Once a year the desert transforms into the country’s largest colored gem show. This may very well be my twentieth year!
I have seen it grow into a sprawling behemoth which attracts a variety of visitors, the oddest industry Venn diagram. Mineral specimens, gem rough, specialized lapidary equipment, lapidaries...these are just some of the circles in the Venn diagram. Let me not forget the sound & crystal healing contingent, which brings it's own frequency and vibrations.
The esoteric and the commercial areas of gemology & jewelry are all squashed together and it creates an unusual melody.
Tucson is also unlike any other trade show or conference. For example, I love the array of the top quality mineral specimens. The energy radiating from them is next level, and I have thoroughly enjoyed sourcing them for interior designers and myself over the years, although the transport can get rather hairy.
It's also a time to add to my knowledge base with continuing education. This year, I enjoyed Richard Hughes's lecture on oiling practices in colored gemstones at AGTA, and Frank Schaffer's diamond cutting presentation at the Old Pueblo Lapidary Club.
In 2019, I decided to take a five year break from exhibiting at the GJX show in order to focus on building my website and online presence. It's been a wild ride, and I'm still learning every day.
Life is good and I am grateful.