St. Marie aux Mines Show Report 2

24 June 2012


Dave, Dave and Aud.
Late shift, early breakfast. Back at the den. Scrammbled egg on toast.
Life doesn't get much better!

The St. Marie aux Mines, Mineral and Gem Show is in full swing and for our second update on what’s here a tour around the main theatre and outside in the tent lined streets was the main aim, to see if we could find some of those new mineral items.


Queues this Morning (Saturday) of eager mineral hunters outside the main entrance waiting to pass the barriers.

In the Theatre, as ever, the quality was there.
Many said the dealers had excelled themselves this year.

My first port of call was to Marie Louise Navarro who had an array of richly coloured and eye-catching clusters of orange Creedite with associated Fluorite from the Navidad mine, Rodeo, Durango Mexico. These were quite large sculptural specimens – up to 8” and 10”. Very appealing.


A close look at one of the larger Creedite examples with an irregular shaped Fluorite crystal towards the base.
The specimen measures about 7" tall.

Luis Burillo had his usual impressive selection of worldwide mineral specimens including this cute Vesuvianite on Grossular Garnet from The Italian Alps.


Gemmy, prismatic pale green Vesuvianites on orange-red Grossular crystals from the Alpe delle Frasse, Condove, Susa Valley, Torino Province, Piedmont, Italy.

Luis also had a range of excellent specimens from the Panasqueira Mines, Castelo Branco District, Portugal. Not easy to come by good examples of specimens from this location now. Here are just a few that he had.


A selection of fine Fluorapatite groups, both green and Lilac in colour.


Another tabular Fluorapatite from Panasqueira, this time in association with pale cream coloured calcite.
The specimen measures approx. 3" across.


Luis had a number of great Arsenopyrites from Panasqueira.
This is just one measuring appx. 6" with large terminated crystals.

Frederic Escaut of Escaut minerals, based in Paris, showed me two French Faden Quartz/matrix specimens which he had tucked away in a cupboard. These were interesting from the point of view that the associated calcite crystals on each piece were different in colour, despite the specimens originating from the same location.

Understandably both of these specimens sold soon after I saw them.


Fine 2” tall fadens standing in calcite crystal matrix from Col d’Ornon, Isere, France.
This specimen measures approximately 6”.


The other specimen from Col d’Ornon, Isere, France with slightly creamy coloured Calcites.
Approx. 8” in size from end to end.

Rudolf Watzl of Watzl Minerals always has a great selection of minerals. Based in Austria, you might imagine their booth is always a good source of Alpine specimens. This year at St. Marie they had one or two other cureosities.

There have been beautiful examples of Veracruz Amethysts on the market for a number of years now, but sceptred crystals are not so Common. This is a particularly stunning example:


Amethyst sceptre crystals from Piedra Parada, Veracruz, Mexico.
Note the inclusion in the top of the crystal 2nd from left.

Rudolf also had this fine single spray of Legrandite standing approximately 1.1/2" tall.


Legrandite "Fan" from the Ojuela Mine, Mapimí, Durango, Mexico.

Perhaps not as attractive as some of the more colourful minerals in the show, this Eudidymite from Pakistan has to be marked as a rarity.


Eudidymite from Mullah Ghori, Khyber agency, F.A.T.A. Pakistan.
Approx. 2" tall.

Another less common specimen was this piece of Ludlamite with associated  Vivianite from Brazil.


Ludlamite with Vivianite from Amazonas Mine, Brazil.

Here's a rare Amethyst, this time from Austria, also on the Watzl minerals Stand.


Amethyst from Mörchnerkar, Ziller valley, Tyrol, Austria.
Approx. 2.1/2" tall.

Venturing out of the main Theatre in St. Marie there's a lot to be found and you cannot really expect to see everything, there is just so much.
Here are a few of the things we stumbled across.


One of the many Chinese tents with the usual range of colourful mineral specimens.


A large Chinese Stibnite - nearly 14" across the base. (Courtesy - Minerama)

Flats of minerals from Morocco are found as usual in a variety of tents. Finding new and interesting material can be a task. We came across this flat of blue Baryte clusters in one dealers tent.

We bought just the best two of these though, pictured below.


Blue Baryte from Nador, Morocco.

I visited the tent taken by John Argyle (AVM Natural Stone) of England who had his usual great range of Dullcote Geodes, cut and polished.


A closer view of one of these Dulcote geodes.
This one measures around 7" diameter.

Although very pretty, these Meta-Autunites from France are quite radioactive having uranium in their composition. These are specimens which need to be handled with a great deal of care.
They were on display in one of the main halls.


Meta-Autunite from Haute Vienne, France.

Javed Iqbal of Hitech Enterprises had a selection of specimens from Pakistan including loose well formed transparent Bastnaesites (some with rutile inclusions), and loose rich pink Eosphorites, but perhaps of most interest were these well shaped Columbites:


Terminated black, opaque Columbite crystal group measuring around 1.1/4" across from Badakhshan.


Single Columbite crystal from Badakhshan measuring about 1"


This small Columbite crystal group, measuring a round 1/2", is resting on a small Aquamarine which in turn rests on Feldspar. From Badakhshan.

Indian mineral dealers - Large Wings International, had some new calcite clusters from Aurangabad and some amazing clusters of Apophyllite with inclusions of Celadonite giving them the characteristic gray green colour.


Calcite from Aurangabad, India.


One of the largest specimens of Apophyllite with Celadonite from the Yeola Quarry, Nashik, India.

Karp Minerals based in the Czech Republic had a lot of minerals from Burma (Myanmar) including some matrix specimens of the now well documented Phenakite crystals.
They also had these newly discovered Löllingite specimens from Inner Mongolia:


Löllingite from Mine No.1, Huanggang, Inner Mongolia, China.


A closer view of one of the Löllingites, measuring around 5" end to end.

Working hard to promote the first Mineral and Gem Show in China which is scheduled to take place in May 2013, Wei Li, Yunfu Gao and Amy Guan. We wish them every success for this promising new event.


One of the tent lined streets packed with collectors and dealers this morning.


Diana and Ian with Marty Zinn


Gem-A (Midlands branch) members and representatives Ann and Paul.


The Mayor of St. Marie giving a speech and presentation in the centre of the show on the day of it's opening.


Some of the local folks dressed in traditional mining costume.


Christian Egeler and Yue Tutt who played a fundamental role in aiding the Mayor and his team by securing bookings from regular dealers who have frequented the shows in years gone by, as well as new participants.
We know they have worked tirelesly at wordwide events, with limited time at their disposal. A great deal of thanks for the success of the show is due to their hard work.


The Mayor of St. Marie Claude Abel with Deputy Mayor Josiane Antenat.


The Mayor of St. Marie Claude Abel with the primary members of his team who have joined together in what must have seemed an insurmountable task. They have succeeded in continuing a show that has been well organised and we at Crystal Classics and Kristalle congratulate them all for their tremendous efforts.
We wish them continued success with this event which has over may years become part of a way of life for many mineral, fossil and gemstone dealers and collectors.

The overall impressions of the show amongst the dealers was that it was incredibly well organised and the attendance was up on past years. We certainly had record sales and most dealers with quality minerals had the same experience.

Well done guys!!
I think we shall all look forward to next years event.

I know this guy will!

Author: Dave Whipp
Categories: News & Information