The February AZGem Gems newsletter told about the various types of shows held each February in Tucson. Today we give you more of the flavor of the shows.
While the shows are collectively called the Tucson Gem Shows, there are actually mineral (rockhound) shows, fossil and meteorite shows, bead shows, and equipment shows.
For gem stone traders, there are four major gem shows and several smaller shows, all featuring loose (unmounted) colored gems.
Entrance to these gem shows is tightly limited to members of the gem and jewelry trade.
Every year people who hold a retail business license for other types of stores attempt to gain entry. They are politely turned away because they aren't able to document their business as a gem or jewelry business.
After you have shown all of the necessary documentation to prove that you really are a member of the trade, you receive your credential and can enter the building where that gem show is being held.
Even before you enter you notice the armored trucks lined up outside the door and the large number of off-duty police hired to provide professional security services.
Security is taken very seriously everywhere gem traders meet. There are organized criminal groups that specialize in victimizing gem and jewelry dealers.
When you actually enter the show, you again see uniformed police at each doorway and moving among the display booths with the people attending and doing business at the show.
As you move among the one hundred or more brightly lighted trade booths you are struck by the sights and sounds.
The sight… of millions of dollars worth of fine gems on display. Gems from all corners of the world. Gems of every color, every shape, and every size.
The sounds… of many languages… and of English being spoken with many accents.
If it's February and you're a real player in the world of colored gem mining, cutting, and trading, you'll be in Tucson for these shows.
More Gem News From The Players
Here's more of the news from around the gem world, as told by the people living and doing business in the region.
Cambodia - The government is working to improve business and exports by reducing taxes and red tape. A new zircon mine recently opened, and a little of the material was being shown in Tucson..
Brazil - Conditions stable. A new deposit of good Aquamarine developed and brought to market within the last several months. Discovering a new deposit of Paraiba Tourmaline remains the quest and dream of many local gem miners.
Pacific Islands and East Asia Coast - Pearl culturing farms becoming established in a number of locations.
United States - A number of on-and-off mines producing well. Yogo Gulch sapphire, Four Peaks amethyst, San Carlos Apache peridot, California tourmaline, Oregon sunstone, and Utah red beryl mines, to name a few.
Sri Lanka - Business good but not booming. Mining and cutting conditions stable. Gem mining areas reasonably far removed from areas of Tamil insurgency.
Hong Kong - Growing as a cutting and trade center. Most cutting occurring in Mainland China.
China - Becoming a dominant producer of cultured pearls. The quality and supply of pearls have increased vastly in the last few years.
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