T W G : Design Journal


Stunning cluster of quartz crystals roughly two feet in diameter

Photo - Richard Snyder

According to their website, the

Tucson Gem and Mineral Show

is the "largest, oldest and most prestigious gem and mineral show in the world." The show has "enjoyed international stature since the 1970s, and was the first gem and mineral show to bring the hobby enthusiast, the public, and the curator/professional together for discovery and discussion."

Paul Wiseman and Richard Snyder in front of a spectacular crocodile fossil

Photos - Kirsten Honeyman, unless otherwise indicated

Paul Wiseman has been attending the Tucson show for years. It is a wonderful opportunity to find one-of-a-kind treasures for clients looking for that certain something to enhance their decor. Paul has a long-standing relationship with many of the top dealers, and they greet him by name as he moves about the show. Paul's spouse, Richard Snyder, has had a life-long passion for minerals, and the two make a formidable team: Paul zeros in on what is aesthetically beautiful while Richard adds helpful guidance as to the specimen's quality and provenance.

Pair of fossilized palm fronds

Museum quality Woolly Mammoth fossil (10,000 to 15,000 years old) found in North America

Fabulous conference table made of two booked slabs of fossilized wood

Paul sits on a naturally formed lingham stone found in the Narmada River in India

Paul and Richard always stay at the

Arizona Inn

, a storied property with great character and charm. The exceedingly polite young staff add to the of pleasure staying at the hotel.

Grounds of the Arizona Inn

Photo - Inn website

Cozy library where morning coffee and afternoon tea are served

Photo - Inn website

Tucson is a fascinating area, so taking side trips from the show rounds out the experience. The flora and fauna of the surrounding high desert create an other-worldly experience.

Paul at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson

Mountain lion exhibit at the museum

Photo - Richard Snyder

Saguaro cacti on the grounds of the museum

Returning from the show, one feels as though one has been in a far-away land, not a place only a hop, skip, and jump from California!