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Be sure to check out my other great posts about planning your trip to the Tucson Gem Show here!
The G & LW show is located on the south end of Tucson, not far from Electric Park/Kino Sports Complex. This show primarily consists of two large tents set up in an “L” shape.One half of the “L” is a tent that consists of a wide variety of beads, imported items, carved stones and gift items. This is the tent that I am generally more interested in, as I am usually looking for stones to do massage with (ie: polished stones) and gift items.
The other tent at the Gem Mall/G & LW show is mostly filled with beads and jewelry making items, so if you are in need of these things, this is a great place to go (we have found some great deals on beads here in the past.) I am not a jewelry maker, so I spend less time in this tent.
The G & LW/Gem Mall show is one of the best places to get your wholesale badges if you are eligible for them (you generally need to have a business ID to get wholesale pricing), especially if you are traveling with a group as you can get multiple badges at once. You can even register online for them ahead of time and save yourself a little bit of hassle waiting in the line. For this reason, this can be a good first stop.
For buying carved healing stones, this should be a secondary stop. One of the main reasons that we stop here is to go to Natural Gems Company to buy small carved animals to give as gifts. They also have good prices on small pouches, chakra stone sets and Pi stones (small, doughnut shaped stones). They also have these great little wands that make wonderful gifts and do great work on the face!
If you have time once you are done with the two large tents at the G & LW show, you can venture into the tents that are behind it. These tents also have a good, eclectic mix of items including jewelry, beads, carved healing stones and imported items including singing bowls. These tent stretch all the way to the Holidome/Holiday Inn (we went to the Holidome show one year and discovered that there wasn’t much there that was directly of interest to us as healers, but they do have a vendor in the lobby that has a great selection of jewelry findings and supplies.)
- Parking: Free and plentiful! The parking lots here are very well organized with people directing traffic and golf carts circle around to help you get to and from your car. The gem mall is also well connected to the shuttle system, making it easy to leave your car here and use the shuttles to get around for the day (we prefer driving to each place, because it makes if easier to drop items in the car if your rolling bag is getting too full!)
- Food: There is a food court at the corner of the gem mall tents with a good selection of food items.
- Bathrooms: There are porta potties only here, located near the food court. If finding a real bathroom is important to you, the closest one is probably in the Holiday Inn Hotel located behind the gem mall.