After a hearty breakfast, we queued early with other buyers awaiting the opening of an international show, which features gemstones, cut gems, beads and finished jewelry. Security is very high; tension mounts as people jostle for position. Prior to our arrival, there was a six vehicle accident right at the show’s entrance as four cars tried to fit into a one-car space! Luckily no one was hurt. Amazingly, other than the two taxi drivers, people left their vehicles in the pile-up for the police/security guards to deal with and went shopping! Only in Tucson and only during the shows!
Being early allowed us first pick at the minerals we sought. From Russia, we purchase seraphinite, shungite and charoite tumbles, spheres, hearts, pyramids and/or eggs.
As we walk about the show, merchandise from Peru draws our eyes. It is the first year in Tucson for this mother-daughter team, who do not speak English. Being bilingual saves the day, as we sort out weight conversion, money exchange, and completion of sales receipt. Though this picture does not due their merchandise justice, hematite-included rhodocrosite hearts and eggs are added to our bounty. We are amazed to be greeted/recognized by vendors we haven’t purchased from in years. Truly you can make connections in Tucson which last decades!
Our next stop is at an outdoor show where we know calcites from Mexico can be found. We acquire orange calcite and green calcite by the case. Unfortunately, the blue calcite is very light in color – a washed out sky-blue – so we’ll look for it elsewhere.
Strolling about we are delighted by the sights and sounds of multiple cultures gathered in one place, working side-by-side in harmony. Tucson is such a special place! Focusing again, we are directed to a father-son team from Mexico, whose fantastic heart, bison and bear carvings join our purchases.
As we continue about this show, it starts to drizzle. Rain can be a problem in Tucson as streets/drains are not designed to handle lots of water and flooding can be an issue. Quickly, extraordinary amethysts from Uruguay and calcite geodes from Morocco are added to our collection as we have an appointment across town. We can already see that the freight from this trip will be double last year’s. Oh, my aching back!
Traffic is still light as we drive to locale specializing in minerals from Madagascar. What amazing stock! Labradorite freeforms, and hearts in polychrome, carnelian, and labradorite are bought in quick order. The rain is picking up, so we must get rain gear. Indian crystal and minerals are next on our list; tomorrow is another day.