Ste. Marie aux Mines - 2017

19 June 2017

Ste. Marie aux Mines - 2017

Summer is here and it's time for the Crystal Classics team to head for one of our favourite shows of the year - the Ste. Marie aux Mines show.
Set in the heart of the Vosges mountains just a short distance from the historic town of Ribeauvillé the town of Ste. Marie comes to life at this time of year as more than a thousand dealers of minerals specimens, fossils, gemstones and jewellery all congregate for France's largest mineral show.
Of course none of this happens without a great deal of effort from all of the dealers attending the exhibition, some of whom have travelled long distances to be here, not least the Crystal Classics team.

Chris and Wayne loading the truck with precious minerals and display equipment
on the Thursday before the event.


The first of the glass showcases in position.


The team working on the main show stand.


Ian having a quiet moment with Allan Arnold.


Peter and Katrin sorting through the first of the minerals to go into the showcases.


Chris helping set up our stage booth - at the speed of light!


The main show cases nearly completed.


Liz Hacker tidying loose ends with Dave Hacker and Chris.


The Main booth fully prepared and ready for the show.


A closer look at one of the show cases filled with colourful thumbnail specimens.


Here are some of the fine minerals from the Crystal Classics Inventory on display this year in Ste. Marie: 

A great example of bright orange Wulfenite crystals perched on a bed of Calcite from the classic Mexican locality
- Erupción Mine, Los Lamentos, Mun. de Ahumada, Chihuahua, Mexico.


Superb arborescent fan of Native Copper on Matrix from
Rocklands Mine, Cloncurry, Cloncurry Shire, Queensland, Australia

Azurite partially replaced with Malachite from the famous
Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

A rich example of well developed Rhodonite crystals embedded in a matrix of granular Galena
from Broken Hill, Yancowinna Co., New South Wales, Australia.


A classic dark green aggregate of Malachite from the Katanga Copper Crescent,
Dem. Rep. of Congo.

Gold in Nugget form showing its rich bright metallic yellow colour
from Cloncurry, Queensland, Australia.

Tourmaline is always a favourite among collectors if only for its variety of colour.
This example is no exception.
From Laghman Province (Nuristan), Afghanistan.

A rich bed of Quartz needles is punctuated with fine crimson rhombs of Rhodochrosite
and elongated black rods of Hübnerite and a little Pyrite for good measure.
From the Clay Pocket, Sweet Home Mine, Mount Bross, Alma District, Park County, Colorado, USA.

Beautiful steel blue prismatic crystals of Beryl Var. "Aquamarine" embedded in matrix from
Malyshevo, Ekaterinburg, Sverdlovskaya Oblast', Middle Urals, Russia.

Another large fine specimen from Siberia. Fine, well developed crystals of Galena and Sphalerite together
with some encrustations of milky white Calcite
from the
Nikolaevskiy Mine, Dal'negorsk, Kavalerovo Mining District, Primorskiy Kray, Far-Eastern Region, Russia.

Rich veining of colourful Opal in matrix from
Quilpie, Quilpie Shire, Queensland, Australia.

Pink to pale lilac, botryoidal growths of Smithsonite from
Choix, Mun. de Choix, Sinaloa, Mexico.

A deep indigo blue Tourmaline ("Indicolite") crystal lying free of its matrix from 
the Sauda Mine, Gilgit, Gilgit District, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.

A large steely Native Platinum nugget weighing 292 grams from
Konder alkaline-ultrabasic Massif, Aldan shield, Ayan-Maya district, Khabarovskiy Kray,
Far-Eastern Region, Russia.

Semi translucent blue crystals of Benitoite accompanied by Black prismatic rods of Neptunite
lying on a bed of white Natrolite
from San Benito County, California, USA.

A cluster of interlocking Mustard coloured platey Wulfenites showing some degree of coule zoning typical of examples from this famous locality - Mežica (Miess) Slovenia.

Beautiful surface etch marks on a water clear pale yellow crystal of Beryl Var. "Heliodor" from the
Volodarsk-Volynskii Mines, Zhytomyr Oblast', Ukraine.

Azurite partially pseudomorphing octahedral Cuprite
from Chessy-les-Mines, Le Bois d'Oingt, Rhône, Rhône-Alpes, France.

Another fine specimen from France.
"Cogwheel" Bournonite crystals perched on matrix with Sphalerite.
From Les Malines District, Saint-Laurent-le-Minier, Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, France.

