Sunday, December 28, 2014

Talking About Quartzsite? Make it a Day Trip For the Entire Family!

The Quartzsite Shows are definitely varied enough that you could bring your family with you and make a Day Trip out of it --- especially if you are an RV-er.  There is plenty of dry camping available in the area

...but what are the kids going to do while you're buying gemstones?  The Quartzsite EZ-Guide has your answer!

The talented Jewelry Artist and Carver, Helen Serras-Herman wrote a fabulous article for our Quartzsite EZ-Guide that tours you through some of the historic towns in the area.  Here is just a the complete article on our website at:

#QUARTZSITE - The Best Kept Secret of West Coast Designers


Quartzsite, Arizona, everyone from amateur lapidaries, to the finest gem cutters know the shows - it is also the best kept secret of West Coast Jewelry Designers! 

In fact several of the "HOT" gem finds in Tucson debuted in Quartzsite first!

The show, like the town have a laid-back atmosphere,  Quartzsite lies about 18 miles east of the Arizona-California border, a quiet town of little over 3,000 year-round residents. That population explodes during the showcase and swapmeet (Jan.-Feb.), making Quartzsite a vibrant outdoor desert shopping mall. About 2,000 vendors from all over come to Quartzsite to sell virtually anything and everything, including serious dealers (about 400) of rocks, minerals, gems, fossils and jewelry. 

There are four shows that are strictly gem, mineral and jewelry related: Desert Gardens Rock, Gem & Mineral Show; QIA Pow Wow Gem & Mineral Show; Prospector's Panorama; and Tyson Wells Rock & Gem Show. Prices are notoriously cheap — compared to Tucson, where costs for many of the same items tend to be quite higher. All shows have free admission and parking — though very difficult to find — and no registration is required.

Check out the Quartzsite EZ-Guide now - plan ahead!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014



Shortly after Xpo Press began publishing the first Tucson EZ-Guide in 2004 we made a commitment to our advertisers and readers to never become like the incumbent show guide that had been distributed in Tucson for years — too big and bulky for ads to be seen and for show-goers to use while they're at the show. (This is why it's called the "EZ" Guide, short for "Easy" to use, read, and see the ads — as a good show guide should be.)

We promised to never exceed 200 pages and we promised that the number of ad pages in our Guide would never exceed the number of pages with editorial content about the shows (so, never more than 100 pages of ads). Our first EZ-Guide in Tucson was just over 100 pages total, and, honestly, it was hard to imagine back then that we would ever grow to a 200-page book! But in 2013, the 10th edition of the Tucson EZ-Guide went over 200 pages, and so did the 11th edition in 2014. We had grown rapidly, yet we had to keep our commitment. Problem was — albeit a good problem — new advertisers were calling us weekly desiring to get in to Tucson's best, most engaging, easiest to read show guide, which was also the most affordable to advertise in. To keep our Guide under 200 pages we had three choices: 1) Turn away new advertisers, 2) Raise our ad rates so only a limited number of advertisers could get in (and probably lose many of our longstanding advertisers), or 3) Take advantage of the natural distinction between the types of shows, dealers and buyers who do business in Tucson and customize two separate show guides to meet these diverse cultures' distinct needs. This distinction has always been palpable in Tucson: For the most part, buyers and sellers of minerals and fossils do business at the shows that feature minerals and fossils; buyers and sellers of jewelry and beads do business at the jewelry and bead shows. Xpo Press is launching a long overdue show guide concept that will make the the annual Tucson Gem & Mineral Showcase experience much EZ-er for everyone!

The two Tucson EZ-Guide editions both have a 25,000 circulation (for a combined 50,000 circulation) and are distributed side-by-side on custom-made, two-column racks at all the Tucson shows, at the Tucson International Airport, on the shuttle routes, and at select local businesses.

The "Black Book" (Rock, Mineral & Fossil Buyers Edition)

The Black Book publishes detailed show information 
for 23 Tucson gem shows where the products sold by 
their vendors are over 50% mineral, fossil, rock, rough, 
and/or gemstone related. However, every Tucson show 
vendor will be published in both books with their show 
locations published.

These are the shows covered in the "Black Book":

The "White Book" (Gem, Jewelry & Bead Buyers Edition)

The White Book publishes detailed show information for 17 Tucson gem shows where the products sold by their vendors are over 75% gem, jewelry, bead, findings, and/or gemstone related. However, every Tucson show vendor will be published in both books with their show locations published.

