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Expominer 2007

Expominer 2007

Expominer 2007

Barcelona is the city where I was born and where I still live and work. So it is no surprise that I speak so highly of both the city and Expominer, the mineral show that is held each year in the Montjuic convention center, Barcelona. Like many other people who visit Barcelona each year, I think that it is a beautiful, pleasant and appealing city that deserves a visit, either to see this show or just to get to know the city.

Expominer is held every November and has steadily got better and better. It started many years ago in one of the first halls of the exhibition center and was then moved to a rather unpleasant metal hanger. Then some years ago, mainly due to its popularity, we were moved into one of the more 'noble' pavilions - Palacio 5. During the last years we did even better as the importance of the show meant that we got one of the very best pavilions - Palacio 6, which is large, spacious, functional and, at the same time, very beautiful and just opposite the famous 'Font Màgica' (magical fountain). A really wonderful magical location!

On top of the increase in worldwide dealers there was also a significant increase in the number of visitors so, while the mineral collecting hobby in Spain is still not that significant, we believe that Expominer has become an important mineral show with many international dealers and a good selection of minerals. As the heirs of the great collector from Barcelona, Joaquín Folch i Girona, we have managed to create in Catalonia and Spain a significant interest in minerals.

All I have to do now is thank all those who have, year after year, helped make the show a success and wish that future Expominer shows are even better than this year's.

We believe that if you have the chance to join us next year at Expominer 2008 you will find that neither the show nor the city will disappoint you.






Thursday, November 8, 2007

Let me start to tell you about the Barcelona Show (Expominer), but even as I start you have to excuse me if I do not mange to give you an update every day. I have to sincerely say that I do not have the energy to do a daily report on this show two days after getting home from Munich, and especially with Pares sick.

So can I ask all my forum colleagues who manage to visit the show to be so kind as to publish their views about the Show, and thus help others know what has happened. I'll do what I can, but I doubt it will be extensive. So an advanced thank you to all of you who add their thoughts on Expominer 2007.

Along with this text I have included a photo of the ever patient Carme covering the stand with cloths once we had got it ready for Friday's start.


Expominer 2007 - Carme shutting up the stand
Carme shutting up the stand

Friday, November 9, 2007

This rather poor photo shows a small group that formed this evening near the entrance to the show and opposite our stand, it is all I can manage to add today.

Expominer 2007 - The good ambiance during Expominer
The good ambiance during Expominer

Enjoying the pleasures of a healthy discussion are Carlos Curto, curator of the Barcelona Geology Museum, his helper Rosa Santó, and two Catalan collectors: Enric Vintró and Jordi Vilallonga.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Expominer 2007 - Joaquim Callén doing his job
Joaquim Callén doing his job and ...



Expominer 2007 - Photographers photographed
... photographers photographed while taking photos. So lots of images in one!

For all the workload that two shows so close together in time create, I could not resist publishing these two photos. The first shows Joaquim Callén, the excellent photographer for the magazines 'Revista de Minerales' - 'Mineral-Up'. He is doing his photo report on the show in our stand, with the potable paraphernalia that he uses to do his magic.

The second one shows three admiring visitors who saw Callén working and stopped in their tracks to enjoy the spectacle. The great thing is that the two on the right are the authors of the Mineral Town portal, and they are also doing their photo report on the show, as their cameras suggest.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Expominer is over. Lluís and Manel have given us, in the text I have copied below, their thoughts about the show. I have preferred to use their comments and opinions as I feel that they give a very colorful view, which is different from mine. All I would like to say is that I think that the lack of care in the preparation of some of the stand, which various people commented on, may be down to the fact that Expominer is the weekend after Munich, so many of the dealer just do not have time to renew their stock. One cannot forget that the dealers are human and after the huge effort of attending Munich they have to drive 1500 km. and then two days later display all the their material here. This means that it take a massive amount of effort if they are to prepare a well laid out stand full of beautiful things.
Given this, the organizers of Expominer have decided that in the future they will leave a two week gap between the two shows. So next year Expominer will be later. We can therefore hope that both the quality of the stands and the mental state of the dealers will be better ;-)



As I said to friends, I could not resist the chance of going to Expominer, although my poor stomach was not keen to go with me (a bad case of gastroenteritis)

