Saturday, November 2, 2013

Mineralientage München 2013

It was just two years ago that Mineral Bliss featured a comparison by  John S. White between late October's Mineralientage München and the gem/mineral/fossil extravaganza that happens each February in Tucson. Having  just returned from a first visit to the Munich event,  it would seem that little has changed from John's description of it.

There is plenty, however, that we can add. Our assumption had  been that the venue,  Neuen Messe München, would be somewhere near our hotel in downtown Munich rather than at the far east end of town. As it turned out, this erroneous assumption enabled us to enjoy our trip far more than had we booked near Munich's enormous convention center. By staying in the center of town, not only were all the pleasures of Munich at our fingertips, but so was  Mineralientage MünchenThe subway (Schnellbahnnetz) ride from downtown's Central Station (Hauptbahnof) to the convention center at end of the line (Messenstadt Ost) on the U-2 train was a no-brainer.

Once inside the complex, where  Mineralientage München occupied four buildings, the level of activity---at least regarding minerals---was far greater and more diverse than at Tucson's convention Center. The same could be said for jewelry, beads, and fossils.  Although considerably more is collectively available at the numerous venues spread throughout Tucson, the convenience of so much to peruse here in Munich at a single location proved a special treat. 

Minerals predominated through  nearly  all of Hall A-5 (Mineralworld) and about a third of Hall A-6 (Fossilworld).  Mineralworld featured the higher-end dealers from around the globe as well as plenty whose merchandise was affordable to all.  At Hall A-6, numerous German dealers  offered remarkable systematic selections for species collectors. Other dealers from Asia and Africa, many if the latter from Morocco, were hawking  minerals for which their countries are best known.

The theme for the 2013 show was gold. An 
impressive display of native gold filled a tent 
within a tent at the center of Mineralworld. One highlight pictured at left was a specimen from 
California known as the Gold Corsage. One of 
the most aesthetically pleasing examples of leaf 
gold known to exist, it was first exhibited at an elementary school show-and-tell in 1959. Note 
the quartz crystal attached to the gold near the 
lower left corner. Another particularly interesting 
piece shown at right, was the Latrobe nugget, 
which at 717 grams could be the world's largest
 cluster of cubic gold crystals.

Unlike the past couple of Tuscon shows, dealers with new finds were ubiquitous.  At one of tables that dominated the north half of Hall A-6, Mindat founder Joylon Ralph could be seen photographing a new find of phosphosiderite from Fogoshino, Portugal.  Only  a few steps away another dealer was featuring new finds of malachite and azurite from the Zarinkskiy District in Altay, Russia, as well as the very spectacular mimetite shown at left, from the Chah Khouni Mine in Iran's Anarak District.

Even more remarkable was the volume of new and rare species. At Gunnar Farber's table were four of his own discoveries in Northern Chile, all approved by the IMA in the last two years: joanneumite; ammineite; mejillonesite; and witzkeite. Almost certainly they are listed in the recent and still hard to find 2013 update to  Minerals and Their Localities. Just several tables away, its co-author, Jaroslav Hrysl, had copies available in addition to his always interesting selection of rare minerals and cut stones.

Other concessions offered optical equipment, books, micromounts, display materials, and even postage stamps from what seemed like nearly every country in the world. Although more than half the show was devoted to beads, lapidary, jewelry, and fossils, none of these pursuits appeared to be represented with offerings as diverse as were avalable for minerals. For sure, Mineralientage München is a most apt name for this show.

No comments:

Post a Comment