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XIII Lwóweckie Lato Agatowe - Updated

Last Updated: 18th Jul 2010

By Jolyon & Katya Ralph

I'm in Poland in the town of Lwówek Śląski which is hosting the annual Lwóweckie Lato Agatowe exhibition, street fair and rock/mineral/agate/gem show. The format is very similar to Ste Marie, with the whole town taken over for three days, stalls set up along the streets, one area is full of mineral, rock and agate dealers (mostly Polish) and other parts of the town have stalls selling everything from popcorn to sandals. There is also a huge stage erected next to the town hall, and there were live music events here as well. To coincide with the show there is an exhibition of the local agates (Płóczki Górne), showing their incredible form, variety and strong colours clearly showing why this locality is regarded as one of the most important worldwide by agate collectors. The exhibition will continue for three months, long after the rest of the show has finished.

The main show started 4pm Friday 16th July, although people were already wandering around and buying things on Friday morning, and the show continues until Sunday evening.

Town Hall - mineral competition exhibits, fossil exhibition and agate display


Street dealers


The Agate exhibition


Agate from Płóczki Górne


Prasiolite and Agate from Płóczki Górne


Agate


Another agate


Update: It's now Sunday afternoon, Yesterday I finished helping to judge the mineral/fossil displays competition in the museum room in the town hall. The competition was judged using a strict scoring system, up to three points for presentation, three points for educational value and up to four points for the quality of specimens, up to a total of ten points. First place can only be awarded for ten points, second place for nine points and third place for eight points. We could have potentially not awarded any winning places at all, but in the end one display stood out above all others, three cabinets of the minerals of the Strzegom Pegmatites of Poland, put together by young collector Andrzej Korzekwa. When judging this case we agreed that it deserved full points for each category, as it was of a standard that would have received high praise even at Munich or Tucson shows.

Andrzej Korzekwa's cabinets of Strzegom minerals


Here's one example of why Andrzej deserved the full three points for educational value, this is a polished cube of granite showing an enclosed pegmatite pocket.

Pegmatite pocket


Yesterday I went on two quick trips to view agate localities, including the classic locality of Płóczki Górne. Found one small agate there, and several more at the second locality. Here we are examining one of the holes dug at Płóczki by agate collectors.

Looking for Płóczki agate


Here's the piece from Płóczki after being cut. It's only small but has lovely colour:

Płóczki agate collected by Jolyon


As I mentioned before, parts of the show are general stalls selling everything from meteorites...

Meteorites


to tacky mineral souvenirs...

Mineral souvenirs


to hats...

Hats?


to bees?

Bees?


But of course, there are serious mineral dealers too. Here is Jaroslaw Skupiewski displaying some of his stock. In particular he had some inexpensive examples of the classic Slovakian copper minerals, such as euchroite, and he also had some interesting uranium secondary micromounts.

Jaroslaw Skupiewski


The mix of mineral and non-mineral stalls works really well, it does turn it into a more general town fair rather than something specialised, and although agate is very important here (there are images of agate everywhere), this general interest element helps bring the tens of thousands of people into the town for the event.

And Friday evening there was a parade through the town, and as a foreign guest I was invited up onto the stage by the mayor to watch the town parade past, along with other foreign guests and local dignitaries (the loudest cheer from the public was reserved for the manager of the town brewery!).

Me watching the parade from the stage


On the stage with the mayor


Later, the stage was used for a free concert by Polish rockers Myslovitz, playing to a packed-out crowd.

Myslovitz playing at the Lwoweckie Lato Agatowe




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Comments

Thanx for the info!
I'll visit the agate exhibition in the middle of august
(and also try to find some...)

Nice greetings, Gerhard

Gerhard Brandstetter
16th Jul 2010 12:32pm

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