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Sainte Marie-aux-Mines Show 2008
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Jul 01, 2008 03:24    Post subject: Sainte Marie-aux-Mines Show 2008  

Sunday 06/22/2008

Right now, we are going to the Sainte Marie Mineral Show. This time with all kind of incidents, including an excess of Internet traffic on the Forum. That’s why we have been forced to change the Forum server. We have had to suspend it temporarily because this situation clashes with the Sainte Marie Mineral Show and it has been impossible to do much more. Please stay tuned, the Forum will re-start July 1st!

We are going to report what is happening in the Sainte Marie Show using emails to announce to our Forum's members every new issue. So, starting with these columns, this is the actual situation: Joan Rosell, J. Deusedes (Parés) and me on the road, compressed like sausages in our rented Mercedes Vito Transporter, but, as always, very lively and eager to discover what will be new in Sainte Marie and, of course, looking forward to meeting there a lot of customers and friends.

Until we reach Sainte Marie, we can’t say so much. Just a comment about some of our last minute novelties: Ferrosaponite from Guixeres Quarry in Can Suria, Maçanet de la Selva (Girona, Spain) and original Goethites from a new location: La Lapilla, Alosno, Huelva, which although less colorful than those from Tharsis, are very aesthetic due to their special shape.

In addition, very good Fluorite from La Viesca-La Collada (very large) and certainly, the extraordinary collection of worldwide secondary lead and copper minerals that we have recently acquired and we will show for the first time in Sainte Marie.

As we said this is a funny and hectic trip.
On the image you can see Joan still working with
the computer to prepare this column during a short stop
while filling the tank.

Monday 06/23/2008

Today was a dead day here in Sainte Marie. All the Show area is blocked, so no one (including exhibitors) can get inside. However we are able to inform you about one of the novelties from this show.

On April, in Bou Bekker, close to Toussit (Morocco), a vein with numerous Azurite-Malachite samples with good quality was found by local searchers, pretty similar to the good ones mined on the 80's.

More info:

We acquired a fine lot of this material from Alí Hmani and today he delivered it to us, here in Sainte Marie. He still has many specimens, all of them with good quality, and he is going to sell them during the Show at his stand (one of the tents close to the Theater), so we recommend to visit him to take a look at this material. Images speak for themselves, so we publish here these two photos to show the quality of these new Azurites with Malachite from Bou Bekker.

Alí Hmani, smiling with two of his Azurite
specimens in his hands.

A huge sample of the new Azurite-Malachite
specimens from Bou Bekker (Morocco).

Tuesday 06/24/2008

Today. set up day, has been a very long one and frankly we are really tired. That is why today this chronicle will be short, although we will announce some breaking news that we will add to tomorrow.

Breaking News
1) The Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines Mineral Show will leave its current location and will move to Colmar (40 Km from Sainte Marie). While many people claim that this will happen as early as next year, I have spoken with the organizers and they have assured that although it is certain that the fair will move to Colmar in the near future, it is not yet sure when this will happen.
2) The San Martín Mine (Chiuruco), the Peruvian mine which has been producing exceptional Rhodonite specimens over the last two years, will be definitely closed by the end of June. From past January no new Rhodonite mineralized vugs have appeared. So the mine will not produce more new specimens in the future.
3) The Nuevo Mundo Mine (Pasto Bueno) in Perú is being exploited at this time by the same group that mined Chiuruco, finding there the Nuevo Mundo's classics: Tetrahedrite, Hübnerite, Sphalerite...

One of the nice secret places of Sainte Marie.

The stand with all the material ready to be showed.

Wednesday 06/25/2008

Finally today we have finished the stand and we can enjoy the fair, under the rain, the sun and with a very wet weather. The Sainte Marie Show streets are already full of busy dealers and some buyers who are trying to get the best lots and specimens. Some dealers are still in the set-up process. Anyway, tomorrow everything will be ready to receive visitors.

This afternoon our stand has been visited by a TV reporter. With camera in hand he has filmed some of the most spectacular specimens we have. Although this photo doesn't show it well, we would like to emphasize the huge, world class, specimen of Calcite on Amethyst from Artigas, Uruguay. Rather than the Amethyst crystals, its primary feature is the unusual and very esthetic shape of the Calcite.

