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Roger Lang's Blog

Ste. Marie show 2011 Pt1

4th Jul 2011

Hi all,
time for this years show report from France - as i am writing the first lines of this blog entry the show is in its final stage, sunday early evening here, sitting at home and it is very hot and sunny outside. I presume that this entry won´t be ready before 4th of July as i have a last week at office now and then 3 weeks of well deserved (?) holidays (including mindat.org conference).

Wednesday, 22. June 2011

It should better have been warm and sunny on wednesday, 22nd of June, when we arrived at the show in the early afternoon. Smooth drive from Mainz, 25 °C, until Strasbourg where we entered the first thunderstorm, making it almost impossible to drive as pouring rain flooded the streets. Few km south sunny again until we reached Selestat and then we saw it coming .. dark clouds in the Liepvre valley did not tell any good. And when we entered the town of Ste. Marie pouring rain again, making it quite difficult to bring a box of beer to our base, as every year the booth of Philipp Becker. The show looked empty, most tents were closed and only a few people were seen running around trying to avoid getting wet. So we said hello to the Beckers, had a coffee and a first welcome beer and then checked out Philipps stuff. Thre were some excellent Namibian Schorls and a really fine Amethyst from Orabes, Brandberg, lots of Mexican material and US stuff, but only few really new specimens. I picked a large and quite good Rosasite from Mina Ojuela for my collection and some smaller mixed specimens.

Shelter from the rain
First meeting of the crowd

Rain had almost stopped meanwhile so we decided to have a quick first tour. We started at Hall 1 Val d´Argent to see if Damian Kislig and friends had new stuff (unfortunately not really), i met Mike Brooke from Broadstone Minerals and then we ran into some of our fellows who were running from the rain and cold outside (meanwhile it was around 14 °C and we had our t-shirts on). Bit of talk - then Klaus Hielscher joined us to meet some Bulgarian fellows who had excellent material from Madan. Pavel and Ruslan from M & A Minerals Rainbow Ltd. showed us a nice selection of specimens and we got a few for our collections, i decided to purchase a Galena-Cleiophane combo from Krushev Dol.

Ruslan & Pavel
Bulgarian Minerals

Klaus invited us all for a beer - he was in a very good mood and then he revealed the cause. He took a quite ugly specimen out of his pocket - with the name Hielscherite on it, a sulfate-sulfite mineral of the Ettringite group ... still did not show up on mindat until now ;) - IMA #2011-037, Ca2Si(SO4)(SO3)(OH)6*11H2O - hexagonal, from Graulay, Eifel.

Meeting at the rondel

2 beers later we proceeded to the central "rondel" and met Jordi Fabre (this year only as a visitor) and some of our collectors friends, before we headed back to Philipp´s booth to pack our purchases. Time to drive to our accomodation place, as last year at Dieffembach au Val, and after checking in we went to our favourite Restaurant Le Huhnerstall to end the evening with excellent food and french red wine.

Thursday, 23nd June 2011

Next day, weather not really good, quite cool. Smooth drive to the show, quite crowdy for Thursday and difficult to find a parking space. Finally it was 1 km to walk :-( At the entrance the sun came out - arond 10.30 am - and it looked like it would get to be a typical Ste. Marie day. A coffee at Philipp´s booth, and then the tour again. First we visited Martin and Gunda (Schätzeken! ;-) ) van Meggelen. They had some impressive specimens of Selenite Gypsum from Italy on display, and i got a nice one for my spouse´s gypsum display case.

Gunda with Gypsum

Then we proceeded to the "Cristal & Santé" area where we expected to see a big find of pyromorphite from France. But first we ran into Carsten Slotta at the booth of Peter Kolesar. There was very interesting material, especially some older (but newly processed) pseudomorphs of Feldspar after Leucite from Bohemia. Neighboring was the booth of c.c.minerals - with lots of green Pyromorphite from Asprieres, France. This find was made in an old dump and yielded mostly botryoidal specimens. I was tempted, but resisted (as i already have one of those Asprieres specimens). Very interesting though. Meanwhile it was almost 12 o´clock, scheduled meeting at the stairs of the theatre. There we met the bunch but not before seeing some obviously new fluorites from Shangbao, China at a booth on our way. Some negotiating, but i was still reluctant. These were cubooctahedral gemmy crystals with bluish to greenish phantoms, consisting of myriads of cubic subindividues. Very showy, but expensive.

