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Ste Marie Aux Mines 2012

Last Updated: 15th Jul 2012

As many of you know, the Ste Marie Aux Mines mineral show has been a popular mineral show in France for a number of years. It started in 1962 as Mine Day and in 1966 became Stones. Then, in 1982, Michael Schwab become the organizer and promoter. He worked with the city and grew the show to capacity - about 25,000 - 30,000 visitors in the 2 day weekend and about 900 dealers from about 60 countries.

Then in 2011, Schwab tried to break away from Ste Marie Aux Mines and create a separate show in Colmar. The city of Ste Marie Aux Mines responded by deciding to create its own show (or continue the original, depending on your interpretation). The mineral community was split, with many wanting the charm and tradition of Ste Marie Aux Mines, but many others wanting the improved logistics and space of Colmar. There were many other reasons that people preferred one over the other. The problem was that many of the dealers are really small companies, with 1-2 people. So the prospect of being at both shows was impossible. So some picked Colmar, some picked Ste Marie Aux Mines, and some just waited.

As it turned out, not enough dealers decided to move to Colmar, so Schwab had to cancel the Colmar show. The city of Ste Marie Aux Mines ran with their show. Several dealers helped the mayor, Claude Abel, to organize, promote, and prepare for the show. Apparently the city put a lot of money into trying to improve the things that Schwab and his team found problematic. There were some worries voiced by dealers that too much money was spent, putting the show in jeopardy for 2013.

As visitors, we didn't see that big a difference, other than 1 major thing. There was PLENTY of well organized parking. There were continuous free buses running from all parking lots to the show and back. There was even a mini train that ran a loop from one of the show entrances down toward the bus pick-up/drop-off point. They even sold tickets at the parking lots, thus eliminating lines at the entrances. This solved the major issue I had with the show, when we visited in 2010.

The other issue we had in 2010 was that the temperature was always VERY hot. However, the team arranging the 2012 event even fixed the weather problem! It was wonderful every day - not too hot and not too cold. :-)

All in all, I would consider this year's Ste Marie Aux Mines show a resounding success!

Along with a monologue, I thought I would bore you with some mineral pictures, I hope you don't mind.








Someday I really hope to get one of these in our house. Cuprite after copper after cuprite!


There were a large number of fluorites, and since I really like fluorite...















Ok I will give you a break from fluorite and move on to some other minerals we saw.





This is really interesting. Last year, Luiz Menezes brought some muscovite after schorl. The schorl was completely gone and the pieces were solid. Now, in a new find, they have found hollow versions of the same.




There were several other new finds on display.

New find arfvedsonite, ilvaite and zircon from Morocco


New find arfvedsonite, ilvaite and zircon from Morocco


New find arfvedsonite, ilvaite and zircon from Morocco










Ok, now back to some of the classics.













There were a few things that stood out for various reasons (because they were so different maybe).





Look closely at these eggs. Crocoite and canvasite!

Amazing Eggs





I usually do not get into decorator pieces, but I thought these were worth posting. This first set are normal plates where ground up willemite crystals were added to the glaze before firing.

Willemite Crystals in plate


Willemite crystals in glaze


Willemite crystals in glaze




This next set are much larger. They are large-ish minerals in sculptures by Jean Pierre Mocci.

Sculpture


Sculpture


Sculpture




Sculpture


Sculpture




Sculpture


Sculpture




Sculpture




After the show, we toured the region for a day. Before we went on the trip, Jessica found a place called Montagne des Singes ( Mountain of the Monkeys). When you enter, they give you popcorn that you can hand to the monkeys. They politely take it and eat it, if interested. Here are some of the monkeys we saw


Monkeys at Monkey Mountain




Monkeys from Monkey Mountain


Monkeys at Monkey Mountain




Monkey at Monkey Mountain


Monkey at Monkey Mountain



And here is a video that my daughter, Jessica, took. It really gives you a feeling for being there. When you see the last frame of the video, you will see a face that the monkey makes. If you see this face, it means that you are getting too close to the monkey - that is your one and only warning. If you don't heed that warning, he or she might take further action of a more physical nature:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtVi9FlpUMo


One last picture...

Monkey at Monkey Mountain




Thank you for having a look! Also, thanks to Jessica, my daughter, for editing and the video clip.

Bob




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Comments

Great article Bob !

Love that last photo !

Wayne

Wayne Corwin
16th Jul 2012 8:18pm
You make me wish I had gone!

Alfredo Petrov
17th Jul 2012 2:19pm
Thanks Wayne, glad you enjoyed them. did you see the video? I think it is great, but of course I am biased.

We wish you HAD gone Alfredo!

Bob

Robert Simonoff
18th Jul 2012 9:29pm
Thanks Bob - for all those of us who are not able to attend the shows the reports and especially the photos are always a treat.
Keep them coming!!!

Ernst

Ernst A. Schnaitmann
19th Jul 2012 12:55pm

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