The Crystal Classics OPEN DAY

3 December 2013

Christmas is nearly upon us and once again it was time for the


We're not quite sure where the year went, but once again Crystal Classics invited mineral collectors from all over the world to it's annual OPEN DAY held at our show rooms in East Coker, Somerset, England.

The Crystal Classics Team
As usual when we have our Open Day it means all hands on deck. This years team included: (L to R) Debbie Boyer, Alison Hyde, Audrey Lloyd, Ian Bruce, Liz Hacker, David Hacker, Diana Schlegel, "Wolfie" (short for Wolframite, the dog hiding behind Diana), Dave Lloyd and David Whipp.

Open day 2013
Dave and Liz Hacker working together to make sure all the specimens were correctly labelled and priced.

open day 2013
Audrey and Dave Lloyd.
Dave does a great deal of the preparation work on our mineral specimens and is a valuable source of information for those who wish to improve their knowledge of British minerals.

open day 2013
Armin Schöler from Germany with Ian pondering some rarities from Tsumeb with the help of a little liquid encouragement!

showroom, Open day 2013
Ready to go. A lot of hard work and preparation by all the team enabled us to turn our main office area into the second showroom.

World wide show room
Spic and span! Our main mineral gallery with minerals from European and other world-wide localities, both in show cases and drawer units.

A crisp, sunny morning greeted the first keen collectors that arrived and we weren't sure if their priority was to be the first in line for the fantastic minerals we had on display or the lure of the freshly made bacon butties provided by the Courtyard Cafe.

CrystalClassics car Park
The car park in front of our offices was becoming full....

The collectors that arrived early were keen to get in and be the first to see the treasures waiting for them.

Ian at the door, welcoming all the collectors to our show rooms. 

In the Crystal Classics guest book every visitor could write his message and greetings...

CrystalClassics Show room
Not only the show cases but also all the drawers were filled with specimens from our recently acquired collections. We re-arranged our main office areas as a permanent show room which featured specimens from England, Scotland and Wales.

The majority of collectors visiting our Open Day were primarily interested in British specimens, but some were more focused on minerals from European and world wide localities as well.

Sam Weller - a legend in the English mineral world and Peter Sleep, discerning collector examining every piece with great care. 

Steve Warren seemed to be very fond of this piece....

We had visitors from all over Europe. German dealers Armin Schöler and Wolfgang and Karin Wendel made it over here. We think they enjoyed their stay!

Our Open Day is a great meeting place for collectors from all over the world. Here, familiar faces in the English mineral scene chat about various great specimens as well as recent collecting exploits.

Collectors are always keen to discover the treasures lying deep down in our drawer units.
Paul Richards and Otto Van Blaricum.

Liz and Dave Hacker here with Ian Bruce and "Wolfie" have been supporters and friends of Crystal Classics for many years. They came over early in the week and helped set up all the displays.

Liz and Dave Hacker also brought along a small display of some of their minerals for collectors to see.

Dave Whipp and Clive Cornwall admiring a great Descloizite specimen from Berg Aukas.

Everybody of the Crystal Classics team has their tasks. Whether it is helping a customer to choose the right specimen, or helping to enlighten them about the history and background of a specimen.

We couldn't have been without them. Really important is the check out job. New members of our team Debbie and Ali typed up invoices for the customers tirelessly throughout the day.

Audrey Lloyd (Right) in charge of the kitchen, here with Elizabeth Whittaker.
Most important to keep the nibbles and coffees coming!

Diana Schlegel and Ian Bruce enjoyed the event as much as the visitors.

Enough about the folks.
We think you might like to see some of the contents of the cabinets and some of those great specimens.
Here are just a few:

open Day 2013
In our main entrance hall we had a pedestal display cabinet with these three great (and large) specimens - Top, Stibnite from China, middle - Azurite from Bisbee, Arizona and bottom - Rhodochrosite from Bulgaria.

Here's a closer look at that Stibnite from China:

Stibnite, China Open Day 2013


Three of our cabinets next to one another, all lined with great British specimens.
From Weardale Fluorites to Irish Sphalerite and one or two Welsh Gold specimens.

