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...

early doors

Still early days in the pretty French town - some dealers set up earlier than others.

Robin - empty shelves

Here's Robin standing next to one of our empty shelves on Tuesday


CC cabinets

…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.

cc cabinets


Here's an overview of one cabinet


cc cabinet


...and here's the overview of another cabinet!


Wulfenite and Liroconite

Lovely Los Lamentos Wulfenites and classic Cornish minerals getting along fine in one of our cabinets.


cc Hessite

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.

Spanish Fluorite D Lloyd

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!)


Asturias Fluor closeup

A close up of the above Fluorite - stunning!


Asturias Fluor with epimorph

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


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 and 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:

Team at Mortimers table


Dave and Liz Hacker, Dave Spiller, David Lloyd descend on Richard Taylor's table (shared with Allan and Elvire Mortimer).


UK fluors


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 Crystals


"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!).

Cerussite Morocco


Relatively large Cerussite crystals (c. 2 to 3cm) on matrix from Mibladen, Midelt, Morocco


Cobalto Calcite Morocco


Cobaltoan Calcite - glistening "needle" crystals in great condition - specimen c. 8cm wide - from Bou Azzer, Morocco


Dyscrasite 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

Author: Ed
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