Colored Stones / Shows

2nd HardRock Summit Set for September in Denver


This one’s for you, gem geeks: On Sept. 8–11, the HardRock Summit is returning to Denver for a second consecutive year.

Once again, the show, at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver, comprises two fairs: Sparkle & Joy, where you’ll find fine gemstones and finished jewelry; and Evolution, home to high-end minerals, fossils, and crystals. In total, the Summit features more than 450 exhibitors, including dedicated AGTA GemFair Denver and International Colored Gemstone Association pavilions.

“We have an incredible lineup of top exhibiting brands from local Colorado to all over the world joining us in Denver,” said Wolter Mehring, who cofounded HardRock with Christoph Keilmann, in a statement. Just a few of this year’s participants: Aaron Faber Gallery, Artistry Ltd., B&B Fine Gems, Dorian & Rose, Mayer & Watt, Lika Behar, and Takat.

The Dragon worlds largest crystallized gold specimen
“The Dragon,” the world’s most valuable crystallized gold specimen

“The HardRock Summit has a great atmosphere,” says Jonathan Farnsworth, president of Pocatello, Idaho–based Parlé, which is returning for a second year. “It’s the perfect time for designers to start working on next year’s collection. It is becoming an extremely important show for us. And who doesn’t want to visit beautiful Colorado?”

Eric Braunwart, founder of Vancouver, Wash.–based Columbia Gem House, another two-time exhibitor, sees the show appealing to “designers, rock hounds, and craftspeople.

“If you’re a traditional calibrated ruby dealer selling in volume to manufacturers, probably not the right place,” he explains. “If you are more of a Tucson sort of company, it is the right place, and I think it will grow quite a bit, actually.”

HardRock Summit is open to the public, who might be enticed by a few of the featured displays, including “The Dragon,” on loan from the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the “Ram’s Horn,” from Harvard’s Mineralogical & Geological Museum. Attendees will also have a chance to see gold and artifacts salvaged from two infamous sunken ships, the SS Central America (aka the “Ship of Gold”) and the SS Islander. Tickets are just $9, and children 12 and under are free (though no one under 14 will be allowed into Sparkle & Joy); admission is free for industry professionals.

(Additional reporting by Victoria Gomelsky)

Top: Loose stones at the 2021 HardRock Summit (photo courtesy of HardRock Summit by

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By: Melissa Rose Bernardo

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