The photos presented in this gallery were taken by iPhone, for SLR camera pictures please visit the relevant gallery.
During my five day stay (June 26 to 30th) in the beautiful valley of Sainte Marie aux Mines I spent most of my time in the Mineral & Fossil Zone (the main show) while on the last day I spent a couple of hours in the Gem Zone which was about 400 yards away from the main show – a free ‘shuttle/navette train’ was available to link the two shows (please view the relevant pictures in the two galleries).
Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department of Alsace region in northeastern France.
The 50th Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines Mineral & Gem Show which was held from June 27th to 30th is an international show where more than 1000 exhibitors from around the world participate to sell and buy or exchange their rocks/minerals. The Mineral Show dates back to the early 1960s, when Francois Lehmann organized a small mineral exhibition. Soon the fair became a tourist attraction in the area and many collectors from the neighbouring countries started visiting the show.
The exhibition area covers part of the old town streets where hundreds of exhibitors put their beautiful and rare products (minerals, fossils & gems) on display. During the main four-day fair the first two days are only for professionals so that they can buy/exchange on preferential trade rates while the last two days are open to the general public. Besides, parallel events such as conferences, workshops and visits to local mines are also organised. Some village buildings, like the Theatre or the School, among others, are also filled with exhibitors.
There were about 50 exhibitors from Pakistan and Afghanistan, a significant number of them came from European countries and the USA. (I will add further information at a later stage!).