Malachite
WARRNAMBOOL GEM CLUB
Close up view of Canadian Ammonite shell
Paris MinesTech Mineral Museum collection and Munich Show 2014  and The Massif Central
During September and October, 2014, I was fortunate to be able to travel to France, Spain and Germany. While in Paris I visited the Mineral Museum at Paris Mines Tech on two occasions to view the great collection they have there. The Museum is located in Boulevard Saint Michel, adjacent to the Palais du Luxembourg.  I also visited the Museum of Natural History but unfortunately the Geology/Mineral section was closed for renovations. The collection at the Pierre and Marie Curie was also closed when I visited.
2014 Munich Show The Munich Show, ran from the 24-26th of October at the Munich Trade Fair Centre, which is readily accessed using the local underground train system. The Trade Fair Centre, which was built on an ‘old’ airfield.It is enormous and it takes approximately 15 minutes by foot to walk from one end to the other. The Show was located at the east end of the Trade Fair Centre with large crowds lined up at opening hour for the public on Saturday morning. I met mineral collectors and lapidaries from England, France, Spain and Germany while at the show. The mineral specimens on display were mind blowing, with prices to match! There were great fossils on display and for sale and the lapidary products were impressive. Fantastic carvings, magnificent jewellery, faceted gems, cabachons etc.
THE MASSIF CENTRAL is located in the Auvergne Region, some 4 hours drive south of Paris. The capital of this region is Clermont- Ferrand, the home of Michelin Tyre manufacturing.  The volcanoes in this region are the result of the collision between the Eurasian and African plates (continental drift). Volcanic activity appeared in the Massif Central, but also in Bohemia and Germany, along an aborted rift known as the Rhone-Rhine rift. In the Massif Central, the main rock is rhyolite, a viscous/acidic rock of the same chemical composition as Granite (the Granite has cooled slowly at depth so has larger crystals than rhyolite which is fine grained by comparison). There are many other types of rocks present, including basalt, which has been widely used as a building material locally. Volcanic activity in the Auvergne began 65 million years ago, further north in Burgundy. The volcanoes I first visited were the Puys. ‘The Chaine des Puys’ This chain of volcanoes, some 40 km long, are ‘young’ in terms of volcanoes, being formed over 70,000 years including eruptions occurring during the last 10,000 years. All, bar ‘Puy de Dome’, were produced by a single eruption lasting a few days or months. Puy de Dome (1,465m), which dominates the chain, was formed over a period of probably less than two years by multiple explosions and viscous lava flows. It rises some 200m above other volcanoes in the chain. Many features found in the chain are similar to those we observe in the Western District in Victoria. These include Cinder cones Volcanic bombs Maar craters Maar craters with lakes Many of the Maar craters have pyroclastic rings (formed from explosion debris) as seen in Western Victoria.
L to R:  Amethyst on Calcite;  Amethyst on Quartz;  Azurite, Bisbee Arizona;  Beryl, Brazil
L to R:  Realgar;   Rhodochrosite, South Africa;   Vivianite, Cameroun;   Hemimorphite, Italy;   Sphericular Magnesite
L to R:  Brazilianite, Brazil;  Calcite, France;    Calcite on Quartz;   Chrysocolla, Arizona
L toR;  Molybdenite, Madagascar; 
Flourite and Quartz R:   Beryl on Muscovite L:   Calcite on Quartz R:   Quartz L:   Concave Faceting R:   Beryl Crystal. Rhodochrosite, Sweet Home Mine, Colorado, USA
L to R: Pargasite 680 euro;   Spectacular red quartz specimens (2 photos);  A lovely Tourmaline specimen for 4500 euro
The above 4 photos were typical of the range of faceted/semi-facted gems on display, including concave faceting and combined faceting and carving of gems.
L to R:   Flourite on Muscovite;   Malachite and Pyrites:   Beryl crystals of spectacular quality;   Tourmaline (15000 euro)
L to R:   Stibnite:   A magnificent Realgar and Orpiment specimen, appox. 400mm high;   Flourite China;   Mineral display case.
L to R:  Overlooking hall A6 at the Munich Show;   Aquamarine Namibia;   A truly spectacular, large, Calcite on Amethyst;   A beautiful Tourmaline crystal.
L to R:   Quartz Brazil;   Tourmaline;   A spectacular, large Calcite on Amethyst; Fossils
L to R: Hermiker Diamonds Quartz;   Tanzanite;   Entry to show;   Concave faceted gems
L to R: Megalodon tooth;   Ammonite fossil:   Fossil specimens of this quality and size requires a lot of painstaking work!;   Not the sort of Dinosaur you would want to meet!
Three spectacular gem necklaces plus an agate carving.
