I’m not sure if the classification “finest dealers” is the
correct one. One thing is for sure, the AGTA show is a majority
of “high end” dealers mostly from NYC and LA. To be in the AGTA
show, you have to be a member of the AGTA and to be a member you
have to have an American location. Many of the same dealers you
will see in the JCK and JA shows. It is the most expensive show to
participate in, thus the prices reflect this. If you are in a
hurry and don’t want to “work” for it, you can buy fine gems
quickly and in a “refined” environment. It is mostly a suit and
tie show (one dealer actually uses a Tuxedo). Many of the AGTA
dealers also have booths in the GLDA (Holiday Inn) Show or the
Due to the AGTA’s disclosure rules, you can be pretty sure that
the dealer will identify any treatment or enhancement that has
been done to the stones you buy.
If you are willing to “work” for it a little, in the GLDA and
GJX shows, you are pretty likely to run into the suppliers of the
AGTA dealers - thus will buy the same stones at probably a lower
price, buying from their sources.
The GLDA show is in a Hotel with dealers stuck into every nook
and cranny - rooms, corridors, lobby, ballrooms etc. It is very
crowded and the likelihood of you being bumped into as you are
examining that great stone are very favorable. Many of the AGTA
dealers who had back-up spaces in the GLDA show have moved to
the GJX Show. One thing going for the GLDA show is the tendency
to group vendors together - such as a room just for people from
Idar Oberstein, an area for people from Sri Lanka, Uruguay, India
The GJX show is in a very large secure tent with wide carpeted
aisles and space to move around in. There are vendors from all
parts of the world. You can find finished gems, pearls, finished
jewelry, sculptures, gem rough and even while you wait lapidary
All three of the above shows are within very comfortable walking
distance from each other. There are free shuttles that stop at
each of these shows and will take you to most of the other 25 or
All three of the above shows are whole-sale only shows. You must
have proof of being in the jewelry business to participate. (For
USA residents that means a business license and copies of
invoices showing proof of prior purchases). The AGTA show is the
most difficult to get into. On the first day the line is
sometimes 2 - 3 hours long.
If you get into the AGTA show, with that badge you are
practically guaranteed getting into all of the other “whole
sale” only shows.
In 1999 there were 29 different shows. This year there may be
more still. Of this total, only maybe four are strict
"wholesale only" shows.
As soon as you get to Tucson, get a copy of the Tucson Show
Guide and see the indexes by show, dealer name, dealer location
and by product.
I'm very interested in visiting Tucson in February, and I'm
especially interested in finding some opals to make settings
for. I was hoping someone could offer advice on which shows, on
what days, would be the best choices, since I won't be able to
attend more than a couple of days. I know that the big show is
supposed to be from the 10th to the 13th.
If you only have a few days, come during the week of February
2-8 and go to the three above mentioned shows. There will be
opals in each of them. If you have time left over after these
three shows, go across the freeway to the Motel Shows. You will
have to “work” at it more as these shows are very “eclectic” and
mix more things together.
The show you mention from 10 to 13th of February is the
"Retail," open to the public, Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. It is
basically “after” the other shows have closed. Lots of good
dealers - of course the prices will be different, as it is a
"retail" show. It also costs about USD$ 5.00 to get in each day.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, I recommend a visit to the
Tucson Show Guide online at
http://www.tucsonshowguide.com/show_index.htm with all of the
on the February 2000 Tucson Shows.
You can even pre register for some of the shows from this web
You will have a listing of all of the exhibitors that are
showing and the locations at which they are showing. If you go to
the individual show page you can find out the company’s booth
If you go to the search page, you can search all of the show
exhibitors, at all of the shows, to find which has a certain
product, or you can search for the same product in only a
specific show, or by country of origin (or state) of the
exhibitor, etc. There is a complete list of all of the products
listed and how they are specifically listed, to aid your search.
Of course the Colored Stone Tucson Show Guide charged each
exhibitor a small amount for its “online” product listings, thus
if a specific company did not pay for the listings, you will find
it on the list of exhibitors and can find out which show it is in
and the booth number, but will not be able to access its list of
products or their address & phone/fax, e-mail, & web-site
Lowe Associates - Brasil
Gemstones, Rough, Specimens
Tucson 3-8 February - GJX # 205