SaddleBrooke Nature Club’s speaker for the December meeting was Gloria Quigg. Her topic for the evening was Insiders Guide for Beginners Attending the World Class Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase.
Gloria chairs the publicity for the gem show which is held at the Tucson Convention Center. She is knowledgeable about the show and the treasures that are sold there and at the many shows all over town.
The Tucson Gem and Mineral Society held its first show in 1955. It was a small two-day show that was well received. Now 64 years later, the Gem and Mineral Society’s little show has grown to the first two weeks of February. Forty-five or so shows are held in hotels and tents all over the city.
Interestingly there is no one group overseeing this wide variety of shows. The event just took on a life of its own!
Vendors and buyers from all over the world know Tucson is the place to be in early February! The local papers and this website www.tucsonshowguide.com are the best places to find information about the show.
Gloria had many tips for those of us who plan to attend this year.
Her most important tip is to plan ahead. Know what you want to see and research the places where items that interest you will be located.
Make sure those locations are open to the public and not just for wholesale dealers. The website will help you do that research.
The website will also have details about shuttles and parking at a number of locations around the city. Find the shuttle route(s) that will meet your needs. A few locations such at Tucson Electric Park do have parking.
Many of the locations will have food trucks. Some hotel restaurants will be open for the event. Gloria suggested taking some snacks and a bottle of water.
Comfortable clothes and shoes are a necessity. Because weather will change during the day, dressing in layers is advised.
Most merchants will take credit cards. Some are more willing to bargain if you are buying with cash. Food vendors will probably request cash. Be smart about where you are keeping credit cards and cash to avoid theft.
Do some window shopping before you buy. The same item may be a better price or quality at another vendor. And make sure you write down the vendor’s name and location if you think you might want to return to that booth.
Most vendors who will be here are dependable and honest. Ask questions but don’t pretend to be an expert if you’re not.
Gloria’s focus is February 8 through 11 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show at the Convention Center. There will be 258 dealers, 150 displays and even a junior education area.
SaddleBrooke Nature Club meets the second Monday of the month at 4:00 p.m. Please check our website for location as it may change.