Another well lit glass cabinet filled with rather larger British specimens.
At the bottom left is a great Sphalerite with Calcite crystals from Wanlockhead Scotland.

One of our worldwide cabinets carrying some Asian and European specialities.

Classic Silver and Gold specimens from prominent localities.

A temporary display of fine crystallised Gold specimens from around the world.

A display of fine crystallised Gem minerals in a cabinet dedicated for these.

More from the Gem cabinet.

Now for some of the individual pieces:

As previously mentioned in earlier show reports these specimens may still be available. They are not always sold at our shows. If any are of interest please do not hesitate to contact us.

Brazillianite Open day 2013
A superb crystal of Brazilianite with associated Muscovite from the Córrego Frio Mine, Linópolis, Divino das Laranjeiras, Doce valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Morganite, Urucum Open day 2013
A classic from Brazil.
A lovely rich pink Beryl (Var. Morganite) in association with black Tourmaline needles and white Cleavlandite.
From The Urucum Pegmatite, Galiléia, Doce valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Red Beryl, Open day 2013
Another example of Beryl.
This time Red Beryl crystals partially buried in pale rhyolite matrix.
From the Wah Wah Mountains, Beaver Co., Utah, USA.

Pyromorphite, Bunker Hill Open day 2013
A large specimen of bright orange Pyromorphite from Bunker Hill, Kellogg, Coeur d'Alene District, Shoshone Co., Idaho, USA.

Malachite, Open day 2013
A great slice of Malachite, polished on both sides to show the structure.
From Mashamba, Kolwezi District, Katanga Copper Crescent, Democratic Republic of Congo.

caletonite, canada Open day 2013
A great rarity these days - rich blue Carletonite from the Poudrette Quarry, Mont Saint-Hilaire, La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada.

Welloganite, Canada Open day 2013
Another Canadian rarity - Weloganite. Rich yellow coloured barrel shaped crystals from The Francon quarry, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Titanite Open day 2013
Another rich specimen. Greenish yellow Titanite crystals, some twinned, distributed evenly across matrix with Chlorite. From Tormiq valley, Haramosh Mts., Skardu District, Baltistan, Northern Areas, Pakistan.

legrandite, Mexico Open day 2013
A pretty spray of bright yellow Legrandite crystals from the Ojuela Mine, Mapimí, Mun. de Mapimí, Durango, Mexico.

Mimetite, Thailand Open day 2013
A rich covering of Mimetite crystals from Hat Yai District, Songkhla Province, Thailand.

Rhodochrosite N'chwaning open Day 2013
A hemispherical aggregate of Rhodochrosite from Hotazel, Kalahari Manganese Fields, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.

Fluorite, China
Purple octohedral crystals of Fluorite on a pure white matrix from De'an Fluorite mine, Wushan, De'an Co., Jiujiang Prefecture, Jiangxi Province, China.

Willemite from the Franklin Mining District, Sussex County, New Jersey, USA.

Malachite "Stalactite" from the Mashamba West Mine, Kolwezi District, Katanga Copper Crescent, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Translucent hemispherical aggregates of Smithsonite on Matrix from the Hilarion Mine, Kamariza, Lavrion District, Attikí Prefecture, Greece.

In the evening Crystal Classics laid on a special reception party for all the visitors to our Open Day. It was a jolly atmosphere and every body enjoyed it. It was a good chance to say thank you to all the supporters we have had here at Crystal Classics over the years.

Humphrey Hale who was in charge of the Hemerdon mining project and spent his university years at the same college with Ian Bruce.

Ruth Auchterlounie, Elizabeth and Ross Wittaker, David Whipp and Kevin Schofield all had a good laugh at the reception.

Dave Hacker with Sian Brammer and Ian Bruce.

Ian Bruce and good friend Phil Brammer.

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Ian Bruce with mineral collector Mark Stalker.

Thats it for another year in East Coker

Next stop Tucson!!

May we wish all our customers and friends a very happy Christmas

and a

prosperous New Year.

See you all in 2014


Author: Diana Schlegel and David Whipp
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