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Tucson vs Quartzsite

   And, while I "have you on the line" let me suggest that you be a
little more open minded about Quartzsite. Your suggestion that it
is plagued by sandstorms is a gross exageration....most of the time
the weather is idyllic. 

I guess I have just been lucky the times I have driven through.

I haven’t had the luxury of stopping at the shows in Quartzite,
before the Tucson Shows start, as I arrive from Brasil with my
merchandise and for security reasons, am always carrying my
merchandise with me, thus don’t feel it would be too secure nor
intelligent to be lugging several cases of stones around on foot in
Quartzite (and no way in the world would I ever leave it in the trunk
of the car).

   I might even suggest that next time you are in that area you
>stop in to one of the shows and pick up some nice merchandise for
your overpriced venue in Tucson. 

If you are referring to the fact that the Show Promoters at Tucson
exploit the dealers with high booth rental prices, I wholeheartedly
agree with you. Several years ago some of the dealers in my show
(GJX) passed a petition around to get something changed at the show.
The Show promoter let it be very clear that “that” was not the way to
do things (he didn’t bother to let them know what was the correct
procedure). Apparently the correct way of doing things is to accept
whatever the Show Promoter decides or go get a booth at a different
show. The same goes for booth prices. By the second or third day of
the show, we have to sign the next year’s contract and pay 48% of the
next year’s booth rental upfront and a year ahead of time. One thing
is for sure, the booth rentals go up consistently and the booth sizes
may even diminish. If you don’t sign your next year’s contract in a
timely fashion, you are informed that there are hundreds of dealers
on the waiting list. The other 52% of the booth rental is paid on
September 1st - six months before the show starts. My 8 x 10 booth is
$3,300.00 for the bare floor, one table and two chairs. We pay an
extra $ 100 - $ 200 for the electricity. A phone in the booth goes
for $200 or more for the six days. Show cases rental (3 cases) runs
about $800.00. All of this is paid - before - you even make the first
sale out of your booth.

If you mean that my mechandise is overpriced, it may be, as compared
to Quartzite prices, but, as you mention, we do have more "overhead"
at the Tucson Shows than the dealers showing in Quartzite. But I do
make the majority of my sales to other dealers in the GJX and AGTA
shows - so I must be doing something right.

You are sure to get some high quality items at a very good price
which you can sell to the Tucson attendees and thus alleviate your
high overhead. 

I would imagine that that is true. I have stopped buying in Brasil
from several dealers who sell to me at one price then come to Tucson
and sell out of their booths at lower prices. I imagine that there
are a lot of good bargains to be had at Quartzite, though I imagine
also that one has to “work” harder at finding them there, wading
through many many “booths” and locations to find what you need and
picking through large quantities of material to select the better
pieces. If the buyer has the time to spend, I imagine it will be well
worth their while to spend the time. What is nice about the GJX show
at Tucson is the wide carpeted aisles, air conditioning, convenient
phones, bathrooms, food courts, security for the buyers and the
sellers (only bonafide people in the trade are allowed in to the
show), Fed-ex shipping station, etc.

At my show at the GJX in Tucson, I realize that the jeweler’s time is
usually at a premium. They cannot stay at Tucson for two weeks
straight and usually have to get their buying done in a few days or a
weekend. Thus I try to antecipate what can help them save time, like
making up matched pairs and sets of stones ahead of time. Having
stones separated by color, size, shape and quality, etc.

You may even be able to get a better price on Brazilian goods than
in Governador. 

As I mentioned, it is quite possible, even at the Tucson Shows, to
run into Brazilian dealers (and those from other countries also)
selling their merchandise at prices lower than you could get if you
traveled to Brazil. This is due to several factors, not the least of
which is the cost and complications of returning the unsold
merchandise to Brazil.

As for buying at a better price than in Governador Valadares, MG - in
recent years the Gem and Rough trade in Brasil has changed greatly
and Governador Valadares has basically become a much less important
area as far as the trading/selling aspect is concerned. (it is still a
production area). Teofilo Otoni, MG has become the absolute center
for the trade and many (most) of the dealers from Governador
Valadares spend the week in Teofilio Otoni to do business and return
home to their families on the weekends.

“Ate Logo” literally means “until soon” and since I haven’t had the
pleasure of personally making your acquaintance, though I have read
many of your well informed posts to the list, I hope that you will
drop by my booth # 205 at the GJX during the next Tucson Show so I
can put a face with the name. The same invitation goes for all of the
other “Orchidians” who come to the Tucson Show in February 2002.
Several stopped by the last show and said hello and were even wearing
the Orchid pin that Ahmed so kindly gave out at his booth in the

Best regards, Robert Lowe, Lowe Associates - Brasil Gemstones, Rough,
Specimens, Tucson February 7 - 12, 2002 - GJX # 205 e-mail

Robert, Excellent commentary. When I personally tout Quartzsite it is
not at all for the quality of stones I know you to carry. I totally
agree the Tucson prices must reflect the expenses involved from
leaving home to getting back there.

At Quartzsite, I marvel at the volume of 55 gallon drums with Air
Cargo markings on them all over the place. Yes if one had the time or
the inclination to pore through these drums of raw material, they
could indeed find great value. Then of course they would have to
process the stones themselves to resell them at a much later date.

What I refer to is the mass volume of lapidary material, as well as
the fossils. These indeed are bought and traded and then resold in
Tucson. Many of the larger dealers themselves set up in both areas,
and when Quartzsite closes, drive the remaining stock over to Tucson
for sale there, and yes even those dealers “deal” differently once at

For someone with the luxury of time, both places are the thing to do.
For persons buying the type of stones you and Ahmed as well as many
others sell, Tucson is the only place to go.

I look forward to seeing you again.