The Tucson Gem and Mineral shows are the annual site for the world’s biggest treasure hunt. Hundreds of thousands of gem and jewelry enthusiasts, wholesalers, buyers and designers make their pilgrimage to this traditional epicenter of the American jewelry industry. They all come to see the exhibitors which consist of miners, jewelry manufacturers, stone carvers, importers, beads dealers and other sellers. Tucson’s annual gathering is a winter event starting in late January and running through end of feb. Since the 1950s the event has garnered world wide recognition and has been attracting visitors from 45 international jewelry hotspots.
The focus is on gems, minerals, jewelry, rocks, colored stones and beads. These come in every international flavor, including Brazilian cut gem stones and minerals, rough stones from Africa, pearls from South East Asia, Caribbean corals, and Baltic Amber. One can also find home décor products, art, boutiques and gifts made from stones. This is all distributed amongst more than 40 shows spread out around Tucson.
Visitors attending these shows are primarily owners of retail stores looking for the latest designs to display on their shelves. Many of the shows are not even open to the general public; you must be a retail jewelry store representative to get in. More casual visitors are just jewelry enthusiasts looking for a little something for themselves or to take a jewelry design class. Also in attendance are researches, university students and geologists. All in all, the Tucson Gem Shows bring over 110 million dollars into the Tucson economy each year. If you haven’t had a chance to visit, come out for the 2008 shows and see what all the commotion is all about.