June 2019, we arrived on top of the hill in the superb beauty of the Vosges Region in France. The sun was taking a slow dive into the valley. Allthough I am a huge sun-fan, I was now quite happy to see her going to sleep, because of the intense heatwave at that time (highest recorded temperature ever 45.9°C).
But, hardcore crystal fans like us don't just stay at home for some sunny heat overload !! (we almost did regret it at some point, or rather even didn't survive it haha)
Thank God the nights were okay up in the hills and we could get a good nights rest! Ready to face the best and most comprehensive gemstone fair of Europe.
REALLY you guys, this is a must-go-to for everyone that has even the slightest interest in gemstones, minerals and jewelry. As they quote : 'On a surface area of 52,000m² in downtown Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, in 2 zones: the Mineral zone and the Gem zone, a gigantic village of tents and halls unfolds where 1,500 professionals and experts from 52 countries set up their headquarters and their goods.'
The interesting thing is there are so many different sellers : from traders who just buy a lot of rough minerals at a mine and then polish them to father and son who climb the mountain themselves, searching for minerals, discovering a new kind of Jasper, collecting it from the rocks and polish them into amazing cabochons.
On the picture above was a father and daughter from the Altaï with the deepest blue Azurite I had ever seen! Father was selling the stones and his daughter was selling her jewelry. Really nice people.
And all this surrounded by beautiful nature! I advice you to go a few days extra and take some time for a hike in the hills, follow the flow of a refreshing little river or just rest a bit at the shores of a silent lake (or stay in the water the whole time because otherwise ending up as a cooked shrimp).
There are different kinds of tickets. The fair opens from thursday untill sunday, with thursday and friday for professionals, the weekend for everyone. No need to say the most breathtaking specimens are gone by the weekend...... They also have a Early Access Ticket which gives you the opportunity to enter the fair on wednesday already. This ticket costs a bit more (€50) as it actually is a ticket for 5 days (from wednesday to sunday) but it's really worth it!!! I would say : if you intend to spend at least €200, it's worth the extra cost (cause the prices are lower and you have more choice, so you'll end up having 1/3 more stones). If you only plan to take a look and maybe buy one or two stones, I would buy the 'Pass Grand Public' for €13 (saturday and sunday). Reserve at least two days to walk around the fair, cause it's huge!! And there is sooooooo much to see!!!!!
We didn't take a lot of pictures in 2019 cause it was actually too hot to do anything but running from one tent to another (under the white tents at least the sun didn't hit us right in the face....). They also installed some water sprinklers, but they were mostly occupied... We had planned to take several days to walk around the fair relaxed and fresh, but our poor bodies just couldn't manage the 45°C!!!
I am so hoping and praying and wishing this year the fair will be possible!!!
It's still early but I'm so looking forward to it, I already wanted to share it now...
Here is the link to the website : https://sainte-marie-mineral.com/
Maybe we see each other there!!!!!!
Knots of Love