For two weeks every February, the world’s gem and mineral enthusiasts meet in Tucson as it becomes a bustling international marketplace of buyers, sellers and collectors at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.
The “Gem Show” is much more than one single event and one location. Instead, there are thousands of dealers and attendees at over 40 locations around town. A myriad of shows take place at the same time at hotels and resorts, at exhibit halls and in giant white tents. Literally the entire city fills up with gem dealers and buyers from around the world.
There is something for everyone at the many open-to-the-public shows from gold and diamonds to agate bookends and glass beads, and from fine specimens of dinosaur fossils to opals from the Australian Outback.
The main event is the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show which is held at the downtown location of the Tucson Convention Center over the final weekend. This show draws thousands of treasure hunters from every corner of the globe and is open to the public. There are displays from world renowned museums and private collections along with over 250 mineral, jewelry, gemstone and fossil dealers.
For the gemological community it is the “Mecca of Gems”. In addition to being one of the world’s largest gem shows it is the place where almost all of the major gemological organizations hold their annual meetings. the Accredited Gemologist Association, the American Gem Trade Association, the International Colored Stone Association, the Gemological Institute of America, the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers and the American Society of Appraisers to name but a few.
This is the showcase for the new gemstone finds, the newest innovations in tools and equipment for the jewelry industry, and the place for seminars by the world’s experts in everything having to do with gems and jewelry. I have been attending the show for 28 years only missing a few during that time.
Watch for Part 2 in the next couple of days and more video from the show over the next week or two.
Master Gemologist Appraiser
4016 Cortez Road West
Bradenton, FL 34210