This article is a narrative of my experience representing Choice Gems Co at the show, and is by no means an exhaustive insight of the entire show. I primarily went to the show to meet friends of Choice Gems, buy gems and get a feel of trends in the colored stone market for the year.
For those that do not know, the GJX, otherwise known as the Gems and Jewelry Exchange show, is one of the largest gem shows at Tucson with mostly dealers from all over the world exhibiting cut colored gemstones, diamonds, and rough stones. On the other hand, the AGTA (American Gem Trade Association) is the crème de la crème of the colored gem shows, where some of the most exclusive high-end gemstones and jewelry are exhibited by AGTA member companies.
ABOUT THE TUCSON GEM SHOW
The Tucson Gem Show is the biggest in Gem show in the world. The show which held Jan 26th – Feb 11th brought life to Tucson as over 25+ different shows were scattered around the city.
The biggest of these shows are: The American Gem Trade Association show (AGTA Show), which features mainly the biggest dealers in the United States, the GJX show, and the Pueblt. The Pueblo and GJX are probably the biggest of the shows in Tucson, and features over a 1000 booths for international dealers.
Dealers gather to sell colored gemstones, diamonds, finished jewelry, crystals, specimens, minerals and even extraterrestrial rocks like meteorites. Some of the biggest dealers in diamonds and sapphires in the world reside in the Gem Tower Diamond District in New York City. They all made it to the show with some pieces in the 6 and 7 figures.
Prominent countries that made a strong showing at the show include: Germany, Thailand, Israel, China, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Russia and South Africa. This year there was no Nigerian booth. A lot of Nigerian gemstones made it to the show, especially Tourmalines from Oyo, Sapphires and aquamarine from Northern Nigeria. Other African gems that made it to the show include stones from Congo, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya among others.
FACTS ABOUT THE SHOW
According to the Tucson Chamber of Commerce, this year over 50,000 people (buyers and sellers) attended the show from around the world. Over $120M and $2B was spent in the local economy and transacted respectively within 2 weeks.
Also, the prices of hotels and car rentals doubled or tripled two months before the show.
ADVANTAGE OF ATTENDING THE SHOW
Tucson show is a good time for jewelers, investors, and dealers to shop for stones that they need, since it is the only time in the year you can see a diversity of stones from all over the world converged in one city. people shop.
EXPLORE THE CITY OF ARIZONA
You cannot visit Tucson without exploring the city. Maximize your stay before and after the show and see the beautiful places around you.
Arizona is a desert city, with nice desert plants like the famous cactus plant. It also has a number of tourist attractions: – Pima Air and Space Museum, Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Saguaro National Park, amongst others. The Gem Show itself is a major tourist activity.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE GOING FOR TUCSON SHOW
- Proper planning should be done before setting out for Tucson. You should make your hostel or Air BnB accommodation early enough. Booking within the center of Tucson city gives you easy access to the shows.
- Once it is 2 months to the show, car rentals average $80 – $100/day. So it is advisable to book 4-5 months before the show for about $20-$30/day.
- Tucson is generally a warm city even at winter, so bring summer clothing. Also, have a sweater, the temperature usually drops significantly at night.
- The tourist sites are very affordable. You would pay entry fees ranging from $16 – $25.
- Lots of nice restaurants. This is the only place where prices are not inflated due to the show.
- Tucson is generally safe. It is an open carry state, so it won’t be unusual to see people brandishing their guns. There is a heavy presence of police during the show, to mitigate theft and robberies of gemstones.
This piece was written by Choice Gems Co a company based in the US that specializes on providing the finest rough gems and precision-cut colored gemstones ethically sourced from around the world to gem cutters, jewelers, collectors, investors, brides and designers.