Every industry has their own trade show and Rock, Gem and Minerals are no different. The local Rock Clubs depend on vendors who attend those shows and stay current with new techniques and product.
To supply all the rock shops in the Western U.S., there are two regional shows – Tucson in February and Denver in September – Tucson being the largest of the two. Then there are feeder shows. Quartzsite is the feeder show for Tucson. Vendors from all over the world bring their treasures to Desert Gardens January 1st to February 10th. Those that have larger inventories move on to Tucson around the 20th of January along with their leftovers from Quartzsite. Most have a second container waiting for them in Tucson.
The local Quartzsite Improvement Association (QIA) sponsors the rock “Pow Wow” held the third weekend in January. 300+ individuals set up booths of various sizes outside the QIA main building. This is always a draw for the Lapidary Hobbyist where they can purchase cabs and slabs in small quantities and sizes, trade with other vendors and enjoy Winter in the Desert.
Quartzsite 2020 was fun, as always. The large wholesalers were there with their 55-gallon drums, shrink-wrapped pallets and cardboard boxes. Newspaper is a sought-after commodity, but ends up blown around the grounds with the desert winds. Some of the larger wholesalers at Tyson Wells have booths 100’ x 400’, and the tents at Tucson are even larger.
If you’ve never attended the winter show, you might enjoy these. But make Hotel or campground reservations early – the town fills up fast.
Our local Rock Club – SURC – has their show in September, the same weekend as Denver, so we don’t get the “big guys”, but there are plenty of dealers that offer a wide assortment of rocks, gems, minerals and jewelry. The club has a display area and activities for the kids. We joined the Rocky Mountain Federation of Gem and Minerals Societies a few years back. They sponsor an annual conference and rock show that is put on by a member club. We’re not big enough to handle that, yet. The 2020 show is scheduled for June in Big Piney, Wyoming. It’s the same weekend as the Frontier Homestead Folk Life Festival so we won’t be going. But it should feature vendors with a variety of specimens and gems from the northern states, you might consider going.
We joined the Southern Nevada Gem and Mineral Society last year. We were hanging out with them at Quartzsite. They’re a really fun group. We’ll be doing some rock hounding trips with them later this year.
Have questions about the shows? Just comment here and I’ll see about getting you an answer. Until next time – – –