It's that time again! I have a budget, I've made a list and am ready to attend several of the Tucson Gem Shows. I'm looking for polka dotted daggers, funky, ethnic metal charms, finished jewelery for my Daughter-in-Law and anything unusual and interesting. Oh and maybe a fossil specimen to hang on the wall.
Despite it's name, the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is not a single show, but rather a large group of shows and exhibitions appearing in Tucson over a two week time frame. This year there are over 40 separate shows. Every self-respecting jewelry lover, beader and rock hound should make it a point to make the pilgrimage at least once during their lifetime.
Vendors descend on this sleepy town in huge numbers to peddle their wares to a crowd of hobbyists, retailers, rockhounds, wholesalers, and deal-seekers. Hotel rooms and rental cars are as scarce as hen's teeth.
Competition is fierce in terms of both price and quality. With tight margins and lots of products, the market is often skewed in the buyer's favor. What's at the Tucson Gem Show? Everything from "rough" minerals (unpolished rocks) to finished jewelry. Beads are in abundance, including glass, semiprecious, precious metals and obscure cuts and species of stone. There are wholesale shows and retail shows, shows for high-end stones, bead shows, shows that focus on rough, and everything in between.
Vendors come from all over the world, just to sell at this once-a-year extravaganza called the Tucson Gem Show. It's mind boggling......