Going to Tucson in Spring is a gem and bead lovers paradise. Well worth the two-day drive for me...and leaving at the crack of doom.

Getting there is half the fun. The scenery is a bit different from what I'm used to. No redwoods, oaks, or eucalyptus in Arizona!

The weather is usually warm and clear, but occasionally some rain threatens (warm and a bit humid). No one notices. They are too busy shopping for rocks!

There are some amazing crystal specimens.

There are some amazing fossils, too.

There are amazingly lovely stones, but you have to beware. These are toxic. I always google a new stone to find its attributes, its hardness (if it's too soft, it can't be set), and any other little interesting tidbits...like toxicity!

Not all stones are what they appear. These were labeled as "Goldstone Rough", but goldstone is actually a manmade glass. Do your research...even if it is with your smartphone on the spot. Know what you're getting.

The cabs below were a haul from one booth, but only a fraction of what I purchased during my visit.

Keep in mind that there are hundreds of sales booths in dozens of venues. One building may take me all day. There is no way to see it all. You just have to keep going back year after year!


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