KGUN 9News


Gem Shows: Spend a million dollars--or a dollar

Enjoy the expos on a budget
Posted at 7:09 PM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 21:09:49-05
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The world comes to Tucson for the annual Gem, Fossil and Mineral Showcase----and you can too.
This weekend's a great time to take in the annual happening with more than 40 shows spread around the area.
If you have the means and the inclination you can spend more than a million dollars in some of these gem expos but our mission is to show you some of the more reasonably priced things that you might be able to go out, explore on the weekend and actually buy for yourself and here off Kino there's an example of the kind of thing you can get for a reasonable price.  
The long list of shows near Kino Sports Complex is more than enough to keep you browsing and busy for the day.  They actually go beyond gems and minerals to a wide range of products and knick knacks---including things that are down around a dollar.
Terena Callaway of Marana told us, ”I just love coming here.”  
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked her: “So what did you end up getting?” 
Callaway: “Just a little bank.  Just a cheap little thing.. 
Smith: “What attracted you to that one?” 
Callaway: “I decided it would look cute on my window sill and I wanted a little bank on my window sill."
The stones you see on display may come from all over the world but that means shipping boxes of rocks, hundreds of pounds at a time.   A lot of the professionals here just bring it all to UPS which charges a flat $199 to send a pallet to the west coast, $390 to the east coast.  
Mark Earnst figures he's about to ship maybe five hundred pounds to his shop in Seattle where he has maybe 10 tons of stones to sell.
He says, "It takes about three or four days to get there so it's a lot easier than driving all the way down here, putting it on a truck myself, driving all the way back which takes like six days, five days, and the price is really good."
Parking can be an issue at some shows.  Outlying shows like the ones at Kino are more likely to have large parking lots and the city does run a free shuttle among the expos.