2005 for mineral collectors is a difficult year with market very low and is more and more difficult sell and buy minerals. We have verified this tendency already in the other italian and european mineral shows and here in Saint Marie we had the confirmation.
There is also to underline that the edition of this year is a transition one and in the show this was felt: starting from next year the organization will make some major changes. In fact in order to accomplish safety regulations and to avoid the move of the show to the Colmar Expo area (a radical change in atmosphere that exibitors and visitors would have not liked at all), the administration of the town has acquired a factory located near the main area of the show. In this facility will be moved many exibitors in order to eliminate the big tents that caused safety concerns.
In the theatre there will be a special area for Top Dealers, something similar to what was set up last year at the Munich show. And a special area will be dedicated to large wholesale dealers.
This year already most gem exibitors were moved to the EuroGem show, located near the very center of the village about 500 mt. from the mineralshow. Also some mineral dealer were there, making the complete visit of the show somewhat long (expecially with terrible hot weather we had).
If we look the exibitors and the minerals that were present in the show the impression is that the news and the quality wasn't very high, many old specimens on table of top dealers, too much low quality specimens on too many table around in the show, too high difference between the offer of the top dealer and many of the other: maybe an average range of exhibitors was absent in the show. About the distribution of the stands (i.d. mix of different type of exibitors) in the show there was the usual random assembling ,a normal thing in Saint Marie show with no law to regulate this aspect: but maybe this is good!!
Walking around the different stands one of the thing that was immediatly percepible was that the prices were very crazy: for similar specimens with the similar quality the prices could be very different, sometimes with prices that start very high and after in a short bargaining it should be reduced to the half and more...
Speaking with many mineral collectors we heard the complain that there were very few new interesting things, we donít agree with this: it is true that weren't no high quality new findings but the novelties were a few : Silver, Axinite, Plumbogummite and more from China (good specimens of Topaz, Fluorite, Bournonite, Realgar, Goshenite, Stibnite for example). Hausmanite and other interesting minerals from South Africa, Titanite and unusual Quartz from Morocco, good specimens of Perowskite from Russia, Tourmalines from Burma and several other things; maybe there were no news from gemmy minerals from Pakistan ( Brookite and Anatase still largely present on Paki dealers tables) and Afghanistan, but we saw some large Acquamarine, Elbaites; low presence of minerals from South America. India is not showing news. Some old collections were on sale from Italy, Germany and Spain. After these considerations there is also to say that since some years ago all news about minerals were showed in the show, now many new things are heralded and start to put in commerce before on internet...
About presence of visitors we can say that, except on Friday, the stands and roads of the show was full of people: maybe many curious but the crowd was present! About minerals collectors the impression is different: many from France and Italy, a few from Germany, but in this edition very low presence from Japan and from USA.
In this edition the weather was sunny with a very hot temperature, ...and we can assure that many people hope for a little of rain but the sun was always present!!! About the other things of this show we can say that the countryside is always fantastic with many interesting things to see and to do: for all these thing and for many more we'll be here also next years waiting to see the new organization of the show and hoping for a more gentle temperature.