Tucson is Coming
It is the Greatest Show on Earth, from its humble beginnings in a livestock barn at the Pima County Fair Grounds this club show (Tucson Gem and Mineral Society) has grown for over 50 years to become THE big show of the year drawing miners, dealers, and customers from all over the Earth. From one venue it has become over fifty with new shows each year. The Tucson Chamber of Commerce has a website with show details for the two week period.
I began attending in the 1970s shopping the Desert Inn and another hotel before the Convention Center show opened. My budget was $500! After joining with Cal Graeber, we had a booth on the mezzanine of the Desert Inn for a few years while we waited for a spot to open in the TGMS event. Yes, in those days the show was not easy to get into because the building was faction of its current size. But, the wait was worth it and we have been there ever since, now in one of the largest booths.
In reality, Tucson begins early for dealers. We have been preparing stock for a month already. December is super busy, with year-end inventory to take, lab orders to finish for delivery, the holidays, and always some surprise to deal with. The latter could be anything from a series of blizzards, illness, or an unexpected acquisition of a new collection that needs processing!
We now arrive a few weeks early to be around to see foreign dealers' merchandize as they unpack and stay beyond the last show to visit with friends who have moved to Tucson, go field collecting, pay tourist, and even work on my Pickleball game.
While we are there we participate in three shows on consecutive weekend in widely separated locations. Fortunately we have day in between them to move, repack and set up. Yes it is exhausting, but it has become necessary to compete.
Our 2019 Tucson Show Schedule
February 3-5. The Just Minerals Event
at the Elks Lodge #385 at 1800 North Oracle Road at Lester.
This free event features eight high quality mineral dealers in a convenient venue for a "short sweet show" where all dealers offer wholesale prices to everyone. I warn you, the first few hours are packed with deal-hunting customers, so be prepared! This area has become a new hub of mineral activity with 4 other shows at our corner. You can use the Gem Show Shuttle and be dropped off or picked up at the Lester Street intersection right at our venue.
In addition to really good specimens, the Leonard Himes booth will also have below market pricedMineralogical Record magazine back issues. This a great placed to fill in the gaps in your collection of this important reference.
What we sell most of at this show is the inventory we have held for years to service our club shows around the country, but as I approach retirement and down size the business, I no longer need this quantity of merchandise. So the buyer benefits being able to buy individual specimens that were priced for retail years ago and are now available at half of the marked price! Come see for yourself, but you might have to elbow dealers out of your way.
When you are exhausted from shopping and smiling about your purchases, stop in the Elks Cafe for lunch, it has good food and very reasonably prices.
February 8-11. The Westward Look Fine Mineral Show
at the Westward Look Resort, 245 East Ina Road, in far north Tucson.
If you want to see the top dealers in the world displaying their very best, this is where you must be. Cal Graeber and I will be in our usual Graeber & Himes room (#306 at the top of the parking lot). We will be showing our highest quality specimens and latest acquisitions, of course.
We try to have the room open to the public around noon on set-up day, Thursday, Feb 7. This show does run through Monday, but you will find that many dealers start packing up early that day, so plan accordingly.
This year we will have an exclusive attraction, the World's First Showing of Amazing New Giant Almandine Garnets from Maine. Please see my Specimen Galleries page for a preview and background on the locality
Be sure to enjoy the special events at this show. Admission to all is free.
Saturday: "Collector Day" every year in the lobby of the resort from 10am to 4pm. This year, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County will be joining us. Aaron Celestian, Associate Curator and Alyssa Morgan, the Collections Manager will be in the lobby showing off the mineral collection and will be there to meet you.
Sunday: The "Sunday Evening Program" will be presented by Patrick Dreher, who will present "Dreher Carvings - The 5-generation Dynasty from Idar-Oberstein" in the Sonoran Ballroom. Social hour at 6:30pm and the presentation at 7:30pm. Everyone is welcome!! The American Heritage Mineral Award will be presented at the Sunday Evening event.
Stop the presses, a special event has just been announced for Westward Look. Major collector Gene Meieran is spearheading plans for a special SATURDAY NIGHT AUCTION Feb. 8 at 6 PM at Westward Look to raise money in support of the new Arizona Gem and Mineral Museum in Downtown Tucson. He is asking dealers at the show and private collectors, including himself, to donate high quality specimens. There will be a short program about the museum that is moving from the U of AZ campus to a fabulous and much larger historic courthouse in downtown Tucson, followed by the auction. Seating will be limited, but dealers will be given tickets to share with their favored customers. Dealers like me are also contributing cash to provide appetizers at the auction and there will be a cash bar.
This fine small-cabinet Bournonite on Quartz from China is from the collection of the late Peter Via. Peter was a customer and friend. He passed away earlier this month. It is my donation to the auction. It should bring $1-2000 even at a bargain bid. I hope everyone at the auction will be in a generous mood and not make "bottom feeder" bids. This is a charity event for a Wonderful cause. Bid high!
February 14-17. The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show
in the Tucson Convention Center downtown.
This is the truly do not miss event in Tucson! While there are great dealers and fun shopping for the two prior weeks, this grand finale is the only show with exquisite mineral displays from the top mineral collections in the world's best museums and from private collections. They will blow you away. Plus, there are first rate lectures by famous collectors and excellent food trucks at the back door seating area. The hall has top mineral, gem, fossil, book and other dealers, too. The Saturday night programs are fun, too.
Graeber and Himes' booth is filled with a range of minerals for every wallet. We also show Keith Graeber's wide selection of reasonably priced jewelry designs. We are at the end of the right side main aisle of exhibits and the door to the food trucks.
The show opens on Thursday to the public, but be warned that Friday morning swarms of school children are there on field trips, so you might want to have a relaxed morning elsewhere.
When we are at home in Monument, we invite collectors to make appointments to visit our showroom. Email is best, but the phone works, too.
We also make stops to see collectors as we travel, so let us know if you would enjoy a private showing or would like to share your collection with us. When we know your collection, we can better serve you with suggestions for specimens that would be good additions to it.
Later in the Spring of 2019 I will have a booth at the Denver Spring Show, the new "Houston" Show, and The West Coast Show (returning to Costa Mesa. CA). I will post details as the time approaches.
Leonard Himes Dealer in Fine Mineral Specimens
I conduct a major portion of my business at the most important shows across the US. Between shows and en route to them, I call on individual collectors. I can also arrange to have private showings for small groups of collectors.
In addition to shows, I host open house events from time to time and meet with collectors at my office-showroom by appointment.
My Show and Event Schedule