T W G : Design Journal

Tucson Mineral Show: A Gem of an Event

As a mineral enthusiast and avid collector, I eagerly anticipate my annual pilgrimage to The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. The world-renowned event, held in Tucson, Arizona, is a feast for the eyes and senses as over 5,000 unique vendors and exhibitors from around the globe offer the finest selection of natural history wonders ever assembled.This year was my fifteenth year attending. Truth be told, my spouse has been going to the show since its inception over 40 years ago (and collecting since he was 8), so while I’m a veteran, he is the gem authority.

Immediately, I found myself among a splendor of great exhibits. Consistently extraordinary exhibitors include GeoDécor, Ron Coleman Mining, Inc. and Crystal Springs Mining Company.

Not to be missed is The Westward Look Show (always during the middle weekend) which is comprised of well vetted high-end dealers.

But the unexpected find this year was the exquisite Aquamarine crystals in matrix with Muscovite Mica and Red Apatite crystals. Mined from the northern Pakistan tribal area, these gemstones are gathered at great risk. The payoff is worth it though, as these stones are some of the most remarkable pieces I’ve ever seen.

When I attend the show, I’m always looking for rare finds for clients. This year, I purchased a couple of 80 million-year-old petrified logs for inlaying into a conference table for a corporate client.

Of course, I’m also on the lookout to add to my personal collection, so I picked up a few for myself as well. I have a couple displays, one in Belvedere and another in Mill Valley. My passion for collecting grounds me in the present, but is reminiscent of the past.

Needless to say, it has been another successful trip that has me inspires until the next Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.


My collection in Mill Valley


This specimen lives in my Belvedere home, where we are currently building a new cabinet for our collection.