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Tucson Gem Week 2022: The Must-See Shows

Like all live industry events, Tucson Gem Week has changed and evolved throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. But this year’s packed lineup of shows in the Arizona desert (which kicks off next week), proves that the gem world’s biggest industry showcase has pulled through relatively unscathed.

 

Two prominent fairs, the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) and the Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA), have bowed out, citing COVID-19 concerns. ICA is all the way out (“This may sound clichéd, but better safe than sorry; there’s always next year,” ICA CEO Gary Roskin said in a statement), while AGA will host half-day online gemological education sessions Feb. 15–16.

 

But Gem Week still features over 40 independently owned and operated shows, comprising over 3,000 exhibitors (before COVID-19, the event was definitely in growth mode). And next week should be a return to rollicking form.

 

If you’re headed to the desert to take in all the sparkle, be sure to pack plenty of KN95s—most shows are requiring masks and will host sanitation stations—and don’t miss these must-see fairs:

 

AGTA GemFair Tucson
Feb. 1–6
Tucson Convention Center
260 S. Church Ave.

Considered the preeminent colored stone exhibition in the U.S., the AGTA fair returns this year with at-the-show perks including the GIA Show Service Laboratory (located in the Onyx Suite in the Galleria), offering show-goers colored stone identification and identification and origin report services as early as the day before AGTA GemFair opens, and throughout the show.

 

G&LW Gem Mall and Holidome
Jan. 29 – Feb. 6
4475 S. Country Club Rd.

A total of over 300 gem and finished jewelry vendors will set up shop at these much-loved sister shows, which offer prime pickings.

 

GJX
Feb. 1-6
198 South Granada Ave.

GJX premiered in 1994 with only 35 booths and now features nearly 700 booths of U.S. and international wholesale dealers selling diamonds, colored gemstones, pearls, fine jewelry, fashion jewelry, gem carvings, findings and lapidary equipment.

 

The Pueblo Gem & Minerals Show
Jan. 27 – Feb. 8
Ramada Tucson Conference Center

777 W Cushing St.

Gems, minerals, fossils and finished jewelry from hundreds of local, U.S., and international gem dealers converge on the local Ramada.

 

22nd Street Show
Jan 27 – Feb. 13
993 S. Freeway

This show ranks high on many gem-hunters’ lists (Diamondoodle’s Hannah Becker tells us it’s one of her faves) and offers a mix of minerals, gems, fossils, dinosaurs, meteorites, jewelry, beads and art. Just south of the big and rambling show, the smaller “Showcase” tent is “a finer experience” with climate-control, larger booths, high-end stage lighting and 10-foot-high art walls, according to its organizer.

 

Tucson Gem & Mineral Show
Feb. 10-13
Tucson Convention Center
260 S. Church Ave.

It may be worth swinging by this open-to-the-public annual show from the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society this year to see it 80-plus exhibits within its Fluorescent Mineral Pavilion—curated by the Fluorescent Mineral Society. Squeee! —Emili Vesilind

 

Top photo courtesy Pueblo Gem Show

 

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