Crystal Classics Open Day - 2-3 Dec 2011

19 December 2011

Crystal Classics held their first ever Open Day on 2nd and 3rd Dec 2011, featuring the largest accumulation of fine British Minerals to come on the market in many years. The Open Day had a dual purpose - a chance to invite our friends and customers to visit our office and showroom and give it an official opening; and to premier several collections including the Lindsay Greenbank, Mick Cooper, and Pearl Freeman collections.

Preparation took several weeks as we rearranged all of our office space to create a further four showrooms in addition to our permanent showroom. New drawer units were built and every specimen was gone through and checked ready for the day. We really did not realise just how many specimens we had until we had this chance to go through them all! Here are some photos of the set up process:

New drawer units

Filling the drawers

Drawers filled and ready to go

We split the offices into showrooms by locations - South of England and Worldwide in the permanent showroom, North of England and the Americas in the main office room, Tsumeb and other fine display minerals in Ian's office, and a special 'Make us an offer' discount section in Dave's office.

Diana Schlegel works on the display cabinets in the showroom

Diana Schlegel

Steve Rust and Robin Hansen converting prices into GBP, and checking labels.

We were thankful to have David and Elizabeth Hacker join us to help set up and display minerals.

Liz Hacker works on the North of England displays

Dave Hacker works on the displays in Ian's office

Robin Hansen and Dave Whipp discuss specimens

David Lloyd checks he is happy with the preparation of the minerals


Audrey Lloyd and Ian Bruce have a well deserved sit down and discuss the layout

Ian and Diana's friend Eric Zwiebel (the famous Sommelier from The Summer Lodge, Evershot) stops by to see the progress

Florie is back from her trip to the pooch beauty parlor ready to meet and greet.

Some mineralogical props to add to displays

Tsumeb props for the Tsumeb display

New signs to direct people to the office

The catering for the event was by the wonderful team in the East Coker Tearooms - located in front of our office. They do a fantastic job providing delicious homemade meals and cakes (what would we do for our lunches without them!) and they are well worth a visit to coincide with your visit to our showrooms. The tearooms are run by Mencap and also provide a teaching facility for the students in a warm and friendly environment.

The East Coker Tearooms team including Marilyn and Anne

Set up complete, the office was ready for the Open Day and looked spectacular. Here is a virtual tour of the office.

The main office, now the North of England showroom

North of England showroom

Calcites from the North of England

Barytes from the North of England

Fluorites from the North of England

Closeup of the Fluorites

Fluorites - many from the Lindsay Greenbank Collection

Unusual Fluorite at the front in the shape of an engine house from Blackdene Mine - ex. Mick Cooper Collection; a gorgeous green Rogerley Mine Fluorite on the left - ex. Lindsay Greenbank collection; Pyrite, Quartz and Fluorite specimen from Cambokeels Mine - ex. Lindsay Greenbank Collection

A huge Fluorite from Blackdene Mine - just look at the stunning colours in this specimen - ex. Ben de Wit Collection

Classics including Linarite, Pyromorphite, Mimetite, Witherite and more...

Mimetite var Campylites, Pyromorphites and Plumbogummite, plus a great selection of Leadhills, Scotland specimens

More Pyromorphites and Campylites

Campylites, Linarites and Caledonites

A huge Witherite specimen from Fallowfield Mine, Northumberland with many large well formed crystals, this was on display at the recent Munich show as part of the European Classics special display.

This is a really great specimen - Sphalerite from Smallcleugh Mine, Cumbria growing on what is thought to be a fossiled Crinoid steam. Collected in the mid 1970s, ex. Lindsay Greenbank Collection

Down to Ian's office through the archway:

View into Ian's office

Ian's office - the Tsumeb and worldwide mineral specimen room.

Gorgeous minerals including two huge Morganite crystals from Brazil and a Rhodonite from Peru

More Worldwide minerals including Native Silver and Golds on the second shelf, a large Topaz on the top right.

