Tucson Gem Fever & the Greatest Show on Earth

Gem fever starts this week in Tucson, can you feel it?  There’s nothing like this international treasure hunt for the thousands who descend on Tucson this week. It encompasses 40-plus shows taking place now across the city, combining to be the world’s largest show-museum-marketplace about rocks, minerals, gems, beads, fossils and jewelry.

Tip #1 = Plan
Some resources to help include the Tucson Visitor and Convention Center MTCVB website.  Download the new mobile application to help maneuver.The bible for many buyers and sellers is the Tucson Show Guide.

Find a Show
There’s everything from meteorites to finished jewelry and obscure beads. Most shows are free and the hours vary. A few ideas:

  • The newest venue, the 22nd Street Mineral Fossil and Gem Show has plenty of free parking.
  • The Flamingo Hotel once again hosts the American Indian Exposition. If you’re a fan of native arts, music and dance, as well as hundreds of authentic handicrafts from the tribal nations, this is the show for you.
  • The Mineral & Fossil Marketplace at the  Hotel Tucson City Center is a good stop to view Fossil Hall and large group of Meteorite Dealers.
  • If beads are a favorite then head to To Bead True Blue at the Doubletree Reid Park where more than 500 exhibitors will be waiting for you.
  • A favorite each year is the African Art Village on Farmington Road off I-10 and Starr Pass Blvd., with its hundreds of vendors displaying and selling ancient and modern art as well as masks, beads and textiles.
  • The Tucson Gem and Mineral Society is the organization of dedicated volunteers whose started the whole showcase fever when it opened the first show with a handful of dealers in 1955. Now, the Society’s Tucson Gem and Mineral Show™, with its educational displays, museum collections and extraordinary gem and mineral exhibits/sales, is the showcase of all the Tucson shows (February 11-13, Tucson Convention Center).
  • And…finally…come see my little celebration of this Tucson phenomenon at the Crafted Tucson Gems of History show. A little bit of history, beads, photos and lots of respect for the geological natural wonders all rolled into a small exhibit. Hope to see you there!
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