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What to Know for Best Experience at Denver Gem & Mineral Show

Denver Gem Show:

Tips to Save Time and Cash – Michal & Company

When is the Denver Gem Show?

The Denver Show will be held September 11th – 20th, 2020

Thousands of people, from wholesalers and retailers to rock collectors and enthusiasts, scientists and students and people young and old, converge on the City of Denver.  For two weeks the Mile High City is aglow with sparkling gemstones and crystals of every imaginable shape and size.  You can absolutely feel the flowing energy of the stones, and I swear NASA cameras would be able to detect the flickering aura and luminescence of all the shimmery, glittery geodes, shining like an earthly star in the Rocky Mountains.

What is the Denver Gem and Mineral Show?

The Denver Gem and Mineral Show began in 1967 and has grown over the years into the second largest show in the United States, second only to the Tucson Gem Show held in February.  Denver boasts eight miles of tables and 500,000 square feet of covered space.  According to the show’s information website here, it’s bigger than three Walmart stores, and it’s a lot more fun!

What people call the Denver Gem and Mineral Show is actually thirteen separate shows featuring over 900 vendors and exhibitors, each displaying and selling gems, minerals, fossils, jewelry, and lapidary tools and supplies.  It’s hard to resist the allure, natural wonder, and energy healing properties of gemstones.  Rocks and minerals have held places of distinction since ancient times, and the fascination continues today.  The displays at the Denver show are especially famous.  There are diverse and varied exhibits including those of private collectors as well as local, regional and national museums.

Never assume that just because gem shows are fun that they are not serious.  Nature’s Art is not always something that can be had in stores, and determined buyers are known to show up with deep pockets.  According to the online news site gazette.com, it’s not unusual for people to spend tens of thousands of dollars or see items valued at up to half-a-million dollars.  For many vendors, the Denver show is their bread and butter for the year.

It seems natural that such a significant show would be held Denver, a city founded as a gold mining town in mid-19th century.  The gold quickly dried up in the region, and Denver soon became a supply hub for mining towns throughout Colorado.  Mining was the main economic driver in Colorado from the early days of the Pikes Peak Gold Rush, and it continues to this day.  In addition to gold and silver, Colorado mines like the Creede Mine are famous for its amethyst, aquamarine, rhodochrosite, beryl, and diamond gemstones.

Will I Get Altitude Sickness at the Denver Gem Show?

Denver is nicknamed the Mile High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile (5280 feet) above sea level.  Denver is beautiful, but there is nothing pretty about altitude sickness, which is caused by the lack of oxygen in the lower air pressure at higher altitudes. It generally affects people above 8,000 feet, but it can also affect people at lower elevations. If you have a history of altitude sickness or feel you may be susceptible to it, consider driving rather than flying to Denver.  Traveling to higher elevations slowly and avoiding overexertion for the first day or so until your body has a chance to acclimate to the altitude helps keep sickness at bay.  Be sure to eat smaller, more frequent meals for the first few days, and stay away from spicy foods.

If you are sick before the trip, check with your doctor before you travel, particularly if you are prone to altitude sickness.  What seems to be a small cold at lower elevations can become very serious at higher elevations. It’s super important to be 100% healthy at the start of your trip if you are even the slightest bit concerned about the altitude. Your lungs are already working their hardest to adapt to the thinner air at a higher altitude and any coughing and/or wheezing puts additional stress on your body. Use your best judgment, and if you’re unsure about whether it’s safe to go, please check with your doctor for advice.

Which Hotels are Close to the Denver Gem Show?

There are two preferred hotels with group rate booking for the 2019 show.  They are both DoubleTree Hotels, both on Quebec Street, and are located within a mile of each other, about 10 minutes from the show.  Click here for more information.  Hotel rooms get booked up quickly so book in advance.  If you want to save on lodging, try looking at AirBNB or VRBO.

Beware of the fast growing Craigslist vacation rental scam.  There are scammers that cut and paste photos and descriptions of vacation rentals and homes from other legitimate online vacation rental sites and price the homes much lower than advertised other marketing channels.  Be careful and remember, if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.

Do I need to Rent a Car for the Denver Mineral Show?

