The Arkenstone in Bloomberg Businessweek
Feb 21, 2015
Early each year, Tucson becomes a mecca for many of the world’s leading collectors and dealers of minerals and gems. For several weeks leading up to the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show at the convention center, dealers set up shop in tented parking lots, motels, and hotels, pushing beds aside to make room for their wares. The Tucson show started more than 60 years ago, and now almost 55,000 people visit annually, according to the local tourism board. Over the years, it’s expanded from hobbyists to include curators, collectors, and investors. “This has changed from a hobby to an asset class,” says Rob Lavinsky, owner of iRocks.com, which also has galleries in Dallas and Shanghai. “There was not a huge resale market, but now it’s huge.” Lavinsky spends his time at the show educating new buyers and setting up private viewings, even if they are in a hotel bathroom. —Karen Weise
View the complete article with additional photos at Bloomberg Business.
Originally published February 13, 2015.