Okay Friends,

As usual, I wait until the last minute to make this descion:

Should I fly down in two days, stay at my cousin's condo and go to the markets?


I have been told that the prices for all fossils  and gemstones are very, very affordable, the quality runs the range (but at least there IS a range), you can find rare species and it's all in one place: not to be missed.


Has anyone attended this event? Is it worth me scrambling from WI to AZ to get there?

As always, I respect your advice.....but hurry, please!



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  • The Tuscon Show is more like 20 different shows happening all over town. Some are wholesale only - resale# required and others are retail. Always find things I can't find elsewhere - but not necessarily inexpensive. And I always spend more than I anticipate. I love the experience of the whole thing so I say go. You do have to watch who you are buying from and what you are buying. 
  • You can also post this in the Jewelry Genies group, Linda. I think then the question will land in everyone's mailbox that is a member of that group.

  • Linda, I've just had a friend spend a week at the shows.    She was buying pearls, rough, cabs and fine gem beads.   From what she has told me

    • quality varied alot even on the same hank - you really have to pick through the strands;
    • some things were not to be found for love or money regardless of how hard she looked;
    • most of the sellers would haggle;
    • some prices were higher than she could get elsewhere, so know the prices of what you're buying;


    • the number of people buying and the number of sellers can get overwhelming!

  • We used to go.  We stopped because it wasn't the cost of the show that was expensive it what you end up spending.  The first year we went with the idea that we would buy about $2000 of beads and gemstones.  We spent over $10000 because of the bargains.  the next 4 years we spent about the same amount.  Finally after having an raw inventory of over $35000 waiting to be made into jewelry we decided to just order from the vendors we liked buying from. 


    My advice is spend the 1st day looking and not buying.  That's because you will see the same items in lots of different shows and it is amazing that the prices vary between the shows.  I participated in the Best Bead Show with my handmade beads for 4 years.  The last year I had a vendor next to me who every morning went to other shows and bought beads and brought them back to his booth and sold them for higher prices.  Because of the show he sold out almost everyday.  Just because of the show, people assumed he had the best prices.




    PS.  Our last trip was in 2000 and we still haven't used all that we have bought.  And we still buy about 8000 to fill in the inventory each year.

  • Linda - I've heard good things about this show from other artists, however, almost everyone I know who has gone to the show are artists who are already in AZ for shows. 

    I think Diane Wright has attended the event in the past, you might send her a note for immediate feedback.

    • Thanks, Ruth

      I will do that now.

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