Last time, I introduced you to what the Tucson Gem Shows are all about. Now that you've read more about them, are you ready to check out the "World's Largest Treasure Hunt" for yourself? Great!
I can't tell you how many times someone has said to me (in wishful tones) something like, "Oh, I've always wanted to go there…." , or, "It sounds like so much fun, but I've never been…", and I say to them, "Just go! It's amazing!". Doing a little planning ahead of time, however, is really to your benefit, and will help you to have a good Gem Show experience.
There is A LOT to see, so you should prepare yourself for a full day (or more) of crystal eye candy. To help you get the most out of your adventures there, I'd like to share my Top 10 Tips for shopping the shows like a pro:
- Comfortable clothing and closed toe walking shoes are NOT an option. You will be on your feet most of the time, going from booth to booth, and show to show, so being physically comfortable is really important. If the show you're attending offers a free shuttle, take advantage of it and leave the flip-flops, trendy heels, and tight jeans at home. Seriously.
- Bring water and snacks. You'll be so busy gawking at all the pretty rocks that it's easy to all of a sudden find yourself dehydrated or starving. The shows typically have food truck or restaurant options available for food and water, but having some with you during your shopping is a must for keeping your energy up
- Bring cash. Shopping at the Tucson Gem Shows allows you to purchase items at lower-than-retail prices, because many times you are buying directly from the miners, prospectors, and artists themselves. Most of the vendors will not take credit cards, so be sure to have cash on hand. Paying cash for your purchases also helps with bargaining, as sometimes dealers will accept a fair offer if you make one within reason. Most dealers also prefer cash because it will save them a processing fee, so don't rely on your credit cards to get you through the day.
- Make a list, and set a spending limit. Do not underestimate how easy it will be to get awestruck and distracted by the sheer amount of sparkly pretty things, and colossal-sized crystals. Shopping there can easily become frustrating and completely overwhelming, causing you to possibly miss out on items that you regret passing on, or to buy things that you later on wish you hadn't. Making a list (even just mentally), and setting a spending limit for the things that you are looking for will help you to stay focused.
- Don't buy the first thing you see. As you begin to work your way through the booths, you may find that what you are looking for is being sold by more than one vendor. Some people will do a quick walk-through at a show just to get an idea of what is available, and then go back to specific vendors to shop. Keeping a little notepad with you to jot down reminders and notes of things you've seen, along with their price and location, can be really handy. Also, taking a quick snap with your phone is a good way to remind yourself of what you've seen that catches your eye.
- Get grounded. If you're sensitive to the energy of crystals, getting and staying centered and grounded during your shopping adventure will be vital. The energy from all of the crystals and people at times can be quite intense. I make sure to wear jewelry or carry stones with me that help with grounding (like black tourmaline, hematite, or garnet). Be sure not to shop on an empty stomach, don't forget to stay hydrated, and sit down to take a rest if you need one. If you're tired, but want to power through just one more show, listen to your body, take it easy, and be gentle on yourself. Don't even think about trying to see it all at once.
- Don't forget a tote or shopping bag. I suggest to people that they use a cross-body bag to keep their hands free, and bring along an extra canvas or tote bag to carry their purchases. Some people prefer to bring a rolling suitcase for this instead, especially if they are staying there overnight. They just unpack their clothing, and bring the suitcase with them to shop.
- Plan when you're going to shop. The initial days of the shows will give you the best pick of the merchandise, if this is what you are interested in. If bargains are what you're after, waiting until the later dates of the shows may help you to get better deals, as the vendors want to sell as much as possible before the end of the show. Many of them will pack up their booths by the last day, however, so be mindful about waiting that late to shop.
- Use sunscreen and hand sanitizer. The sun in Tucson is strong, so if you're planning to be at a show located outside, you'll want to bring some sunscreen along with you, and a hat or sunglasses are a good idea as well. A lot of the crystals or other items you're going to be picking up and inspecting (or just oohing and aahing over) will be dirty, so it's nice to have some hand wipes or sanitizer with you, too.
- Set an intention. I find it really helpful to set an intention before venturing into the shows. Ask for Divine assistance to help you stay well and safe, have fun, and find exactly what you are meant to find at exactly the right price for you. Then just trust that it will be so, that all is well, and go have yourself a great time!
I hope I've inspired you to try the Tucson Gem Shows for yourself. If you go, tell us about your experiences. Maybe I'll see you there!
(Images from https://www.visittucson.org/)