T W G : Design Journal


Opalized ammonite, a rare and valuable organic gemstone found primarily along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains and composed primarily of aragonite, the same mineral that makes up nacreous pearls
Photos by Richard N. Snyder

The Wiseman Group is always on the lookout for unusual, one-of-a-kind objects for the home. The acclaimed Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, with its enormous selection of gems, minerals, and fossils, provides a target-rich environment.  Paul has great luck finding fascinating, richly beautiful items for clients.

Paul calls a client to tell her about one of his discoveries

Fossilized clam shells from Morocco

Intact turtle carapace fossil,  an Oligocene (34 to 26 million years old) "Stylemys" from South Dakota

Paul in front of a very large and exceptionally beautiful fossilized sea turtle formed during the Eocene period, c. 51 million years ago, in Wyoming

The show is held every year on the second full weekend of February (starting with a Thursday). It has set the standard for gem and mineral shows around the world and is now the largest show in the United States. It is open to the public and presents retail dealers only.


During the Show, Paul stays at the historic Arizona Inn. The resort hotel is spread over 14 acres of gardens with fountains, flowers and lawns in the heart of mid-town Tucson. The Arizona Inn has been family owned and operated since its creation in 1930 by Isabella Greenway, Arizona’s first Congresswoman and a lifelong friend of Eleanor Roosevelt. The Inn was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

Paul with large chunks of lapus lazuli from Afghanistan, a semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense blue color

All in all, The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is a wonderful field trip. The weekend has become one of Paul's favorite ways to find unique items for discerning clients.