• African Art Village
• AGTA GemFair™
• American Indian Arts Expo
• Best Bead Show
• G&LW Show / Gem Mall
• G&LW Show / Holidome
• GBM Show
• GJX Gem Show
• JCK Tucson
• JOGS Gem & Jewelry Show
• JG&M Expo / Michigan Street
• JG&M Expo / Simpson Street
• The Gem & Jewelry Show on Grant
• To Bead True Blue
• Tucson Bead Show
• Tucson Glass Art & Bead Show

Two editions make sense for show-goers and buyers
Now, the two distinct Tucson Show cultures — mineral and fossil folks, and jewelry and bead types — can pick up a specialized gem-show guide and find only their type of shows and only the types of dealers they want to do business with. Before now, jewelry or bead buyers who used a show guide had to leaf through dozens (even hundreds) of pages of information and ads that had nothing to do with the products they came to Tucson to buy. Same with mineral or fossil buyers. Both cultures now have a guide where they can quickly locate the shows and vendors that they specifically want to deal with.

Two editions make sense for advertisers
Each book will have fewer pages than the one guide that Xpo Press published in recent years (the two editions will be about 130 pages each rather than the 200+ page book from years past). So advertisers' ads will be easier seen, and the ad rates are less expensive per book. So, for example, if a mineral advertiser only wants to be in the Black Book, they will pay less for their ad that will reach primarily mineral show buyers and attendees; rather than pay more for an ad in a guide that will be picked up by as many jewelry and bead buyers as mineral buyers. Conversely, jewelry and bead advertisers can choose to be in only the White Book, and for a lower cost, so their ad reaches primarily jewelry or bead buyers.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

#BreakingNews Eons Expos to Build Permanent Tucson Venue!

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT from Lowell Carhart of Eons are probably more familiar with him as the show promoter for the 22nd St. Mineral & Fossil Show as well as shows in New Jersey and Denver.

We've been working behind the scenes for four years with a stellar team of architects, bankers, brokers, engineers, investors, lawyers, lenders, Tucson officials, and my absolute favorite Tucson Ward Councilor to be able to finally make this announcement:  

On October 16, 2014, we officially acquired the 6.5 acre parcel of land at the corner of I-10 and 22nd Street in Tucson, Arizona for $1.6 million. (This is the site of our show) The deal is done. It could not have been accomplished without the support of my wife Miev, my sister-in-law Li, brother-in-law Cheng, my Darden Business School buddy Ramesh, family and new & old friends, and the spectacular A-Team comprised of Randy Emerson, Rob Paul, Ken Perry, Keri Silvyn, and Jim Whitehill. But all would have been for naught without Ward Councilor Regina Romero's vital support, who championed our proposal over that of our competitor who bid $138,000 higher but offered an uninspiring development plan. Our plan will let the City of Tucson boast of an iconic new 22nd Street Co-Op building that will become ground zero for the Tucson Mineral, Fossil, Gem & Jewelry Showcase for decades to come. 

We plan to break ground on the stunning $12 million 22nd Street Co-Op in February 2016.  The 150,000 sq. foot edifice will be comprised of (86) 20' x 40' selling rooms on the first two floors that dealers will own outright (structured as a business condo), while the top 3rd floor will be a year-round event space.  However, come gem show time, the top floor will host the high-end Annex of the 22nd Street Mineral & Fossil Show, which will also continue in its existing 100' x 600' tent.  Therefore, dealers will soon have a choice to own their venue in Tucson's premier location, or choose between renting a booth in the high-end top floor Annex of the 22nd Street Co-Op, or in the more affordable 22nd Street Mineral & Fossil Show tent.

Upon project completion there will be space for 500 dealers.  The sales office for the 22nd Street Co-Op will open in January in Tucson. More info to come!

Kind regards,
Lowell Carhart
Eons Expos, LLLP – Partner
22nd Street Land, LLC – CEO

Our Shows: (Dec 5-7, 2014) (Jan 29-Feb 15, 2015) (April 10-12, 2015) (Sept 12-20, 2015)

 Can you imagine what this will mean to vendors of larger items  - Geodes - Cathedrals - Metal Sculpture....etc.
"...dealers will soon have a choice to own their venue in Tucson's premier location, or choose between renting a booth in the high-end top floor Annex of the 22nd Street Co-Op, or in the more affordable 22nd Street Mineral & Fossil Show tent."
Current info on Tucson Show:
22nd Street Show on Facebook:

Monday, October 13, 2014



specializes in publishing Show Guides, not Jewelry, Bead, Mineral, or Fossil Guides. Our goal is to publish the best Show Guide (complemented by the best Show Website) that will most efficiently assist all of the show cultures participating in the event — the buyer, the seller, the show, and the new-to-the show neophyte. This is the reason we've succeeded in major gem show towns that already had guides before Xpo Press arrived — because we passionately care about the quality of the book (and our website) and their helpfulness to the show cultures, we visit (in person) with our largest as well as our smallest advertisers, and we strive to remain relevant as well as cutting-edge progressive. Although we have few competitors, we pursue excellence, accuracy, and advertisers like we have twenty!"