Pseudomorphs after Leucite
Booth of c.c.minerals
Asprieres Pyromorphite

The Gang
Shangbao Fluorites

2 cigarettes and some talk later we went back to the booth with the Shangbao fluorites and i decided to get one for my collection. We proceeded to meet Luiz Menezes who had - as always - a good selection of diverse brazilian specimens, including very nice iron roses (Haematite), some of them with Fluocerite-Ce and Bastnaesite. I picked an iron rose and a Spessartine and then we went to the booth of Ralf Ressel and Uwe Janouch with their black forest minerals. There we met Julian Gruber (who runs the website mineraliensammlung.com together with Carsten Slotta) who had excellent Pyrolusites from the famous Gremmelsbach near Triberg occurrence - this locality has yielded probably the best pyrolusite specimens in Europe. Jana got a nice specimen with terminated crystals while i got one from Ralf, slightly ;) bigger with large radiating crystal aggregates.

Sapo Mine Apatites
Haematite with Fluocerite-Ce
Iron Roses

Julian Gruber with Pyrolusites
Gremmelsbach Pyrolusite

Next stop was at the booth of Magma Minerals. Hans and Yolanda Vorstermans as usual had a selection of excellent aesthetics (i purchased a beautiful Pyrite-Fluorite combo from them a few weeks ago at the Mineralienwelt 2 show at Idar-Oberstein), including some incredible new Elmwood combo specimens. They also had an extraordinary Clay Center, Ohio Fluorite, the best i have seen until now. On my list for next time is one of the reddish Fluorites from Jingbian Mine, Anhui Prov., China. I have seen them twice now at their booth and the ranking on my wanted-list increased ;). A few smaller specimens departed with us and we proceeded to Val Expo halls again to meet Alfredo Petrov and Frank de Wit. Just look at the pictures, no further comment.

Hans & Yolanda
Fluorite from Jingbian
Ohio Fluorite

Table of Alfredo and Frank
Alfredo @work
Modern slavery

Formula for success!
The cook

After this entertaining experience it was time to visit Steffen Michalski and friends at their booth. Steffen, Uwe, Jens and Andre were there and we checked their stuff, always very interesting including lots of Erzgebirge classics. This time they had a part of the collection of german Odenwald specialist K. Petitjean on offer, a variety of diverse species and locations. Then back again to Val Expo Hall 1, where i wanted to take a look at the alpine Brusson Gold specimens i had seen last year. The best one was gone (i think my friend Marcus Lueg got it ;) ) but i found another very interesting display.

Steffen with Carollite
Pakistan Tourmalines

Alfred with Ruby
New Epidotes from Pakistan

Alfred Schreilechner from Austria had a fine selection of Pakistan minerals on his table, including beautiful Tourmalines from Palwai Mine and a new find of blocky deep green Epidote crystals from Rasko Mt., Baluchistan. I was instantly hooked on an excellent and beautiful miniature of Brookite on a faden-like quartz aggregate but it took me until the next day to decide that it was a must have for me (i got it finally on friday and enjoyed a cold beer with Alfred after the deal was made).

Meanwhile it was time to get back to our base at the booth of the Beckers and after a last beer we headed back to the hotel and to another french dinner with fellow collector Rolf Heeren at the Huhnerstall.


Pt. 2 will be online asap - with Friday, 24th of June report including the special exhibition at the Theatre and the already notorious Mindat/Spirifer party ;)


P.S. if you´ll find grammar or spelling errors, you may keep them ;-) ... see some of you at the mindat.org conference

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