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Munich 2006 VIP day - Friday 3rd November

Welcome back to the Munich Show 2006. Friday is the first open day of the show, and is meant to be open only to "VIP guests", although judging by the queues at the entrance there are quite a lot of VIPs in Germany. Still, the show was not especially busy, and it was pleasant to walk around and browse. Compare this to tomorrow - wait and see.

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Starting where I finished off yesterday with the Gobin brothers and their nicely laid out stand:

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Another new find they had on offer was Fluorite from South Africa (actually, new Fluorite finds were the real theme of the 2006 show). these were from the Orange River area, which is on the border with Namibia.

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The largest stand in the International Mineral Pavillion was the joint stand shared by Kristalle (Wayne and Dona Leicht from California) and Crystal Classics (Ian Bruce from the UK).

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They had a dozen cabinets packed with high quality worldwide minerals, without doubt the best overall selection of minerals at the show. Here is a large Beckerment (Cumbria, UK) Hematite with Quartz and blue Fluorite:

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And a typical example from their cabinets - a classic weardale green fluorite group:

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Across the corridor was Collector's Edge (Bryan Lees), from Golden, Colorado.

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Bryan obviously wanted to show that Ian Bruce is not alone when it comes to quality classic British minerals, and offered this rather nice Herodsfoot Bournonite (a true UK classic):

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Visitors at Denver may have remembered that Kristalle had home-made cookies FedExed in to the show from California, which seemed a ridiculous waste of money until you actually tasted them, when you realised it was worth every penny. No FedExed cookies this time - but they did have some rather nice truffle chocolate lollypops (which are no doubt all gone by now):

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Just outside the International Pavillion was Jordi Fabre - Ida went to visit his stand while I was busy looking after ours, and he showed us a nice large Chinese calcite with (boulangerite?) inclusions:

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Back at the Mindat stand, I was meeting up with plenty of friendly faces - here are, from right to left, John S White (founder of Mineralogical Record and ex-curator at the Smithsonian), and Alfredo Petrov (mindat manager, expert in Bolivian and Japanese minerals, and teller of the best and funniest mineral stories ever).

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After my social commitments at the Mindat stand, I managed to escape into the main area of the show and do some more exploring - and found yet another new Fluorite find of great interest - this time blue Fluorite from France (Mine du Berg, Alban, Tarn): these were being offered by Merveilles de la terre from Grenoble.

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Finally, for today's update, Fine Minerals International had this enormous smoky quartz crystal blocking one of the doorways into the pavillion:

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Gunnar Farber has been digging in the Dominican Republic and found some excellent samples of the rare minerals Falcondoite (green) and Willamseite (olive) from Loma peguera, Falcondo Plant, Bonao, Dominican Republic:

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And he also had some rare crystals of Nezilovite from Macedonia (Kalugeri Hill):

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Tomorrow: We'll show you what the show is like on the first public day, and we'll get to view the minerals in the Masterpieces Exhibit.

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