Denver Show 2011 The Denver show in Colorado USA is held every year in September. It is regarded by many as the ‘little brother’ of the Tucson gem and mineral show. I have wanted to see this show for many years just to see what it is like and how it compares. This short article is a simple report for anyone that has had similar thoughts. My opportunity presented itself this year. An invitation came from a close friend of mine for many years, Jose Nunes. Several years ago Jose ran a wholesale crystal business in Australia called the ‘Brazilian Emporium’. He is now living and running a new business in French Town, New Jersey. (Visit www.twobuttons.comfor a really interesting site). Here was my chance to catch up, see his business and spend a few days at a show I really wanted to explore, with the very best of company.
There are ten independently run shows. Four of these are under the one roof at the Denver Merchandise Mart and two at the Denver Coliseum. The others are not so far away but a rented car is needed or the use of a taxi. In any case, all shows are easy to find and most are open to the general public. Registration is required at two ‘wholesale only’ shows.
Accommodation is not a problem. There are many fine motels and eating locations in downtown Denver and all relatively close to the shows. Although the various locations open over a ten day window the bulk of the venues run simultaneously within a four day period. Unlike the Tucson show it is possible to see all the shows at a relaxed pace in this four day time frame. There are around 800 vendors (compared to over 4000 at Tucson). There is a really good mixture of mineral, fossil, gemstone and jewellery dealers. Many of the dealers attend both shows so there were many old friends to catch up with. Most dealers were USA based with a scattering of international dealers who attend the Tucson show as well. Mineral and fossil enthusiasts were particularly well looked after and this is the main strength of the show. Probably half the vendors were catering for this market and specimens in every price range were available. So many OOHHH and ARRR specimens were on display and had my camera battery not gone flat, I could have included pictures of the ones that tickled me. I really wanted to see the menu first then return to photograph the best. However that was not to be and you will just have to take my word. It takes a lot to get the OHH-ARR rating and it is good to report there were many specimens that reached this level. The rock and lapidary component was ‘predictable’. Many of the dealers I knew from Tucson and the material was mostly the same. Curiously though, I found some Kyanite from a new deposit in Pakistan fascinating. This material was both blue and green at the same time and totally natural. The jewellery and gemstone dealers were also ‘predictable.’ Although there was little new material, most tastes were well represented and all price ranges catered for. There is no doubt Tucson is a far better show for this section of the industry but Denver still offers plenty. In conclusion we were definitely rewarded for the few enjoyable days spent hunting around the Denver show incorporating the most exciting industry in the world. For anyone interested this show will hold many pleasurable surprises. In 2012 the show focuses between the 14th and 16th September. The theme of the Denver Gem and Mineral Society will be Copper minerals.