Catch the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show Before They Leave on Sunday

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Ashley Bruno plays a signing bowl as Bill Duran watches at Riverpark Inn
  • NATHAN MITCHELL/EL INDEPENDIENTE
  • Ashley Bruno plays a signing bowl as Bill Duran watches at Riverpark Inn

Another one of the University of Arizona's School of Journalism Student Media classes produces South Tucson's bilingual monthly newspaper El Independiente. The first issue just came out, and you may pick up a copy from news stands around the city. You can find a stand nearest you here.

Story by Nathan Mitchell/El Independiente

Shoppers and spectators are welcomed into hotels and tent cities to see the natural wonders of the world. Objects for sale can be extravagant: a crystal chunk of purple and clear Kunzite for $34,000; a nest of 25 red and gray fossilized eggs set in a lit case with a note that reads “DO NOT TOUCH DINOSAUR NEST, $37,500.” But for the more frugal shoppers, there are beads, singing bowls, moon rocks and even a $25 stone tissue box.

Walking the halls of the hotels-turned-strip-malls is something like spinning a globe. At Hotel Tucson signs posted on the doors read: Austria, Russia, Tucson, Morocco, Peru, Tunisia, France, China and Czech Republic. The doors are open, and the beds are removed. Vendors invite shoppers in using sparse English to take a look at the products set up in cases and on folding tables they cart around the world. Visitors in the ballroom can walk among the towering skeletons of an Albertosaurus and Giant Ground Sloth casted from the bones of the ancient creatures. Raw materials used to make beads and jewelry sit beside stone jewelry set in gold, silver and wire. Price tags mark the material, $25 for a kilo of quartz and $2 for stromatolite.

Read more on El Independiente's Web site.

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