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Roger Lang's Blog

First blog ever - Ste. Marie show 2009

29th Jun 2009

Took some time to do my first blog - but coming back from the Ste. Marie show i thought i might give it a try. This is more intended to give you an impression of the flair of the show and the fun we had rather than a 'classic' show report with 'which dealer had what' .. hope you will enjoy! I am sure that there will be some more reports here on mindat or at Jordi Fabre´s forum.

Wednesday 24th of June 2009

Left for the show on wednesday 24th of June early afternoon directly from the office in Mainz, GER. Smooth driving and although some filing at Strasbourg i arrived at the road crossing for our accomodation at 4 p.m. My room mate sent an SMS that she did not make it to be there before later evening so i decided to quickly jump into the show for a first glimpse. Arrived at Ste. Marie at 4.30 p.m. and headed for my base at the booth of Philipp Becker. Philipp is specialized on Brazil and Arkansas Quartzes but always has a lot of Arizona and Mexican specimens he brings from Tucson and i asked him to put out some of his Ojuela mine Wulfenites/Mimetites from the 2008 find for me. Before i could say 'hello' to the Becker family i ran into 'mindater' Paul Bongaerts who already studied some of the Ojuelas.

Paul in front of some nice Wulfenites

Wulfenite/Mimetite/Calcite from the 2008 Ojuela find
Philipp at work

Great 'hello' to all the staff at the booth - dropped the box of beer i had brought for the 'gang' and unfortunately had to refuse the welcome beer as i had to drive that day. Peter Becker, father of Philipp and a wholesale mineral dealer at Idar-Oberstein also was there, he owns a very good collection and one of his specimens is pictured in Peter Bancrofts book The World’s Finest Minerals and Crystals. I had a look at the Ojuelas and compiled two boxes with nice stuff to take with me.

It already was quite late so i decided to only take a quick and dirty look and wandered through the show, making a first stop at Wolfgang Wendel from Wendel Minerals because i hoped he had brought a Groutite specimen from Bülten-Adenstedt to the show. Wolfgang had - as always - a great selection of german and international classics of high quality. After a hearty welcome i performed a quick 'scan' and 3 specimens got into my focus: a great Ilvaite from Serifos, a killer green (!) Rosenberg mine Pyromorphite and an impressive Fluorite from Halsbrücke, Freiberg (there were more great specimens, believe me).

Wolfgang and his wife
Pyromorphite from Rosenberg mine, Bad Ems district, Germany

Steffen and Nora - Steffen holding a very nice alpine Smoky Quartz

Time was running so i hurried to the booth of Steffen Michalski to say hello and meet the people there. Steffen, Nora and Andre were there and i took the obligatory picture for the records. Steffen and his mates had a nice selection of mostly eastern german classics as usual - but my first impression of the show was right ... not much new stuff.

After dating for the next day for a beer i wanted to proceed with my short round but then i met Jordi Fabre at Steffens booth. We hadn´t met IRL before so talked shortly and i promised Jordi to visit him the next day at the theatre. Carried on with my tour and met some well known faces but not much new stuff.

Finally i got back to my base at Philipps booth and decided to take my stuff and head for the hotel. Fortunately i got a parking space for my car about 150 m away from the entrance and i got out of the usual Ste. Marie traffic chaos without any problems. Nice dinner (if you ever are at Ste. Marie try the Hühnerstall Restaurant at Dieffenbach-au-Val .. great!!). Room mate arrived, everything ok so ready for the next day.

Thursday, 25th of June 2009

Arrived at the show at about 10.00 a.m. with a slight headache of the Marc de Gewürztraminer from the evening before - but i had a driver (Gisela - thanks a lot!) this time so i was optimistic to get the headache away with a cold beer soon. After getting a coffee at my base i started to do the round, first visiting the people i had made appointments with. So i went to the Val Expo Halls to meet Mike Brooke of Broadstone minerals. Did not take long time to find him, say hello and talk a bit. Please note the large Cleiophane specimen on the picture - long time ago since i saw that large green sphalerites.

I proceeded to take the tour in Hall 1 and found a nice french alpine Quartz-Siderite specimen at the table of MinerAlp from Lyon, France. They had quite an interesting selection of french minerals, mostly alpine stuff.

Mike Brooke / Broadstone Minerals
At the table of MinerAlp

Val Expo Hall 1

Having seen some nice Kalahari and other South African specimens in 2008 i headed for the table of Damian Kislig from RSA to get one of the peri-/epimorph specimens consisting of former large sharply formed scalenohedral calcite crystals which are completely replaced by bronze sparkling micro crystalline siderite and sphalerite from Aggeneys i had let pass last year. Was lucky - he still had a very good selection of those and i found a fine addition for my display. Short before 12.00 i decided to explore Hall 2 later and headed for the stairs in front of the theatre to maybe meet some people there. On my way i came along the booth of Martin van Meggelen. Martin has always one killer spec at his table and i got a few from him the last years so i was really curious. This time there was a 1960s hammer Ferberite from Panasqueira with Apatite and Quartz etc. Bit above my this years more humble budget but a really desirable specimen. See pics!

Martin and Gunda with the Ferberite
The Ferberite specimen

Tom Praszkier and a charming young lady showing a beautiful Rogerley Fluorite
Arriving at 12.03 at the theatre some of the german/swiss 'gang' already were there. After a short talk i returned to my base to drop my treasures and to enjoy a cold german beer.

Now i turned to the Cour Judo and Cour Lehmann space to see Tomasz Praszkier from "Spirifer" Geological Society. Last year i got some very nice Madan specimens there and i also hoped that he had some more of the bluish 'Staffelites' from Kovdor, Russia. Arriving there i took a quick look only because Tom wasn´t there at the moment but i got caught by a beautiful Rogerley Fluorite he had in his display. It was love on first sight!

