IMCA Insights – December 2007
Munich Mineral Show 2007
by Norbert Classen

Welcome to the December issue of IMCA Insights and our third meteorite show report for this year, Munich 2007. The show - the biggest mineral fair in Europe and a major event for most meteorite people - was opening its gates from November 2 to 4, 2007, and there were many visitors from all over the world. Soon after my arrival on Friday noon I ran into Mike Farmer and Jim Strope from the United States, Dima and Sergey from Russia, and many other friends from all over the globe.

Collectors at the Munich Show 2007

Martin Altmann, Olaf Gabel, Thomas Grau, Norbert Classen, and
Mirko Graul at the Munich Show 2007
(from left to right)
Photo courtesy Mirko Graul

Of course, there were many more friends and familiar faces from Germany and Europe: I ran into my old friend and mentor Dr. Juergen Otto, I met along the way with Harald Stehlik and Christian Anger from Austria, shaked hands with my friends from Switzerland, Peter Marmet and Marc Jost, and had a chat with "Chief Impactor" Olaf Gabel, "Mr. La Mancha" Thomas Grau, and "Iron Man" Mirko Graul, just to name a few. As always, it took some time to arrive at the first dealers stall, and to check their new offers.

Chladni's Heirs: Martin Altmann & Stefan Ralew

IMCA Members Martin Altmann & Stefan Ralew of "Chladni's Heirs"
Photo courtesy Hanno Strufe

Many of the European dealers offered a remarkable selection of rarities, this year: witnessed falls, unusual classifications, and excellently prepared specimens. As always, Moritz Karl's table stood out, as well as Bruno's and Carine's stall with a great selection of historic meteorites, and rare types from the hot deserts of Northwest Africa. Sergey Vasiliev had his own table, this year, and he also had a fantastic selection of planetary meteorites, historic pedigree specimens, and some new Russian finds that were never up for sale, before.

The new lunar meteorite NWA 4881

A Fantastic Full Slice of the New Lunar Meteorite NWA 4881
Photo courtesy Marcin Cimala

Another highlight was the table of "Chladni's Heirs" were I was welcomed by Martin Altmann, Stefan Ralew, and their fabulous new planetary specimes. Just have a look at the fantastic full slice of the new lunar NWA 4881 (provisional number, and probably paired with NWA 3163, and NWA 4483), and you will see what I mean. Besides that they also has another new lunar (mare?) basalt, provisionally named NWA 4898. This new lunar meteorite had first been mistaken for an angrite until more detailed studies revealed its lunar origin. It's currently under extensive study, and I'm sure that this unusual rock will be good for a few more surprises, and revelations.

Hans Koser & Jim Strope

IMCA Members Hans Koser & Jim Strope having Fun at the Show
Photo courtesy Hanno Strufe

Martin and Stefan also had some great specimens of the "La Mancha" eucrite on consignment from my old friend and fellow meteorite hunter Siegfried Haberer who couldn't make it to the show, this year. "La Mancha" is certainly one of the most beautiful meteorites ever, and it was selling at prices that are more typical for martian meteorites, or exceedingly rare historic falls. Of course, the original discoverer of the "La Mancha" eucrite, Thomas Grau, also had some fantastic specimens for sale - one more beautiful than the other.

A Large Carancas Specimen

A huge but crumbly Carancas Specimen at Hans Koser's Table
Photo courtesy Hanno Strufe

Talking about the most recent witnessed meteorite falls: of course there were also specimens of the Carancas meteorite on some dealers tables, that giant chondrite which excavated a large crater near Lake Titicaca, Peru, earlier this year. This meteorite is extremely friable, and leaves crumbs on your hands upon each touch. There were only a few larger specimens for sale at the show, most at Hans Koser's table who showed a great selection of extraordinary Carancas specimens. The large fragment pictured above was surely one of the highlights of this years show.

Mohammed Hmani, Marc Jost, Ali Hmani

Mohammed Hmani, Marc Jost, Ali Hmani, and more Meteorites
Photo courtesy Peter Marmet

Another new witnessed fall, often called the "Mali" meteorite, could be seen at several Moroccan tables. It's a heavily brecciated ordinary chondrite with a fresh black fusion crust. This seems to be another "big fall", and several dealers had quite a few kilos of this neat material for sale - along with a great selection of unclassified carbonaceous chondrites, and HED achondrites from NWA.

Interior of the new "Mali" chondrite fall

Interior View of the New "Mali" Chondrite Fall - a Neat Breccia!
Photo courtesy Marcin Cimala

As always, Mohammed and Ali Hmani had the widest selection of rare meteorites from Northwest Africa - there were "Mali" samples as well as angrites, lunar and martian samples and a few new stones that looked more than promising. Although I'm usually more interested in new planetary meteorites my attention was caught by a huge new CV3 with extraordinary CAIs (Calcium-Aluminium-Inclusions). The supply from NWA is surely drying up, but nevertheless the goodies keep on coming! Another stone that caught my interest was a newly classified lodranite from NWA, an ultra-rare type and another sample of the acapulcoite-lodranite parent body.

A Fantastic Millbillillie Individual

A Fantastic Oriented Millbillillie Individual at Ali Hmani's Table
Photo courtesy Marcin Cimala

To my utter surprise, Ali also had a few remarkable samples that were not of NWA provenance, such as a large slice of the new Russian pallasite Pallasovka, a huge Allende, and a marvellous oriented Millbillillie eucrite individual. Great Millbillillies could also be seen at an Australian dealer's table, at a most reasonable price. There were many more dealers and meteorites all over the show, but since I had arrived only at Friday noon, and had to leave early on Saturday morning I hadn't the time to check into each and every hall, and each and every stall. My apologies to those that I didn't visit, or that I didn't mention. I just wish I could have visited, and mentioned you all.

The Fliegerbräu, Feldkirchen

The "Fliegerbräu" in Feldkirchen, near to the Fairground
Photo courtesy Hanno Strufe

A wise man said: "Man is a social animal" - a fact that also holds true for most meteorite people. Besides all the old and new meteorites, sales and trades, the Munich show is always a great place to socialize with fellow collectors, and to talk about our favorite subject. More than 50 dealers and collectors joined the annual Meteorite Party Friday night at the "Fliegerbräu", an old brewery and restaurant in the nearby village of Feldkirchen, and we all had lots of fun - something we should repeat, next year. See you all in Munich in 2008!

Meteorite Party at the Fliegerbräu

Friday Night's Big Meteorite Party at the "Fliegerbräu"
Photo courtesy Hanno Strufe

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