• Photo Diary: Tucson Gem Show

    Meet us in the desert as we recap the crystal and geode-packed stands along the cactus-lined horizon from this year’s gem show in Tucson, AZ.
    Photos by Hilary Kathleen

    Every year, thousands of people from all over the world flock to Tucson in the winter to attend and soak up the energy of the gem show — which is actually made up over 40 different shows at dozens of locations around town, all volunteer-run.

    Show stands run the gamut from street-side tables piled with bags of minerals to glass cases stocked with the rarest gems from all over the world. 

    Each year the show has a different theme, 2016 was "Shades of Blue: Minerals of the World," 2017 was "Mineral Treasures of the Midwest," 2018 is "Crystals & Crystal Forms."

    The desolate Arizona desert is the perfect backdrop for soaking up the energy and mysticism of the gem show.

    Mixed in: antique books listing gem qualities, pocket gemstone talismen, and other treasures from all over the world

    The TGMS is the largest and oldest show of its kind, and was the first gem and mineral show to bring together all facets of gem lovers for discovery and discussion: the public, hobbyists, and curator/professionals.

    For the truly obsessed gem fan, the shows host contests that judge gemstones on rarity, quality, and a whole host of other qualifications. For us, just wandering the show grounds is an act of inspiration, discovering new natural materials and stones we never knew existed. 

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