2022 – The Year of Fluorescent Minerals


Announcement from the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society

Subject: 2022 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®

May 1, 2021

Dear Guest Exhibitor,

In 1955, the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society (TGMS) put on the first Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® in a grade-school cafeteria. From such humble beginnings sprang what is now collectively called the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase, which occupies over 50 venues around town from mid-January through mid-February. [In case you’ve missed it in all the hoopla surrounding the commercial shows, our Show, the Main Show, takes place in the Tucson Convention Center.] The Tucson Showcase is by far the world’s largest gathering of gem, mineral, fossil, meteorite and related earth science collectors, dealers and museum scientists. The Arizona Department of Tourism estimates it annually brings about $130 million dollars to the Tucson economy making it our biggest tourism-related event. TGMS takes parental pride in the economic/commercial juggernaut the Showcase has become, but we remain a local, volunteer-based, non-profit, Earth-Science education-focused group open to all comers. [Please visit www.tgms.org for more info.]

Our Show is TGMS’s annual gift to Tucson...it is the only show by and for Tucsonans and we are extremely grateful for the support we have always received from our community. We hoped and planned for the best during these difficult days of COVID-19 but find events have conspired to force us to the painful decision to take 2021 off and focus on bringing things back at a higher level in 2022! As members of the Tucson community, we feel we should explain the reasoning behind this decision while emphasizing our full support for the remainder of the 2021 Tucson Showcase in whatever form it takes.

First, our Show is much different from the rest of the Showcase. We are the public show with a unique combination of exhibits, school children visits, educational programs, scientific networking and family outreach. We annually create a world-class museum that magically disappears forever after just four days. Our equally enthralling “gift shop” includes a cadre of superb retail gem, mineral, fossil, meteorite, book and jewelry dealers, who complement the exhibits. This unique combination sets the TGMS Show apart from all the other shows in town.

Second, we expect that our Show dazzles everyone with displays of exquisite minerals, gems, jewelry and fossils brought by the worldwide Mineral and Gem Community. Restrictive COVID-19 travel policies of 2021 meant many of our major domestic, and most of our international museum exhibitors and friends either won't or can't travel here. This effectively eliminates both our exhibits and educational programs.

In 2021 COVID-19 related risks clearly make it impossible for TGMS to put on anything more than a shadow of our accustomed vibrant event. So, we’ve decided that it makes more sense to conserve our resources and apply them towards a Blockbuster 2022 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®. We promise to pull out all the stops to bring you an unparalleled group of eye-popping fluorescent mineral exhibits, colorful minerals and gems from around the world, and some special surprises to shake everyone out of their post-Covid lethargy!!! See you in 2022!

Les Presmyk: TGMS President
Peter Megaw: TGMS Show Co-Chair
Richard Gottfried: TGMS Show Co-Chair
Patricia McClain: Executive Manager



The FMS will be participating in the 2022 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®.  We will be updating the below information soon.



What is TGMS 2022?  TGMS is short for the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®. The show is the main event for the more than 40 individual rock/gem/mineral shows that come to life every February in Tucson, AZ.

Why should I be interested in the 2022 show? The Fluorescent Mineral Society (FMS) celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021. In recognition of this milestone, the TGMS has invited the FMS to feature fluorescent minerals at its fluorescent themed 2022 Show and will be providing space for the FMS to organize a world-class exhibit of fluorescent minerals.

When is the Show? The 2022 TGMS will run for 4 days from Thursday, Feb. 10th, through Sunday, Feb. 13th. Regular show set-up will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 9th. However, we are requesting a special exemption from the TGMS to allow us to utilize  Saturday, Feb. 5th as an additional set-up date. Take-down occurs immediately after the Show, which closes on Sunday, Feb. 13th at approximately 6:00. The exact time depends on how long it takes Security to clear the exhibit area after the show closes.

Where? The Show takes place at the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona.

Who will be putting this display together?   The FMS created a 2022 Planning Team last year to organize and stage the display. The Team is well into the execution of show plans and has been working with the TGMS Committee for more than a year to finalize all the details.

Who will be displaying at this event?  We hope you will….along with dozens of your fellow fluorescent collectors.

Will it be a large display?  We anticipate that it will approach the size of the previous FMS display at the 1996 TGMS where 78 cases of fluorescent minerals were on display. We currently have 65 cases committed for the display with another 10 in the application stage.

Application? You have to apply to display?  Yes, we do need to know who you are…so the application only consists of submitting an “Exhibitor Form” that provides us with your information, the rocks you plan on displaying and what display equipment you have available. A completed exhibitor form is required for each display (case). The Exhibitor Form is currently not available on the FMS website, however, a quick form request via e-mail to tucson2022@uvminerals.org  will get you everything you need to be a part of the big show.

