My wife and I just got back from the Tyson Wells show. We also
scoped the other two major shows ( Main Event and Desert Gardens ).
Tyson seems to shrink just a bit more each year while the Gardens
show has gotten bigger. The Tyson show is very attractive because of
the chingaderos that appeal to small store owners and the excellent
wholesale prices. There are two major purveyors there who have
erected large permanent sales rooms. Most of the goods are imported
from all over the world and each company has its' own assortment.
One of them has a subleased tenant who has a prodigious supply of
Morroccan fossils and crafts. Both shows have large, fine quality
Brazilian amethyst geodes for sale at very good prices.
The weather this year was outstanding.......low seventies, mild
breezes and clear skies. Getting to the show a day before it formally
opens seems to be your best option.
The Main Event show is a waste of time....virtually devoid of gem
and mineral purveyors. A lot of their stuff could better be found at a
dollar store or at the Goodwill.
The Desert Gardens show has a nice selection of dealers in just
about everything pertaining to rocks, gems and fossils. Rough
lapidary materials, slabs and cabochons are the order of the day.
Some of the fossils that I found were fantastic !
Accomodations may be had at the newly opened Super Eight Motel right
We opted to stay at the Holiday Inn Express in nearby Blythe. The
rooms have refrigerators, microwaves, ironing boards with iron, hair
dryers and bath tubs. The rooms are quite large, but the bathrooms
are a bit cramped. It is best to select a room on the south side of
the building inasmuch as they are much quieter. There is an excellent
coffee shop across the dirt truck parking lot adjacent to the
motel.....the Town Square Cafe, or you can keep on walking over to
the Dennys Restaurant. ( Busy, slow and noisy ) Yet another option
is to settle for the continental breakfast which is included in the
fare. There are a lot of other motels in Blythe that are cheaper and
a couple which are more expensive. Many of the motels in Blythe are
ancient, bedraggled and best accompanied with insecticide....it is
all a matter of how much you are motivated to save money !
We had a great time, got a lot of great merchandise and spent very
little money considering the large stash that we acquired ! As a rule
of thumb, we alternate between Quartzsite and Tucson or, sometimes,
we go to both. Obviously, if you are not well supplied with faceted
gems, Tucson is a must ! ) On the other hand, if you just want to
augment your supply of rent paying thingamabobs, Quartzsite is a much
better option economically. To each his own......Later, Ron Mills,
Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, Ca.