Next week I will be going to Sainte Marie Aux Mines, tucked deep in the Alsace region of France. Once a year this little village which was once a silver mining village is opening up to stone dealers and collectors from all over the world. It is that big that if you are going all four days and take your time to look at the stones you won't be able to see everything.
The atmosphere is beautiful, as it is sunny and summery and almost everything is outdoors, except the precious stone presentations which are held in the community hall and the local swimming pool. Because the first days of the show are for jewelers and stone collectors only and not open to the public, it carries a very focused mood where people with the same passion come together.
This is where I always meet Juri, a Russian Dioptase expert or the guys from Yakutsia in Russia where the most beautiful deep green Chrome Diopside is found. Our communication is mostly containing a lot of hand gestures as my Russian is non existent and their English is basic: but we all share the expert look on those stones they bring and marvel at the most beautiful ones.
There will be Ana from Brazil who might (hopefully) pull out a little stack with Rough Apatite that I might like. Or Gui, bringing topnotch Watermelon Tourmaline.
I am especially looking forward this year because I need to buy for the PURE GOLD line, and a new other project. My eye is on rough fair trade diamonds and emeralds, sapphire. Maybe topaz.
If you have any requests for stones you haven't seen online here please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to pick up the stone for you.