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For the first few decades of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®, dealers were known to save their best specimens to sell there and collectors came expecting to purchase from that select pool.  With the proliferation of satellite shows, some starting as early as mid-January, the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society (TGMS) Show Committee has been hearing people question the “freshness” of our dealers’ stock. We know that "it's only business"...dealers will sell where and when the money is available, and that buyers shop where they can get the best specimens, but we don’t like hearing “After two weeks of motel sales everything good has already been seen/sold, so why stick around for the TGMS Show?”  We recognize that having top quality dealers with top quality goods is as important as our exhibits, educational programs and social functions and we want to foster strong mineral business at our Show in the same spirit in which we’re upgrading our exhibits and overall layouts.  Buyers respond when they know they’re seeing fresh goods; witness the crowds waiting to get at the Minette Collection when Dawn Minette made debuting it at TGMS a term of the sale (Thanks Dawn!).  So, if someone outside TGMS can do this, then so can we, to the benefit of our dealers, buyers and the entire mineral collecting community.  The question remains how to dispel the doubts harbored by those who insist that backroom deals will always eat into set-backs and that all dealer claims of freshness are suspect.  


Enter “Certified Fresh for TGMS” (CFFT), a voluntary program that will verify that a certain amount of stock was set aside and left untouched until the TGMS Show.   The program has three levels of participation: 100% (TGMS Only), 50% (Certified Organic), and 20% (Healthful Choice). The dealer alone decides how much and what to set aside; on arrival in Tucson TGMS volunteers will go to the dealer, count the set-back flats and seal them with tamper-proof CFFT tape.  (TGMS is not certifying quality so we will not look in the flats.)  The same team will visit the dealer at set-up, verify that the right number of flats is present and that the seals are intact.  Assuming all is correct, the participating CFFT dealers will get a sign indicating their percentage of participation to display prominently on the case(s) where their CFFT goods are displayed.   To help buyers navigate directly to the things they know are new, TGMS also will highlight the participating dealers on signs in the lobby and make it possible to highlight CFFT in our advertising.

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