April 19, 2017

19th April 2017 by Mike Petrov

A review of the gem and mineral show in Montreal on April 7-9, 2017

This year, unlike in the past, all 3 of us decided to go to Montreal for the annual gem and mineral show, hosted at the beautiful Pierre Charbonau Center, in the Olympic Stadium. The drive we have done roughly 80 times usually takes about 5-5.5 hours, but this year we got hit hard with rain and traffic, and we spent more than 8 hours getting there. Luckily we spent the whole week prior preparing and organizing our display, so the set up was quite easy. It also helped that compared to the past, when the club asked the dealers to wait until 6pm the day before the show to start the set up, they allowed everyone in at 1pm. This helped dramatically, not having to spend the time waiting in line, for the only entrance to bring everything in.

We rented a house, about 800 meters away from the show, and the best part of this house was the beautiful balcony with the view of the stunning structures of the Olympic village, that are lit throughout the night.

On Friday, the show started at 3pm, and thanks to the easy set up, we had nearly 2 hours of free time to walk around, chat to the dealers, and acquire some unusual items from the local miners, as well as from some of the dealers private collections that they brought for us to see. Few of the unusual items included Rhodochrosite crystals from China that haven't been in Tucson or Denver for a couple of years, local Natrolite specimens, as well as gorgeous Ammolite pieces from Alberta with the whole array of colors. We are putting these out in our gallery as we are writing this piece.

The attendance was spectacular, as is always expected in Montreal - with the largest attendance every show compared to the other bigger shows in Toronto or Ottawa.

We put out a new display of Phenakites and Alexandrites, never before shown to the public, and the people noted this with much enthusiasm, some people gladly acquiring beautiful pieces for their collections. Also, the new display we made of Malachite, Rhodochrosite and Seraphinite stalactites was the bright spot in our display, that people couldn't help but come see, take pictures, and ask how is mother nature able to create such beauty.

Our house was near Ontario street, which we were thrilled to find out had some of the finest local restaurants Montreal had to offer - and if you don't know, Montreal has some of the best restaurants in Canada. Unlike the spots in Old Montreal, or in downtown, the beauty of these was that they were filled with locals, and we didn't hear any English or see anyone that appeared to be a tourist. We had to call 3 places the day before in order to reserve a spot for 3, but eventually were able to find a spot. Must say, Foie Gras, dumplings with duck, local beers and Salmon Tartare are definitely an excellent way to finish a day.

Overall we had a great show, met many old friends, and made some new ones. Until November Montreal, we are already excited to go back.