Made the quick tour through Cour Lehmann and found some nice Black Forest stuff including a cute miniature of native silver from Sophia mine, Wittichen. Returning to Spirifer i finally met Tom and he showed me the Rogerley Fluo from nearby - a stunning example.

Next i entered the theatre to visit Jordi Fabre who had announced some very nice looking demantoids from Asbestos in his show diary on his forum website. I coulnd´t resist to pick a small but fine example with stunning colour and lustre. I met Christophe Rigaud from Grenoble there and we decided to take a tour together (and have a beer of course - Chris, thanks for a great time!).

Jordi and Chris at Fabre Minerals
Demantoid from Asbestos

The rest of the afternoon was filled with sneaking around and checking if there was anything new at the Moroccan and Chinese tables and boothes but i did not find anything tempting. On my way back to the base i visited Karel van Gool to see what he got from Peru this year and found some nice silver specimens from Uchucchacua - but i resisted having that Rogerley Fluo still in mind. Neighboring to Karel van Gool some stunning Amethysts from China were displayed at Magma Minerals. Hans Vorstermans told me that this was a quite new find from March 2009. Definitely one of the highlights of the show this year for me.

Magma Minerals had new chinese Amethyst
The new Amethysts from Tonglushan, Hubei Province, China

It was already late afternoon now and i headed back but was meeting some people on my way (including Steffen Michalski who brougth some white wine) so i had to postpone the Val Expo Hall 2 to the next day but took a quick stop at Alfredo Petrov and Frank de Wit to say hello. After about half an hour saying hello the lights around us started to go out and reminded me to get back to my base.

Steffen as we all know him :-)
Alfredo and Frank at their table in Val Expo Hall 2

A cold beer later we left the show for another good french dinner.

Friday, 26th of June 2009

This day we arrived at the show around 10.30, weather fine but the sun was stinging. My room mate Gisela decided to go for jewelry hunting at the Eurogem and i took the tour to Hall 2 of Val Expo.

Let me say it: disappointing to me. Except a small table with a more recent find of very good but very expensive Native Copper with Cuprite from Rudny Altai, Russia i did not find anything interesting for me so i headed to Steffen Michalskis booth again. There was a large Frohnau Fluorite i really liked but i still had that Rogerley Fluorite in mind.

Around lunch time i got back to my base and a few minutes later some mindaters stumbled in: Eddy Vervloet with his wife Karina, Paul Bongaerts and Steffen came to say hello.

The 'official' mindat meeting was scheduled for 3 p.m. and i headed for the theatre to have a quick look at the beautiful display cases when i ran into the boss! Mr. Jolyon Ralph had already arrived and i could persuade him to have a typical german refeshment before starting his tour.

Then we headed for the theatre again and to Crystal Classics. It was crowdy there so i decided to proceed alone but not without noticing a fine about palm sized Cubanite specimen from Quebec, Canada.

No comment
Cubanite from Quebec

Still some time left until meeting i headed to the booth of Spirifer again to get some bulgarian pyrites and to have another look at 'my' Rogerley Fluorite. On my way back i ran into Ralph Vetter of KRANTZ before meeting the mindaters again on the stairs of the theatre.

Ralph Vetter
The mindat gang fltr: myself, Jolyon, Eddy and Paul

We decided to have a drink together and passed along the booth of Karp Minerals form Czech Republic. As the last years they had beautiful burmese tourmalines and more and also a selection of the recent Altai Copper finds.

Copper from Russia

After some talking and a drink the mindaters splitted up again but Paul Bongaerts joined me for another visit at Tom Praszkier´s booth to show him the Fluorite. And finally i purchased it! Here it is in a first quick shot - will do hopefully better pictures later

My Fluo - largest crystal 3.2 cm

Now having spent my this years show budget i returned to the base spending the rest of the day mostly hanging around and helping Philipp at his booth. Mike Brooke came in for a beer and finally we left the show quite tired and hungry.

Saturday, 27th of June 2009

Matthias with Calcite twins
After breakfast, packing and loading the car i said goodbye to Gisela - she headed for home - and hit the road to get to the show for the last time this year. Had to park the car about 1.5 km away - the well-known saturday parking chaos.

After a coffee at Philipps booth i made the goodbye tour and hoped to see some of the Mineralienatlas people who wanted to come to the show around lunch time. A short stop and talk at Matthias Jurgeit´s table in Val Expo Hall 1 with mostly mexican Calcites and Apatites - then it was 12.00 and i headed a last time for the stairs at the theatre. Unfortunately no known faces there so i decided to leave.

Goodbye to Philipp and his mates, a last cigarette together and then i headed home, arriving safely in the early afternoon just right to get into a heavy thunderstorm. I hope the people at the show did not experience this as it was a bit of 'end of the world'!

A short summary
Not much new stuff at the show, prices still going up but as always one could find nice material and i was glad to get some additions to my collection. Met a lot of people, had a lot of fun and the flair of the show is very special - it is my every years 'mineral holiday' and i am already looking forward to the next year. All the guys and girls, mindaters, e-rockers & more i met: thanks a lot for the great time i was luckily able to spend with you - i really enjoyed your company,


Goodbye Ste. Marie 2009 - hello 2010!

Blog has been viewed at least 17474 times.


What a great report, Roger! It was great to finally meet you, be it only brief...


Eddy Vervloet
30th Jun 2009 11:29am
Roger, I really enjoyed your report, both the minerals and people
many thanks Jon

Jon Mommers
1st Jul 2009 1:49pm

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