61st Mineral Show in Freiberg

23 June 2010

On our way to Ste. Marie-aux-Mines Mineral show Ian, David Lloyd, Wayne and I decided to visit one of the most famous cities for Silver mining in Germany - Freiberg.
Freiberg has a mining history that is more than 800 years old, and it is also home of the collection of Dr. Erika Pohl, which is displayed in the newly restored Castle Freudenstein. This weekend also coincided with the 61st Mineral show of Freiberg.

We arrived on the Friday so we had enough time to visit the mineral exhibit in the Castle Freudenstein. It was Wayne and David's first visit to Freiberg and they were fascinated by the 3500 specimens which are on display. We fully recommend a visit if you have the chance to visit Freiberg - we hope to have a special report on the Terra Mineralia later this year.

But now let’s get started with the show report from Freiberg.

Ian Bruce and Katrin Schlegel at the show.

160 exhibitors from all over the world, although mainly European, were at the show and offered a wide selection of classics and new minerals. Most of the exhibitors make their way directly to the Ste. Marie show after Freiberg, and we were impressed by how many international dealers appeared at the show.

With 2000 visitors for a one day show, Freiberg is definitely one of the better attended shows in Saxony. 

Joachim Freund, one of the members of the society of Freiberger Mineral Friends who organise the event, told me that only a small percentage of jewellery and carvings are allowed at the show - their aim is to present a fine selection of minerals. There is also a special exhibition every year, this year the theme was Namibian Minerals. Private collectors display their specimens over four showcases to exhibit the wide range of minerals from different localities.

Malachite pseudomorph after Azurite from Tsumeb, Namibia - one of the many beautiful specimens in the special exhibition.

On the booth of Miroslav Rezars, from Slovenia, who will also attend Ste Marie show, we saw this incredible Rutile specimens from Remedio, Brazil. The glow and the fire of the Rutile star in the Smoky Quartz were really impressive. 

Rutile in Quartz,  Remedio, Brazil, approx 15 x 10cm

On the stand of Gunther Zimmermann, who seems to attend every show in Germany, was a new find of Topaz from Ameib, Erongo – Namibia. This locality has become a regular supplier for new specimens with particularly attractive specimens. Topaz was found on its own or in combination with Smoky Quartz or sizeable Schorl Tourmaline with Smoky Quartz. These specimens were found between November and December in 2009.

Topaz with Smoky Quartz from Erongo, Namibia

Now seen commonly at the mineral shows - the blue Erongo Aquamarines with Schorl.

In the early hours of the show, the hall was packed with people and it was very difficult for us to make our way forward and have a look at all the booths. Eventually we met Zeb Gul from Hadamar, Germany. He showed us this superb moss green Tourmaline from Paprok, Afghanistan.

Tourmaline - Paprok, Afghanistan

The Tourmaline was so gemmy and lustrous that it was hard to move on, so we talked about the difficulties of obtaining new material from Pakistan and Afghanistan. Zeb told me that due to the presence of the military and the strong restrictions on mining licenses it has become very hard to get pieces out of the country. Another fact is that over the last few years many mines have closed and there are now only 10-20 mines left of the original 200! This has led to prices for both the minerals and the transport going through the roof … unfortunately old suppliers have had to go.

Never the less Geb showed me another really impressive specimen, a new combination of Morganite with green Tourmaline on Calcite, Feldspar and Quartz from Paprok, Afghanistan.

Morganite with green Tourmaline on Calcite, Fedspar and Quartz from Paprok, Afghanistan.

On Michael Ochels' booth we found these cute little Dioptase specimens from the Kaokoveld Plateau, Kunene in Namibia which were mined this year in March and April. The crystals grow up to 2 centimetres and were also found in combination with Wulfenite up to 1cm and Shattuckite.

Nice green Dioptase from the Kaokoveld Plateau, Kunene, Namibia.

The whole feel of the show was enjoyable, with the visitors sharing the passion of minerals, reminding us of shows like Bakewell and Haywards Heath in the UK.

We will be back for the next Mineral Show in Freiberg, to tour around the town and step back in time where Silver mining was a daily part of this city and made Freiberg to one of the wealthiest cities in Saxony...

Tune in soon for all the latest news from the Ste Marie-aux-Mines Mineral show in France 2010!

Author: Diana Schlegel & Ian Bruce
Categories: News & Information

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