February Gemshows in Tucson 2010

By on February 17, 2010
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I hope you enjoy reading this article about our past experiences in Tucson, Arizona. But we can’t wait to see you at the upcoming Tucson 2013 Shows: specifically, the JOGS Show, where the Wire-Sculpture and JewelryTools.com crew will be supporting at least 18 renowned jewelry instructors at the JewelryTools Classes – teaching over 120 projects! There’s still time for you to sign up, we’d love to see you there – Click here to explore our Tucson JOGS Classes, Feb. 1 – Feb. 12, 2012!

Take a Class at JOGSin Tucson, Arizona!

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when a lot of us are gearing up for our annual trip to Tucson, Arizona. As I sit at my desk in southeast Tennessee and add to my ‘Tucson Lists’ (where it is currently 21º at 1:30 in the afternoon) it is very easy to think about packing bathing suits and tee shirts!
The February gemshows in Tucson are still ‘the place to be’! For two weeks +, vendors and shoppers come from all over the world to sell, swap and shop for everything and anything that one might possibly need in both the jewelry making and lapidary industry. There are about 40 different gem shows during this time (not counting all of the street and tailgate opportunities). For those of you who think you cannot attend because you are not yet a business, I believe that only 9 of these shows are ‘wholesale only’. That leaves more than 30 shows you can visit!

There are a lot of reasons to attend, even if just for a few days:

  • Escape from the cold weather where you live. (Obviously a plus for some of us.)
  • Find new supply sources and meet vendors personally. Don’t you just love being able to touch, feel and see the real colors of a product before you buy it? Here also, is an opportunity to purchase directly from a company with no middleman!


  • Collect new product catalogues and coupons. While there, you can pick-up a variety of free magazines and catalogues from various sources, scattered throughout the shows. (I know I use my Tucson show Guide as a resource for years after!)
  • Network with others in your particular medium and meet professionals in all fields of jewelry making and lapidary arts.You never know with whom you might be sharing a lunch table, in a crowded courtyard. (I usually come home with a minimum of 50, new contact business cards.)


  • Checkout brand new products and equipment; investigate a variety of jewelry and lapidary procedures and watch live demonstrations. The latest in gizmos and gadgets for the industry are always in Tucson in February. Watch as the inventors themselves demonstrate, and get a good deal if you decide you need whatever it is.
  • Take a class. Tired of shopping and walking? Take a break and take a class! The top in their field of various jewelry making procedures will be demonstrating and teaching in Tucson. Although most classes are ‘scheduled’, at the Jogs show, we teach ‘on demand’. To find out more about our International Teaching Team and the classes we are offering this year: https://www.jogsshow.com/beading_classes.htm or just stop by and say Hello!



  • Shop, shop, shop!! Oh my goodness! The variety of items for sale is way too many to list – just imagine anything and everything you have ever seen in a jewelry-making catalog and more, like awesome tie dye and eclectic gift items. (How about an 8-inch tall, unicorn’s horn carved from selenite?)


  • Visit Wire-Sculpture! Members of Wire-Sculpture.com will be manning a booth at the Jogs Show this year, talking with YOU, taking orders, and offering wire, tools, DVDs and more. They are also proud sponsors of the 2010 Jogs Jewelry-Making Classes. https://www.jogsshow.com/index.html

>There are a lot of great articles on-line, with ideas about what to and not to do, to get ready for your Tucson experience. Here are my personal suggestions, that may help to make your first Tucson experience a bit easier and more fun.
If you are a home jewelry business:

    Pre-register for shows https://www.jewelryshowguide.com/event/results.php

  • Make and carry small copies of your resale document and/or business license (vendors appreciate being able to keep a copy for their records and it makes purchase paperwork quicker)


  • Make a list of the supplies you need to find
  • Make a list of the things you would like to have. Carry at least 100 business cards!

  • Use the Shuttles! From the airport to every show venue, hotels and back again, there are several shuttles that run constantly throughout the shows. Save having to find and pay for parking, traffic and dealing with the fact that I-10 is still closed from one end of the city to the other.
  • Bring a badge lanyard (if you have one). Personally, I just find it easier to have one lanyard to which I attach all of my badges so I don’t have to worry about having the right one on for the right show.
  • Leave pets and small children at home. You will be doing a lot of walking, chairs are limited, it can get really hot, and a real concern: port-a-johns.

  • Bring a backpack (rocks get heavy!)
  • Bring a box of zipper style sandwich bags. I don’t know about you, but if I don’t take a few minutes to record my purchases as soon as I can, I’ll never do it! Therefore I individually bag each item along with its’ receipt, every night.
  • goodies

  • Bring a maker, pen and a small notebook. To help me stay as close to my budget as possible, while shopping for things I need I often see things I want; so I carry a small notebook and pen with me to be able to write down what I saw and where. Also, sometimes great deals are made with cash and do not have receipts, so I make a note for my records
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing (maybe bring a hat). Oh yes, like any type of event, you will see many ‘fashion statements’. They are fun to watch, but I prefer not to be one. I am more comfortable in my jeans, boots and t-shirt, and I always have a straw hat, because walking around in the Arizona sun will burn this winter-white skin! Remember that you will be on your feet for hours! Unless attending a special event, I also advise against wearing lots of expensive jewelry, as unscrupulous individuals are always looking for opportunities.
  • Carry gum, mints and a granola (or similar) bar, and Band-Aids


  • Do bring one dressy-casual outfit. You never know when you’ll be invited of one of the many, special parties and events being held all over town!


  • A light jacket is a must as it does get rather chilly in the evening.
  • And of course your camera, but be sure to ask permission before taking a picture of a display!

With all of the shopping, dealing, walking, rich foods, etc, I think it’s important to take a few hours for rest and relaxation. A nice drive into the desert is always re-energizing for me (and stopping to look for agates is about a must!)


See you in Tucson ~ stay ‘twisted’!!



  1. Pingback: Visit the Gem Shows in Tucson! | Jewelry Making Instructions

  2. avatar

    Handmade Jewelry by Peggy Li

    January 21, 2011 at 7:35 pm


    thank you so much for the Tuscon show tips! I will be traveling there for the first time to experience it, after ten years of being in the handmade jewelry biz! I can’t wait, but it looks like it can be so overwhelming.

    I’ll try to blog about my adventures too: http://blog.peggyli.com


    • avatar


      January 21, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      Hey Peggy – this can be an overwhelming experience if you are not prepared. The best thing to do is to get a copy of the show guide, sit down for a cup of coffee somewhere and ‘plan your attack’! I do recommend trying to buy what you need first – and then what you would like. I look forward to meeting you!!