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Bologna Mineral Show 2019

Last Updated: 10th Mar 2019

By Jolyon & Katya Ralph

This is a LIVE report, keep this page loaded for live updates - new images will appear as they are added.

I'm happy to be in Italy today here for the first time at the Bologna Mineral Show. Today is set up day, but I hope to be able to find things to report on.

Right now dealers are slowly starting to move in and set up. Unless you've worked a mineral show yourself before it's very difficult to understand the work that is needed to set up a booth and even more so the work the organizers need to do to make sure everything works and everyone is in the right place at the right time.

Webmimerals have a large selection of blue fluorite from Monte San Calogero Termini Imerese, Sicily (Italy)

This Sicilian fluorite is especially difficult to photograph. I tried my Sony A7RII, my Huawei P20pro phone and even my old iPhone 6S+ and they all get the colour totally wrong. A bit of messing around in Lightroom and this is about as close as I can get to the real colour. But they are a vivid sky blue.

This interested me. A block, almost a brick, of malachite from Mindouli, DR Congo showing parts of the brecciated matrix. It's also in the 50% off cabinet! Vietti Corrado.

Here's one for you, Erin. They even have Blanchard mine fluorite in Italian mineral shows. Italianminerals Com - Genazzani.

The same dealer also had a good number of interesting Elba minerals.

Close up of the type locality elbaite. Collected 1994.

Same dealer, Sardinian phosgenite.

Azurite from Sierra Rica, Chihuahua, Mexico. Not sure why I missed this at Tucson I'm sure it must have been there. Stefano Freschi specimens.

Nice association with the Quartz

Italian hyalophane crystals. Luigi Piasco specimens

Large (~35cm) Chinese fluorite group. I know it's easy to overlook Chinese minerals because there are so many of them, but should never forget how spectacular they can be, as with this piece. Kristalli specimen.

Kristalli have a very impressive booth here with lots of high end material.

Just a brief stop for lunch, had some food courtesy of the show organizers in their staff kitchen. And I'm glad to say my first pasta meal of this trip was excellent despite being microwaved.

Very aesthetic Russian Topaz. Agostiono Mariani.

Interesting morphology of pyrite from Rovegno, Genova, Italy. Vietti Corrado specimen.

Fabulous quartz on elbaite from Pederneira, Brazil - Merveilles de la Terre.

Stibnite from Manciano, Italy. Stefano Freschi specimen

Gunnar Farber is here with his millions of plastic boxed minerals!

And here's a photo for Tom Coates. Paracelsian crystals from the Benalt mine in Wales. Gunnar Farber specimen

Excellent Bolivian ferberite crystals. Mattia Cairoli

Arsenopyrite after pyrrhotite from the Double Rainbow mine, South Dakota. With South Dakota School of Mines label. Fabio Tamagnini

Sillimanite partial pseudomorph after corundum. Lhosy, Madagascar. Same dealer.

Dmitry Lisitsin from Russia is here with his whole family. Lots of rare Kola minerals along with some other Russian and Asian minerals.

If it needs a sticky arrow it must be rare.

Argentotetrahedrite from China. Dmitry Lisitsin specimen

View of the hall floor. Dealers are still setting up, some have not even arrived to set up yet.

For those who haven't seen it before, searing the ends of gypsum crystals with a blowtorch is apparently a thing now.

Fabio Tamagnini has some excellent minerals reduced to only 5 euros each. I expect them all to be gone before I'm back on Saturday.

Rich jamesonite from Peru. 5 euros.

Pyrite and Tetrahedrite again from Peru. 5 euros.

Again, 5 euros. You get the idea!

Bournonite on quartz from China. Same price! I'm being very good and not buying these all myself. Although if you're looking for the blue Sardinian 'calamine' that was in this box earlier sorry you're too late :)

Webmimerals have specimens from the Sandro Maggia collection for sale and they are very nice indeed.

