Wednesday, February 12, 2014


The events at Tucson have arrived!  The largest rock show in the world, the official Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, opens on Thursday the 13 of February and runs for four days at the downtown Convention Center.  There are a gazillion rock, mineral, fossil, and gem enthusiasts in town and the roads are crowded. I presume the event is a multimillion dollar event for the city as everyone is "talking rocks.". 

Besides the official “Show” there are satellite shows scattered across the city with thousands of dealers established in individual tents, larger tents holding a couple of hundred dealers, motel rooms, ballrooms, pickup beds, and card tables. So, I have spent the last several days attending many of these events and even came home with a few interesting specimens.

Last Sunday was a day for attending the “Wholesale Show,” the Gem and Lapidary Wholesalers, centered at the Holiday Inn in south Tucson.  A friend of mine provided the ticket passes needed for entrance to the Show.  My major complaint about this event is the $10 charge for parking anywhere remotely close to the Holidome.   

As usual, most specimen prices seemed somewhat high for the quality of many pieces but perhaps I am just not interested in looking for small gems in a four figure range.  The lesser priced pieces seemed to have been doubled in price and then discounted by 50%!  But again, I was not interested in purchasing a flat of emeralds for resale.  I did come home with several sterling silver chains priced at $1.39 gram---that seemed fair.  
The world of gem dealers.

Get your diamonds here.

Gemstone rings of any size.

Some nice stuff.

And then there are beads, and more beads.

Sapphire for $350 ct,