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Frequently Asked Questions

Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase

Gem Shows FAQ
(Frequently Asked Questions)

What does Visit Tucson do to support the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase?

  • Convention Services department is the City of Tucson's liaison to gem-show owners and promoters, and directly supports promotion of all shows through the Official Gem Guide, Downtown Welcome Program, website listings, and technical assistance. This team is also responsible for collecting information on available accommodations just prior to and during the Showcase. Find your gem show accommodations by calling 1-800-638-8350.
  • Public Relations and Communications staff pitches local, regional, national and international media outlets for coverage of the event throughout the year.  During the showcase, the PR team provides timely statistics to local media, responds to media inquiries, creates editorial content, arranges interviews, and maintains the Official Guide and event calendars. 
  • Marketing team designs and produces collateral, signage, banners, maps, and the TGMFS Program Guide. 
  • Webmaster develops and maintains TGMFS website pages at VisitTucson.org. 
  • Visitor Information team responds to show-related phone, website, and walk-in inquiries from visitors. 
  • Insider view: Brent DeRaad and Richard Miranda's gem show-related guest columns on Arizona Daily Star's website.

Basic Pearls of Wisdom for Visitors

How many shows make up the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase?
There were 45 separate shows in 2016, and we are still receiving listings for 2017.

How many people attend the Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase?
Nearly 50,000 people visit shows over the two weeks.

When is the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase?
January 28 - February 12, 2017. However, dates for individual shows vary. Search in the right-hand column of the Gem Show main page for specific information on a show.

Is the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show® the same event as the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase?
No. The Tucson Gem & Mineral Show® is the original feature show, which, when combined with the dozens of satellite shows, helps make up the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase. Read about the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society and the gem shows history here.

When and where is the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show®?
It will be held at the Tucson Convention Center, February 9-12, 2017.

How much does it cost to get in?
Most of the shows are free. The Tucson Gem & Mineral Show® charges a small admission fee. You can find more information on their website.

Are dates set for future Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase events?
Yes. Upcoming dates are:

Winter Shows
January 28-February 12, 2017
January 27-February 11, 2018

Fall Shows:
September 8-September 11, 2016
September 7-September 10, 2017
September 6-September 9, 2018


The Treasure Hunt

How do I get a booth at the Gem Show?
Each show sells their own booth space. You must contact those running each show for space availability and costs.

Where do I register for a wholesale show?
You can register at the show itself. However, some of the larger wholesale only shows, like the AGTA GemFair, JOGS, and G&LW Holidome, offer online registration through their websites.

Can I get into all of the shows?
Most of the shows are open to the public. For wholesale only shows, you must present your business license, taxpayer ID number and business card to register.

What can I buy?
You can find everything from rare diamonds to boxes made of petrified wood. Dealers specialize in loose stones, jewelry, African art, beads, polished stones, minerals, fossils and gifts. Check the listings at the gem show main page for more information.

Can I get rocks, gems and/or minerals identified?
Some shows provide appraisers. As with any purchase, it is best to do some homework before buying.

What times do the shows run?
Shows open between 8 am and 10 am and close between 6 pm and 8 pm. Refer to the show listings for exact times.

Can I get something to eat at the show?
Yes. Most shows have a variety of food vendors on property or are located close to restaurants.

What else can I do at the shows?
The Tucson Gem & Mineral Show® has unique museum-quality exhibits that change each year. Most of the shows feature a unique item on display, such as the world's largest meteorite or a five-foot tall geode. The shows also provide a great way to meet and network with people from around the world.


Golden Opportunities

How can I get temp work at one of the shows?  
Many shows hire their own staff, so you may wish to contact the shows individually through our listings page or call Remedy Intelligent Staffing at 520-745-9696.

I have a parking lot, warehouse, or storage facility that I'd like to rent out to a show. How do I go about doing that?
While we do have one or two new shows and/or shows that relocate each year, they secure their properties via many different channels. We generally refer shows seeking venue space to our partners and encourage everyone to contact the show owners and promoters directly using the information here.

How do I advertise in Gem Guide?
The Official Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase Program Guide and Map are published by Madden Media and Visit Tucson in January of each year, just in time for distribution at shows. Our advertising opportunities are extremely limited, with priority going to prior advertisers as well as the shows themselves. There are other guides to the Showcase that may still have advertising opportunities available, including Colored Stone ( stobin@interweave.com ), Metaphysical Guide Magazine ( metaguide@earthlink.net ), and Tucson E-Z Guide (xsupport@xpopress.com).   

How do I receive a Gem Guide by mail?
The guides are produced so close to the time of the Showcase opening that they are not available via U.S. Mail.  However, a PDF version of the Visit Tucson guide is posted at our main show page as soon as it is finalized in January.

How do I find a hotel room during the Showcase?
If you are seeking accommodations for fewer than 10 room nights, please call Visit Tucson Visitor Information Services at 1-800-638-8350. Our team stays on top of where the available hotel rooms are--for your convenience! If you require more than ten room nights, please contact our Sales Team at 520-770-2139.

How do I obtain proper permits or a tax ID number?   
Please refer to the City of Tucson's business information page. Or you may call the City of Tucson information line to be directed to the proper department. The number is 520-791-4566. 

How can I obtain a rental cash register?
The Cash Register Company, contact: Tony Mastrangelo 520-571-0571. 

How can I obtain a debit card machine rental?
Vendors should consult with their current financial institutions, as they can provide them with a seamless process and proper equipment that connects with their banking network.  If a vendor chooses to use a local supplier, they can contact Bank of Tucson, ask for Cathy and she can put them in touch with their provider. Cathy's number is 520-321-4500.

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