2019 Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show Gallery

The terms “holidays,” “summertime,” and “fall” likely mean something to you and your friends and family. Since you’re reading this, you’ve also likely heard or have used the phrase: Tucson or Gem Shows. And you use these words as if everyone around you should know what you’re talking about. A few catch phrases I’ve heard are: “I can’t wait to go to Tucson;” “I’m saving my pennies (lots of pennies) for Tucson,” “Will you be at the Gem Shows this year?” and “I’ve already made my dinner reservations for Tucson.”

This dinosaur must’ve been huge in his day! This one was found at the 22nd Street Show.

This dinosaur must’ve been huge in his day! This one was found at the 22nd Street Show.

Funny, these phrases don’t actually convey “45 gem, fossil, minerals, and everything else” shows to the general population, but for those of us in the jewelry and beading community, whether we’ve been to Tucson for the Gem Shows or not, we all know exactly what the words mean! AND–we all hope to be in Tucson in January/February, each year.

Glass art by Floor Kaspers as seen at the Sonoma

Glass art by Floor Kaspers as seen at the Sonoma

For those who have been to Tucson, we have one thing in common — we all have a “first time.” And all of us are happy for, as well as sympathetic toward those who are going for their “first time.”

Conversations I’ve overheard between seasoned “Tucson” attendees and those going for the first time: “In Tucson, you can find anything from rough rock to amazing fossils; from artfully carved gemstones to 6-foot geodes; from African trade beads to carpets and shoes. It’s all there and it’s all available to you! Please note: in some cases, you need proof of business credentials, so be sure to check the Tucson Show Guide for helpful information on this topic as well as show details, vendors, where to eat, how to get around, and so much more.

Geode slices on display at the Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show

Geode slices on display at the Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show

Tucson Show Tips

Some keys to navigating Tucson:

  • Be prepared to be overwhelmed and just go with it.
  • Make a list but be prepared to only cross off a few things.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Pack extra water each day before heading out (it’s the dessert and very dry!).
  • Pack an umbrella, scarf, and jacket (it’s the dessert and things change quickly!).
  • Make reservations for dinner well ahead of arriving.
  • Keep your eye out for cool wildlife and vegetation — it’s everywhere!
  • And, a must read for even more helpful info: Lexi’s Top 14 Tips for Shopping the Tucson Gems Shows.

Tucson Show Photo Gallery

At Interweave, many of us have the chance to get out to Tucson for the shows each year, and we’re always happy to share what and whom we see while there. Click any image below to begin and enjoy a glimpse at what we were able to capture this year:

I remember my first trip to Tucson and the thrill of being able to go, let alone all that I saw and experienced while there. I still laugh at myself when I think of how excited I was to see grapefruit trees in the courtyard of our hotel — and I still get excited but no longer feel the need to call my husband and tell him. BUT! I do snap a picture and share that with him as well as snapchat my boys.

hotel grapefruit tree

What do you remember from your first Tucson? Did you get there this year? If so, what was the best highlight? Please share in the comments below.

— Tammy
Editor Beadwork magazine and Group Editorial Director, Bead & Jewelry

Can’t get enough from the Tucson shows? See our new product spotlights and show wrapup!

The Tucson Show Guide is the original, annual guide to all that happens in Tucson. Keep it on your shelf or in your digital library, all year.

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