Report on Munich 2015 - TGMS Roving Reporter, Paul Harter
The official first day of the Munich Show is for trade only. But rest assured, just as in Tucson those who want to visit the show on the first day find a way to get in. Early access is universal. So my initial suggestion to the Show Committee is to revisit the idea of early access, say Wednesday afternoon from 3:00 to 6:00. Charge a fee just as Munich does, I believe the early access fee is either 50 or 100 Euro. One aspect of this show which is so different from Tucson is that there are no satellite shows. Everything is at this one venue. I know such is not the premise of the TGMS show, simply an observation. The second observation is the amount of space dedicated to activities for the youth. The space allocated is reasonably central in location and not buried an out of the way corner. My second suggestion is to move Junior Education to a more prominent area so that everyone who attends the show sees the effort which goes into youth activities. Enough of this and on to the show.
Gemworld – This aspect of the show occupies one entire building with a special pavilion area for the high end displays of fine jewelry, gemstones and carvings. It is a site to behold. One of the gemstone dealers in this area is Paul Wild. He also made available for the special exhibit in the mineral pavilion some of his finest facetted stones. We are talking about some in the 100+ carat size. Entire areas are dedicated to vendors of pearls, every color one could imagine from snowy white to golden, black, pink and on and on. Finished jewelry is abundant from the finest evening wear to everyday pieces. Perhaps one of the best aspects of Gemworld is the space dedicated to new designers. Great innovation in design and execution.
Fossilworld – Although TGMS does not focus on fossils it is enjoyable to visit this hall and see stunning examples of preparation. A huge mastodon dominated one end of this hall and overlooked two large sandboxes into which fossils had been mixed. The youth can did for fossils and then have them identified. A great youth activity.
Mineralworld – The first thing one notices about this hall is the countries from which so many dealers hale. The net is far and wide. The second is the number of dealers who travel to the US not only for the TGMS show but also other venues. In this hall there are generally three tiers of dealer space, tables to highly staged booths with rigid walls and netting to create the appearance of a ceiling. My good friend Jim Bleess, who attended the show with Von Ceil Bleess, has always said one cannot just look at the eye level shelf, you must look in the boxes. This is so true with this show. Just ask the budding sphalerite collector Les Presmyk about his finding specimens for his second area of collecting. A second enjoyable aspect of the Show is the opportunity to see friends who have visited Tucson in the past but for one reason or another do not visit any longer. I had a pleasant visit with Michel Jouty whom I have visited in France and we laughed about his time at the Frontier Motel. At 86 he is still an active collector. As with the TGMS show, books are also a significant part of the Munich show. At Munich all of the book dealers are located in one area. Perhaps this could be considered by TGMS at a future time. Then the last stop in the A6 hall is the high end dealer area. The perimeter is surrounded by many dealers that we see in Tucson, both at Marty Zinn’s show and also at the TGMS show, Jordi Fabre with his usual good inventory, Karp with their well-chosen inventory (BTW, for those of you wanting a cuprite or copper ps. you had better act soon for not too many were available at the show) and so many others. Each of the high end booths is immaculately designed and staged. Crystal Classics booth looked like you were entering into a store on 5th Avenue in New York City. I particularly liked their display of minerals from Tsumeb. Arkenstone had a well-designed compact booth with well selected specimens. Both of the Watzl brothers had gorgeous booths with well-chosen specimens, mostly from Europe, Africa and China. In a reversal of roles the Larson gang from Fallbrook, whose booth is frequently the “hangout” out for so many of the foreign guests in Tucson, while always on the hunt for a specimen, gemstone or a piece of rough, held court in the booth of Alain Martaud. Alain always displays fine material and on occasion will “exit” a fine French specimen from his collection. Last but not least are the great dealer champions of the TGMS show, Dona and Wayne Leicht, accompanied by the always personable Lois Nelson. They displayed a small but attractive case of their trademark inventory of gold. Always a treat to look at. They also had a “pile” of flats loaded with European minerals at a 50% table. These were selling like hotcakes, not to mention sales from the display cases were active. Lastly the special exhibit area was themed “rough and cut”. Simply stunning beryl’s, tourmalines, ruby, sapphire, tanzanite, kunzite,etc.
I know I have missed people and rest assured this was not intentional by any means. There are so many good friends in Europe that it is difficult to help but not miss someone. One I did miss dearly was Dave Bunk. Dave is continuing his treatment for leukemia, is getting better every day and expects to see all of us in Tucson. Get well!
We cannot leave Munich without a mention of the food. Bavarian food is an exceptional cuisine. From the beer, which at one time was viewed as a food not a beverage, to the traditional pork dishes, to the vegetables and heaty soups. But of course for those looking for other cuisines, you need not look far. My personal favorite is perhaps the finest meal known, calamari imported from Patagonia, Argentina for an appetizer and pasta with a butter sauce covered with sliced white truffles. A meal worth raveling 8 time zones to eat.
The final thought is my visit with the founder of the Munich Show Johannes Keilmann. The Mineralien Tage Munchen and the TGMS show are the two finest shows in the world. As he said to me “we must never let these die”.
So long until my next visit to Munich. I hope you can join me.
Paul S. Harter