Fine Tsumeb Minerals

A large Boracite and Hilgardite specimen from Boulby, North Yorkshire - ex. Lindsay Greenbank Collection

The permanent showroom, which become the Cornwall and Devon, and worldwide showroom:

The Showroom

Cornish and Devon Minerals

North American Minerals

Tsumeb and other African minerals

Gem Minerals

Australia and other worldwide locations

Asian and minerals from other locations

European Minerals

German and European Minerals


We had our usual selection of mineralogical books and magazines for sale (please click here to see what is available through our website)

Books for sale in Diana's office

We also had a special 'Make us an offer' Section where you could get a great specimen at a bargain price. To see more discounted specimens and make us a reasonable offer, please click here

'Make us an offer' room

Friday arrived and the team was ready:

Robin Hansen, Dave Hacker, Audrey Lloyd, Steve Rust, Liz Hacker, Ian Bruce, Diana Schlegel, Dave Whipp, Dave Lloyd and Florie

Ian Bruce and Diana Schlegel

Signs posted the way - photograph courtesy of Roy Starkey

The Friday dawned thankfully sunny, for there was quite a queue waiting for several hours for the 10am opening.

Ian greets some of the first wave of visitors - photograph courtesy of Roy Starkey

Happy customers line up ready for opening at 10am.

The main rush was straight for the drawers of Cornish and Devon specimens - one of the best selections of minerals from this area to come on the market for many years, including Cassiterites, Cuprites, Liroconite, Chalcophyllites, Siderite 'Lady's Slipper', Calcites from Herodsfoot, Cassiterite pseudomorphs after Orthoclase from Wheal Coates, to name a few and specimens were quickly snapped up. With the mines in Cornwall long closed, specimen can only come to market through the selling of old collections and it is rare to have an accumulation such as this in one place.

Steve Rust chats with Courtney Smale

Other visitors were straight in to the North of England showroom, including Peter Burr (on right) who came from Germany for the Opening.

Florie says hello to Steve Plant

John Cooke and Richard Bell to the left.

Diana and Robin writing up invoices and wrapping the rocks

We were really pleased to welcome so many visitors to our showrooms, including so many visitors who had come from overseas just for the weekend!

Gunther Hoppe with Ian, Gunther also came from Germany for the weekend with his lovely wife Amy and son Austin

Ralph Sutcliffe (who drove down from the North of England just for the weekend) with Joan and Jesse Fisher (who flew in from the USA that day)

Christine Rust with Joris (who came from The Netherlands - driving all night to reach us on the Open Day) and Joan

Emmanuel Bravais who also came from Germany for the weekend

Jesse Fisher, Steven Seymour Smith and Terence Pendred

Chris Finch with his wife Meryl

Lloydy welcomes the visitors

Colin Milner-Walker chats with Ian

On the Saturday we were very pleased to have members of the Sussex Mineral and Lapidary Society visit us:

John Pearce with Peter Briscoe and his partner Judith Hedley

Don Ford (the only remaining founder member of SMLS) and Pam Pearce

Dave Whipp with Joris

One of our visitors takes a quick nap in the cafe : )

The two days were a great success and we thank everyone that were able to come and visit us. 

Empty drawers at the end of the day.

For those who were unable to make the Open Day we will be posting several updates of specimens to give an overview of the minerals that we had available at the Open Day. If you have any particular wants, please let us know by clicking here and we would be pleased to send you further information and photographs of specimens that might be of interest.

The Open Day will become a regular event here at Crystal Classics, likely to be held earlier in the year next year - we will keep you updated. Our showroom is also now open to the public Monday to Friday - 9.30 to 5pm, so we invite you to visit us anytime. It is always worth calling ahead to let us know, especially if you would like to see Ian as he has a very hectic travel schedule for most of the year.

We look forward to seeing you here soon!

Author: The Team
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