Haven't featured an Ilfeld Manganite in my reports for a long while. Long term readers will remember I used to have one in almost every show report. So here is a good one! Webmimerals

Italian gold. MCP specimen. We'll be seeing more gold on Saturday when I document the special exhibits. Had a sneak peak today and... Wow! Just wait...

It's Saturday and I'm back at the show. this year is a very special year as it's the 50th Bologna show!

Renato and Adriana Pagano selling rare minerals and of course the Mineralogical Record.

Elba hematite Maurizio Prati

Busy show and apparently it gets busier in the afternoon

And here is Sarah Sudcowsky, who has been a friend of mindat for many many years. Here she is with her hand crafted jewellery and minerals, many of which she collected herself.

Purple fluorite from the Cammissinone, Italy.
Some of these pieces have wild internal zoning and they are recrystallised on all surfaces from where they floating in the pocket clay. Collected by Sarah in 2018.

Moldavite with little garnets, quartz and little natural quartz crystals. Sarah Sudcowsky creation.

Zunyite crystals from Qualat-e-Balat salt dome, Bandar Abbas, Hormozgan, Iran.

Mattia Cairoli has a selection of crystals from this find from a hole that has since been filled in, so more finds are unlikely.

Now let's go see the special exhibits. On the way we find the Museo Universitario Di Scienze della Terra have a very popular set up with microscopes, thin sections and fluorescent minerals.

First we will look at a display of minerals from the Carrara marbles, to coincide with the launch of this excellent new book (in English). I bought a copy already.

I can't translate eveythimg, sorry. But here is the first cabiley.

Quartz from Cava Pratazzolo, Carrara


A very well used hammer

Some of the publications detailing the area.

Some of the more historic and illustrated specimens.


Look at this incredible crystal from Cava La Facciata. M. Varoli collection.



More sulfides and sulfosalts

Malachite coated covellite


Exceptional 1cm sphalerite crystal from Cava Cardellino. S. Magnanelli specimen.

Halides, oxides


Green dolomite


Phosphates, arsenates and vanadates



Quartz. Cava La Facciata. M. Varoli

A paradise for micromounts.

So you want to see the exhibit of exceptional Italian gold specimens? Of course you do! But first I think I'll go get some lunch!

Herderite, Minas Gerais Brazil. From an old 1970s collection. Dr Stefano Conforti of Milan specimen.

Ok, I've teased you long enough. Here is the display of the minerals of Brusson, Italy's Eldorado.

No, not just quartz!




Gold !V

Cabinet 3

Gold V

Gold V!

Gold V!!

Gold V!!

Gold !X

Gold X

All gold from private collections.

The next display is entitled 'Red Passion'

Pink fluorite from Monte Bianco, France. F. Chianale collection

Same locality and collector


More worldwide minerals.

Display of alluvial gold nuggets from Italy

"nutellino" a 49.32g nugget. Torrente Cervical, Sagliano Micca, G. carenzo collection

A fantastic mod of the Orco river showing different alluvial gold samples found along its course.

The samples

Popped in to the university museum display about fluorescence.

He's really making us work for the display. Having to learn some advanced physics in Italian before he'll turn the UV on.

Finally. Magic glow rocks.

Carrara quartzes. Maurizio Prati specimens

Remember those 5 euro minerals from Fabio Tamagnini? The ones I highlighted are all gone of course but there are more! Including this chrysoberyl from Zambia. It's mine!

Or if you are willing to invest a little more... Vesuvianite from Vesuvius

New find of yellow fluorite from Four de Cluzel, Peyrebrune - Tarn, France. Jean Charles Girard specimens.

Also he has this big English fluorite group.

We don't often see Tunisian minerals. Here's a fluorite from Sidi Taya. Jean-Charles Girard specimen

Just to prove England doesn't have the monopoly on showy green fluorite specimens, MCP have a new find of green fluorite from Malainbandy, Madagascar.

One of the larger pieces

Another Harz Manganite. Silvia Moretti specimen

Oh, and more New Mexican fluorite! Same dealer.

