Jan 23, 2013 7:46 PM by Sean Mooney
TUCSON - The official start for the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase is now just a week and a half a way.
An estimated 55,000 people are expected to visit the various shows that will bring in more than a $100 million to the city.
At wholesalers like Madagascar Minerals they have been preparing for the gem show for 6 months now. Madagascar Minerals will have merchandise spread over 4 locations. All told the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase will involve 41 locations all over the Tucson.
This will be the 59th Tucson Mineral and Gem Show. There are actually two shows that take place next month, The Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase which starts on February 2nd and runs through the 17th.
The original Tucson Gem and Mineral Show takes place February 14th through the 17th. Robert Grant of Madagascar Minerals believes he knows why the Tucson Gem and Mineral show has become one of the most renowned gem shows in the world right here in Tucson, "I think this is a tradition that in Arizona to get involved in the rocks, a lot of rock hounds, mining here with silver and gold and I think that is where it started, selling their wares. A little local show that slowly grew."
Most of the shows are free but there are several that are "wholesale only" shows that require a badge. The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show at the Tucson Convention Center does charge an admission fee.