Munich Mineral Show 2012

gold on munich mineral show 2012

Munich Mineral Show 2012

                                                 Munich Mineral Show 2012

 Between 26/10 and 28/10 we had a pleasure of visiting Munich Mineral Show 2012, one of Europe’s biggest events of this type.

munich mineral show map

This year event was located in four halls marked in blue, with the entrance from the east side of the complex.

This year it hosted over 1250 exhibitors from 63 countries in four gigantic halls, housing four basic themes, plus public exhibitions. Friday 26/10 was a business only day with access for people involved in the trade and that’s when most of serious deals took place with suppliers meeting buyers before  general public would keep them too busy to talk about new ventures. Saturday and Sunday were resonably busy, despite early for this time of the year snowfall. As always commercially some had better time than others, sometimes seemingly thanks to the location of the stand alone but in general I think most of exhibitors doesn’t complain in that regard.

The Mineralworld was largest with over 600 stands full of mineral specimens, crystals, rough materials for cutting and tools of all sorts.

True heaven for a mineralogist or gemmologist, combining commercial aspect with scientific one in good proportions. In this section the sheer range of available specimens was staggering. Brought from all over the World in all sizes and at prices varying from a couple of Euros to tens of thousands, were stones as popular as Quartz or Pyrite to more exotic ones like Vanadinite or Jeremejevite. Many gemstone crystals and cut stones were also present in this section, beautiful Tanzanite or Emerald crystals are just examples of all that could be seen. Certainly there was a huge selection of cuttable material for professionals and beautiful specimens in matrix alike.  Quality for fine collectors was reaching museum grade level, with rarest minerals presented in elegant stands at astronomical prices.

hall view of the munich show 2012

Saturday morning at the Munich Show, with first customers arriving to hunt for the best pieces.


Most stands with opals were located in the Mineralworld section. Germany is certainly maintaining its position as European opal market leader.

Some very nice specimens, like this kunzite crystal in matrix, could be purchased. No wonder that year after year Munich Mineral Show works like a magnet on many collectors from across the World.

quartz on munich mineral show 2012

A cabinet with some interesting quartz specimens.

Gold nuggets and crystals were also present with pieces as beautiful as pictured here gold on quartz.

Spinels are gaining attention recently, partially because they offer an attractive alternative to the corundum but also thanks to the vivid colours, like in this Vietnamese crystal on marble.

Colombian emeralds on calcite crystals looked truly incredible

This specimen of cavansite on stilbite was covered with beautiful, delicate crystals on all sides. It doesn’t get better than that…


                                      Gemworld section offered selection of top shelf jewellery and cut gems with highlights such as Young Designer’s Corner, presenting works of new talented designers.

It is nice to see that despite a recession, European designers are still among the best in the World. Full range of gems was accompanied by organic materials like a spectrum of pearls or selection of amber, just to mention some. Additionally there were gemmological institutions present for counselling on the provenance and quality of the stones. An invaluable service to an event such as this.

loose sapphires at munich mineral show 2012

Loose gem dealers were present mainly in the Gemworld. Here some Sri Lankan Sapphires.

range of pearls at the munich show

Wide selection of pearls, including some rare, Conch pink beauties.

                                           Fossilworld could take you on a journey from the beginning of life till the emergence of humans.

You could buy amazing fossils and skeletons of flora and fauna from all geological periods. Worth mentioning here would be a public exhibition, which had 8m long skeleton of a Spinosaurus or an amazing collection of trilobites. Vendors didn’t fail here either, being helpful, fully knowledgeable and in great part, personally involved in the field work. The Fossilworld area also hosted most of activities for kids with something to suite all tastes- Soapstone carving or Silversmithing for creative types, gold panning and gemstone screening for the taste of an adventure, plus fossil splitting and preparation to reward the patience.                      