Also some nice Serandite from MSH

Pseudomorph and perimorphs of Smithsonite after calcite from Sardinia. Same dealer.

Mind out, dinosaur coming through.

Pink quartz (or rose quartz depending on your viewpoint) from Brazil. Pregi specimen.

Fluorite and Galena. Boltsburn mine, England. Enrico Rinaldi specimen.

Sylvamite from Manka Au deposit, Kurchumnskiy, Kazakhstan. From the Singoli Campioni collection being sold by Gabriele Zaccaria.

Piemonte perovskites from the same dealer.

Glaucophane and Fuschite in water worn pebbles, from Pollone, Piemonte, Italy. Italianminerals specimens.

If quartz really wished it was fluorite... Melanoflogite. Fortullino, Livorno, Italy. Bruno Braschi specimens

Bologna is a beautiful Italian city. Taking a moment to enjoy the sights.

The thing that struck me immediately about the four female statues around the base of this monument is that they each have two fishy legs, an interesting take on the mermaid theme. Piazza del Nettuno, Bologna

The two towers. Bologna

Quick visit to the Museum of Geology

Eocene fishes

Classic style teaching collection

Grossetano e Lazio

Local rock types.


The rocks get more interesting as you get closer to the Alps


Tethyshadros from Trieste

I love these old geological models

Bohemian Rocks

Another model from Krantz of Bonn . Der Gotthatd

Relief geology of Naples.

It's a beautiful town

Back at the show I’m following Roman

He’s found somewhere to bang rocks with a hammer. No doubting he’s my son!

Azurite from the Kamenushinskoye Mine, Altai, Russia. Denis Ruskin specimen

The dinosaur riders are amazing!

It's almost time to say ciao! But before I do here are the details for next year's show

Article has been viewed at least 5189 times.


The Blanchard mine is in the US state of New Mexico, not the country of Mexico.

David Von Bargen
7th Mar 2019 1:01pm
Didn't even notice that ;)

Jolyon & Katya Ralph
7th Mar 2019 1:33pm
Mindouli is in the Republic of Congo, not DRC. But the specimen does look like coming from DRC...

Cédrick Gineste
7th Mar 2019 2:23pm
See you tomorrow at the show!

Antonio Borrelli
7th Mar 2019 2:34pm
Mindouli is in the Republic of Congo, not DRC. But the specimen does look like coming from DRC...

Cédrick Gineste
7th Mar 2019 2:38pm
See you tomorrow at the show!

Antonio Borrelli
7th Mar 2019 2:42pm
I won't be at the show tomorrow (wedding anniversary) but will be back on Saturday!

Jolyon & Katya Ralph
7th Mar 2019 2:47pm
Such a pity. I'll only be visiting the show on friday.

Antonio Borrelli
7th Mar 2019 3:47pm
New Mexico, Old Mexico, what’s the difference?

I really like the Pederneira piece pictured - I have one of it’s little sisters. The “black” caps actually light up in electric blue when backlit.

Erin Delventhal
7th Mar 2019 8:11pm
Nice report and nice displays.
But I wonder why the labels say quarzi and quarzo and anatazi and anatazio ?
Enjoy Jolyon.

Paul De Bondt
9th Mar 2019 10:46am
Quarzi is plural for quarzo: "quarzi" = quartzs, such as quartz crystals; and "quarzo" = simply quartz.
The same for antaSi (more) and anataSio (one).
Very nice report from Bologna, thanks Jolyon.

Alessandro Cantamessa
9th Mar 2019 7:59pm
Hi Jolyon, Katia and Roman! I hope you enjoyed your trip to Bologna! If you called me or sent me an e-mail, I would also have found the way of meeting all of you! Then I hope you had time to enjoy our Italian meals! But... be careful! Emilian diet is NOT slimming at all!!!
Greetings by Riccardo.
P.S. When you plan to come to Milano, just you have to let me know. Ciao!

Riccardo Modanesi
14th Mar 2019 6:41pm

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