Now is the time to expand and complete the infos of yesterday about the future of the Rhodonites from the San Martín Mine. Luis Miguel has commented to us that some time ago miners opened a new gallery following the polymetallic sulfides-Rhodonite vein searching for new Rhodonite specimens.

After several months of hard work in the sulfides vein, they only found massive Rhodonite and, to the despair of the miners, there were no vugs with crystallized Rhodonite specimens. The owners have made the decision to close the mine definitely next June 30.
Now efforts have been directed towards prospecting minerals from the Nuevo Mundo Mine, NW from Pasto Bueno with some interesting results, like fine Tetrahedrites with Sphalerite. Good Luck!!!

Artigas specimens are always fascinating to everybody.

Nicolas Ubelmann having a good time with his camera.
We will see our stand on the CNN Breaking News, or so...?

Thursday 06/26/2008

After a long day of work we accomplish our promise to inform you about some interesting novelties.

As usual in recent years, this Show will not supply too much novelties. Although in the previous days it seemed that nothing new will appear, finally some exciting new things have appeared. We will inform about them in the next days. To start, today we would like to mention the new Acanthite specimens from Imiter (Morocco) always with the pseudo-octahedral crystal form, but this time grey and shiney, not black, so pretty esthetic with their curious forms. With this post we include two images of them. The images don't reflect so well their beauty, we will try to do better when return to Barcelona.

We also add a picture of the latest Goethite specimens from La Lapilla (Huelva, Spain), those we talked about in our first report. Crossed thin bars of Goethite growths with delicate colors. Color is less intense than the others from Tharsis, but the forms are very attractive.

New Goethite samples from La Lapilla (Huelva, Spain).

We also saw some nice Shattuckite specimens, some of them covered by Quartz crystals and accompanied by Malachite.

Many people are saying that the economical crisis has also arrived to the minerals, but the traffic here is very intense and the business seems to be satisfactory. A good specimen always deserves an effort, and we think that many collectors accept this.

Very brilliant Acanthite specimens from Imiter mines (Morocco).
New items for Moroccan and Silver minerals collectors.

On one stand of the Theater a huge specimen
of Fluorite with Baryte from Berbes (Asturias, Spain).
Size!: 65 x 45 x 25 cm.

Friday 06/27/2008

Today we had no time to write a complete text, so just a quick note to say that the Show runs successfully and that finally appeared more novelties than we supposed at the beginning like, for example, new Azurite rosettes from Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, and also very nice colorful cuprian Adamite from Mapimí, Mexico.
Tomorrow we will have more time to work on this column, so we will inform about this and other novelties in more detail.

Saturday 06/28/2008

Today Saturday, was the day with the highest number of visitors since the Sainte Marie Show started. After all these days walking around the Show we have found more interesting things than we expected.

Among notable recent finds, our favorites are the new cuprian Adamite from Ojuela Mine, Mapimí, Mexico, mined in March 2008. There was just a single pocket with not over 100 specimens. The cuprian Adamite crystals have an excellent luster and very sharp faces and edges, with a pleasant, colorful, bluish-greenish color.

Very nice specimen of cuprian Adamite
with bluish-greenish tones from Ojuela Mine
(Mapimí, Mexico).

Another exciting thing are the Quartz (Amethyst) crystals from Osilo, Sardinia, Italy. Their quality is much higher than previous finds on this area. Good sized crystals, very transparent and with a delicate purple color. On a volcanic matrix.. Them are so good that can be confused with Las Vigas Amethyst.

Quartz (Amethyst) from Osilo, Sardinia, Italy.

From the area of Dzhezkazgan (Kazakhstan), well known for the Copper and copper sulfides specimens, but not for its secondary minerals, we found some interesting floaters Azurites with crystals in rosettes with complex growths and excellent color. Some of them with Malachite after Azurite.

Azurite rosette with Malachite
from Dzhezkazgan area (Kazakhstan).

