The Munich show – Mineralientage Munchen – is the largest mineral show in Europe, held at the end of October each year. Kristalle had a brand new booth this year in the Mineral Pavilion. The booth was perfect for our new custom made showcases which we filled with a superb selection of minerals – European specimens, Gem minerals, specimens from classic localities and of course Gold.
Our team for this year was Dona and Wayne Leicht, Lois Nelson, and Dave and Audrey Lloyd.
Here is a quick tour of the booth, highlighting a few exceptional specimens:
In this cabinet we had eye catching pink Rhodochrosites on the top shelf including from Sweet Home Mine, Colorado; followed by European Minerals including German Silvers on the second shelf. Below this are more European specimens including Alpine Fluorites and Smoky Quartz Gwindels, Epidotes and Harz Mt Manganites and more…
On the top shelf a large stunning raspberry pink Rubellite Tourmaline from the single find of exceptional Rubellites made in the late 1970s at Jonas Mine, Brazil. This specimens is bracketed by several exceptional specimens – closeups to follow – on the top shelf. Below this is a glittering array of Gold specimens, followed by orange Wulfenites, deep blue Milpillas, Mexico Azurites and a range of yellow to green Pyromorphites, and more…
The glittering array of gold specimens including several from Eagle’s Nest Mine, California and Round Mountain Mine, Nevada, USA.
This is a super specimen – lustrous dark blue Azurite on green Malachite from Milpillas Mine in Mexico. This mine has been producing wonderful Azurites for several years now, and this is one of the finest specimens produced, spectacular in person.
This is one of the finest Chalcocite specimens we have seen from the famous Flambeau Mine, 970ft. Level, Ladysmith, Rusk County, Wisconsin, USA. A hand sized piece with huge well formed crystals and that wonderful blueish purple iridescence. It was hard to photograph to capture the form, an amazing thing in person.
A colourful cabinet with a selection of specimens from Tsumeb on the top shelf; gemmy green Emeralds, blue Benitoites and pink Tourmalines on the second shelf; followed by a range of specimen including some wonderful Native Coppers; another shelf of select Tsumeb specimens including pink and green Smithsonites, Azurites pseudomorphing Malachite; and on the bottom shelf some sky blue Amazonite and smoky Quartz specimens from Colorado and two fantastic green Mexican Adamites.
Definitely one of our favourite Pyromorphites from Bunker Hill, Idaho, USA – aesthetic form with large crystals, that typical bright greasy lustre, and lovely mustard yellow colour.
For something a little different this interesting Calcite from Wenshan Co., Wenshan Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China. Two pyramidal shaped crystal, hollow on the inside (the photo is taking looking into the pyramids towards the tips). We are not really sure what causes the Calcite to grow like this, possibly it formed over another crystal as a pyramidal cap, the other crystal was later removed and a second generation of tiny Calcites grew on the surface, as seen on the interior.
A wonderful Calcite specimen, over 5 cm high with inclusions of Native Copper which give it the fiery glow. From Quincy Mine in the famous Houghton Co., Michigan, USA well know for its Copper specimens.
Something Kristalle is famous for is Native Gold’s from Eagle’s Nest Mine, Placer Co., California, USA. This is a superb specimen, one of the best we have handled in recent years, measuring 15cm along the top, with bright lustrous crystals. Deservedly the centre piece of our Gold display!
Out and about to look around the show, there was (as many people have agreed over the last few years) no major new finds to rock the mineral world, however there was some interesting new things if you had the time to look. One of these was the intriguing blue Beryls from Deo Darrah, Khash & Kuran Wa Munjan District, Badakhsan Province, Afghanistan seen in the booth of Fine Art Minerals. Now Beryl the colour of blue is not unusual, such as the relatively common variety Aquamarine or blue Bazzite the scandium analogue of Beryl, but these particular Beryls are Cesium rich and are the variety Vorobyevite (or Rosterite). Cesium rich Beryls are commonly colourless or rose pink, not normally known to be this wonderful blue colour.
The photo above shows the very attractive sky blue colour of the Beryls crystals with interesting crystal growth, and below specimens exhibit flatter tabular crystals. Fine Art Minerals believe the specimens came from a find made last year. One specimen has been analysed which determined the presence of the Cesium and more work is planned to understand if/why it is causing the blue colour.
Fine Art Minerals also showed me this beautiful gemmy Axinite crystal from Char Band, Kharan District, Pakistan. It was the typical clove-brown colour but with areas of blue and green – very attractive!
Jordi Fabre always has interesting new material, and he had a selection of the new ‘colour-change’ Opal var Hyalite from Zacatecas, Mexico, which were seen at Tucson earlier this year. They were labelled 2013-2014. The Opal forms clear globular and botryoidal masses on matrix, and what makes them exciting is their strong daylight fluorescence. Hyalite is normally colourless in sunlight, only fluorescing under UV. These specimens changed colour depending on the lightsource ranging from yellow under incandescent lights to a bright green in daylight. The fluorescence is thought to be caused by a particular uranyl complex.
