It’s that time of year again! I’ve just unpacked my bags from three weeks in Cambodia and Myanmar and I am packing again for my annual trip to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. This year I am taking both my daughter Alisha and my son John. This will be Alisha’s first experience at Tucson, John’s fourth or fifth, but it is time to show Alisha the scene since I am grooming her to take over Marty Magic. Both Alisha and John already have a good eye in knowing what to look for in a fire agate or opal, but the Tucson Gem and Mineral show is an overwhelming experience if one does not know how to approach it. John and I look forward to showing her the ropes (or in this case, the rocks.) I will be shopping for Fire Agates, Mexican Fire Opals and Australian Boulder and Korite Opals.
Each February, Tucson is invaded by tens of thousands of gem dealers, rock hounds, fossil dealers and importers. The rooms of most every motel are turned into mini showrooms and every exposition hall and hotel convention room, hosts a show. Many of these shows are open to the public but the more elite shows are open only to those who are in the jewelry business. Gaining entry to the AGTA show requires much documentation; a minimum of $10,000 in trade related invoices, resale numbers, business checks, business card, pay stubs etc.
The photos for this blog post are from previous years but next week, I will post photos of this years event and some of our special “finds” at this years show.