Brad Hicks, Xpo Press, in an e-conversation with Lowell Carhart, Eons Expos, August 25, 2014

Publishers and Owners - Brad and Nancy Hicks, Xpo Press, Inc.

 Marty Zinn and Regina Aumente should share much of the credit for our company's weird foray into gem show publishing. After a lunch we shared at El Rancho in Evergreen, Colo., I agreed to produce full-color guides for all of their gem, mineral and fossil shows. Looking back, as a result of that fateful meeting, a very ROCK-y direction was forged for our young company.

In February 2002, Xpo Press was incorporated in Colorado, and we were soon on our way to helping gem, mineral and jewelry shows and dealers everywhere advertise and sell their sparkly wares. Currently, Xpo Press publishes 14 Gem Show Guides — including the popular "EZ-Guides" — with a combined annual circulation of over 276,000 and distributed at the top Gem and Mineral Shows in the U.S.A., Asia and Europe.  AND our website is the most visited in the world by viewers searching for updated and accurate information about these kinds of shows — particularly the Grandaddy of them all, the Tucson Gem and Mineral Showcase in February.

Since that fateful meeting with Marty and Regina in 2002, we have been immeasurably fortunate that God has brought to the Xpo Press Team an unusually dedicated "staff of freelancers." We all work from our own home-offices — in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, and even England and Chile! Most of us own and operate our own businesses, we are a group of friends that supports one another, and each of us is gifted with a special skill set in our area of expertise. Most importantly, this team truly strives to live out a concept that we firmly believe in — Treating People Well. The success we've experienced at Xpo Press is a direct reflection of working diligently to fulfill that ideal every day. 

Our Team hopes that what our company publishes — both online and in print — is helpful to you and genuinely makes your gem show experience just a little "EZ-er."


Sunday, October 12, 2014

#GEMSHOWS - Denver Gem & Mineral Show 2014 Winners!

Denver Gem & Mineral Show 2014 

Winners in the Special Competitions

Winners of Competitive Exhibits: 

     Donna Chirnside Museum Trophy: 
               Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals 
               2nd Place: California Academy 
               3rd Place: National Museums of Scotland 

Individual Competitive Case Trophies: 

Minerals, Unlimited Size:
Lou and Diana Conti 
(Master - Worldwide Minerals)

Educational, General Audience Concept - Denver Gem & Mineral Society (Guild):
"Nada Diamonds" (Beta Quartz)

Educational, Other:  
Craig Hazelton 
(Advanced - Shadow Effects in Agates)

Self-collected, Unlimited Size Minerals from One State
Scott Luers (Novice - Wyoming)
Thumbnail Minerals, Any Type
Kent Havens (Novice - Worldwide Thumbnails)

Micromount Minerals from One State
Ron Knoshaug (Novice - Colorado)

Self-collected, Thumbnails from One State:
Ernie and Marilynn Hanlon (Master - Colorado)

Thumbnail Minerals, Any Type
Nick North (Master - Worldwide Thumbnails) 

Educational, General Audience Concept, Skill 
Keith Sheel (Master - Faceting)

Club Prospector Trophy: 

               1st – Colorado Mineral Society
               2nd – Littleton Gem and Mineral Club

Winners in the Special Competitions:
Best of Lapidary/Jewelry 
     Jody Sawdo (Agate Necklace)
Richard M. Pearl Trophy 

     Nick North (Azurite, Mapillas Mine, Mexico)
Best Fossil 
     Fred Olsen (Devonian, Kainops Trilobite, Oklahoma)

Prospector’s Trophy: 
               Steve Knox (Chalcedony Stalactites, New Mexico)
               2nd Place: Steve Knox (Chalcedony Rose, New Mexico)
               3rd Place: Bill and Mary Davis (Quartz Scepter, Crystal Park, Montana)

Junior Prospector’s Trophy: 
Shaeleene Kent 
(Aquamarine, Mt. White, Colorado)
2nd Place: Shaeleene Kent 

(Phenakite, Mt. White, Colorado)
3rd Place: Shaeleene Kent 

(Phenakite & Smoky Quartz, Mt. White, Colorado)

