Tucson Gem and Mineral Show back on for 2022

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Despite the spread of the variants, the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is back on this year after the pandemic forced many of the showcases to scale back and even cancel last year.

It’s one of the oldest and largest of its kind on the planet. Each winter, the show brings tens of thousands of people to southern Arizona.

“We encourage people to come out and enjoy our exhibits, have a great time,” said Peter Megaw, the co-chair for the 2022 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.

Megaw said he’s excited to celebrate the Fluorescent Mineral Society’s 50th anniversary.

“We’re going to have the most eye-popping exhibits of fluorescent minerals ever seen anywhere,” he said.

Overall he expects this year’s show turns out to be around 80% as some travel restrictions remain in place.

“Our international guests and visitors can’t come but we expect to recoup a significant amount of the impact in the course of the show this year,” he said.

He said the shows generate about $130 million per year. It’s a great boost to the economy and a boost in sales for the vendors who have struggled to stay afloat through the pandemic.

“Just been trying to keep the business going online as much as possible but it’s been hard,” said Josie Leiva, the assistant manager of To Bead True Blue.

Leiva will be selling handcrafted jewelry and gems inside Casino del Sol.

Both her event and the one at the convention center will require guests to wear masks. With safety procedures in place, she’s excited to see all the new treasures that will make their debut in the coming weeks.

“It’s great to see what everyone is bringing after two years with nothing. They’re bringing all of this great work,” she said.

You can find nearly 50 gem show locations around Tucson with the first showcases starting up Jan. 28. Find this year’s schedule, HERE.

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Jasmine Ramirez

Jasmine Ramirez

Jasmine Ramirez joined the KOLD News 13 team in January 2020.