Tucson Hosts World’s Largest Gem and Mineral Show…

More than 100,000 people who sell or trade gems and minerals have begun descending upon Tucson for the world’s largest Gem and Mineral show. 

With more than 6,000 dealers spread throughout the city, Tucson will become a mecca for the international world to examine specimens, gemstones, and jewelry.  It has been called “the swap meet to millionaires and billionaires, those connoisseurs of minerals” by Mark Candee, curatorial specialist at the  University of Arizona Mineral Museum.

There will be 44 shows ongoing in Tucson motels and hotels, and tents are now going up to house the huge shows such as the shows off of I-10 on the Frontage Road, the Tucson Electric Park show, and the show off of Palo Verde called the Holodome. 

This show began 56 years ago in a Quonset hut at the Rodeo Fairgrounds and has grown to become vast contributor to Tucson’s economy,  bringing  more than 150 million into local  business coffers.  “It is our Christmas” said Candee. 

The original show with 10 to 12 dealers was put on by a volunteer organization to showcase mining and minerals from the Bisbee-Tombstone area.  Since then, internationally renown museums and private collectors vie for the privilege of being represented at the “Main Show” , held at the Tucson Convention Center downtown, February 11 through 14.

 Many shows are “wholesale only” and appropriate documentation must be shown including tax exempt status information.  Gemologists and jewelers from throughout six continents converge on these shows to purchase millions of dollars in gems and minerals for their respective companies, such as Tiffany’s.

But the general public can attend many shows – and if a person began the first day and tried to see every show within the three week period, looking ten hours a day, that person would not see everything!  Tailgate shows spring up throughout the city, and locals feel that electrical excitement when gem show comes to town, 

Shuttle services are avaialbe throughout town transporting people from one show to another which helps with traffic movement.  The Tucson Convention and Visitor’s Bureau can answer many questions about the Gem Show.  Googling “Tucson Gem and Mineral Show” brings up a myriad of websites.

Perhaps the highest compliement paid is that Munich Show in Germany, which is Europe’s largest show, strives to be known as “The Tucson Show of Europe”.


The Official Guide to the Main Show :   http://www.tgms.org/

The Tucson Show Guide:    http://www.tucsonshowguide.com/tsg/

The Pueblo Show:  http://pueblogemshow.com/

JOGS Show:     http://www.jogsshow.com/

Gem and Mineral Show You Tube Videos:  http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Tucson+Gem+and+Mineral+Show&FORM=VDRE#

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