Do I need my own display case and lights? That is the preferred alternative, but we recognize that not everyone will have, or be able to bring his/her own display case and lights. A limited number of display cases, liners, risers, and lights will be available at no cost. Since these items are limited they will be made available on a needed basis. If you have a spare case or two, or lights, please let us know so they can be added to the available inventory to assist others.
Can I use my own custom case? Tables will be set up to accommodate standard display case, which have a 2’ x 4’ footprint and are at least 2’ high. A limited number of 30” (2.5’) cases are also expected. Cases that meet these specifications will generally be accepted. We are striving for a reasonably consistent overall “look” for the exhibit, but there will be some flexibility in terms of rectangular cases vs tent cases (with sloped fronts, sometimes called Federation or Cincinnati cases). We will try to accommodate custom cases with exceptional displays.

I have a few really good specimen but haven’t acquired enough yet to fill a full case. Do I have to have enough specimens to fill a case to display? That would be preferential since full cases are easier to work with than individual specimen. However, we will be adding “community” cases if there are sufficient specimens available to properly fill a case. Our preference would be to focus these cases on similar geographic/species specimens (minerals of Canada, Africa, fluorites, etc.) but we will try to provide an opportunity for you to show your best if your collection is not massive.

I’d like to display but am hesitant because I have never displayed before and I am worried that my case will not fit in or be laughed at since it might be considered inferior alongside, and compared to, what you refer to be “world class” specimens. No one will laugh at your display. And if you have never displayed before, this is an excellent opportunity to add your display to the dozens of others in this unique event. We all started with limited specimen and all have varying time in the hobby so the quality of specimens will vary, so displays will vary. Yes, we anticipate there will be some exceptional displays and we want to elevate the show material to the best available, however, not all displays can be the “best”. Displays will be evaluated based on its contribution to the overall display and conformity to the quality expectations of the TGMS Committee.

Can I show fluorescent items other than minerals? We generally expect displays to consist entirely of minerals. An exception may be made for items that are an integral part of a mineral display and are directly linked to at least one mineral in the display. It is possible that the exhibit will include a small number of “eye catching” or educational displays that contain fluorescent items other than minerals. Contact a member of the Tucson 2021 FMS Planning Team (see address above) if you are planning a display that will include fluorescent items other than minerals.

Can I display if I am not a member of the FMS? You do not have to be a member of the FMS to enter a display (or displays) in this special exhibit of fluorescent minerals. However, we do urge you to join the FMS because we think the benefits of membership, such as this show, along with the publications, chapter support, and informational sources support a choice for membership. Visit the FMS website (www.uvminerals.org) for more information.

How do I get my stuff to Tucson? Will someone look after it when it arrives? You have several options for getting your minerals, display cases, lights, etc., to Tucson:

  • You can hand carry their minerals or find someone else to carry them for you.  Or you can ship them via USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.
  • There will be a central receiving point in Tucson (possibly two). We expect to have local folks to handle logistics. Similar arrangements will be made for cases and display lights.
  • We are currently working on the possibility of having several collection points around the country where minerals, cases and displays can be dropped off for transport to Tucson.
  • And then there is always the Hogwarts Express . . . .
  • You will have to make similar arrangements to get your stuff back home after the show closes.

Do I have to be concerned about the security of my display/materials if I exhibit?  No, there will be professional security at the show before and during the exhibition. This security is of a level to be satisfactory to the Smithsonian to guard some of its most valuable displays. Your minerals will be safer on display in Tucson while in their case than in your own home! We will also have security while items are under our care, from the time we receive them in Tucson until set-up and again from take-down until they are in the care of others on their way home.  We will also be investigating the feasibility of obtaining insurance to cover the loss of, or damage, to your possessions in the event of an unforeseeable event

Do I have to be present for the entire show?  As noted, the mains (TGMS) show will run for four days. You do not need to be present except as required for set-up and take-down of your display. If you cannot be present for either set-up or take-down, you will need to arrange with someone else to act on your behalf. Ideally, you should choose someone you trust, but we can provide assistance if available. You should work with one of the Solicitors/Liaisons to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

What do I do if I have a hiccup with my display such as broken or burnt-out bulb, poorly fitting or missing liners or risers, etc.?  We expect to pair each exhibitor with someone to contact in case such glitches occur.  Ideally, that person will be the Solicitor/Liaison (S/L) identified on the bottom of each display form. The S/L is expected to know the process well enough to handle nearly any difficulty that might occur.

I’m Interested. But there are a few more details which would help me (and I bet others) commit to displaying. If I still have some questions, where can I get more information?  We are aware that there are a lot of moving parts to this venture and every possible question can’t be answered here. Going forward, we'll provide additional information/guidelines to exhibitors as more information becomes available and details are worked out with TGMS. If you need more information, or have a specific question now, feel free to contact the Committee Chair at al@uvminerals.org or contact or any member of the Tucson 2022 Planning Team at tucson2022@uvminerals.org . Additional information can be found on the FMS website.

We think this display will be an exciting and fun venture. It is a great opportunity to expose the public to the wonder and beauty of our hobby and assist the FMS in increasing its exposure to the world. We hope that you will decide to be a part of the opportunity to create one of the largest fluorescent mineral displays in history…and we would not be offended if you helped us make it the largest ever…