The southwestern states in the United States of America are known for their unique flair of jewelry and beads, resonating tones of the various centuries-old native American and South American cultures are clear influences in many of the jewelry vendors goods you can see every other block in most metropolitan city areas. In my own personal experience, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, there are some of the finest turquoise jewelry works that you can find. However, let’s focus on Arizona for now, because they, unbeknownst to me, have been one of the best places to go looking for fine jewelry the world over.
Located within the Radisson Suites (located at 6555 East Speedway Blvd, Tucson, Arizona) the Tucson Bead Show, (which takes up more than sixty thousand square feet of exhibit and workshop space with its 350 exhibits and approximately 400 workshops) is clearly one of the best places to find some of the finest beadwork in the nation. Some workshops have a small fee and some are close to $100, so the fee will vary depending on the quality and demand of the workshop. The Radisson Suites itself is an exceptional hotel, as its name implies, comprised entirely of suites and boasting both a spa and an oversized swimming pool for its guests, those who want to attend the bead show and also stay in the hotel are likely to have one of the most luxurious experiences in their lives. And for fine dining, there is the Breeze Patio Bar and Grill which is located right there in the hotel, which also provides a shuttle service that is complimentary for all of its attendees.
Now if you’re less interested in a bead show and more interested in a gem show, you can find one at the “Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase” (hailed as “The World’s Largest Treasure Hunt” and held this upcoming January 31st through February 15th, in 2015.) The gem show is comprised of over forty different sites around town with several thousand attendees and participants involved. You’ll find all sorts of interesting jewelry in this gem show, including products of gold smelting; all forms of glass beads and precious gems, and even dinosaur fossils. It seems more like an enormous convention of all sorts of precious artifacts and art work alike, than the humble showcase of gems that some might assume.
Let’s just enjoy one last look at something that we can argue is the original source of why we have these showcases. The glittering beautiful gems we find naturally formed in our own Earth. It makes you appreciate the planet and hope that we take better care of it in the future doesn’t it?
The above photos come to us courtesy of members of flickr.com
First image credit: Ken Lund.
Second image credit: Stephanie Gough.
Third image credit: Frank Kovalchek.