Well, what I saw was similar to Jordi's comments about Munich: few novelties... but many specimens that it would be hard to see if it were not for the recycling of old collections.
In my opinion the dealers from Morocco seemed to have fewer minerals and many more fossils. And the fossils looked to me about as authentic as a three and a half dollar bill. While I do not understand much about this (or even nothing) a quick look suggested that one should go nowhere near them...
The Afghan and Pakistani dealers had little material for collectors, although I did see a table covered with aquamarine, which was being sold by the pound for cutting and which was not bad (I know, it is a heresy but one had to notice them...)
An Afghan curiosity was the zoisite from Waziristán that, apart from its habit and lack of heat treatment, I would swear could be the Tanzanite variety. They are free of matrix, which is a pity. They do not need to bring the mountain, but a little bit of matrix please...
The Chinese dealers had little to report. A few of the new Chinese Wulfenites were being sold by the local dealers.  From India the normal material.  Nice, charming people but very little to show (maybe Munich had been good to them).  Well we do not always have luck.

This year, to my disappointment, the sulfides from Rumania stood out for their absence. There was a case of Gold from Brusson that stunned me, as did their prices.

In terms of new minerals: the Senegalites, which might be larger crystals than the previous finds and some huge Stolzites. As Jordi said, the sad part was that most were damaged. I bought one of the few undamaged one from him...
I saw a selection of the new Goethites from Tharsis, great but too big for me.

And for my personal pleasure: a selection of systematic specimens, but with visible crystals, the esthetics of the small and cheap.

To me the most interesting pieces were the ones recycled from old collections: English material from Cornwall that I have heard about but never seen before, Italian material that makes one gape, Pala Kunzites...

There were lots of stands with jewelry made from natural stones. What shocked me most was a stand of Narguiles, which were interesting and good.  But what on earth they were doing there I have no idea...
The faceting area was full of people (which was a nuisance, as I had things to ask...)

The Jaima was exotic, but why...

I had a chance to talk to one of the children that were admiring the stones.
I despair about their knowledge: the crystalline form of Amethyst is: amorphous (really)!
I tried to explain, and noted that once things were explained they were interested...
But it would be nice if someone they knew were to explain to them that it is not polite to address a dealer with "you, do you understand minerals" - then things would be even better.

Overall impression: a year with few novelties but with a wide range of material that has come from other collections, and the classic material is very interesting. As a result this year my wallet complained more than it did last year!
And if someone decides to bring more systematic material for collectors next time, this humble servant would be grateful (as I guess would be many other collectors)

Un saludo


Hi everybody

This year is my first Expominer, which is why I can't compare it with previous shows.
On Friday, early in the morning, I went to the Show with many students from my Institute (I also went with a teacher of Earth Sciences). I greeted Jordi and I congratulated him for his stand.

I saw many things. Some of them were really nice and others not so great.
My Earth Sciences companion explained to me the marvelous nature of the Pyrite from Navajún. The mine is only operated to get specimens that are sold to collectors and not as worked for industrial pyrite. This stand left me KO. From the point of view of the layman it is full of sculptures, not minerals.
Nowadays my interest is centered on meteorites. I saw two North of African stands selling condrites for 1 Euro/gram (43USD/oz.). I was not certain that they were authentic, so I decided not to buy any. Today, taking a look on different websites one gets the impression that could be authentic, but... 

On Saturday I went back to the show with my wife and son. We bought a set of 6 Navajún Pyrites in marl matrix. Very expensive, but really spectacular. I also got some other small items, such as a small piece of native copper from Illinois; a Sun Pyrite also from Illinois and 3 indochinites and a moldavite rough from a Chinese dealer who is based in Germany.

I repeat, since I cannot compare with previous years, my experience of it has been very agreeable. 


Pedro Ansorena's stand (Pyrite from Navajún)
Pedro Ansorena's stand (Pyrite from Navajún)




Expominer 2007 - In the end our stand looked good
In the end our stand looked good,
but it was a lot of work




Expominer 2007 - The history of man, with a Paleolithic Venus
The display this year: The history of man, with a Paleolithic Venus




Expominer 2007 - A Moroccan jaima in the middle of Expominer
A Moroccan jaima in the middle of Expominer



A reveure!

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