Here is the official link for those coming to find about about 2010+ shows



(more photos at bottom)


This is a departure from my usual post. No, really.

During the gem show (this year starting early Feb.) hotel rooms can more than double in price. Tents, huge tents appear around the interstate, and here and there throughout Tucson. Different associations put on different shows. There can be bead shows, fossil, African crafts, and all manner of mixes of these, plus jewelry, meteorites, and on and on.

One of my favorite once was where they now call the “Rio Nuevo” site. Tents were out under trees and on the dirt. It felt like you were far away in Morocco, for the gem and mineral shows bring in all kinds of foreigners. That show was moved years ago to a gravel parking lot at Tucson Electric Park, no where near as much fun walking over gravel, but still great prices on a good variety of items. Tucson is considered the show where the world establishes some of the going prices on these things.

Shows in hotels can have hundreds of rooms, each with someone from somewhere with their rare goods, and at times, fascinating looks and voices of the presenters. Usually one can walk around and not be interfered with. You might be considering buying something that caught your eye and hear that; “I could get you twenty cases of those by tomorrow. Also you might encounter people with walky-talkies comparing prices across shows or informing someone on what they just found. At the tribal tent areas you might encounter very rare gems called hippies or what are the modern day versions who seem like some earth oriented new age world travellers. Nice food tents are here and there.

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Showcase(?) Is a big final show at the Tucson Convention Center. It is at the near end of the other shows. You might see exhibitors who you have seen days before somewhere else.

This year will have the extra thrill of interstate work possibly creating all kinds of zig-zag driving around downtown. There is a free bus service during events that runs every 15 min. or so. So one can park and go that way.

Some years I miss the show, or it seems like the same old thing, but actually something new shows up almost every year. Then next year its price may double, then astoundingly triple the next, just when you regret not getting it when you first wondered what that curious stone was.

I am mostly going for all the exotic crafts this year. If you think of Christmas or unique gifts, you often cannot beat the price for someones work of art.

Before the public gem shows even open, private ones occur. I believe once the military had sold off 40 million worth of laser crystals at these private events. Since hotel prices are already rising, these events are probably already going on.

It can be fun just to walk around and look, but be careful at that, for suddenly you might get dizzy at beauty and exotic curiosity overload. Then you need a break, maybe to next year. Then you wake up Sunday, the weather is better, and like a magnet you are drawn back. In fact I picked up neat hematite magnets last year that I had never seen before in that shape. I am hoping that person will have their variety show there this year to get a few more of those. They form strong magnetic circles, and could be used around the wrist as an exercise aid. Weird enough right?