Text: Martin Gruell
Photography: Juergen Merz
It started 50 years ago with only some tables and a few mineral-specimen. Since a period of 50 years Mr. Keilmann and his co-workers developed Europe´s largest mineral-show and one of the most important in the world.
This jubilee was celebrated with an exceptional exhibition of Gold.
When I saw the first articles on some web-sites there was lot of Gold. Then I saw a second, a third and so on – all filled with Gold. Somebody who wasn´t at the show, must have the impression that there was nothing else but Gold. Of course I can not resist showing some fine photos of the yellow metal, but believe me – there were some other nice minerals too. So now enjoy a selection of eyecatchers and exceptional minerals!
I am always looking for new discoveries, uncommon material and exceptional specimens. So first thing I saw was lot of fine stuff from Milpillas/Mexico. Some dealers show plenty of intense blue, highly lustrouse Azurite. The outstanding colour is caused by a thin second generation which helps to give them this great visual impact.
There was really much quantity of the market, much more than the years before. The first impression is great, lustre and intense colour and cabinets full of them.
Then a little disappointment after a close investigation. Most times I missed good assemble, too many intergrown crystals, only a few with exposed or isolated crystals. Although quality was nice, overall less aesthetic and highly overpriced. But of course there were some killer pieces.
One more remarkable new discovery of Crocoite was presented by Adam Wright. Adam discovered a new cleft (7 to 10 meters long) in 2012. It took until 2013 to safe all fragile spectacular specimens. He did a great job, I couldn´t find any damages. Adam didn´t had an own stand, so he took the opportunity to exhibit his material at the booth of Anton Watzl, owner of AW-minerals. There was a large cabinet filled with dozends of intense red Crocoite-specimens, lustrouse, sharp terminated and in remarkable dimension. A wide range of different sizes, all very aesthetic and in great condition.
I am Fluorite-collector, so I'm always looking for fine Fluorite. And for anyone who is interested in this Harlekin under minerals, Munich was a big surprise. During decades there was nothing available from one most famous, most important classic localities in UK. Hilton Mine!
A defunct locality, no more material came out since many years, no one could enter the area (which is on a military area now). Maybe you see a good piece in an old collection or in a museum, but usually not on shows and not on sale.
I think that the yellow fluorites from the Hilton Mine are the world's finest for intensity, clearity and lustre combined, with apologies to Illinois. And the material shown at the show represented the best quality known from Hilton.
Now I cannot resist to note: collectors who used to buy from ViaMineralia had the chance to see a fine selection of the best specimen from this new material long time before Munich-show.
A further amazing mineral, which was not very common during the years, is Rubellite from Malkhan/Russia. Maybe there was a new discovery. This time several collectors showed many specimen from this famous locality. Most crystals show this intense purple colour, also fine lustre and sharp termination. Only clearity was not at best, but overall nice material for – surprisingly – reasonable prices. I would say a good opportunity for collectors of aesthetic and colourful gemstones.
Of course I had to meet some friends at the show – one of them the Austrian adventurer, climber, collector and dealer Alfred Schreilechner. In 2013 I published an article about Uvarovite in Lapis magazine. It was Alfred who brought this material directly from Pakistan to the European market and again he was showing very different, amazing material – this time from Bolivia. He showed an outstanding Vivianite from recent discoveries – maybe one of the very best specimen on the entire show.
Also I remember an incredible Wolframite specimen, it was developed as floater and the undamaged main crystal was about 25cm!!!
One more hot spot were the special exhibitions of collectors cabinets. Always a pleasure to see all this details, historic specimen, antique tools out of private collections. Collectors invested so much time and effort to share them with us and looking at these cabinets you can imagine how they love what they are doing. Thanks to all of them for sharing their collections, specimen and knowledge.
About dealers in the pavillon I could tell you same as last year – some show exceptional minerals, some only exceptional prices.
Chinese dealers are still no option to buy Chinese minerals. Still no prices on the material, if you are interested in one, a guy shows you a price on his tab. Maybe each time one ask a different one, depending on sympathy, the weather or something else.
Seemed they don´t like my face, ask for 2 pieces – nothing exceptional, common stuff and then get a price like it would be the only Chinese fluorite on the entire show.
Finally one sad story, same story as last year. Alpines. Again the alpine material was only very common to bad, again alpine dealers decide not to offer good material, again all on horrible prices. As result less collectors decide collect alpine minerals. It´s a petty, we have so many beautiful minerals in Alps – but if no good material is available and the common rest is overpriced, I guess in a few years no one will continue collecting alpine stuff, specially not east-alpine.
So after some other information, back to Gold – enjoy some photography from Juergen Merz.
A further amazing mineral, which was not very common during the years is Rubellite from Malkhan. Maybe a there was a new discovery, this year several collectors show many specimen from this famous locality. Most crystals show this intense purple colour, also fine lustre and sharp termination. Only clearity was not at best, but overall nice material for – surprisingly – reasonable prices. I would say a good opportunity for collectors of aesthetic and colourful gemstones.