Ste. Marie 2015

28 June 2015


Ste. marie 2015

Ste. Marie Aux Mines 2015

The Ste. Marie Aux Mines 2015 show is nearly upon us again, and despite a very busy few weeks here in the offices at Crystal Classics with Ian and Diana's glamorous wedding last week and another successful open day, all the preparations for the show have been completed and the team are ready to go. It is Friday afternoon here and the loading of the vans has been completed in good time - Tomorrow we drive.

Ste. Marie 2015
Just some of the flats of great new minerals sorted and ready for loading in our Somerset offices.

Ste. Marie 2015
The two vans gradually being filled with all we need for the show.

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Peter Schlegel enjoying a short break during a very busy morning loading the larger of our two vans.

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Joseph (Debbie's son) helps out loading some of the minerals into the vehicles.

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Steve Rust with Joseph loading the van.

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Pos and Dave - Nearly finished one van!

Ian and Dave set off a little earlier on the trip to France this year. Having loaded everything on the Friday we headed across the channel on Saturday and arrived in Ste. Marie early Sunday morning after an overnight stay in Metz. To our surprise found we were able to unload the first of our vehicles and start the set up immediately. So by late Sunday most of the stand and our booth upon the stage had been prepared leaving just cleaning and finishing touches before the minerals could be added to the display.

Monday an overcast and cool day for many as the set up begins.

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Inside the Theatre, Late Monday.

Near the main entrance to the Theatre on Tuesday morning.

The Crystal Classics team begin to place minerals in the show cases. For the first time this year in Ste. Marie we use our new glass show cases.

Ste Marie 2015
Dave Hacker enjoying the show preparations.

Ste. Marie 2015
Outside, the streets are lined with Ste. Marie's characteristic dealer tents.

In some places uncovered tabled are laid out in preparation for the dealers.

One or the two large halls laid out in preparation for the dealers.

Some of the fossil dealers were well ahead of the game.

Some of the large ammonites from Madagascar.

Liz Hacker and Penny Williamson of The University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, both recent victims of circumstance, demonstrating that recovery is well on it's way!

Liz and Dave Hacker

The completed Crystal Classics main booth situated beneath the stage in the theatre.

Some of the specimens in one of our show cases.

Just one of the great specimens on display in the Crystal Classics booth.
A classic - Fluorapatite crystal group from the Knappenwand, Untersulzbach valley, Hohe Tauern, Salzburg, Austria - with A.E.Foote label.

Angela and Malcolm Southwood with Liz and Dave Hacker.

This year in Ste. Marie we are proud to have perhaps the best selection of minerals we have ever had. Here are a few more of the specimens on display.

A large, sharp single crystal of Axinite without matrix from Puiva, Saranpaul, Tyumenskaya Oblast', Prepolar Ural, Western-Siberian Region, Russia.

A rich cluster of Garnet crystals from Serifos Island, Kykládes Prefecture, Aegean Islands Department, Greece.

Hemispherical aggregate of white Calcite crystals from Baia Mare (Nagybánya),
MaramureÈ™ Co., Romania.

Sharp edged cubes of greyish blue Fluorite from Beihilfe Mine, Halsbrücke, Freiberg District, Erzgebirge, Saxony, Germany.

Bournonite coated with Bindheimite on Siderite from Hüttenberg,
Friesach - Hüttenberg area, Carinthia, Austria

Intergrown prismatic Strontianite crystals from
Oberdorf an der Laming, Laming valley, Bruck an der Mur, Styria, Austria.

Narrow fan of Stibnite crystals on matrix from Herja Mine, Chiuzbaia, Baia Mare, MaramureÈ™ Co., Romania.

Another group of Stibnite crystals this time in association with bright red Realgar from Baia Sprie (Felsöbánya), MaramureÈ™ Co., Romania.

Wiry Native Silver from Kongsberg, Buskerud, Norway.

Kongsberg, Buskerud, Norway

Grey metallic Hessite crystals with Quartz from
Botés, Alba Co., Romania.

Rich blue Linarite crystals from Red Gill Mine, Roughton Gill, Caldbeck Fells, Cumbria.

Deep green Uvarovite crystal embedded in matrix from Outokumpu, Eastern Finland, Finland.

Blue grey Baryte flower from Cavnic, MaramureÈ™ Co., Romania.

A closer look at the Baryte pictured above.

A well developed delicate pink spray of Kutnahorite from Wessels Mine, Hotazel,
Kalahari Manganese Field, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.

One specimen that attracted a lot of attention at the Crystal Classics booth was this fine radiating spray of Elbaite crystals. Dark green in colour the largest crystal measures in excess of 6". From Barra de Salinas, Coronel Murta, Jequitinhonha Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Malcolm Southwood enjoying all that Ste. Marie has to offer, holding a great specimen - A Dolomite "cast" with Calcite crystals from the Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto Region, Namibia.