C. E. "Shorty" Withers Trophy:

              Joe Dorris and Family (Showcase of Amazonite & Smoky Quartz)
             WINNER: Brooks Britt  (following an appeal to the show committee, the decision was 
                                                     changed and Brooks Britt WON the 2014 C.E. Withers Trophy)
              3rd Place: Dale Gann
              4th Place: Keith Sheel and Sandy Walden
              5th Place: Tom Wodden

Brooks Brit - Montana Moss Agate


Photo Credits: Robyn Hawk and Gail Spann (via the Fabre Mineral Forum)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

#GemShow #Denver - Day Two - All About The #Prospectors

Got to the Coliseum just in time to dodge raindrops on the way in...I had chosen the Coliseum because I really wanted to cover the featured stars from the Prospectors Show on the Weather Channel...

I wasn't prepared for all of the amazing booths on the upper level...everything from Crystal Soaps to one of my favorite Sun Stone dealers and some gorgeous finished jewelry.

But - back on track - I headed downstairs to the main floor.  The Prospectors area was right at the bottom of the stairs and it was great to see that several cast members participated.

The Bussey boys were manning the the first section...with Amanda and Travis next and a fun inclusion was a small table for the Bad Boys of Cripple Creek...and at the end a booth filled with stunning gems and jewelry manned by Dwayne and Marsha Hall.

The customers had Dwayne hopping almost the entire time I was there...he had some really stunning gems!
If you haven't heard of the Bad Boys of Cripple Creek Mining, Inc., from their website:

"Bad Boys of Cripple Creek Mining Company is located in beautiful and historic Cripple Creek, Colorado. Originally established for gold mining in 1890, we produce a very unique type of natural turquoise for sale, in both rough and polished products.

Unlike many other mines and products, our turquoise is NEVER stabilized! It is much harder than other infamous turquoise locations worldwide. Our turquoise runs between 6. 7 and 7. 7 on the mohs scale of hardness, and is not dyed or treated in any way. It will scratch glass!"

Selection of goods from the Bad Boys of Cripple Creek, Inc.

Travis and Amanda had several exciting new finds in their booth see just a few below:

Hematite coated Smokey Quartz Crystals
More on this one coming later...

100% Colorado with the color of a Burma Peridot

Introducing "The Green Scream"
Next it was off to the Marriott for the last day of the Fine Mineral Show and in keeping with the day's theme a talk by Joe Dorris...

Joe Dorris with Show Promoter Dave Waismann

Stunning photos brought us right into the mine with the Dorris family...

Fabulous Specimens in the Pinnacle 5 room at the Fine Mineral Show

Thursday, September 11, 2014

#Denver #GemShow - Day One! The Premiere Denver Fine Mineral Show

The Fine Mineral Show at the Westward Look Resort is probably the most impressive show in Tucson and one of the major reasons for that is the show management - Dave and Kathy Waisman are true gems.  

So could they pull it off here?  Well - to quote my Geologist friend, Roni..."We have a Westward Look in Denver!"

First up Evan Jones' Unique Minerals expert in Arizona Minerals, Evan's room was awash in Azurite Blue!

Then a quick stop in the Pala Minerals room - and a great surprise both Bill and Will Larson were in....we got shots of some fabulous Quartz specimens and picked up a fun display idea!

We loved this idea of using Halite as risers for smaller pieces.
We wandered the show a little bit and my phone - which is now my camera started crashing and turning itself off - first day!  I guess photographing that massive JCK Las Vegas show was more than it wanted to do!

The lovely Brett and Allyce Kosnar allowed us to charge up in their room....oh did I mention that the Fine Mineral Show is a "hotel" show?  That means that the vendors are set up in the rooms at the gorgeous Denver Marriott West - so you walk down the hallways and there are vendor displays on both sides.

Where were we - ahhh - charging up in the Kosnar Gems room.  These are two incredibly talented artists...they work magic with gemstones....

The speaker for the day was Brian Kosnar, Mineral Classics - yes - Brett's big brother.  For their first Denver Show, the Fine Mineral Show featured an expert speaker each day.       
Today Brian talked about the big three mining regions of the San Juan Mountains, I never realized just how entrenched the Kosnar family is in the local mining industry....five generations in mining and mine ownership made for great information and wonderful stories.

Then it was back to the show!

In the Bergmann Minerals room we found this Amethyst beauty and I just fell in love with the way that Tourmaline sits in that Quartz....

...and finally, Valere Berlage's room was a vision in blues - from the magnificent Shattuckite that greeted you at the door to the lovely Azurites and associated minerals....and the young lady in the room was elegant and welcoming.  There were two exceptionally impressive pieces that came with their pedigree...