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Sainte-Marie-Aux-Mines 2016 - Day 3

Last Updated: 5th Jul 2016

By Tom Costes

SMAM 2016 - DAY 3

Day three was our last day in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines (SMAM) which was a good thing for our wallets. We left ‘Le Theatre’ and ‘La Piscine’ as last because there was a risk that it would rain on the Friday and these places are indoors, but the rain only came at night.

But first we wanted to visit the big hall with all the indoor stands so we could have a better look, now that the temperature is still bearable. Soon we discovered that we had skipped a small exposition about the minerals that were first found in the SMAM area.


The three panels of the exhibition
about the minerals first found in
the region
The three panels of the exhibition
about the minerals first found in
the region
The three panels of the exhibition
about the minerals first found in
the region


And after going through the big hall we finally went to ‘La Piscine’.

The entrance to "La Piscine" guarded by Fabre Minerals


“La Piscine” is the swimming pool where they have put all the different vendors around the swimming pool together with a small art exhibition. We also found a surprise exhibition about meteorites that I found really nice (even if I’m not really interested in meteorites).

Quite the unusual setting


Very nice quartz on siderite


Very nice French Epidote
A detail from the stunning Epidote
Very nice French Epidote
A detail from the stunning Epidote
Very nice French Epidote
A detail from the stunning Epidote


A whole stand filled with beautiful clear quartz from La Gardette


One of the best pieces of the art exhibition


We still had to check out the meteorites exposition located in a small room in the swimming pool.

Everything needs an introduction...


It is fun when you get the backstory from some of these pieces


Certainly true for this piece: The Ensisheim Meteorite
For those who can't read medieval German... it was found in 1492
Certainly true for this piece: The Ensisheim Meteorite
For those who can't read medieval German... it was found in 1492
Certainly true for this piece: The Ensisheim Meteorite
For those who can't read medieval German... it was found in 1492


And even with meteorites it doesn't always have to be serious...


After this we finally went to 'Le Theatre'. For those who don’t know ‘Le Theatre’ it is the place where most high-end dealers are situated in the beautiful theatre and its entrance hall. All the traders are very close to one another and there are a lot of people viewing the pieces. So it wasn't easy to get some decent pictures.

Finally going in



The great stand from Saphira


Some of the most impressive pieces: octahedrons of gold!


Inside the theatre itself.


The best Cubanite i've ever seen


The stand at the back: Crystal Classics


And for those who thought it was only about the pieces, Joaquim Callén from the Mineral Up calenders was also present


Now we had seen everyting in the mineral zone, but we were still curious about the Gem Zone. It was about 400 meters away from the main mineral and fossil zone and they had even organised a little shuttle train to take you there. But first... refreshments!!!

A familiar sight for many visitors because it is the view from the bar near entrance 3
the shuttle to the Gem Zone
A familiar sight for many visitors because it is the view from the bar near entrance 3
the shuttle to the Gem Zone
A familiar sight for many visitors because it is the view from the bar near entrance 3
the shuttle to the Gem Zone


For those who wonder what the gem zone might be, it is a zone filled with jewelry and jewelry making equipment. Whatever your opinion might be about this, it is a part of our hobby and needs to get its place.

some tables are chaos
some a bit less
and some are even OCD-proof
some tables are chaos
some a bit less
and some are even OCD-proof
some tables are chaos
some a bit less
and some are even OCD-proof


There was even an indoor area that your reporter didn't visit. Luckily your photographer has a wife and daughter and he had to search for something to bring home for them.


But even the recently deceased had to take cover from the heat with a hat


Almost leaving, but i still have some questions about the fair so i'm asking them at the tent for the press... My last professional act


and then it is time for some wine tasting


On day 3 there were already 30-35 thousand tickets sold (at the fair and online) and there are over a 1000 vendors. It really is a big international event where everybody comes together for the love of the beauty of this earth's crust. So there is no doubt it is worth the visit. And the theme for next year is already known: Amethyst and Volcanoes! something to look forward too.

Spock out!

Bert Verschuren (photographer) & Tom Costes (reporter)




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