Sussex Mineral Show Report

12 November 2012

haywards heath mineral show sussex

Hot off the heels of the Munich show the Crystal Classics team are back in the UK and setting up again at the Sussex Mineral and Lapidary Society 's annual show.
Set in the southern county of Sussex this regular one day event held in the town of Haywards Heath has become one of Britain's favourite events with many enthusiasts travelling from all over the UK and dealers from other countries in Europe, all looking to see what they can add to their mineral collections.

steve rust crystal classics
Steve Rust manning the Crystal Classics stand at Haywards Heath.

Crystal Classics chose to display a large range of mineral books and a selection of high quality world wide specimens together with a single cabinet devoted especially for previewing some of the fine British specimens which will be available at our forthcoming open day later this month.

mineral cabinet
Our main cabinet displays at Haywards Heath this year with a selection of worldwide mineral specimens to the left with our Open Day Preview Case on the right with a selection of rare British specimens on display.

Here are a few of the items a little closer:

Fluorite illinois
Interlocking yellow and purple colour zoned cubes of Fluorite from Cave-in-Rock, Hardin County, Illinois, USA.

open day preview specimens
Some of the specimens in our Open Day Preview show case.

sphalerite, Fluorite, Galena Derbyshire
Sphalerite on Fluorite with Galena from Derbyshire, England.
Specimen measures 7cm across.

blister copper, cornwall
A fine "Blister copper" Chalcopyrite from Cook's Kitchen Mine, Illogan, Cornwall, England. - also in our preview case.

Each year the society puts on special displays and this year it was the turn of the Williams Caerhays Mineral collection which is held at Caerhays Castle.
A few of their fine specimens were exhibited as well as a banner explaining a little about the history of the collection.


Cassiterite after Orthoclase coates
Five superb examples of Cassiterite pseudomorphing Orthoclase Feldsper, each measuring around 1.1/2",  from Wheal Coates mine, St. Agnes, Cornwall, England.

fluorite, gorland
An exceptional specimen of blue, translucent Fluorite from Wheal Gorland, St Day, Gwennap, Cornwall, England. Individual cubes measuring in excess of 1".

Azurite Chessy
Another exceptional specimen - a cluster of large Azurite crystals with a little Malachite from Chessy-les-Mines, Le Bois d'Oingt, Rhône, Rhône-Alpes, France. The specimen measures around 9" across.

malachite after cuprite chessy
Also from Chessy, France, this selection of loose, well formed Malachite pseudomorphs after Cuprite.

topaz, Russia
From a little further afield a very gemmy, pale blue well terminated Topaz crystal from Nerchinsk, Chitinskaya Oblast', Transbaikalia, Eastern-Siberian Region, Russia.

The Sussex Mineral and Lapidary Society recently organised a trip to the Faroe Islands where a number of the members of the club were very successful in finding good quality specimens. The club organised a display of some of the better specimens for visitors to observe.
Here are some of the highlights of the display:

Faroes display, sussex

Thomsonite (var. Farolite), Strendur Quarry, Esturoy, Faroe Islands, Denmark.

chabazite, faroe islands

celadonite, Heulandite, Faroes

At most shows we do our best to locate new material that may recently have been discovered. We usually find one or two.
Chatting with Ross Whittacker, a friend and regular exhibitor at some of the events in the UK, he showed me a few superb Calite specimens that he had recently recovered (I hasten to add - not for sale!), as well as a few other unusual specimens he had on display.

Ross whittacker
Ross Whittaker with his wife, enjoying the show at their stand.

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Calcite, Taffs wells
Two of Ross' Calcites - composite and partially hollow scalenohedral crystals, from Taff's Well, Cardiff, Mid Glamorgan, Wales, UK. The crystal on the right measures in excess of 2" end to end.

Calcite taffs wells
A considerably larger example, again from Taff's Well, Cardiff, Mid Glamorgan, Wales, UK.

Ross also has this superb Baryte from Wet Groves Mine, Askrigg, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire.

rhodochrosite after calcite, Cassandra mines
Ross' interest s are not confined to British specimens. This partially hollow Rhodochrosite pseudomorph after Calcite from the Cassandra Mines, Chalkidiki Prefecture, Macedonia Department, Greece, particularly attracted my interest. These pseudomorphs are not common and this a particularly good example.

Nick Carruth had his usual display of great antique mining lamps together with mineral specimens and compelling old books on minerals:

Old mining lamps and other Collectables on Nick Carruth's table.

Mineral books and specimens on Nick Carruth's Display.

Each year the Society puts on a competition and a series of display cases are filled by enthusiastic members with items conforming to the theme of the competition.
This year the theme was Self Collected Minerals from the UK.
This years winner of the competition was Tony Lee pictured (right) below with presenter of the trophy Dr. David Green (in a suite).

david green tony lee

Here is Tony's winning display with a few of the specimens pictured in more detail below:

A great Fluorite specimen from West Pastures mine, Stanhope, Weardale, County Durham England.

Baryte from torr Works Quarry, Merehead, Cranmore, Somerset, England.

Well again the Sussex Mineral Show draws to a close, collectors having exchanged hard earned cash for that treasured specimen to add to their collection.

Thanks to all the members of the club for putting on yet another very enjoyable event.

We all look forward to this show each year and I am sure we will all be eager to attend in 2013.

Author: Dave Whipp
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