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Tucson International Gem Show

Treasure Hunting In Tucson

What is it like to attend the world famous Tucson Gem Show? Fabulous!

It’s safe to say that we’re all missing travel right now. A change of scenery at a relaxing locale, exploring another culture, or embarking on a spiritual journey.  We feed our souls when we travel. Had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic and limiting travel for safety - we’d be there right about now, with all of our gemstone dealer and designer friends.

We love being there; not just because we love the desert and the saguaro cactus that are native to that region. And not just because we love the big breakfast served at the historic Hotel Congress - followed by happy hour after the show - and possibly live music after dinner. 

The show itself is enormous, in a variety of venues all around town, including convention centers, rooms and courtyards at motels, and plenty of big tents. Many vendors take advantage of the incoming crowd and set up in the parking lots of the motels along Interstate 10.

The first year we attended was around 25 years ago. Not wanting to miss a thing, we tried to get to all the 30 plus show venues. After learning what was being displayed at many of the mineral locations - objects too large for jewelry (including large slabs of marble, furniture and decor, as well as full sets of dinosaur bones that vendors displayed around swimming pools!) - we knew we had to reign it in.

The majority of what we are seeking is in about 4 or 5 of the venues. But make no mistake, It is still overwhelming and temptation is everywhere. Going to Tucson without a budget and a shopping list is a huge mistake. Like grocery shopping while hungry, everything looks so good.

On first appearances, everything looks incredibly appealing and highly desirable. But, with a little time, your eyes adjust and it becomes clear that some of what you see is not as special - or rare - as originally thought.

For a sense of adventure, there are the fun motels to poke around in.  Sometimes mixed in with dealers who have all the same beads & pearls, we find the rare stones we are famous for using in out collections.

When you do find something special, it’s impossible to leave behind. Sometimes the stones are used in a project awaiting the exact stone but sometimes they need a little time for creative marination. We are just now creating designs with some of the gems and beads we bought from a Tucson trip 2 years ago, but we never want to rush the decision for a stone to find where it really belongs. 


Here are some of our favorites: 

Rose Quartz

Why did we buy it? For its beauty and power.  

We set it in our Rose Gold Mystical Solitaire to play up the color and give it a fierce frame.   


Ethiopian Opal

Why did we buy it? Because the fire and the cut.

We set it in our Blackened 14k White Gold Studded Double Vine Solitaire in a contrasting dark setting with icy white diamonds to contrast the fire.  


Sleeping Beauty Turquoise 

Why did we buy it? Because some of the best American Turquoise comes from this mine, and you never see Turquoise cut so small and like a diamond - cut with a point. We set it inverted into our Oxidized Sterling Silver Studded Mainstay Cuff Hoops to show off the point.  


Persian Turquoise

Why did we buy it? Because the color and the matrix of these stones is magical.  They are very rare and perfect in our Regal Design with Rubies and Cognac Diamonds. 


This show is one that satisfies your sense of adventure and temptation. As you make your way from one vendor stall to another and sift through their varied assortments, we are thrilled to uncover exquisite opals, rose quartz, and turquoise pieces you simply can't refuse.

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