The annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show has arrived, spanning all over the downtown area at over 50 locations, running from Jan. 25 – Feb. 5
The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is littered with people ranging from individual vendors buying and reselling merchandise to collectors and mere spectators. Nevertheless, all are drawn together by a common interest and a love for rocks.
In their uniqueness, these shows range in content, size and location. One mineral show open to the public is the Just Mineral Event located at Elks Lodge 385.
Elks Lodge 385 is one of nearly 2,000 existing lodges planted in communities all across the country. According to the Elks website, they pride themselves in being “a generous, charitable foundation that each year gives millions in scholarships, an inspiration to youth, a friend to veterans and more.”
The close-knit group of annual vendors that visit represent many of the values upheld by Elks Lodge and the intimate Tucson community.
“Tucson has a mystique about it,” annual visitor John Veevaert from Reno, Nevada, said.
Veevaert has been coming to Tucson every year since 1992 for the gem and mineral show and stresses that it is a show and community like no other.
Isaias Casanova has been a vendor at Elks Lodge for the past three years, and has close relationships with his fellow vendors at Elks.
“These guys know their rocks, and they’ve been around forever,” Casanova said.
Another vendor, Kevin Downey, has been visiting Tucson as a mineral vendor for about 15 years. He encourages people to visit the gem show at least once because “they have no idea what they are missing.”
Downey said minerals are like fingerprints and “are kind of like another language. … They all have stories to tell for people who read them and understand them.”
The public mineral show at Elks Lodge 385 strives to provide great service to its visitors while providing free parking. Whether a collector or an interested bystander, all are welcome to come in and explore.
Elks Lodge 385 is located at 1800 N. Oracle Road.