Even though Denver’s public transportation is easy, inexpensive and convenient and you can get pretty much anywhere in The Mile High City by rail or bus, having a car will afford you the most freedom.  If you fly to Denver, consider renting a car or a van if you plan on buying large quantity or big items.  At many shows you can park nearby and easily load into your car.  Hand carts are not uncommon, but it’s another thing to have to carry on the plane.  I’ve seen dealers who use roller luggage, filling it as they go from vendor to vendor, then transferring the items to the car when the luggage is full.

What Should I Wear to the Denver Mineral Show?

If you’re wondering what to wear in Denver, the answer is “keep it simple.”  Wear clothes that are comfortable.  Denver is a laid back city and people are casual.  Dress in layers and always have a sweater or jacket with you, just in case the weather changes quickly, which it often does.  Wear comfortable shoes – you’ll be walking A LOT!

Are there Markets or Grocery Stores close to the Denver Mineral Show?

Getting to a grocery store or market close to the Denver show can be problematic.  Go to Trader Joes or Sprouts Market as soon as you arrive and stock up.  Bring a pack to carry your treasures, water bottles and snacks.

Where Do I get a Wholesale Certificate for the Denver Show?

If you are a wholesale buyer, download the Tax Exempt Certificate, fill it out, and then make multiple copies. This will speed your tax-exempt wholesale transactions.

Are the Dates the Same for all Events at the Denver Gem Show?

Check the dates of the shows you want to see in advance.  Most of the show dates do overlap, but it’s best to check in order to avoid disappointment.  Check your favorite dealers on Instagram – most of the dealers with an account will post their schedule ahead of time.

Should I Visit Each Vendor Before I Buy at the Denver Gem Show?

When you see something you like, listen to your intuition and buy it!  Never assume another vendor will have the same item or be selling it for less.  And there’s no guarantee that the item will still be where you originally found it.  Chances are if you love it, others will too.  Avoid regret!

What Supplies Should I Have While Shopping at the Denver Gem Show?

Bring your own sharpies, stickers and baggies with you to mark and price your inventory right after you buy.  Keep track of the vendor you buy from, the price you paid and the amount you plan to retail.  It’ll save you time and headaches once you get home.  Exhaustion takes over sometimes, and it’s surprising how quickly we forget even important things.

How Do I Manage Shipping Items from the Denver Gem and Mineral Show?

Think ahead about any large items that will require pallets for shipping.  You can share pallets with someone else who is shipping to the same destination.  There are dedicated shipping vendors at the show.  We help our clients consolidate for shipping.

Also, if you do fly to Denver, you can always ship large and heavy stuff home.  Remember to bring shipping supplies – boxes, bubble wrap, tape, etc.  The post office has flat rate shipping boxes which is great for heavy smaller items.

How do I Find Bargains at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show?

The earlier you arrive in Denver, the better your chances of getting a “new find” at a reasonable price. If you arrive early, you have a better chance at finding genuine bargains before another buyer recognizes their “true” value.

As with any purchase, you will be able to negotiate a better price if you are purchasing a larger quantity.  But if you are buying just one specimen in a wholesaler’s room, don’t expect a big discount.

Also, if you stay until the end of the show and you drove to Denver (so you can carry home a big load), you can find great deals buying leftover stock from dealers on the last day of the show. Dealers may be motivated by not having to wrap and ship home leftover stock and offer significant discounts off normal prices.

What are Other Fun Things to do in the Denver Gem Show Area?

A visit to Red Rocks Park is one of the many fun things to do and see in Denver.  The red sandstone found throughout Red Rocks Park was formed about 290 million years ago and is breathtaking.  The Red Rocks Trail is great for a sunrise hike.   You can download a trail map here.

If you have time, you’ll want to visit the Mother Cabrini Shrine.  A 373 step stairway leads to the shrine site that includes a 22 foot statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Along the path there are benches and markers so you can rest and see how many stairs you have climbed. There are many places for prayer and a chapel where you can light a candle and offer intentions.  This is such a beautiful place.  Follow this link for more information.

For fun night-life check out Denver’s 16th Street Mall located downtown.  The Promenade is loaded with shopping, restaurants and attractions and has something for everyone in your group.  My personal favorite restaurant is Thai Basil on 18th Street.

More Denver sightseeing and visitor information can be found here

Enjoy your time in Denver.  It’s a beautiful city with many blessings.  Take a moment for gratitude and lots of pictures!

Come visit us at the show!  We will be located at the Denver National Stock Yard across from the Coliseum at the Denver Expo Show, 4655 Humboldt St, Denver.  We will be open during all showcase hours through September 14th.

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