The Tucson Gem & Mineral Show
This article authored by: Catherine Hallberg
One of Tucson’s longest and most enduring events is our annual Gem & Mineral Show. For a nearly 2 week period, our city is taken over by gem dealers, buyers and aficionados from all over the world. In fact, the Gem Show is the reason Rob & I became familiar with Tucson and ended up moving here.
Prior to becoming a Realtor I operated a jewelry business in Dallas and am a Graduate Gemologist. Since 1999, I’ve attended the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show nearly every year and consider it to be one of the best sources of gemstones, minerals, fossils and jewelry of all types.
The AGTA, GJX, JCK and G &LW are the main shows which geared towards jewelers and not open to the public. These show dates are February 2-9 and vary according to the show. In fact, if you are lucky enough to know someone with the credentials required to get into these shows, there is a $50 fee just to walk in the door with them. This does not prevent you from finding some dandy deals elsewhere.
One of my favorites is the Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show located at the Riverpark Inn on the frontage road at the Congress St. exit of I-10. Many of the dealers who don’t want to pay the high fees to exhibit in the main shows will get booths in the hotel rooms. I’ve found some great deals and nice stones at this event. In fact, all up and down that street are various shows which are fun to attend and can be reached on foot.
Another favorite of mine is a bead show which is held in the parking lot of the Doubletree Hotel at 445 S. Alvernon. It’s a good place to get some unusual beads and supplies. The Bead Show is held at St. Phillip’s Plaza at River/Campbell and is a great bead show as well.
Several public shows are open in the Granada/St Mary’s area a little to the north of downtown. There are even some mineral shows at the Westward Look Resort on Ina Rd. They are everywhere! Instead of trying to name each one , click on this link for a complete Gem Show Schedule.
The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show at 260 Church runs from February 12-15 and is open to the public. It’s very well-attended by locals and out-of- towners alike.
Parking can be a little dicey and expensive, if you use the main lots. There’s a shuttle which runs around the main show route, but it can take a while so you can’t be in a hurry. Now that our Sunlink Streetcar is up and running, some of the downtown shows can be accessed that way. Bring your walking shoes and a bottle of water and you should do fine.
Whether you are rock hound, dedicated beader or just a girl or guy who loves bling the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show is one event you don’t want to miss. I’ll be there for sure!!
Rob and Catherine Hallberg are Associate Brokers with Long Realty, a Berkshire-Hathaway Affiliate and Southern Arizona’s largest Brokerage. Since 2008, they have been ranked in the top 5% to 8% of all U.S. REALTORS®. Send Rob and Catherine an email for a fast response to your questions; for an even faster response, Call (520) 407-8667.