Bologna Minerals and Fossils Show - 10th March 2006
by Eddy Vervloet
My wife Karina and I visited the Bologna Show for the second time around on March 10th. We were told that after Munich and
Saint-Marie-au-Mines, this was one of the top shows in Europe. And for sure we were not disappointed.
Held at the Bologna ‘Palazzo dei Congressi’, the show opens with an exhibit. The theme for this year was minerals of 'del monte bianco'.
A lovely display of mostly quartz specimens, which were lovely from first to last. Some great brookites too. Although I must admit,
it was a bit less impressive than last year, when the theme was 'gold and precious metals'. But the quality of specimens was really
overwhelming then. I will never forget the exquisite gold specimens I saw back then!
The show itself was the biggest in size I ever visited. ( I have not been in Munich or St-Marie yet…). You could say it is divided into
four ‘zones’. When you enter the main hall, you immediately find yourself amongst the top dealers of the show. Almost all the specimens
on display here are of very high quality - and price… A high percentage of gemstones were present, like tourmalines and beryls.
All in all a lot of ‘showy’ pieces! A feast for the eyes!
Just next to the main hall is what I would call ‘the second zone’, where the quality of specimens on offer didn’t come down, but the size
of them sure did, making them a lot more affordable! This is where we made most of this year’s purchases. Very nice material for
the systematic collector! No micromounts though, I guess the prices dealers have to pay to be here, can not be made up with
the sale of low cost micros…
On the first floor of the centre, all that came ‘from east of Rome’ was situated. Mostly Romanian, Pakistani, Indian and Chinese
dealers. Not the best of material in my eyes, and what was most frustrating to me, hardly anything was priced on the tables.
I asked one price, and when I asked my wife to go there and ask about the same specimen, she had to pay 50 euros less!
After passing through sort of a tunnel, we came into a tent-like hall, where there was room for another show, the size of
any normal show. Quality and price of the offered material was what I would call ‘normal’ here. Also in here was a presentation
of someone showing how pre historic arrow heads were made out of flint. Impressive craftsmanship! Here I saw the only
mindat contributor I met, Francesco Vecchi. But I do not know that many people personally…
All in all the Bologna Show is a must if you are in the area at the right time. We made a bit of a holiday out of it,
spending some time around Pisa. Bit early in the year maybe. If there is any disappointment to mention, it might be that
I did not really saw any ‘new’ stuff. We saw the minerals we see on other shows throughout Europe, only of higher quality!
There are also a lot of fossil dealers of course, but I am afraid my knowledge and interest in these are too little
to form an opinion. But I can imagine the standard being just as high as for the minerals!
Italians go through great lengths to get their stuff to the show!