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  • Emma Parker

Welcome To The Gem Show

Updated: Apr 11, 2019


Treasure hunting is what we call it in our family. We scour thrift stores, antique malls, and gem shows for the newest treasure to add to our collection. We swoon over a chunky tortoise ring, live for a well-loved denim jacket that does the 80's justice, an old-timey camera or some other knick-knack that we obviously HAVE to HAVE.


And just like Disney caters to every child's dream, the Tucson Gem Show in Arizona does the trick for the treasure hunters. I am lucky enough to have an amazing aunt who resides in Tucson. Every year in January or February she sends us a text describing her latest purchase that could bring a treasure hunter like ourselves to their knees with envy. In doing so, she is hoping to inspire us to hop on a plane and scavenge our way through the numerous tents, tables, and displays alongside her. And as my sister Hannah and I found ourselves boarding a plane heading to Arizona for a week-long getaway... we can say our aunt's magic works.


It had been 20 years since I had been in the dry, colorful, mountain-clad oasis also known as Tucson, Arizona. I had three goals while visiting Tucson:

1. Find a something to add to my ring collection (the bigger the better)

2. Find something for Taylor (my lady) since she couldn't join (#TeacherOfTheYear)

3. Soak in as much sun as possible.

I'll skip ahead to the good part: The Gem Show. Let's just say it is unlike anything I've ever seen. Because we had booked our trip to arrive toward the end of the show, most of the treasures were discounted. On top of that, all are encouraged to negotiate a fair price. I'm setting you up for a real taste of true Emma-Parker-in-all-her-glory-kinda story, if you hadn't caught on.


So after trekking through countless booths for numerous hours on day one with my Aunt Tina, her friend Zondra and my sister Hannah, we came across a flock of tin birds that could be used to accentuate a garden... AKA the real catch-of-the-day.


I told my Aunt Tina, that if birds of a feather flock together, we gotta have those birds. I mean, simply put, they were fabulous. We would each have one in our garden reminding us of the great day we were having. After computing some quick math in our head, we knew that in order for us to get a deal, all four birds had to cost under $70. Knowing full-well I had this one in the bag, I set up all 4 birds. I called the nice woman working the booth over to our flock. Here is how our conversation went:

"Okay, we want to buy the whole flock. What is the best price you could do?" - Me, Prime Negotiator

"I could sell them to you for $60." - Kind Lady

"Hmm... how about we do $65?" - Me, Decent Negotiator

*Confused look on everyone's faces*

"I mean you can give me $65..." - Kind-of Kind Lady

*Strong realization on my part*

"Ah, crap! No $60 is great!" - Me, Negotiator-No-More

We bought the flock for $60. Thankfully for everyone's wallets, I didn't negotiate for anyone else for the remainder of the trip. The End.

















Have you visited Tucson? Drop me comment below and tell me your highlight from your visit. Or, post a picture of your favorite treasure from a recent trip to my Facebook Page! (Link below.)

Need a weekend getaway but can't get to Tucson? Take in your town from a new perspective like we did with our Campfire Experience.

All photos are taken by Emma Parker Photography.

For more information please contact Emma at eparker.photo1@gmail.com.

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