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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tucson Gem Show

The fun starts in Quartzsite, Arizona. A rockhound's paradise unfolds in the small town. Quite a few of the vendors migrate to a show known to many as The Electric Park(TEP) Show in Tucson. 

The Tucson Gem & Mineral Show started February 1, 2014 and, ran through February 16, 2014. It's a myriad of venues lumped into one show spread out through Tucson.

Jewelry designers can find everything from gorgeous high end gems to tools of the trade.
If you were to ask me "Where can I find cut stones to set in a ring?".  
My response would include a minimum of five shows. 
High end calibrated gems can be found at AGTA as well as the Holidome, Gem Mall, Pueblo Gem & Mineral and places you might not expect. 
That's what makes the hunt so fun!


For first timers, it can be overwhelming.
Most important, wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Blisters and bruised toes are no fun when walking an average of two hours at one show. 
Make a list of what you're looking for. 
As hard as it may be, with guide in hand I advise walking the venue before purchasing. Especially if you wish to stay within your budget!  
Ask the vendor for their business card if you spot something on your list and make a note of what it was. That way you can return to their location after you've hunted other shows.

Hunt other shows? Yes! 
It's how I found good prices and the variety of Amethyst in the photos.
I do have several vendors that I seek out prior to going.
Some have Facebook pages that let you know where they will be.
Also, the shows have websites with lists of vendors at their show.
My focus this year was items I could not find locally and certain color stories. As well as things like chain from a vendor I had not purchased from.
Fun new things can be found by stopping and watching a vendor demonstrating their new invention.
This year I stopped to watch Norma Rapko demonstrate the Crystyler, her newest invention. Her creativity and enthusiasm is contagious! I'm in love with her latest invention! It is going to allow me a much easier way to place flat back crystals on my designs!
The True Bead True Blue Show which Norma was vending at, is typical of finding the least expected finds!  
Strands of semi-precious beads, lampwork, end caps and the gorgeous Rutilated  Gold Quartz in the photo can be found at this show. 
And yes, there are things I am bummed about not going back for.
I hope you enjoy the photos of my finds.
Feel free to ask me questions!
Now I need to sooth my creative muse by playing with my finds!













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