Welcome to the Ste. Marie-Aux-Mines Mineral and Gem Show 2013, and the first of our reports from the show.
Another year has gone by and for the first time in several years the team arrived on Monday morning greeted by a wet and overcast Ste Marie. A shock to most of us since we are all used to warm and sunny weather here in this ancient mining town. Undeterred we set to work unloading the cabinets and equipment with intermittent breaks to avoid the rain, and by late afternoon the tables, cabinets and all the lighting had been configured in our booth.
A tent-lined street in Sainte Marie-aux-Mines on early Tuesday morning before most of the dealers have begun to arrive.
More unoccupied tents on Tuesday morning – The main entrance to the theater building is the steps on the right hand side.
This year Kristalle and Crystal Classics were lucky to have, in addition to our normal booth in the Grand Theater, our own private showing room up on the stage behind the booth. Here we set out rows of boxes of minerals for our customers to browse at leisure.We also displayed some of the Gilles Emringer collection of fine French minerals specimens. Gilles had his own tent just outside the main theatre so folks visiting our booth could go and meet the man himself to see what else he had there and chat with his colleagues, Gael and Sophie.
Boxes of minerals stacked in our Stage room ready for customers.
Dave Whipp and Gael unloading one of the six crates that arrived from Gilles Emringer’s home, full of great French mineral specimens.
Sophie and Gael unloading another crate.
View of the Grand Theatre where many of the top dealers at Ste. Marie exhibit.
Here is a taster of the displays in our booth…
French minerals were of course one of the highlights of our booth this year, with many from the famed Gilles Emringer Collection:
A beautiful Aragonite specimen lightly tinted blue from Arrigas, Le Vigan, Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, France.
One of the richest and brightest specimens of Axinite with Adularia I have come across. From the classic French location Le Rocher d’Armentier, Bourg d’Oisans, Isere, France.
Another classic from France – intergrown lenticular Siderite crystals accompany white Dolomite and a little Quartz. From La Mure, Isere, Rhone-Alpes, France.
A large crystal group of Fluorites ranging from colourless to pale blue from the Le Beix Mine, Herment, Auvergne, France.
An octahedral pink Fluorite in association with Adularia and Smoky Quartz from the Mont Blanc Massif, Chamonix, Rhone Alpes, France.
We recently received some superb minerals from Iran, including reticulated Cerussites, bright orange Wulfenites and Mimetites, and pale blue Hemimorphite, and had a great selection on display.
A display of Iranian Minerals, mostly white reticulated Cerussites
Reticulated Cerussite crystal groups, and a pale blue Hemimorphite on the top right.
A close up of one of the beautiful Cerussites with fine reticulated growth
A closeup of the Hemimorphite from Iran
Fiery orange Wulfenite crystals from Iran
Bright orange botryoidal Mimetite from Iran
And of course we always have some wonderful British minerals:
A really aesthetic Baryte specimen from Frizington, Cumbria, England.
Boracite with Hilgardite from the Boulby Potash Mine, Loftus, North Yorkshire, England.
Here is a rich turquoise bluish coloured Chalcophyllite from Wheal Gorland, St. Day, Cornwall, England. These rare British Classics are becoming more and more difficult to obtain.
Red Quartz Crystals (“Eisenkiesel”) scattered over a concave surface of Hematite. From Cleator Moor, Cumbria, England.
Lanarkite with Leadhillite from the Susanna Mine, Leadhills, Scotland.
Two examples of the classic “Lady Slipper” Siderite specimens from the Virtuous Lady Mine, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England.
A large cluster of Fluorite cubes with Galena from Boltsburn Mine, Weardale, Co. Durham, England.
And a few other Fluorites:
An attractive cluster of composite Fluorite crystals on Celestite from the Tule Mine, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico.
Rich purple interlocking Fluorite cubes with Calcite from Tounfit, Boumia, Meknes-Tafilalet Region, Morocco.
An impressive cluster of transparent lilac colour zoned cubic Fluorite crystals from La Collada, Asturas, Spain.
And elsewhere around the world:
A remarkable specimen – well defined bright Cassiterite crystals intergrown with Quartz, from Horni Slavkov, Karlovy Vary Region, Bohemia, Czech Republic.
A superb Beryl var. Emerald set in matrix and measuring around 3.5 cm from La Pita Mine, Boyaca Department, Colombia.
A richly coloured purple Fluorapatite crystal on matrix from Ehrenfriedersdorf, Erzgebirge, Saxony, Germany.
Greenockite with Pectolite from the Andesite Quarry at Kreimbach-Kaulbach, Rhineland Palatinate, Germany.
A lovely stellate group of twinned Gypsum crystals from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
An impressive example of a rarity from Mexico – Legrandite sprays on matrix from the Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico.
…and a closer look at the central spray of Legrandite crystals on the above specimen.
Well that’s just a taste of what you can see if you visit the Kristalle and Crystal Classics booth in the Grande Theatre at St. Marie this year. Remember this year we have a room at the rear of our booth up on the stage where there are hundreds more minerals to be viewed. Please ask one of our team and they will show you through to this bonanza. We will bring you a few more examples from our cabinets as well as information about what other dealers around the show have in our next installment from the show!