Help! I am planning to go to Quartzsite this year and need lots of
help… never been there befor and in fact have never been to a real
gem and mineral show. What are the best dates to go,best people to see
and what should I look for. I do not do lapidary at all and only buy
stones that intrigue me.

I am planning to be there Jan4th-7th. does that date sound ok? I am
from the east coast and will be in the Escondido area and my neice
volunteered to take me there.It would be really nice to meet up with
fellow Orchidians both in the San Diago and Quartzsite. Am planning
to be in that area fromdec.10th to jan.10th.

Thanks to all in advance on both counts,Louise Louise Gerstenblatt

Hi, Louise-

The major advertised show which will be open on January 10 when you
visit Quartzite is the Tyson Wells show. It’s an OK show. I have
heard rumor that Cloud’s Jamboree may be opening up earlier than
advertised, but that is unconfirmed. If you could postpone your visit
to Quartzite until a little later in January, you would have much more
to choose from.

You can check out the link below for Quartzite show shedules.


Hope this helps,

Lee Einer

Louise, There is a web site for Quartzsite. There are different shows
over different days. I have not checked out just which one is when. i
am 15 miles from Escondido, feel free to call me. Teresa (760)

That goes for anyone heading out this way before or after Quartzsite.
I plan to visit there as well as Tucson and get some field trips in
as well/

Will try to set up an Orchid meeting area in Quartzsite, a bit early
to do so yet… Will post and accept messages from those planning to
be there also so we can try to time this out. Teresa

Louise, You will be there about 20 days too quick. A couple of small
shows open about 1-5 Jan, but most of the larger shows do not start
until 15 -19 Jan. I checked Rock and Gem and Lapidary Journal, but
the dates are not complete yet in the December Issues. I suggest you
cal 520-927-6364 this is the number for the Tyson Wells promoter. He
may be able to help you. I normally go to Quartzite about 19 Jan
which is the opening of Tyson Wells. Most of the dealers are set up
by then. I shop all the shows as you can never tell what you will
find. If you have any more questions email me at gggemswcr@aol.com
I will try to help.

Gerry Galarneau

Go to www.quartzsitechamber.com for a show schedule.

If you are going to be there in early Jan, quite frankly there won’t
be much for you to see because most of the action doesn’t take place
until the end of the month (i.e. Pow Wow & Tyson Wells Sellarama).
However, there is an early rock & gem show at Tyson Wells from Jan
5-19. Everything has to be rock-related - no flea market stuff.
There is also the Main Event.

Also, for those of you who are familiar with the Q shows, a lot of
the dealers who used to be at Clouds have moved to Desert Gardens on
the west side of town off Frontage Road. This is because the state
has condemned Clouds to get the land so as to build a bypass. There
may be a possibility of a small Clouds show (usual dates are Jan
15-Feb 15) but who knows. That’s why most of those dealers have
split-off into the other shows and the rise of the new Desert Gardens
rock show and a new Tyson Wells show Feb 3-19.

Q is definitely the place to go if you like rocks/slabs. There is a
smattering of loose gems but nothing at all like Tucson. The
atmosphere is loose and informal and the weather is great. Make your
motel reservations early - I used to stay in Blythe, CA before I got
my RV, or you can stay in Parker, AZ. These are the 2 closest towns,
though Ehrenburg does have a Best Western. These places fill up fast!


Dear Louise, No 1. Reserve motel space in nearby Blythe, CA…
immediately. There are no accomodations in Quartzsite. Suggest you
call the Blythe C.of C. ( CA.) No.2. You will be there at the best
possible time slot inasmuch as the best show is just beginning (Tyson
Wells ) while the other shows will have a good presence of other
dealers inspite of their not being officially open. More importantly,
traffic and parking in Quartzsite are nightmarish and get worse as
the shows approach the Q.I.A. opening. Furthermore, the best deals
and selection are usually found early in the game. Forgive my bias
about Tyson Wells; I have being doing the Quartzsite thing for twenty
five years, both as buyer and seller. We will be doing the Tyson Show
this year and will be debuting our five thousand cab selection of
designer stones. We are also going to introduce our VERY affordable
cutting service which will enable you to buy slabs and have them cut
according to your specifications and designs. ( Ten kilo minimum ) We
are also going to close out our stash of African facet rough. No. 3
Be sure to bring a heavy, comfortable pair of shoes inasmuch as the
show grounds can be very rough going. You should also have sun
lotion, chapstick , moistureizing lotions , a sturdy tote bag, a snug
windbreaker jacket and a six pack of mineral water and …of
course, a pair of sun glasses. No.4 Bring a checkbook, traveler’s
checks and cash. There are not a lot of people there who will accept
plastic. There are also not a lot of telephones so, if you plan on
needing one, bring change for the phone or a telephone credit card.

