2014 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show®
Member Post: Paul Harter
February 13-16, 2014 will be remembered by all as a truly great weekend. Like every significant anniversary, 60 years was marked by glamour, excitement, new features and so much more. Planning for this Show started several years ago. But, before getting to the Show, let us reflect on those who preceded the current participants. The intrepid few who organized the first show and then said, “Let’s have a second Show” must be commended. Without their commitment in the infancy of the Tucson Gem and Mineral ShowTM, this year’s success would not have been possible. Our hats are off to those whose vision has now become the greatest gem and mineral show.
A second and personal thought before writing about the Show is to express to the TGMS Board and Officers my appreciation for their support, not just this year but the past four years. Without that support the success would not have been possible. The Board asked the Show Committee to focus on minerals and exhibits. In return the Show Committee asked the Board to “open its wallet” and did it ever. Thank you.
Now, on to the Show! The first thing everyone noticed was a new look about the Show, floor to ceiling. For years there has been carpet in the Arena and this year carpet was added to the Ex-Hall. The ceiling was “lowered” with 500 white umbrellas. Both of these helped to give the Show a new look, decreased noise and help everyone’s tired feet. Perhaps it is what was between floor and ceiling that was most significant: 120 new exhibit cases with LED lights. This new look was the talk of not only the Show, but the exhibitors who out did themselves this year. The exhibits were some of the best ever presented; from the glamour of the Cartier diamond bandeau exhibited by a new participant, Somewhere In the Rainbow, to the heartbreaking exhibit of gold recovered from a safe deposit box destroyed at the World Trade Center. (More in Peter’s report on the exhibits and other musings.)
The dealers also stepped up to enhance the Show. Collector’s Edge Minerals, Inc. celebrated its 30 year anniversary with a stunning booth and display of minerals. And, so many others presented their goods and wares in a most attractive manner. The success of these efforts was evident by seeing so many bags and boxes being carried around the Show floor. The reports I have received lead me to conclude the Show was a financial success for the dealers.
But wait, there was more to the weekend. The ancillary activities are another reason this Show is the best: education for youth, world renowned speakers, professional society meetings, competition, national and international awards, sharing of knowledge and information, renewing and beginning friendships and so much more. None of this is possible without the help of so many of you. Before the Show began, during the Show and after the Show I expressed my thanks to those who gave so much. Please again accept my thank you to each of you for your commitment to the Tucson Gem and Mineral ShowTM. Without your help none of this success would be possible.
This Show is so much more than just gems and minerals, sales and exhibits. It is an opportunity for people, your friends and neighbors to experience our passion. This year the paid attendance was over 18,600 and that does not even count the 2000+ school kids and chaperones. Thank you to all of the media who out did themselves with coverage and to each person who walked through the doors.
We will again gather February 12-15, 2015 for the 61st annual Tucson Gem and Mineral ShowTM. The Show will feature “Minerals of Western Europe.” Please start thinking now about the next iteration for each of us wants it to exceed all previous Shows. A large task, yes; an impossible task, no. So in closing, tighten your belt and get ready for another great ride.
2014 Show Chairman