Many of the 2021 Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase's activities were cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus, but this year much of the luster has returned.
Thousands of dealers, exhibitors and visitors have been visiting southern Arizona since late January and many will be exploring, buying or selling their unique wares until mid February.
The showcase is the collective name for various shows which are dispersed throughout the community.
These include the Pueblo Gem and Mineral Show, where Florida-based Jeffrey Berk is exhibiting sparkling South American specimens at the Ramada Wyndham Hotel on Cushing Street just west of I-10.
"I'm showing Bolivian amethysts and I have some amazing quartz crystal that was mined accidentally while discovering gold in Boyacá, Colombia," he says.
The main attraction, he adds, are the three large clusters of amethyst from the Anahi Mine in Bolivia.
"Some of the individual points are up to eight inches across within the mass itself."
Berk says the clusters weigh 1,682 pounds, 1,600 pounds and 1,500 pounds and it cost thousands of dollars to transport them from their native home in Bolivia to Miami, FL and then to Tucson.
The Arizona Department of Tourism estimates the economic impact from the annual event is more than $100 million, and Berk is not surprised.
Not even counting the cost of their natural treasures, he says dealers can spend tens of thousands of dollars on storage, transportation, lodging, exhibition spaces and other needs.