72 Degrees Today…Wander the Gem and Mineral Show and Enjoy!

The sun is glinting off of the huge mesquite and eucalyptus trees providing little lacy patterns against the azure sky.  It’s a perfect day for combing the Gem and Mineral Show, temps about 72 degrees, warm enough to wander about without a cumbersome jacket, and comfortable enough to want to stay for hours.

The frontage road which parallels I-10 is awash in all types of vendors from throughout the world.  They arrive with huge trunks and crates of goods and spend days setting up their displays.  After all, this is the largest Gem and Mineral Show in the world, emulated by many.

It’s history is fascinating, a dream of a small group of mineral and rock enthusiasts.   They got together for an exhibition which was free to the public, and the rest is history!

Arizona is a state famous for its minerals, most particularly, copper.  But the mountains of the Grand Canyon State have yielded silver and gold, and turquoise-the minerals most often depicted in the Old Wild West movies because of their assumed value.  Those of us from Arizona know of the Bisbee mines and the Morenci mines because of the employment they provide for miners, and we hear of other mines because of the controversy environmentally by groups which oppose them.

But the lands of Tucson have yielded blue azurite from Ajo, a blue copper mineral which fades in the sunlight, and related to the verdent malachite.  The red-yellow-orange colors Wulfenite from the Red Cloud Mine in La Paz County are a favorite of collectors because of the deep red color. Turquoise from Kingman has the greatest value and the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Globe is one of the world’s most important producers of turquoise.  Stunning quartz from New River  and from Pima County, Vanadinite,  with red hexagonal crystals is considered a secondary mineral.  Used in jewelry and industry, these minerals not onlyt radiate their own beauty, but have found usefulness in products we use daily.

This is an opportunity to see the minerals “up close and personal”.  The variety, colors, and shapes are astounding.  There are minerals from all over the world, enjoy Tucson weather, wander and marvel!


University of Arizona Mineral Museum


History of the Gem and Mineral Show Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau


Tucson Gem and Mineral Show


Minerals of the Sonora Desert Sonora Desert Museum


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