The weather is normally idyllic, but, it can be nasty whenever a cold
front comes in from Calfornia. While this scenario seldom brings much
in the way of precipitation, it can be very dusty, windy and cool .
There are excellent food vendors throughout all the shows, but
bringing along some snacks might save your money for better

Our booth will be in space I 30 at the Tyson Wells Show. All Orchid
members will receive a twenty- five per cent discount over and above
any quantity discount that may apply.

Hope to see you there! Be prepared for the experience of a lifetime !

Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA. Tel. 805 528 6661

Gerry, Sorry to contradict you, but Tyson Wells Rock and Gem Show
begins on the fifth of January and lasts ten days. This show segues
into the Tyson Wells show which is not Rockhound oriented, although
some of the Rock and Gem Dealers stay over. Both the Main Event and
the Cloud Shows are dealing well before their announced
openings…if you are not getting there until the nineteenth, you
are looking at picked over merchandise…Ron at Mills Gem,
Los Osos, CA

All, In Arizona fierce battles between promoters have been raging for
the last 10 years. Battle lines are drawn over dealers, start dates
of shows, and drawing the buyers. Before this all started dealers in
rough rock materials usually followed a circuit with two shows in
Phoenix, Flagg Foundation Show and Rockazona then they moved to
Quartzite about 15 Jan to prepare for the grand show at the QIA.
Many dealers still stick to their same schedule. Some dealers have
changed their schedule to have two locations, one in Quartzite and
the other at the Phoenix shows. This is a result of pressure from
promoters to secure a prime spot in the Quartzite show. The result for
buyers is that less is available at all the shows. Rockazona and
Flagg shows have lost many of their prime dealers to Quartzite.
Quartzite has dealers set up with only half their merchandise because
the rest is at the other shows. For the early bird, going to
Quartzite before the 15th is like going to a show with only half the
dealers showing. There will be a lot to see, but you will not have
the true Quartzite adventure. If early is the only time you have to
go, then by all means go. It is still Quartzite and an adventure.
As for picked over goods. Most dealers are constantly refreshing
their stock at Quartzite. It is true that certain one of a kind
items will be only available when the dealer first sets up. You
never can be sure of which dealer will be there or when they will
arrive. It is really hit or miss before the 15th. I have been buying
at Quartzite for over 15 years. So take it for what it is worth.

Gerry Galarneau

Dear Gerry, Since you have not been going to Quartzsite early it is
possible that more is going on than you might imagine…I got
there on the tenth of January last year and I couldn’t believe that
so much activity could be taking place that soon. All of the spaces
were filled in both Tyson and Cloud and one very large dealer in
particular had run out of some of his best merchandise.

One point that I have tried to make is that the selection does
diminish with time in certain items, but in this regard ,one of the
things that you have overlooked is the fact that dealers regularly
glean stock from other dealers and then jack up the prices. We all
look for sleepers and we all act accordingly. The net result is that
selection and price tend to be impacted as the shows progress. The
last show, Q.I.A., usually has the highest prices and this is due in
large part to the fact that their stock has been extracted from
earlier shows. I used to deal at the T.G.M.S. show in Tucson and I
would get there well before the show inorder to pick up stock from
the earlier shows.

Both Tucson and Quartzsite have persistently experienced creeping
early show syndrome. Were it not for the climate, I am sure that each
would be a year 'round phenomenon eventually. At one time the
T.G.M.S. show was the main drawing card in Tucson, but now it has
been relegated to a second place event which has come to depend on
attendance by the local general public. As a consequence, few of the
remaining dealers have access to the clientele that they had targeted
and not many of them have merchandise that appeals to the general
public. Furthermore, since they have gotten such a late start, there
are a lot of empty pockets resulting from spending at early shows.
The exact same thing has been happening at Quartzsite…I know…I
have dealt at both Tucson and Quartzsite on and off for twenty five
years. The really pregnant question now is whether either venue will
survive the onslaught of e-commerce…I think they will, but I also
think that it may not be in the same format. Ron at Mills Gem, Los
Osos, CA.