Tucson advise for cabbers?

Hi Carol,

We went to Tucson last year for the very first time. What a

For what its worth, here are my personal observations: (Anyone,
please feel free to correct me…)

My mind categorized the shows (the ones I was able to get to) into 3

1)- mostly minerals, rocks, fossils- My husband is a rockhound, so I
was somewhat concious of the assortment, but I was’nt looking
specifically for slabs, and cabs…so I cannot be absolutely certain
ALL the “mineral” shows had them…cabs yes, slabs (?)

2)- larger show- better quality finished jewelry,
equipment, software

  1. larger show- moderate quality stones, moderate silver jewelry,
    beads, findings, misc accessories and small items.

Here is a list of shows which I think are focused more in lapidary/
minerals/ fossils and which may be of interest to you, as well as
notes on a few other shows for your reference.

(I am referring back to notes taken last year, so please forgive my
lack of detail. also, I am not sure if the shows retain the same
names/ locations year to year…)

(when I state minerals and rocks, this would usually include rough,
cabs and slabs) (mostly crystals, agates, jaspers, lapis, petrified
woods, dino bone, tribs, etc…and collector mineral specimens)

Arizona Mineral and Fossil Show:
Mineral and Fossil Marketplace (tents- mostly rocks, minerals)
Best Western Executive Inn (minerals, rocks (?))
Vagabond Plaza Hotel (mostly fossils)
InnSuites Hotel (minerals, rocks (?))

Madagascar Minerals Gallery and Warehouse:
Norcross- Madagascar Warehouse (rock, minerals- small, limited focus....)

Top Gem Minerals:
TopGem Warehouse (rocks, minerals- small, limited focus)

V Rock Shop (mostly beads)

GLDA- Gem and Lapidary Dealers Assn:
Radisson City Center (LIke a Gem and Jewelry Show- lots of estate, finished 
fine jewelry, etc)

GJX Gem & Jewelry Show:
Gem & Jewelry Exchange (large show- my favorite, but I was looking for loose 
faceted stones last year, so I am not sure about slabs, etc....cabs for sure- 
maybe set aside 1/2 day here?  it seemed important to me.)

AGTA- American Gem Trade Assn and Tucson Gem and mineral Society:
Tucson Convention Center (Large show- my other favorite, same comments as GJX 
but I suggest doing GJX first....just a thought....)

Tucson Electric Park Gem and Mineral Show:
Kino Sports Complex
(My husband was told this was a good show for rocks...we didnt make it here.)

G&LW Gem and lapidary Wholesalers:
Gem Mall 
Holiday Inn/ Holidome
(my impression for these two larger shows was lots of beads, great finished 
silver jewelry (volume), misc small items, loose stones and gems, accessories)

Pacifica/ AKS Gem Shows:
(did not make it to these- I would be interested in other peoples 

If you are looking for rough, and slabs, and cabs, may I also suggest 
Quartzside, Arizona (the large rock swap meet(s) held in jan/ feb)?


Quartzside definitely has what you are looking for, and I felt the prices 
were much better.  

Best Regards,
Julie Balonick

P.S. Special Thanks again to Gerry, Karl, Jessica, Charles, David,
Sue Ann, James, Jeffrey, Brian, Ken, Sherry, and Kay for your
wonderful advise.

Hello All,

I just posted reply to Carol regarding “tucson advise for cabbers?”

And after thinking about my reply further I would like to apologize
in advance to anyone I may have offended by my generalizations of
the shows.

Each show does have a diverse assortment of vendors and products, so
it is not really appropriate to generalize the shows. It was very
overwhelming for me, and my mind works in crazy ways trying to make
sense of things some times.

There are so many shows and vendors, and usually a limited amount of
time to try to see everything. So my mind was trying was trying to
figure out what shows to go back to next year based on my personal

Once again, I apologize to anyone I may have offended.

Best Regards
Julie Balonick

If you are looking for rough, and slabs, and cabs, may I also
suggest Quartzside, Arizona 

That’s Quartzsite! And the website is

Beth P.S. There are fabulous agate slabs in the Tower Bldg. at the
InnSuites Hotel in Tucson. Can’t remember the name of the dealer. Sorry.

I just wanted to add a second endorsement for venturing to
Quartzsite in January as opposed to Tucson in February. The bargains
there are incredible (the overhead is minimal compared to Tucson)
and the selection is very good. I’ve found unexpected goodies there
and a very nice variety.

Here’s a link that works, with lots of show listings:

And this is a corrected link for the one Julie Balonick provided

The Main Event (Jan 17-Feb 1, 2004) is fun and has a nice selection,
but my personal preference is the Rock/Gem/Mineral show (Jan 2-11).
Arrive early, take lots of water (it can get warm even that early in
the season) and be prepared for godawful slow traffic.

You should go back in August, just to see how much the town shrinks.

Desert Dreamer Designs