2nd Changsha Mineral and Gem Show, China 2014Last Updated: 19th May 2014
By Jolyon & Katya Ralph
2nd Changsha Mineral and Gem Show, China 2014
This year I was unable to travel to Changsha for the show, so Peter Megaw kindly volunteered to send photos from the event. Here are his photos and his (mostly unedited) comments.
Pollution was very high on arrival with strong smell of smoke in the air. Fortunately we got torrential rains from 4-9 pm and the air was rinsed clean
Set up was much more timely...the shipping fiasco of last year was rectified and folks had their goods on time
A LOT more small material in evidence...apparently the organizers made a plea for smaller and beginner materials that was heard. Nonetheless, there are a LOT of big specimens everywhere
Usual suspects in evidence...only a few major dealers from last year not here, replaced by more European and Chinese dealers. Floor full of dealers...no exhibits competing for space.
Customs issues also largely resolved (picture is of Collector's Edge getting their inspection...took 15 minutes)
Cases with carefully selected light sources to enhance appearance...clearly deceptive and visible 50 meters away
Opening Day (Thursday)
Huge rainstorm late on set up day washed the air clear, so the day dawned clear and MUCH cooler. Overall the weather has been much kinder than the muggy hot conditions for the 2013 show. We are told this year's weather is the exception.
Opening ceremony much like 2013 but the crowd was awash in red hats in contrast to last year's white hat. Mercifully only 3 people made welcoming speeches and one was Federico Pezzotta, so the confetti cannon got fired quickly and the politico-heavy VIP crowd headed inside. (Reports are that over 300 politicians got involved this year in contrast to fewer than 40 last year...not hard to figure out what that means!)
Volunteer translators etc. at least as good and friendly as last year...these kids again MAKE this show for foreign visitors!
Jade continues to draw the biggest buyer crowds. Worker is cutting a window or thin slice off side of boulder and this is then shown to the crowd who bid on the boulder.
Fluorite abounds... New green find with peculiar pitted botyoidal surfaces but wonderful color (20 cm)
LOTS of Chinese emeralds this year...most frozen in matrix but a few worked out nicely like this one (20 cm)
Big new find of wulfenite...the crystals are thin but up to 5 cm. Unfortunately these were coated in calcite which has been removed with HCl, destroying the luster
Hand-carved bases continue to proliferate, some showing great imagination like this malachite stalactite turned into a centipede
Mao's reconstruction continues apace...there is an entire booth devoted to gold effigies of the dear departed leader
"The Bull" was revealed as it's wrappings were removed (see earlier). A huge lump of fairly ordinary purple fluorite that an active imagination perceived as a bull...but the image needed help so a yoke and plow were added. Bulls are symbols of luck and prosperity and I'm guessing the vendor is counting on someone increasing his by taking this monster off his hands.
Opal exhibit that was so badly lit last year is back...with better lighting but still leaving a lot to be desired
Saturday & Sunday
Children's activity...fossil hunting. Love the little girl in the party dress with the rock hammer and goggles!
Thank you Peter for your hard work in capturing the show for us.
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