Another unique specimen on display at the Crystal Classics stand.
The Vivianite "Fish"
This new find of Vivianites replacing fossils rivals the best found anywhere in the world. These bright Vivianite crystals are amongst the finest and at this location they are associated with green well developed Ludlamite crystals. 
From Cabeza do Cachorro Mine, Floresta Amazonica, Amazonas, Brazil.

Ian and Diana showing the Vivianite "Fish" to Brice Gobin and being filmed by Brian Swaboda for the next "What's Hot in Ste Marie" DVD.

A detailed look at the Ludlamite and Vivianite crystals on the above specimen.

Another of these great Vivianite specimen, here clearly replacing a gastropod shell.

Looking around the Theatre Alain Martaud had a selection of Pyromorphite specimens from 
La Vidale mine, Asprières, Decazeville, Aveyron, Midi-Pyrénées, France.

Marco Tironi had a number of great specimens. This one in particular caught my eye -  colourless  "butterfly twin" crystals of Calcite scattered across matrix from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

A superb classic Phosgenite tablet from Monteponi Mine, Iglesias, Carbonia-Iglesias Province, Sardinia, Italy.

A less common specimen from the Amethyst Mines of Brazil these pale lilac Anhydrite  blades are normally represented by Quartz replacements.
From Ametista do Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Lustrous bright rutile needles epitaxially orientated on Hematite from Ambatofinandrahana,
 Amoron'i Mania Region, Fianarantsoa Province, Madagascar.

Saturday morning and a chance to venture out of the theatre and see some of the other attractions at the show.

One of my first visits was to see Richard Tayler.
Curiously, Richard had recently been collecting at Whale Chine on the Isle of White, England, where he had found a few specimens of Vivianite associated with the fossils there. Not quite as spectacular as the recent Vivianite find in Brazil mentioned previously, but this material has not been seen for a little while on the British market.
Richard had a few pieces for sale.

Richards table in one of the large covered halls manned by friend and colleague Austin.

One of the Vivianite specimens on Richard's table from Whale Chine, Atherfield, Shorwell, Isle of Wight, England.

Some of the many stalls in one of the main halls.

Trays of minerals without prices or locations as presented by some of the Chinese specimen dealers.

One of a number of outside stalls selling Lapidary equipment.

Quartz and more Quartz!!

Traditional mining costume worn by some of the locals at the show.

A small display of brightly coloured radioactive Autunite from Assunção Mine, Aldeia Nova, Ferreira de Aves, Sátão, Viseu District, Portugal on display in one of the tents.

A closer look at the larger of these Autunite specimens.

One of the many open air stalls offering Moroccan Mineral specimens and Fossils.

Many collectors add only micro minerals to their collections. This particular dealer offered mostly boxed specimen of such specimens. 

Some of the larger specimens offered by the same dealer.

Little space is spared at Ste. Marie - Even the pool side of the swimming pool complex is used to locate mineral dealers.

One of the dealers in the swimming Pool complex specializing in quartz crystal groups and Gold specimens from The La Gardette Mine in France

A small group of needle Quartz crystals from La Gardette Mine, Bourg d'Oisans, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France, showing typical "Dauphine" habit.

Native Gold from La Gardette Mine, Bourg d'Oisans, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France.

The main show display theme this year at
Ste. Marie is "Alpine Minerals" and the hall devoted to this was as expected well attended.
The show cases were all filled with fine classic examples of mineral specimens from all the Alpine regions of Switzerland, Austria, Italy and France.

Here are some of the highlights.

One of the show cases in the display.

A near colourless "Gwindel" Quartz crystal from Furka Pass, Goms, Wallis (Valais), Switzerland.

Large Jordanite Crystal from Lengenbach Quarry, Fäld, Binn Valley, Wallis (Valais), Switzerland.

Axinite with Quartz from Le Rocher d'Armentier, Bourg d'Oisans, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France.

Water clear sceptred Quartz crystals from Massif des Grandes Rousses, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France.

Characteristic of the area lenticular rounded plates of Siderite with Quartz from
Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Vizille, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France.

Richly coloured Octohedral crystals of Fluorite from Aiguille Verte, Mont Blanc Massif, Chamonix, Haute-Savoie, Rhône-Alpes, France.

Just some of the great pieces on display as this years central
point of interest in Ste. Marie show.

What will be the topic for next years event?
We all at Crystal Classics look forward to Ste. Marie 2016

See you there!

ste. Marie
Home for the week.
The Crystal Classics retreat - a Gite in the hills above Ste. Croix Aux Mines.

Author: Dave
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