Show Reports
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March 11-12


The weather here has been quite cool with intermittent rain and snow.  This did not dampen the crowds of people who have come to see Italy's largest mineral show however.  Each of the days has seen a lot of people during all hours of the show.   I spent most of each of my four days wandering around trying not bump into anyone while trying to see everything that was here. 
 



Upon entering the lobby area of the show you are hit with this enormous crystal of amazonite 
from Brazil in the display of Ennio Prato. It is easily 40-45 cm across at its widest point and is 
preferentially coated with minute schorl and topaz crystals. 

Ernesto Ossala had a small group of fluorite specimens pseudomorphing calcite from Jebel Ayachi, Morocco.  Most were a very pale white to cream color however a few were violet.  I picked out what I thought were the best of the group and moved on.  The specimens have a unique zoning which I have not seen before revealing their calcitic past.


A 12 cm specimen of fluorite after calcite.

While moving about the show I saw several dealers with specimens from Mt. Malosa in Malawi.  This area is well known of course, but seems to be appreciated more by Italian collectors.  I decided to gather up a group of specimens to offer from this interesting African locality by obtaining specimens of zircon and arfvedsonite primarily.


The specimen on the right is comprised of zircon, orthoclase and arfvedsonite. It is about 4 cm across.


On the left is Italian dealer Paolo Rossi who had a number of fine specimens of Malwian zircon available. 
He also had a rarely seen 4.5 cm rubellite and lepidolite specimen from Australia available for 400 Euros. 


Italian dealer Roberto Bertocci also had a fine group of Mt. Malosa
specimens available including good matrix specimens of arfvedsonite. 


Italian dealer Maurizio Prati had new specimens of Quartz var. Chrysoprase from a new find on Elba Island. 
These were dispersed rapidly to other dealers in the show but Maurizio was the source I was told. 

In the lobby area I saw German rare species dealer Gunnar Farber.  Gunnar had a very large array of rare minerals available including specimens of skorpionite (IMA 2005-10) from the Skorpion mine in Rosh Pinah, Namibia. And on the last day he produced some exceptional specimens of the very rare mineral species vihorlatite (IMA 1988-47) which is an insanely rare bismuth selenium telluride.  He told me that Stanislav Horsky, the Czech collector who found the mineral, worked laboriously for nearly two months in the locality this past year and recovered only 20 or so specimens.  These are considered the best of the species known.  Gunnar showed me a letter dated July 5, 2000 indicating official IMA approval of this species. Click here to see a photographed copy of the IMA approval letter. 


This is one of several specimens of vihorlatite I obtained from Gunnar.  It has crystals to 1+ mm across


Skorpionite occurs as small radial crystals associated with tarbuttite. 
You will have to take my word for it that this specimen is rich in the stuff 
since the white acicular crystals are quite small. This is one of two 
specimens obtained from Gunnar.
 
 


Here's Gunnar a few hours before the close of the show on Sunday.


Emanuele Marini had a flat of violet fluorite found recently from near Milan available. 
This is 4.5 cm specimen from that recent find.
 


I saw this remarkable fossilized penguin on
display.  Note the small model penguin striking a pose of bewilderment - "Is this my future?"


On the last day of the show I corralled the crew from Webminerals.com up for a group photo in front 
of their booth.  Pictured from left to right are: Gianfranco, Giovanni, yours truly, Giuseppe and Carlo. 
I am hopeful that I will be able to visit them in their home town area of Genova in the future.

At the main public entrance of the show were a series of displays.  This year there were about a dozen cases with Alpine minerals on display - primarily smoky quartz and fluorite from the French, Italian and Swiss Alps. There were case after case of superb pieces on display.  I apologize to the displayers ahead for not recording who's case was whose but you will get a sense of the quality of specimens that were on display here.

First are a couple of photos which will convey the conditions that the field collectors usually work under or ... in.


Can you say hard core?


A superb Swiss axinite about 9 cm across.


A serrated gwindel and adjacent "normal" quartz from the Chamonix area.


Two absolute gem crystals of smoky quartz from Switzerland.
Each crystal is about 8 cm in length.
 


A water-clear gem crystal of doubly terminated smoky quartz about 5 cm across.


A spectacular smoky quartz gwindel about 12 cm across.


A large deep reddish pink old timer from Chamonix.


A 5 cm group of fluorite crystals on smoky quartz from Chamonix.


A 10 cm cluster on smoky quartz also from Chamonix.


Two choice miniature specimens of fluorite and quartz from Chamonix.


A moderately etched monster of deep reddish pink fluorite on quartz that is about 12 cm from top to bottom.

I was quite impressed with my first visit to this show. The show was very well attended all four days - especially Saturday which saw the floor area jammed with people.  There were several new things that I saw here and, as with the recent Tucson Show, not a lot in the way of new finds but a tremendous number of excellent minerals with non-Tucson like prices.  It was somewhat interesting to note that there were virtually no other American visitors to this show and only one Japanese dealer Echiro and his wife.  So to see so many people here conveys to me that the European (Italian) market is very much alive and very healthy. 

My one regret is not having enough time to visit the city of Bologna properly before moving on so the solution to this is to arrive earlier next year to have time enough to visit this venerable city while adjusting to the time change.

I would like to thank Dr. Alessandro Genezzani again for making this trip as smooth as it was for Colleen and I and also to Renato Pagano, the gang from Webminerals.com and Emanuele Marini for their suggestions and assistance at the show.

I would encourage everyone to make it to this show at least once.  It is one I intend to visit again and again in the future.

Colleen and I will be travelling around Italy until the 26th and then will head for Turkey to see the total solar eclipse on March 29th in Cappadocia.  After a week more in Turkey we will fly back to San Francisco and then be home on April 7th.   I will be posting minerals from this show in mid April.  Until then,

Arrivederci!  Ciao,


 

Past Shows & Reports
PLEASE NOTE: The minerals that were offered on these pages are all sold
1999
Munich Show
2000
Sainte Marie Show
Munich Show
2001
Sainte Marie Show
Munich Show
2002
Tucson Show
Sainte Marie Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2003
Tucson Show
Sainte Marie Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2004
Tucson Show
West Coast Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2005
Tucson Show
West Coast Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2006
Tucson Show
Bologna Show
Sainte Marie Show
East Coast Show
Munich Show
2007
Tucson Show
Dallas Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2008
Tucson Show
West Coast Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show
2009
Tucson Show
West Coast Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show

2010
Tucson Show
San Francisco Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show

Munich Show

2011
Tucson Show
San Francisco Show
East Coast Show
Denver Show
Munich Show

 

 



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