For those of you who are wanting the "Tucson Experience" but aren't in the trade - these are the best shows...they are open to the public - though most of the vendors will write up a wholesale purchase.
- there is the greatest variety of genres
- elastic gem bead bracelets, next to high end faceted gems, Tibetan silver next to gold and diamonds.
- miners, cutters, carvers, retailers...
Along the I-10 at Congress (in fact there is parking on Congress) you start at the Globe X Show in the Days Inn.
If you are a beader - enjoy the row after row of gem beads in every color size and pricepoint...if you aren't into beads, don't let them deter you from getting into the inside booths of this show.
Rod Griffin - who also shows at the AGTA show has a booth (Rm 143) at this show and his Boulder Opal Fountains are shown to perfection in the sunlit patio of their room.
Have you ever wanted to try your hand at carving? Daniella L'Abatta (sorry Dani if I just messed your name up) at the Down to Earth Opals booth is one of the finest opal carvers in the world and one of the most generous with her knowledge. Sit down with her and ask the questions - she has a demo station setup and will show you how she makes all those dramatic pieces in the cases. If you are just a fan and want to leave the carving to the pros...you have to see the amazing pieces being offered.
Fine Jewelry with a twist - some of the most gorgeous traditional jewelry and amazing one of a kind pieces are available at the Gem World booth - one of my favorites is a banana that is a good 3-4 inches long and made of a single raw sapphire crystal that was polished up and given a gold top hat...it is sweet! ...and ask Eddie about the latest Sapphire find - he has display pieces that show the full range of color these sapphires are available in - and these are strong, brilliant stones!!!
One of my favorite stops at this show is The Oregon Sunstones, Inc. suite at the Days Inn - Globe X Show is not to be missed. Sunstone is a beautiful yellow feldspar which - when you get lucky has a soft pink schiller and when you get really lucky is pure red or red with green. Because it is a fairly soft stone it is easily carved and lends itself to some unique and beautiful jewelry. This is an EXCELLENT source - JCJ Mining (Jolene & Judy) is a family tradition dating back to 1953. They know there gems - where they came from - where they were cut - you can't get much more ethically sourced than that!
...another one that I love is Aragon Enterprises - these folks carry some the finest Amber - gorgeous Blue Onyx and are partners in an Argentinian Rhodocrosite mine! Looking for an Amber Showpiece this couple can provide it!