Back for More Arizona - Winter 2014 travel blog

giant geode

fossil

outdoor display

tent

inside tent

beads

bracelets

dinosaur poop

geodes

loose stones

loose stones

pearls

petrified wood

shells

stone bowls


We've been watching large white tents rising on both sides of the expressway we take into town, being erected for the Gem & Mineral Show. There are over forty of them all over Tucson. We're not particularly interested in rocks, precious or otherwise, but this show has the town in a frenzy so we randomly picked two tents to check out today. We were impressed. We're still not certain why all this rock related activity is here, but there are exhibitors and salesmen from literally all over the world. We saw a huge collection of fossils brought here from Germany - who knew? They were cut open and colored to show the impressions in the rock to its best advantage. Most of the pieces cost thousands of dollars. When we thought about how old they were from times millions of years ago, we understood why. Dinosaur bones and skeletons were also a hot item. I could imagine those fossils displayed in my living room, but a dinosaur would be a bit much.

Exhibitors from third world countries like Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Nepal sold jewelry made from local stones at ridiculously cheap prices. Precious stones were on display next to cheap costume jewelry. If I were into beading, I would have broken the bank; there were so many cool beads from all over the world. Huge barrels of petrified wood from Brazil were still being unloaded and brought inside. Getting all that heavy stuff here from all over the world must be a huge undertaking. Putting up all those temporary tents is a huge job, too. I would guess that this show is mostly for wholesale buyers, but the exhibitors were happy to take my $25 purchase as well. There was so much stuff here. It's hard to imagine it all being sold. Or are they going to ship it all back to Brazil??

Anything you could imagine being made out of a stone was there. We saw plates, vases, tables, benches, fountains, garden ornaments, raw stones, cut stones, tools to work stones, arty photographs of stones - they were there, too. Only 38 more tents to go...

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