Gemology Blog

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sainte Marie Aux Mine 26-29 June 2008

Sainte Marie Aux Mine is a small picturesque town that is located south of Strassbourg in France, close to the border of Germany. The show is called "Mineral Fossils Gems and Jewels Show". It was quite an interesting journey to Sainte Marie Aux Mine and back to Melbourne. I had to fly and take trains to Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Strassbourg, London and back to Melbourne because all flights/trains were fully booked. All all accomodation was fully booked too.

In the 2 week trip I met the most alien and unique set of people. I had to revert to my very basic German language skills as most people pretended that they did not know English except for some youngsters.

The show was huge. It was divided into a mineral area and a cut gem area. There are hundreds of white conical topped tents setup by the organisers and a very strong and strict security force. However, the thieves were more elusive than any I saw in Australian gemshows. I was warned by my neighbouring sellers that I should be more vigilant as the place was full of theives but I only realised what they meant when we went home on the last day of the show and did our inventory. Some of the very big gems were stolen at that show.

The big wholesalers were from India, Brazil, Morocco, Germany, France, Pakistan, Australia and Belgium. Overall the show was a success and a lot of fun.
Last 2 are pictures of the house we stayed in. The 2 ladies in the other picture were our hosts, who did not understand a word we said and we did not understand anything they said. But we still had long friendly chats...


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