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Barber Salutes Tucson Gem Shows on Congressional Floor

Feb 12, 2014 4:28 PM   By Ron Barber
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Press Statement: Congressman Ron Barber, who represents the 2nd District of Arizona, including Tucson, issued the following speech in recognition of the Tucson Gem Show.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 60th Annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show -- the largest gem and mineral exhibition in the United States and an event that has set the standard for such shows around the world. The show, which will be held this year from February 13 to 16, has been hosted for the past six decades by the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society Inc.

The show began as a club show and today is dedicated to presenting extraordinary mineral, gem, fossil, lapidary and jewelry exhibits that provide a rare window into private and museum collections from around the world. The theme of this year's show is ``60 years of Diamonds, Gems, Silver and Gold'' and will feature a display of diamonds from the Smithsonian Institution. As a result of interest generated by this long-running show, dozens of satellite shows have proliferated throughout the Tucson area -- bringing with them gems, minerals, fossils, meteorites and other items from around the world.

This weeks-long collection of events has become known as the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase and attracts thousands of participants, enthusiasts and buyers from across the globe. During the showcase, Tucsonans and visitors find everything from rare diamonds to boxes made of petrified wood. There are dinosaur skeletons, loose stones, jewelry, African art, beads, polished stones, minerals and gifts of every description.

None of this would have happened without the vision and the hard work by members and volunteers of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society Inc., which remains dedicated to promoting the study of earth sciences. I am proud to recognize the organization and its members including its president, Diane Braswell, and vice president, John Callahan. Its other officers are Marilyn Reynolds, Ellen Alexander, Alrene Hibben, Madison Barkley, Mark Marikos, Bob O'Donnell, Mark Ascher and Robert and Elaine Royer. The chairman of this year's show is Paul Harter. I am proud to recognize the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society Inc. on the occasion of its 60th Annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.

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Tags: congress, ron barber, Tucson gem show
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