St. Marie aux Mines Show Report 1

22 June 2012

Welcome to the St. Marie aux Mines, Mineral and Gem Show 2012.

It's that time of year again and The St. Marie aux Mines Mineral and Gem show has hit the ground running after a year of uncertainty with regards to its continuation at this wonderful old mining town.
As many will be aware the show has been the topic of much speculation over recent years that it would be relocated to the nearby town of Colmar and over the last 12 months plans had been well established to put this into effect. However, with the wishes of the Mayor of St. Marie and government funding, a new team of dedicated and professional staff has ensured that the show was successfully returned to St Marie. Its future, for now at least, appears to be a little more secure.

With a new lavish look and layout for the booths in the main theatre marking just one of the changes, the majority of exhibitors it seems have great praise for the well organised event.

It is however with great regret that we have not seen many of our old friends who have organised the show in St. Marie aux Mines for the past 25 years. We hope that perhaps they will sometime in the near future put together another such successful event in France with the same degree of professionalism and experience that we have all come to expect of the St. Marie event. We miss them all.

View of the stunning hillside scenery around St. Marie aux Mines.

Wayne, Ian, Dave Lloyd, Dave Spiller and Audrey contemplating the setup arrangements for the following morning at our hide out and home in the hills behind St. Marie aux Mines.

The majority of our favourite dealers are all present here with but a few exceptions.

The streets are lined once more with the characteristic tents filled with Chinese, Moroccan, European and other worldwide dealerships, offering as ever, a great variety of minerals, fossils and gems - something for everyone, and there is always something new for the intrepid hunter.

It's a little overcast but enthusiasms are not dampened by the prospect of a shower or two.

A well known and respected regular Moroccan Dealer to this event, still preparing and already interested parties are rummaging through his better than average Moroccan mineral stock.

For the team at Crystal Classics and Kristalle our day starts with a customary early rise and visit to our favourite café for coffee and croissant with every attempt to resist the enticing cakes on offer in the bakery section. A difficult one!


Chocolate Bugs! Still just as tasty.

This year we were well prepared for the set-up, largely due to the preparation work carried out in advance by our teams back in Somerset and California.
With what amounted to having a day in hand the display was well arranged and set-up went without hitch, despite minor uncertainties which come with having a larger display booth and a different layout. We weren’t quite sure what to expect upon arrival!

The all new layout for the Crystal Classics / Kristalle booth at St. Marie.

Diana making a few final adjustments to one of the display cabinets.

Wayne, Ian and Lloydy takings things a little less than serious.

First inspections.

In recent weeks Crystal Classics and Kristalle have acquired some important collections with some fine classic mineral specimens. Here are a few pictures of the cabinets we have on display at St. Marie aux Mines.

A selection of fine Quartz specimens including some Japan law twins and a
classic La Gardette piece, together with a spectacular Malachite from The Congo amongst others.

Some important gem mineral specimens including two important Urucum (Brazil) Morganites and a fine Madagascan Tourmaline. The lower shelf has a fine Scorodite from Tsumeb, Namibia amongst other items.

Four fine Eagle's Nest Gold Specimens in our table top cabinet with other great miniatures.

Some of the colourful assortment of thumbnails we have in out table top cabinet.

Dave and Liz Hacker soon after their arrival.

One of our most recent aquisitions is this new find in Erongo, Namibia - Some impressive Fluorites on Crystals of Schorl Tourmaline. We were lucky enough to be in Erongo when this pocket was unearthed and we purchased the entire discovery, some sixty or so specimens . They are currently being shipped to the UK. If anyone is interested in any of these specimens please contact us by telephone or email. We will send details as soon as they become available.

A close up of the Fluorite.

We also have on display some new items from Tanzania.

Particularly cureous are these chrome Dravite crystal specimens from Landanai, Arusha region, Tanzania, some in matrix with an unusual and perhaps unexpected association - Sulphur.

Another Chrome Dravite from Landanai in matrix.

Also impressive are these large (2") terminated crystals of Epidote from
Mount Moudi, Arusha Region, Tanzania.

A particularly gemmy large Dodecahedral crystal of Tsavorite from
Merelani Hills, Arusha, Tanzania.

Also New are these Titanites (top) in matrix from the Dodoma region of Tanzania together with another specimen of the Tsavorite.

At least one of our Display cabinets was devoted to specimens from European localities. This one had mainly French specimens, including an array of fine Chessy Azurites as well as a particularly good Les Malines Bournonite.

A recent acquisition of specimens fro the Jeffrey Quarry, Asbestos, Quebec, Canada prompted us to devote part of a cabinet to this location:

A magnificent selection of Vesuvianites and Grossular Garnets, some enriched to a vibrant green colour by Chromium and others turned lilac to purple by Manganese.

A closer look at some of the Jeffrey Mine specimens.
Three really fine, richly coloured gemmy Grossular Garnet clusters with a Chromium Vesuvianite (pictured in more detail below). Two Chromium rich Grossular Garnet pieces to the lower right. The Specimen in the middle with it's label inverted is Serandite with Analcime from Mont St. Hilaire , Quebec, Canada.

A really fine matrix cavity lined with terminated Chromium rich Vesuvianite crystals.

Another Vesuvianite from Jeffrey Mine.
This time rich in Manganese giving it the lilac colouration and associated with lustrous, colourless blades of Diopside.

This specimen has been attracting quite a bit of attention. A great example of linarite with Caledonite from the Reward Mine, California.

A bright , yellow-orange cluster of barrell shaped Pyromorphites from Bunker Hill, Kellogg, Idaho, USA.

One of the most eye-catching specimens on display is this great, polished slice of Rhodochrosite from the Capillitas Mine, Andalgalá Department, Catamarca, Argentina, measuring in excess of 14" long.

That's it for the first round at St. Marie. As ever there is always a lot more we could show. Some, I hope will be on line in a couple of days.

Author: Dave Whipp
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