This year, Denver’s annual Gem and Mineral Showcase, comprised of twelve separate shows, was held from September 8-17th. With a wide variety of vendors, there was something for everyone. From dyed agate slabs and simple strands of freshwater pearls to rare fossils and trapiche gems, the diverse displays were almost as incredible as the pieces themselves. Here are a few trends and highlights from the show.

Purple Chalcedony (Grape Agate)

A recent find in Indonesia, purple chalcedony in botryoidal form took over the show. This material, actually marketed as “grape agate,” has a lovely form. High-quality specimens have a nice color and excellent sparkle.  Most of the material, however, is somewhat dull.


Another popular rarity, tanzanite’s blue hues could be seen on many tables. Most of the rough was small with poor color saturation. Due to Tanzania’s ban on tanzanite rough export, there are never many large rough gems. However, a few pieces, exported before the ban, made it to the show.

Trapiche Emeralds and Rubies

A small selection of extremely rare trapiche gems were on display. A few small, opaque trapiche rubies were available at the Artisan Jade booth at the Colorado Mineral and