Quartzsite vrs Tucson

All, There are several differences between the mostly outdoor shows at
Quartzite, AZ USA and the mostly indoor shows at Tucson, AZ USA.
Quartzite is by far the most enjoyable show for the individual
hobbyist or small business person. I do not know for sure the number
of rock dealers and finished jewelry dealers at Quartzite, but I will
guarantee you that to see it all you will need several days. In
Quartzite the atmosphere is low key, dig through piles of rock
looking for your special piece. Enjoy the clean air and talking to
other people from around the world. For every rip-off artist there
are 50 good and honest dealers. Just stay away from the rip-off
artist. Quartzite is mostly cabbing material, but every year I end
up coming home with one or two pieces of facetting material. Most
criminals do not concentrate on Quartzite because value is not
packaged like it is in Tucson. Tucson is the high dollar show case.
Cabbing and facetting material are readily available, but very little
of the material is either of sufficient quality or price to make
buying them profitable. Most rough stone buyers are there to find
the one piece that they can devote many hours to and create a
masterpiece of lapidary work. Finished stones are what Tucson is all
about. You can find anything and everything in finished goods at
Tucson. Prices on finished stones vary widely from show to show.
Sales people are there to sell stones. Expect them to push you for a
sale, not be overly friendly, and focused on making money. They must
as Tucson for many dealers is their major income for the year. This
atmosphere is ripe for the criminal element. Both native and
international. Proximity to Mexico and lose international air travel
laws make escaping the immediate vicinity of the crime easy. Beware
in Tucson and do not become a victim.

Gerry Galarneau

Ok com on now! You make Tucson sound like a sinkhole on iniquity.
Reall y misleading! I’ve been attending Tucson for 18 years and I
have yet to see much in the way of crime. Yes, you must watch
yourself but isn’t tha t true everywhere? There are some good deals,
some great deals and a lot of interesting conversation to be had.

Been to Quartzite as well. Lots of crap to get through if your
objective is the good stuff.


Dear Gerry, Hats off to your unbiased opinions about the two big
Arizona shows. It is big of you to admit to all the drawbacks of the
Tucson shows inspite of being one of the vendors. Tucson is
definitely the place to be if you are one of the big players and are
deadly serious about taking substantial risks and incurring big
expenses. How true it is that Quartzsite is the place to be if you
want to have a good time and, especially, if you want to find
treasures in good cabbing material. However, the most compelling
feature of Quartzsite can also be the much less expensive
involvement…EVERYTHING is much less expensive…the goods, the
accomodations, food and incidentals. Furthermore, the dealers
overhead is way less expensive thus enabling a greater variety of
dealers, not just the bigger operators.There is also an inherent
savings in time inasmuch as you can easily walk to all of the shows
in the area, even though there are, at any given time, nearly as many
dealers as you might find in the twenty-eight widely dispersed Tucson
shows. The key words at Quartzsite are AFFORDABLE, FUN and SELECTION.
As for cut stones, it would be very unfair to characterize Quartzsite
as a venue primarily devoted to rough. There is a huge presence of
cabochons and a substantial selection of facetted goods. ( There is
also a mountainous presence of some of the tackiest junk you will
ever see !) No matter, this eclectic, bizarre bazar has no equal in
the world and to miss it would be to deprive yourself of a once in a
lifetime experience. I’ll take Quartzsite over Tucson any day simply
because I firmly believe that a balanced life experience
automatically dictates that you thourougly enjoy doing what you do !
Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA, ( Space I-30, Tyson Early Show,

Richard, I think that maybe it is time to bury the perception that
Tucson and Quartzsite are adversarial entities…they’re not. Each is
a distinct entity and each appeals to a given segment of the gem and
jewelry fraternity ( and/ or sorority…oh my god, I almost lapsed
into male chauvinism !..now that’s another supposedly adversarial
dichotomy…let’s not get started ) Anyhoo, let’s just take it for
granted that each show has it’s own personality…that each has a
particular appeal and that each complements the other in many
ways…after all, many of the people who go to the Tucson
shows,stop off at Quartzsite and a sizeable number of people go to
Quartzsite after the Tucson shows. It is an apples and oranges
thing…no big deal ! Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA. Tyson Wells,
Early Show, Quartzsite. Sp I-30

About Quartzsite, one has only to wander around and see the vast
number of 55 Gal. drums filled to the brim with rocks and minerals of
all types to realize with patience and perseverance treasures await.

Many of these drums have not been high-graded at all. I can give you
two examples I know for certain have made some very happy and
increased their finances.

Chatoyant Malachite, an exquisite material. This is not culled before
having the material cabbed or slabbed. Spend some time going through
the bins of lower priced cabs and you may well find chatoyancy.
Granted poorly cut cabs, nothing wrong with redoing those and either
using or reselling them.

Enhydros, ditto the drums of quartz crystals are not carefully
examined before filling, it is fun to see the surreptitious moving of
these crystals to find some and immediately seeing a 10 fold increase
in your reselling price.

Just a couple of reasons to wander around and search, yes it does
take time, and I will be looking for the chatoyant material for my own
personal use, I love it and would never sell it. Mine, all mine…

Enjoy, Teresa