Looking North from Puy de Dome over the Chain de Puys L:  Puy de Dome, the highest volcanoe in the Chaine des Puys R:   Looking North from Puy de Dome over the Chain de Puys L:   Looking down into a cinder cone crater in the Chain de Puys. This reminded me of Mt Rouse at Penshurst in Victoria. R:   Volcanic ‘bombs’ in the Chain de Puys, these are very familiar to fossickers at Mt Shadwell in Mortlake, Victoria L:   Clermont-Ferrand, the capital of the Auvergne. R:   Orcival, a small town s.w. of Clermont-Ferrand, where the buildings make extensive use of local volcanic rocks. L:   Besse-et-St-Anestaise, showing cliff dwellings carved into the volcanic rock. R:   A closer view of the cliff dwellings at Besse-et-St- Anestaise
Elbaite crystals
WARRNAMBOOL GEM CLUB
Close up view of Canadian Ammonite shell
Paris MinesTech Mineral Museum collection and Munich Show 2014  and The Massif Central
During September and October, 2014, I was fortunate to be able to travel to France, Spain and Germany. While in Paris I visited the Mineral Museum at Paris Mines Tech on two occasions to view the great collection they have there. The Museum is located in Boulevard Saint Michel, adjacent to the Palais du Luxembourg.  I also visited the Museum of Natural History but unfortunately the Geology/Mineral section was closed for renovations. The collection at the Pierre and Marie Curie was also closed when I visited.
2014 Munich Show The Munich Show, ran from the 24-26th of October at the Munich Trade Fair Centre, which is readily accessed using the local underground train system. The Trade Fair Centre, which was built on an ‘old’ airfield.It is enormous and it takes approximately 15 minutes by foot to walk from one end to the other. The Show was located at the east end of the Trade Fair Centre with large crowds lined up at opening hour for the public on Saturday morning. I met mineral collectors and lapidaries from England, France, Spain and Germany while at the show. The mineral specimens on display were mind blowing, with prices to match! There were great fossils on display and for sale and the lapidary products were impressive. Fantastic carvings, magnificent jewellery, faceted gems, cabachons etc.
THE MASSIF CENTRAL is located in the Auvergne Region, some 4 hours drive south of Paris. The capital of this region is Clermont-Ferrand, the home of Michelin Tyre manufacturing.  The volcanoes in this region are the result of the collision between the Eurasian and African plates (continental drift). Volcanic activity appeared in the Massif Central, but also in Bohemia and Germany, along an aborted rift known as the Rhone-Rhine rift. In the Massif Central, the main rock is rhyolite, a viscous/acidic rock of the same chemical composition as Granite (the Granite has cooled slowly at depth so has larger crystals than rhyolite which is fine grained by comparison). There are many other types of rocks present, including basalt, which has been widely used as a building material locally. Volcanic activity in the Auvergne began 65 million years ago, further north in Burgundy. The volcanoes I first visited were the Puys. ‘The Chaine des Puys’ This chain of volcanoes, some 40 km long, are ‘young’ in terms of volcanoes, being formed over 70,000 years including eruptions occurring during the last 10,000 years. All, bar ‘Puy de Dome’, were produced by a single eruption lasting a few days or months. Puy de Dome (1,465m), which dominates the chain, was formed over a period of probably less than two years by multiple explosions and viscous lava flows. It rises some 200m above other volcanoes in the chain. Many features found in the chain are similar to those we observe in the Western District in Victoria. These include Cinder cones Volcanic bombs Maar craters Maar craters with lakes Many of the Maar craters have pyroclastic rings (formed from explosion debris) as seen in Western Victoria.
L to R:  Amethyst on Calcite;  Amethyst on Quartz;  Azurite, Bisbee Arizona;  Beryl, Brazil
L to R:  Realgar, China;   Rhodochrosite, South Africa;   Vivianite, Cameroun;   Hemimorphite, Italy;   Sphericular Magnesite
Photos below: L to R: Row 1  Flourite & Quartz;   Beryl on Muscovite;   Row 2   Calcite on Quartz;   Quartz;     Row 3   Concave Faceting;   Beryl Row 4   Rhodochrosite, Sweet Home Mine, Colorado, USA
The above 4 photos were typical of the range of faceted/semi-facted gems on display, including concave faceting and combined faceting and carving of gems.
L to R:   Stibnite:   A magnificent Realgar and Orpiment specimen, appox. 400mm high;   Flourite China;   Mineral display case.
L to R:   Quartz Brazil;   Tourmaline;   A spectacular, large Calcite on Amethyst; Fossils
L to R: Hermiker Diamonds Quartz;   Tanzanite;   Entry to show;   Concave faceted gems
Looking North from Puy de Dome over the Chain de Puys Puy de Dome, the highest volcanoe in the Chaine des Puys Looking North from Puy de Dome over the Chain de Puys    Looking down into a cinder cone crater in the Chain de Puys. This reminded me of Mt Rouse at Penshurst in Victoria.    Volcanic ‘bombs’ in the Chain de Puys, these are very familiar to fossickers at Mt Shadwell in Mortlake, Victoria    Clermont-Ferrand, the capital of the Auvergne.    Orcival, a small town s.w. of Clermont- Ferrand, where the buildings make extensive use of local volcanic rocks.    Besse-et-St-Anestaise, showing cliff dwellings carved into the volcanic rock.    A closer view of the cliff dwellings at Besse- et-St-Anestaise