Hayward's Heath Show 2006
We never get time to rest... another weekend, another show - the Hayward's Heath Mineral Show run by the Sussex Mineral and Lapidary Club here in the UK.
Not quite as big as the Munich Show, but not quite as small as a micromount - somewhere in-between is the Hayward's Heath show - one of the most popular mineral shows in the UK for serious collectors.
The Hayward's Heath show was probably the first UK show to invite educational exhibits from museums and institutions, and provide a lecture programme alongside the show. This year, the Royal Cornwall Museum from Truro were visiting, showing some of their incredible Cornish mineral specimens:
This first one is a group of Chalcocite crystals from Geevor Mine, Cornwall, collected in the 1960s.
This is an incredible velvety mass of Olivenite crystals from Wheal Gorland, Cornwall.
And an extremely rich Cornish Mimetite:
But the most outstanding piece was this huge lump of Chalcopyrite (var: Blister Copper) from Wheal Basset, Cornwall:
Back amongst the dealers there were plenty of top minerals for sale. Unsurprisingly, Ian Bruce had a wide selection of select British Minerals, including this absolute killer - a large plate of green Fluorite from the Heights Quarry in County Durham, England:
Another piece for Fluorite aficionados was this cracking small piece with Quartz from South Caradon Mine, Cornwall. Cornish Fluorite is much rarer (and more highly sought after) than the more famous Northern English pieces.
From their recent diggings at the Hemerdon Mine in Devon, he showed me this incredible group of Cassiterite crystals, surely one of the best ever to have come from the region.
Operating the stand next to Ian Bruce again this year were the Bruce brothers, Sam and Joe, aided this year by their younger sister Verity. As at Bakewell, they had a table of assorted Spanish fluorites at £10 a piece - these were amongst the best bargains of the show:
Despite this, they still resorted to unconventional sales techniques in order to boost their takings. Here is one of their standard techniques - Verity jumps on you from behind whilst Joe checks your pockets for cash:
Back to the other dealers - Keith Corrie had a beautifully laid out stand as usual, and amongst the little treasures he had to offer was this lovely combination of Calcite and Stibnite from China:
In the next hall, WildAboutRocks had this huge group of iron-stained quartz crystals, dug out of Geevor Mine in Cornwall shortly before it closed in the 1980s by one of the mine engineers:
Dave and Liz Hacker had their usual high-quality selection of Northern English minerals, along with some nice foreign material.
This was a rather spectacular Chinese Fluorite from their selection:
Ian Jones at Unity Minerals had this great Kermesite from Slovakia:
and Mark Wrigley from Thames Valley Minerals had a great selection of minerals from Madagascar, including this rather nice pair of Tourmaline crystals in Quartz.
Mike Merry had another good selection of Cornish Minerals - this Liroconite and Clinoclase from Wheal Gorland was a nice pretty piece that drew my eye:
Andy Castleton at AndyItec Minerals had some of the best bargains at the show - here is one I picked up for myself - a rich covering of Vesignieite on matrix - for under £10. Some of the areas on this look like they could be spectacular under the 'scope.
Finally,as in last year's show, there was a competition running, and the theme of the competition this year was Barite. The winning display was this one, put together by Peter Moore and Elvire Mortimer - congratulations for a fine display!
The next Hayward's Heath Show will be on Saturday 17th November 2007 - see you there!