This winter I made the trip to Tucson. Why is that important you ask? It’s important in the jewelry industry because every February, Tucson hosts the largest gem show in the US. It’s THE place for jewelers to go to purchase gemstones.
I say that it’s a gem show, but what I really mean is that it’s many gem shows. Many, many, many gem shows. Friends had told me that it was huge, but I really didn’t understand until I got there. It was massive! There were literally gem shows all over town… in convention centers, warehouses, hotels… even parking lots. Who knew that the Howard Johnson would host a gem show? Not me. Vendors were selling out of their motel rooms and had setup huge tents all over the grounds!
Then there was the variety of gems available to purchase. Vendors had everything from the finest diamonds, to lovely semi-precious rose cuts, to huge mineral specimens that were taller than me (forklift required). There were strands and strands of South Sea pearls, sapphires in every shade of blue, and massive piles of raw gemstones.
As you can imagine, it was quite easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of vendors. Luckily, I went to the show with several jeweler friends who attend the show every year. They were able to give me the scoop on the best places to go. Plus it was fun putting my feet up and having a glass of wine with my gals after a very long day of shopping! And of course, we had to have show-and-tell every night to see all the wonderful stones each of us had found.
Want to know the best part? I found sooooo many beautiful gemstones. I came back with the most lovely treasures- unique shapes and cuts, rich soft colors, and druzy. I bought so much druzy. I could not get enough of those sugary sparkles!
Thanks for reading!