Fossil fish in mudstone from Wyoming, USA.

fossil on acryl

This specimen was transplanted on acrylic sheet due to fragile nature of host mudstone, that crumbles after drying…

Starfish in a slit, preserved in great detail despite soft body.

spinosaurus munich mineral show 2012

Spinosaurus was a vicious carnivore, larger even than the more famous T-Rex.

trylobite at munich mineral show 2012

Preserved in amazing detail and exposed with utmost care was collection of many Trylobite species.

                                      Stoneworld part had around 200 exhibitors showing many practical and decorative uses of stones.

From accessories of all kinds to interior design. There were some exquisite German carvings in agate, that took an advantage of its layered structure. Some interesting ideas like an usage of sliced fossilised wood for interior decoration and furniture could also be found. Forum Minerale, also located in this hall, could provide an educational break time with seminars, interviews and short movies, plus health and beauty treatments at Wellness Island.

Intricate agate carvings from German masters at the Stoneworld in Munich.

munich mineral show 2012 fossilized treetrunks

Wood fossils as internal decoration and furniture at the Munich Show.

Strong point of this year’s show was “The African Secrets” exhibition with minerals, gem crystals and cut stones brought in from many museums and private collections.

There were over 500 pieces in total, coming from such mineral rich regions like Namibia, Tanzania or Madagascar. Welo opals and Shewa opal specimens were present in this section among other recognised African gemstones, like spinels, rubies, diamonds, Tanzanite, a whole family of garnets and many others. Africa is well known from having virtually all kinds of gemstones and minerals and organisers certainly stood up to the task, bringing together a vast collection of beautiful, rare specimens.

Many unique and delicate crystal formations were exhibited at “the African Secrets” show. Here, nice cerussite crystals

One of many tourmaline specimens- chrome bearing variety.

The African Secrets wouldn’t be complete without diamonds, among them, this crystal still in kimberlite matrix.

Large specimen of goethite formations with nice satin-black lustre.

An example of inesite from the Wessels Mine, South Africa.

Pinkish well developed calcite crystals from Namibia.

Gem quality phenakite crystal with surface etching.

Large shattuckite geode from Namibia.

Tanzanite became very popular in recent years and there were many nice crystals on a display.

“The Snail”, rhodochrosite on manganite from South Africa.

Tsavorite crystal from Kenya.

Welo Opal with zircon spinel topaz alexandrite and garnets at the munich show

Dark Welo opal nodule in a noble company of an alexandrite, spinel, topaz, a family of garnets and many others.

Large, well developed wulfenite crystals in matrix.

                               There even was a treat for meteorite lovers with “Not of this World” collection of all Bavarian meteorites from 1768 till 2002. Exhibiting many pieces of metallic, stony and mixed visitors from space, all neatly described as to the year they fell, internal composition and other details.

meteorite at the munich mineral show 2012

Metallic meteorite specimen from Bavaria.

                                   Another public exhibition brought together specimens of butterflies and various insects with similarly coloured stones in aesthetic display. You could admire how nature often uses the same principles of colour creation in different things like labradorite and a butterfly.

munich mineral show exhibitions

Iridescence example in Labradorite and butterflies.

munich show 2012 butterflies and stones exhibition

Deep red in this butterfly and coral pair.

                          Lets not forget about education as various Gemmological organisations were present this year on the Munich Mineral Show. GEM-A, DEUTSCHE GEMMOLOGISCHE GESELLSCHAFT E.V. and ICA, all had their booths there.

Many offered professional literature on gems and minerals for those who would like to expand their knowledge on their own. All kinds of equipment was also available. Starting with gemmological tools, boxes, display cases, following with gem cutting equipment and a selection of field tools.

It certainly was a very interesting trip, the Munich Show is impressive with all its educational and commercial aspects. Well done to the organisers and let’s hope that future shows will be as captivating as this one.

Robert Zdeb 11/2012

Click to enter Loose Gemstone section at store

The Munich Show official site-

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