Positive stocktake for the Mineralien Hamburg show The fourth largest mineral exhibition in the world has seen a significant increase on the same period last year, with exhibitor registrations up by more than 30. "Some 85 per cent of the space rented out in 2015 has already been booked," said Project Manager Michael Arfmann, who is particularly delighted at the number of new exhibitors. "This is already a great result at this stage," he added.

Over 400 exhibitors in total from every corner of the globe are expected to be at the Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH site for three days from 9 to 11 December with their unique exhibits. They will be bringing fascinating one-of-a-kind treasures, precious jewellery and ancient fossils, including well preserved dinosaur skeletons.

There will also be spectacular special exhibitions of interesting educational value featuring precious finds and selected objects. "Copper · Silver · Gold – Hamburg Welcomes the Andes" is the title of a large special exhibition where incomparable treasures from South America will be on show. This impressive exhibition will be supported by the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, also known as the Freiberg University of Resources. The pieces were found in Argentina, Peru, Bolivia and Chile, and most of them were unearthed in major operations at dizzying heights. Another special exhibition is dedicated to one of the rarest and most expensive gemstones of all which is the beautiful ruby and gemstone of the year in 2016.

Partners of the Mineralien Hamburg this year are the Archäologisches Museum Hamburg, the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and the Eiszeit-Museum ice age museum. Another highlight is that the Kiel-based geology and palaeontology association, the Geologisch-Paläontologische Arbeitsgemeinschaft Kiel, will be granting access to the collections of its members to mark its 70th anniversary. As the title suggests, "Versteinertes Leben aus dem Urmeer", fossilised life from the primordial ocean will be on show, with such treasures as ammonites, sea urchins, trilobites, shells, snails, fish, corals and trace fossils.

There will also be many activities on offer for families and children at Mineralien Hamburg, such as gold panning and fossil preparation. Kindergarten and crèche facilities will also be provided for young mineral fans. There will also be advice and information services for visitors. The lecture forum has been pulling in the crowds for years, for example, with talks and presentations on a broad range of subjects. This is a popular addition to the programme at the Mineralien Hamburg fair and is used by many people as a source of valuable expert information and education. A professional valuation service is also available for people who want to have a piece of jewellery valued which they have brought with them or which they have just purchased at the fair.