Spirifier Minerals had an attractively arranged booth, including these colourful Fluorites. The green ones were from Rogerley Mine, Weardale, England with large gemmy cubic crystals and the purple ones from Okorusu Mine, Namibia.
Wendel Minerals had some wonderful European minerals, including these Natives Silvers from Kongsberg, Norway pictured below left and centre. The central Silver is with Acanthite. The Native Silver wires pictured below right are from Himmelsfurst Mine, Saxony, Germany.
Anton Watzl Minerals had this gorgeous gemmy greenish Beryl var. Heliodor from Pegmatite 576, Volodarsk, Ukraine – I am assuming it was found in 2003 from the label. It was over 10cm in height.
Corrado Vietti had this lovely honey coloured Calcite from Denton Mine, Hardin Co., Illinois, USA with a very sculptural form of doubly terminated scalenohedral crystals.
Saphira Minerals were displaying this Quartz from Serifos Island, Greece. Quartz from Serifos typically forms these tapering crystals and are commonly included with Actinolite or Crossite giving it an opaque leek green colour called Prase. More uncommon is the Amethyst variety of Quartz, seen here as gemmy pale purple graduating to a green Prase centre, creating a very attractive specimen.
There has been quite a few minerals coming out of Iran in recent years, including these pretty reticulated Cerussite specimens from Nakhlak Mine, Anarak, Iran. They are quite gemmy with high lustre and delicate form. This specimen was seen in the booth of Frederic Escaut.
For something a little different, this booth was selling colourful man made crystals including what looked like geodes of Amethyst labelled Synthetic Alum Druse.
This booth featured Gogottes – concretions of sandstone with a siliceous cement and sculptural fluid forms. Gogottes are only found in France in the Fontainebleau Sands. The precise mechanism of formation is not known although it has been shown they form at groundwater level.
Into the Fossil Hall Galerie-Lithique.com had reconstructed Elephant Bird eggs. Elephants Birds were huge bird that lived in Madagascar, becoming extinct in the 17th or 18th Century. It must be quite the puzzle to piece these eggs back together. On rare occasions these eggs are found intact!
The highlight of the Fossil Hall was definitely this well-lit Tyrannosaurus Rex ‘King Kong’. This is an original skeleton, found in Northwest America, and is the first original mounted skeleton in Europe. Who owns this beauty has kept us guessing!
One thing that the Munich show does extremely well is activities for children. In the fossil hall were several activities, constantly filled with children and adults. In the first photo they are splitting open layers of rock looking for fossilized fish, and in the second sieving through sands looking for gemstones and sharks teeth. It was wonderful to see so much enthusiasm and interest.
Over to GemWorld, it was a change in pace from the hustle and bustle to calming lighting and decor. There were certainly enough sparkling gemstones and fine jewellery to get your heart racing again though!
The Munich show has a special theme each year, and this year was Meteorites. The theme was a wise choice, as after last year’s spectacular display of Gold for the 50th anniversary, it would have been impossible to follow it with any other mineral theme. The special exhibit was beautifully lit to show these visitors from outer space, and included pieces from the famous fall at the start of 2013 in Russia.
Meteorite ‘Ghubara’ found in 1930 in Oman. It is an L5-Chondrite and weighs 320kg.
Over in the Gem Halls, the Meteorite exhibit continued with some historical items made from Meteorites including jewellery and this amazing sword. The sword is from Bali in Indonesia with a Gold inlaid handle. You can understand why ancient cultures held meteorites in high regard if they witnessed their blazing entry through the sky, especially without the scientific understanding that we have today. The meteorites also make beautiful pieces with the patterns that form on the surface as they are polished.
And no mineral show would be complete without the people!
It is always good to see so many USA collectors and dealers make the trip to Munich, it is well worth the effort! Dealers Mark Mitterman and Evan Jones of Unique Minerals are pictured here with Lois and Dona.
Literature is the support of any collecting hobby, and shows are a great place to launch new books! Joaquim Callen of MineralUp has created a fabulous book on Gold for Collectors with his photographs of exceptional Gold specimens. It is very impressive with each specimen given their own page so that you can see the intricate detail. The accompanying text is by Scott Werschky and Carlos Curto.
Our good friends Rainer Bode and his daughter Kristina of MineralienWelt and Bode Publishing were at the show with their new book Namibia I, launched at the Denver show a few months ago. This is a superb book following up on their first sold out edition on the minerals and locations of Namibia.
Please contact us by clicking here if you are interested to purchase a copy of either of these wonderful publications.
Dona has a toast with the talented Guenther Neumeier of the publishing world.
Kirby Siber was also selling his new book – Adventures with Dinosaurs. Kirby is a mineral and fossil dealer (Siber + Siber) and founder of the Dinosaur Museum in Aathal, Zurich, Switzerland. He has been involved in the excavation of Dinosaur skeletons around the world and his life story has been captured in this book by Max Meyer so that we too can share in his adventures.
And we always see lots of fun things at the Munich show – now this is the way to get around!
Another Munich show is over, and we would like to thank Christoph Keilmann and his hard working team for organising such a fantastic show, it always runs smoothly and we look forward to next year and our next visit to Munich!