Rich green crystals of Pyromorphite encrusted on matrix from
Les Farges Mine, Ussel, Corrèze, Limousin, France.

A solid mass of fine blue Azurite crystals
from Chessy-les-Mines, Le Bois d'Oingt, Rhône, Rhône-Alpes, France.

Delicate fern-like growths of Native Gold resting on Calcite matrix from
Hope's Nose, Torquay, Devon, England.

Fine example of Pyrargyrite and Native Arsenic together with Argentopyrite, 
from a classic uropean locality - 
Samson Mine, St. Andreasberg, Harz, Lower Saxony, Germany.

An amazing "stepped" translucent crystal of green Fluorite together with prismatic, terminated
Quartz from 
Huayllapon Mine, Pasto Bueno, Pampas District, Pallasca Province, Ancash Department, Peru.

Pale "Smoky" Quartz "Gwindel" crystal from
Fedenstock, Felli Valley, Reuss Valley, Uri, Switzerland.

A rich example of bluish green Devilline on matrix from
Špania Dolina (Herrengrund), Banská Bystrica County, Slovakia.

Pyrargyrite on Galena with Calcite
Ratibořské Hory, Tábor, South Bohemia Region, Bohemia, Czech Republic

Another Czech Classic - Acanthite with Stephanite, Pyrite and Calcite.
Príbram, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic

Classic Hematite "Rosette" perched on a mica rich matrix from
Mörchnerkar, Mörchner Area, Zemmgrund, Zillertal, , North Tyrol, Austria.

Lustrous, steel blue Celestite crystals scattered on a bed of Dolomite and Calcite
with a few tiny Goyazite crystals in association.
From the A10 Highway Tunnel (Katschberg Tunnel), Katschberg, Rennweg,
Hafner Group, Hohe Tauern, Carinthia, Austria.

A single sharp, bright yellow Sulphur crystal rests atop Aragonite matrix from
Agrigento Province, Sicily, Italy.

Hot work as some of the out side dealers prepare for the show in temperatures up to 35 degrees.

An Amethyst dealer sets out the Geodes for display.

Chris examining some of the Quartz artefacts in one of the tent lined streets.

Ste. Marie is not always just minerals, fossils and Gemstones.
Sometimes other items of interest creep into the show!


One of the may Wholesale mineral stands with a variety of colourful worldwide mineral specimens.

Every inch of indoor space is used in Ste Marie even the local swimming pool.
Here, Chris examines one of the well lit specimens put on display there - a large pink Fluorite from the Alps.

A fine example of Galena on Siderite from Neudorf, Harzgerode, Harz, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
on display at the Ausrox booth.


A superp Sphalerite specimen from Rucheng Mine, Caojia, Nuanshui, Rucheng Co., Chenzhou Prefecture,
Hunan Province, China at the Cristalli stand.

Also in the Cristalli booth, fine needles of Quartz intergrown with dark red crystals of Hübnerite
from Huayllapon Mine, Pasto Bueno, Pampas District, Pallasca Province, Ancash Department, Peru.

Luis Burillo, as always had a great selection of mineral specimens to show.
Quartz with Brookite blades scattered throughout - from Pakistan...

...and this amazing colour zoned Wulfenite crystal specimen from 
the Ojuela Mine, Mapimí, Durango, Mexico.

A great Spanish piece - Deep brown well developed crystals of Sphalerite with snow white Dolomite from
Las Manforas Mine, Camaleño, Cantabria, Spain.

Books... just one stand in the theatre devoted to reference literature for collectors.
The Lapis magazine stand run by Tobias Weise.

Collectors looking at the showcases on the Crystal Classics Stand

Liz and Dave Hacker enjoying the show.

Liz with locals dressed in traditional mining costume.

Friday fun!!

Diana with Ian

Martin Stevko arrived on Saturday to help.

Each year at Ste. marie Debbie has a birthday and as always a cake was in order.
Ian and Diana cut into small pieces so no one misses out!



That's the end of another very warm visit to Ste. Marie.
I know all the team at Crystal Classics have enjoyed this year's show
immensely and we look forward to Ste Marie 2018

Our next show is in Denver (September 2017)
We will have a whole new range of fine mineral specimens to show,
so we hope to see all our mineral friends there.

Author: Dan / Dave
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