Tucson Gem Show

The Tucson Gem Show is maybe the place that Marc and I agree on as our first date. The show takes place every year from early February and can last up to three weeks for some vendors and die hard rock hounds. The entire (vast) city of Tucson that is famously responsible for all the good westerns in the fifties and sixties, is transformed with tents and tables offering up everything from high end gems to car sized crystals and let us not forget, the hall of one dollar jewelry from asian suppliers. The atmosphere is super relaxed and at the same time everyone is looking for a deal or a treasure. 

The City of Tucson hosts up to forty different shows, some are in conference halls, but mostly they are under white tents or in hotel lobbies and rooms.

My first visit to the show was not a letdown, I was after all meeting Marc. He had already visited the show alone for the previous five years and knew the ropes. We always visit the AGTA show first, followed by GJX and than we head over to the freeway underpass, where you cross on foot to the hotel row. Here is where you find all the crazy huge crystals and rock bowls that seem like such an amazing thing to buy, until you ask yourself how you are getting it home…but I’m digressing. 

Holidome is about a twenty minute drive away from the AGTA and GJX and this is perhaps better described in photos. Simply put, it is row upon row of beads, pearls, silver everything and also small giftables not to mention stones, stones and more stones. Just maybe not the quality we are looking for…

The hotel situation in Tucson is not fantastic, after all other than the gem show and the university of Tucson there is not a great need for overnighting. Star Pass and La Paloma offer elegance at a price. 

Eateries are also few and far, but we do make a tradition of visiting La Poca Cosa and a visit to Claim Jumpers for ribs is also on our recommendation list.

Getting back to that first date…we shook hands as I left to drive back to Fountain Hills that evening. It was a wonderful day and the dinner conversation led me to believe I might have been on a real date, I always say that I fell in love with Marc's jewelry first, but that day I fell in love with Tucson's Gem show and maybe a little bit in the man that introduced me to it.