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Sainte-Marie-Aux-Mines 2016 - Day 2

Last Updated: 30th Jun 2016

By Tom Costes


Day two should be less a rush than the day before. We want to visit all the outside dealers and then the big halls. we're leaving the Piscine (swimming pool), le Theatre and the Gem Area for tomorrow

In the pink zone is a road where all the stands are manned by Moroccan dealers. Bienvenue dans l'allée marocaine!!

Some great creamy-coloured vanadinite on Goethite

A stand filled with all Malinese pieces

The crowd is considerably bigger compared to yesterday

A must when you're visiting SMAM: the pyrites of Navajun, Spain

MY PRECIOUSSSSS.... our photographer wouldn't mind taking this piece home.

One of the best initiatives on the fair was the "Village Enfants". Kids can get easily bored on a fair this size and this is a great way to keep them interested in minerals, fossils, geology and archeology. The organisation clearly understands the need of sowing interest with the kids so they will become the next generation of great collectors.

Entrance to the village for the kids

And the kids aren't lacking interest to find out what the world looks like under a stereomicroscope

And they know how to tackle kids that aren't behaving...
A great display with casts of the early Homo's so they can see the evolution in the skulls.

There was a great do-it-yourself display where the kids can pan for gold under the supervision of experienced panners.

A great show-and-tell over how the first weapons where made from silex and what kind of tools they used to make arrowheads

Making your own discoveries is amazing at every age!

After having visited every outside area we decided to go inside in the excruciating heat, starting with the exposition that combines wines with minerals. They make a really good connection between the taste of the wine and the composition of the soil and so they combined the wines and minerals from several regions.

The wines and Pyrites from the Rioja area in Spain

The wines and copper minerals from the french Chessy region, known for its beautiful Azurites

One of the great cabinets where they combined the colour of the wine with minerals of the same colour.

We were impressed by the beauty of this well faceted Calcite from Dalnegorsk.

Lastly, there were some cabinets that explained what gives minerals their colour chemically.

And then we faced the warmth of the inside rooms.

A beautiful detail from a Polish Schalenblende

We had a nice chat with Rainer Bode from Bode Verlag publishers.

We visited our friend Ivan Blanco Garcia from

One of the most intriguing pieces of the fair... a modern sheep skull covered with beautiful and natural gypsum crystals from Australia.

Ominous clouds gathered above SMAM and made it clear that it was time to call it a day.
See you tomorrow!!!

Bert Verschuren (photographer) & Tom Costes (reporter)

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