The first 2 weeks of February in Tucson, Arizona hosts the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, the world's largest show of its kind. Vendors come from all around the globe to exhibit some of the most interesting collections while speaking their own language. The diversity is stimulating and I always enjoy speaking the little bit of French and Spanish that I know.
The entire city is covered in tents filled with precious and semi precious gemstones and minerals, hand woven baskets from South Africa, to huge mineral spheres. I have seen everything from a 12 foot Amethyst geode from Brazil to a tiny and very rare Red Beryl, to an outstanding 5 carat natural white to champagne tone sapphire, ( my favorite ).
The AGTA, American Gem Trade Association, GJX and JCK shows set the trend for the jewelry industry each year. It allows the opportunity to visit friends as well as making new contacts.
If you ever have the chance to visit this show, don't pass it up. It is an amazing experience.