collector and as a part time dealer - during the 1950s up until 1961 when he sold his whole collection. In the summer of last year (2008) Armin saw for the first time a label from his father's original collection,  and now has managed to find and purchase two specimens from his father's collection including the old labels! This is the first time he has ever seen any of the specimens his father once owned.

Armin specimens
The two specimens at the front of the table are the first two Armin has found from his father's collection.

Armin's labels
Two label from Armin's father's collection - Kurt Schoeler of Wolsendorf.

If anyone owns or has seen any specimens with labels such as these from Armin's father's original collection, Armin would be very interested to hear from you, and possibly to purchase back the specimens for his family. Please contact him:

Jolyon Ralph of Mindat was around at the show, busy finding new information for his show report on (the competition!) so we traded some information on what we had seen, and Jolyon showed us these new evaporites from Egypt that he had found on the stand of Piasco, Luigi Vittorio.

Egyptian Evaporites
New Evaporites from Egypt such as Burkeite.

Ian found this gorgeous Pentagonite specimen from Poona, India. This specimen was collected only a few weeks ago. It was on the booth of Wilke Mineralien.

Pentagonite specimen
A gorgeous and delicate Pentagonite specimen.

Luka's minerals had this super specimen of Quartz with included Papagoite and Ajoite - it is very rare to see both minerals included in the one Quartz crystal

Papagoite and Ajoite in Quartz
Bright blue Papagoite and pale green Ajoite included in Quartz

The Bergakameie of Freiberg had a lovely display at the show, the curator of the Mineral Collection Andreas Massanek is pictured with his colleague Karin Rank. If you ever get the chance to visit the Schloss Freudenstein Terra Mineralia Collection in Freiberg it is an amazing museum - an article to be posted soon on our visit there!

Freiberg Museum
Bergakademie Freiberg

The show was spread over four halls instead of three this year, which was a little confusing at first, but I think it gave the show a better structure. Our hall was dominantly minerals, containing both the International Mineral Pavillion, and the mineral special exhibits. Then there was the Gemworld Hall which was dominantly gemstone and jewellery dealers. This hall also had their own 'high-end' pavillion with some really stunning cutstones and carvings.


Our friends at Radiant Diamonds (who for the past two years were opposite us in the International Mineral Pavillion) were in the Gemworld Pavillion and had this amazing 11.46 ct Diamond, completely natural octahedron with a perfectly symmetrical 'flower petal' shaped hydrogen cloud inclusion. Due to the orientation of the 'petals', the flower was exactly the same no matter which way you turned the octahedron, it was always the same through each of the diamond faces. Amazing!!

Diamond with petals
Natural Diamond octahedron with hydrogen cloud inclusions shaped like flower petals.

The third hall was Fossil land, dominantly with Fossil dealers, plus some minerals thrown in, and special exhibits. The most exciting display here for me was the Archaeopteryx fossil. Archaeopteryx are thought to be the transitional fossils between dinosaurs and birds, with the fossils showing characteristics of both. The initial discovery was the fossil of a single feather in 1860, and one year later the first body fossil was found. To this day, eleven body fossils, plus the initial feather have been found in total, and six of these fossils and the famous feather were on display at the show - amazing!

The Solnhofen Specimen was discovered in the 1960s near Eichstätt, Germany and is the largest specimen found, fossil plate is about 40cm in length.

The Eichstätt Specimen was discovered in 1951 or 1955 near Workerszell, Germany, approx 40cm wide plate

 The Thermopolis Specimen, now in the Wyoming Dinosaur Centre, approx 30cm across the picture width.

The area in which the Archaeopteryx were displayed was beautifully set up with mist rolling off the water - one thing that I really love about this show is the amount of thought and effort that goes into the displays.

Dinosaur displays
Dinosaur and Archaeopteryx display

There was even a caveman further up the hall making his own tools.


Also in the Fossil Hall was a special exhibit of Alpine Quartz and pink Fluorites from Planggenstock Mts, Uri, Switzerland. The specimens were found by Franz von Arx of  company Bergkristalle and his godson Elio Muller, and long time collecting partner Paul von Kanel. Franz and Paul first starting searching for Quartz in the Planggenstock Mts in 1993. About 100 pockets are found every year in the area. They were so taken by the thrill of exploring and collecting that they gave up their jobs and lived in a small shed in the mountains (which they called the 'Crystal Inn') year round to continue hunting for crystals. At first they were not allowed to do any blasting so the removal of the hard granite blocks was done by hand.  They had success in uncovering water clear Quartzes in 2005, but it was on 19 Sept 2008 that they hit the jackpot with a pocket of crystals of the best quality they had seen. The Quartz crystals were absolutely massive (crystals of 60 to 140cm in length), water clear and very lustrous, and some had octahedral pink Fluorites on them. They worked for more than a month to remove the crystals from the pocket, transporting them out on a railroad they had built themselves. It is reported that the whole pocket has sold to the City of Bern in Switzerland for a cool 4.5 million Euros. Congratulations to Franz, Paul and Elio!

A huge cluster of Quartz crystals about 80cm across.

Bergkristalle and Fluorite
Bergkristalle and a bright pink Fluorite octahedron (it appears redder in the photos due to the lighting and my camera). Quartz crystal was about 20cm high

Fluorite on Bergkristalle
Pink Fluorite octahedrons on Bergkristalle. Again the Fluorites were more pink in real life. The specimen is about 50cm in height

Near the Alpine display, there was several displays from different collectors. Bernhard Sick has this fabulous display of specimens and labels from Isaac Walker.

Isaac Walker display
Photo courtesy of Bernhard Sick

Isaac Walker specimens

Isaac Walker (1794-1853) was a British collector, and his collection was accompanied by beautifully handwritten labels. Mr Walker was a member of the English firm of brewers - Taylor, Walker and Co.  Many of the best specimens in Mr Walker's collection were purchased via auction from Henry Heuland between 1827 and 1846.

The mineral theme of the show this year was Indian Minerals. The display area was beautifully set up, and even had its own bazaar selling spices and fabrics, plus an Indian food restaurant.

Indian display

Carved Elephant
Carved Elephant lit from beneath

Indian Bazaar
Indian Bazaar selling spices and fabrics

One of the highlights of the display was an Aquamarine crystal - the largest ever found in India. The colour was just stunning


The main mineral displays were from the Museum of Sargoti, Nashik, and featured the minerals that India is most famous for - their Zeolites.

Mesolite and Apophyllite from Poona
Mesolite and Apophyllite from Poona.

Apophyllite and Stilbite
Green Apophyllite and Stilbite from Nagar

Pentagonite and Stilbite
Pentagonite and Stilbite from Wagoli

Stilbite on Chalcedony
Stilbite on Chalcedony from Nasik

Indian Art
Indian Art, and a huge vug lined with Apophyllite and Stilbite

There was also some quite beautiful Indian jewellery on display

Emerald necklace
Gold, Emerald, Diamond and Pearl necklace

Indian necklace#
Gold, Ruby, Emerald and Diamond necklace

Huge congratulations must go to the organisers of the Munich show: Johannes, Hermi and Christoph Keilmann and all their helpers. The show is very well organised, and the imaginative displays everywhere throught out the show really make it very special. The themed exhibits are always beautifully decorated, and incorporate a whole range of non-mineral ideas such as food stand or bizarres to really set the scene. We look forward to another successful show next year!

Author: Robin and Ed
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