Find all sparkle and shine you need, whether a first-time gemmer, a writer of rocks, or veteran rock hound. Tucson hosts the largest show-museum-market in the world. You can search this collective list for special activities by show name or date, from January 31 through February 17.
The Kino Gem and Mineral show at the Kino Sports Complex is always huge and interesting. Smaller but still a favorite is the 22nd Street Mineral Fossil and Gem Show, with free parking and 180+vendors exhibiting an exceptional collection of minerals, fossils, crystals, jewelry and miner’s rough. Food trucks are there to sustain you. Those interested in unusual fossils and minerals also will enjoy The Mineral & Fossil Marketplace at the Hotel Tucson City Center.
There are hundreds of exhibits and dealers For beaders: To Bead True Blue begins February 3 at the Doubletree Reid Park and has hundreds of exhibitors as well as workshops in art couture, artistic glass, textile and embellishment.
A favorite each year is the African Art Village on Farmington Road off I-10 and Starr Pass Blvd., with its hundreds of vendors displaying and selling ancient and modern art as well as masks, beads and textiles
The Tucson Gem & Mineral Society is the institution that started it all in 1955 with a small show of hobbyists and dealers. It still runs the primo event, The Tucson Gem & Mineral Show™. Florite is the theme this year. Held over the final weekend, February 14 - 17, at the Convention Center. There are displays from museums around the world including hundreds of dealers. This main showcase also features exhibits and tours for school children (sorry, full up already!) and lectures that are open to the public.
Actually my interest in this massive and unparalleled international marketplace of cultures, minerals, gemstones, jewelry, lapidary and fossils is very focused on the show’s most tiny objects: historic trade beads (as seen in my photo). Bead historian Steve Ellis is a master who can help any collector with his knowledge (and his stash of incredible beads). I only have an email address for him, but if you need it, please message me.