It takes a set plan with various variables to enjoy a trade event as large as the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.
There’s something about the gem shows and the magic they create around us and everyone that attracts one to attend the Gem Shows. In these places there is inspiration everywhere, beautiful souls showing you around or walking with you and exquisite pieces that have been dug or mined out of Mother Earth which is then accordingly cut, polished, steamed, sometimes mounted and sometimes left in their natural state. The Tucson Fair has gathering which almost looks like the world is gathering at one place to celebrate the treasure that comes out of or is provided by our planet. The shows and displays can easily turn out to be overwhelming and you can have overstimulation of sorts which may lead to time being easily wasted.
When one is in Tucson for the shows, time seems fleeting and is usually as precious as the gemstones that one is looking at, so this guide is for those who have never been and are planning to go or others who may not be rookies but would love to hear someone’s point of view when it comes to exploring the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.
Tucson’s Gem and Mineral Show, which takes place annually in January and February is a showcase of artists, gemologists, miners, etc from every continent. Over 4,000 mineral traders gather at the Tucson Gem Show to share their craft, expertise, and treasures. Rocks, minerals, fossils, and jewelry are all available to be exhibited and sold to visitors in what is the largest and oldest show of its kind in the world.
The Tucson Gem Show happening start of the year falls under the Winter 2020 and is 40 separate shows so you’ll need days at hand and plan of action including prioritizing which shows you want to visit first. Here’s a list of shows (http://www.tucsongemshows.net/coming.html) that includes dates and whether the show is open to the public or just the trades. It’s best to visit only one area on a day of the Tucson town on your visit to see the Gem Shows.
So here are some of the top tips to enjoy, conquer and make the most of the Tucson Gem Shows:
Getting to Tucson: Tucson city is served by six airlines that fly and provide daily nonstop service to and fro major places around the world. Choose Tucson International Airport (TUS) for convenience and less stressful travel experience.
There is also a Train & Bus Service to Tucson if one is not very keen on flying into the city. The Sunset Limited Amtrak train line runs three days a week and connects Los Angeles to New Orleans with service to downtown Tucson. Downtown is also home to the Greyhound Bus Station, which is open 24 hours all year long.
Your Stay: Accommodations at Tucson fill up early due to the Tucson Gem Show so it’s wise to book your lodging ahead of time. Since most hotels will max out due to the high demand, expect to pay a premium rate as hotels raise their rates by as much as 200%. When choosing a hotel, also make it a point to check out how far you’ll need to drive to attend the Gem shows you want to see.
Your transportation: Since the shows are spread throughout the city, you’ll need a rental car. Riding on the shuttle is another option but not as convenient. One can avail a free shuttle system called GemRide that connects almost all the Show venues.
Refer to the transportation guide provided by the city (https://www.tucsonaz.gov/park-tucson/gem-show-parking) on Gem Ride Shuttle and parking information.
You Eat: Tucson is a UNESCO City of Gastronomy so you do not have to worry about going hungry or not finding good food. However, during the shows, restaurants will be crowded so make eatery reservations whenever possible.
It is suggested to attend a show that has some great food options in the morning so that you can eat lunch there, then head to a show that is outdoors and has fewer options for eating.
At the Gem Show:
Walk around the whole show before you start buying. Check prices, make notes in your guide or on the floor plan and then go back and shop. Make sure to find the best quality merchandise for the best price you can afford.
Bring a checkbook and cash. Some international dealers are not accepting credit cards. Decide on your budget. You can use the extra funds that you keep aside for sudden purchases. After making your purchase, check if you have your receipt, resale license, credit card, and merchandise. Always put your wallet and credit card at the same place and put the dealer’s business card in the bag with the merchandise you have purchased from them. It will help you later to remember whom you bought your merchandise from.
It is very important to wear clothing in layers and comfortable shoes. The weather changes easily from cold to warm and vice versa. Some of the Gem shows are in tents with uneven ground and some are with cement floors. Considering one has to walk a lot to cover the space where the gemstones and other products are displayed, shoes are an important factor. Bags such as the cross strap purse that goes on your waist is a safe place to keep your cash, wallet and credit cards and it also frees your hands to explore the fair.
One should also unfailingly pick a free Tucson Gem Show directory and show guide to plan the next day shopping plans at their lodging.
Finally, armed with pointers, one is ready to explore Tucson and the Gem Shows!
You will also find GemMartUSA at the G&LW Gem Show, Tucson happening at Holidome Pavillion. Taking up the booth 515 and 517 from Feb 1 to 9, 2020, join the shop to enjoy this first time experience to the fullest.