47th Ste-Marie-aux Mines Mineral Show 1st Report
24 June 2010
Bienvenue to the 47th Ste Marie-aux-Mines Mineral Show!
The weather has been kind to us so far - yet the temperature is rising slowly each day – hopefully the cool breeze will continue as the sun beats down on this pretty town nestled in the Vosges Mountains of the Alsace region of France.
Tuesday and Wednesday this week are the usual set up days for the dealers, with the show officially opening on Thursday 24th June. By the end of Tuesday many dealers had yet to arrive...
Still early days in the pretty French town - some dealers set up earlier than others.
Here's Robin standing next to one of our empty shelves on Tuesday
…and here are the cabinets nearing completion by the end of the day.
The Prestige Area in the Theatre is quite small so we adopted our usual condensed set up for this show.
Here's an overview of one cabinet
...and here's the overview of another cabinet!
Lovely Los Lamentos Wulfenites and classic Cornish minerals getting along fine in one of our cabinets.
A superb Hessite specimen
Of course with many other people setting up it is always tempting to see what emerges. Proyeros Minerales of Spain have a truly impressive new batch of HUGE Fluorite specimens from La Viesca Mine, Asturias, Spain. Many large sky blue to purple modified cubes of Fluorite associated with Quartz.
A huge Quartz bed with superb large blue Fluorite cubes from Asturias in Spain ( the Fluorite cubes to over 20cm on edge - nearly as big as David Lloyd's head!)
A close up of the above Fluorite - stunning!
Here's another gorgeous Asturias Fluorite cluster with an interesting hollow epimorph to the left-hand side of Quartz after Calcite (specimen is c. 20cm wide)
There is the usual array of Chinese dealers – many with similar looking stock. However, Huanqui Crystal Museum's stand had true blood red coloured Hematite included Quartz contrasting well with snow-white Dolomite and Chalcopyrite from Jiangxi Province.
Hematite Quartz and Dolomite from Jiangxi Province courtesy of Huanqui Crystal Museum
They also have some of the desirable lavender coloured Calcite from Daye Mine, albeit small crystals, but pleasingly associated with blue Fluorite.
Lavender Calcite with Fluorite from Daye Mine.
As it's a relatively short trip from the UK to St Marie, there are a few minerals dealers from there setting up too:
Dave and Liz Hacker, Dave Spiller, David Lloyd descend on Richard Taylor's table (shared with Allan and Elvire Mortimer).
The Mortimers/ Richard Taylor had some nice North of England Fluorites and other British, as well as international specimens. In this photo: a Frazers Hush Fluorite (LHS) and a Frosterley (not Rogerley) Fluorite (RHS) - both from Co. Durham, England
Ralph Sutcliffe is also in attendance with his usual array of quality British minerals. He has some excellent terminated Blue-John Fluorite specimens from Blue Cliff Vein, Witch's Cave, Number 26 Passage (initially discovered in 1926 between Showcave and a very old lead mine dating from the 1740s!), Treak Cliff Cavern, Castleton, Derbyshire. Blue-John of course is mainly stratiform in nature and only occasionally terminated - some of these specimens have cubes to c. 3cm on edge!
"Blue John" Fluorite specimen c. 14cm courtesy of Ralph Sutcliffe
Ste Marie is a great place to obtain Moroccan minerals and there is some interesting material around although finding quality pieces is increasingly difficult (and expensive!).
Relatively large Cerussite crystals (c. 2 to 3cm) on matrix from Mibladen, Midelt, Morocco
Cobaltoan Calcite - glistening "needle" crystals in great condition - specimen c. 8cm wide - from Bou Azzer, Morocco
Dyscrasite crystals in/on Calcite from Bouismas Mine, Bou Azzer, Morocco. Specimen c. 10cm wide.
Well, that's all for the time being - please come back for further show reports detailing news from Ste Marie 2010.
Set up days can be tiring from man and beast alike!
Bye for now
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