Monday, 06/30/2008

The show is over, today we are returning to Barcelona. Tomorrow, July 1, the Forum will re-start, so this is a good time to write some thoughts. First thing (and very positive) is that the show was generally successful, the majority of dealers were happy as well as the visitors whose number has apparently grown. This fact is very positive in an atmosphere of crisis because it means that this hobby has deep roots and a solid structure, so collectors and dealers are not adversely affected by the general pessimistic atmosphere of these times.

Also positive is the fact that although we did not see many main novelties that focused the collector's attention, we did see at this show several new exciting things with relatively reasonable prices. The Mapimí cuprian Adamites, the new shiny Acanthites from Imiter, the Osilo Amethysts, the Azurites from Dzhezkazgan and Bou Bekker, the Ferrosaponites from Maçanet, the La Lapilla Goethites, the new samples from the Nuevo Mundo Mine , the Namibian Shattuckites, the Chinese Scorodites, the samples from Madan, Bulgaria, where four mines are already working... this is more than just some interesting novelties. The hobby continues and new samples appear in the market, so we can so qualify the situation as good.

This is one of the best Shattuckite with Malachite specimens mined recently.
Its photo was published recently in the Rivista Mineralogica Italiana
magazine. We liked this specimen a lot and that is why we bought it.

Other main news is that this show could move to Colmar in the future. The situation is very complex and hard to resolve. It is true that the logistic problems in organizing this show in so small a village as Sainte Marie cause an enormous effort for the producers of the show and also for the exhibitors, who are subjected to inconveniences as well as for the visitors who suffer the absence of support, like Hotels, and also experience queues to access the show because of the reduced dimensions of Sainte Marie and the access roads which do not have the capacity to accommodate the traffic that the show generates.

Having said this, my opinion, and also the opinion of the vast majority of the exhibitors and visitors with whom spoke, is that it would be a big mistake to change this show to a new place, because its success is due to its singularity and if this show becomes a show like others, placed in a regular exhibitor area in a large city, it will change to a common show without its "glamour". The prevailing opinion that I hear is that if the show moves to Colmar, neither the exhibitors nor the customers will be motivated to visit it again.

Is not easy to say what will happen in the future but our position is also that if this show moves to Colmar we probably won't attend this show as exhibitors. The organization must decide, its decision is very complicated and we should respect it. What we do here is to reflect the news and try to expose opinions about this topic, the opinions of the visitors and the opinions of the organizers. We will see what happens in the future (when it happens).

This was our office in Sainte Marie. The only place in the
neighborhood where we had Internet connection to send
these columns. Not easy at all to use technology in Sainte Marie!

On Sunday night the final game of the European Football (soccer) Cup
was played. As the Weinstub restaurant is the only one available in
Sainte Marie late at night, we joined there some supporters of the German team,
like the collector Paul Stahl, the Munich Mineral Show organizer
Christoph Keilmann, the well known dealers Marcus Budil
and Horst Burkard and many others...

This is where all of us we watched the match on TV
and luckily, although Spain won, there was no fight ;-)
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Joan R.

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PostPosted: Jul 08, 2008 09:43    Post subject: Re: Sainte Marie-aux-Mines 2008 Show  

Ste. Marie Mineral Show always have had surprises, some very pleasant as this where a brass band delighted us with chamber music and traditional Alsatian songs. These things are those that give warmth and it is the aim of the Show for us, and that might be lost if it moves to Colmar, as assured. The personality of the Fair will be certainly affected.

Musicians playing at the Theater.

On the other hand the natural environment of Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines is beautiful and allows that during the day is very hot, a storm or a fresh wind from the mountains could refresh our tired bodies.

The "windows" cat, taking a look from its viewpoint.
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Life in Ste. Marie's summer time.
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The green forests around Ste. Marie. Nature and flowers...
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One of the streets of Ste. Marie Show with all the dealers and expositors.
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Local TV cameras in our stand in the Theater.
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Joan Rosell
Grup Mineralògic Català
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Jul 08, 2008 11:40    Post subject: Re: Sainte Marie-aux-Mines 2008 Show  

After the last message that we published about the 2008 Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines Show, I would like to comment that if someone has photos of the show, it would be nice to publish them here to get more and different visions of the show.

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