Industry / Shows

Hardrock Summit Brings World-Class Vendors and Educators to Denver


Opening later this week in Denver, the Hardrock Summit will bring together more than 250 local, national, and international vendors to show their latest collections and holiday-season offerings. The trade show has new exhibits and experiences planned for its third year, organizers say.

“As the only fall show for fine gemstone sourcing, its timing just ahead of the holiday season is ideal for industry buyers,” Wolter Mehring, cofounder of the Hardrock Summit, tells JCK. “And being in the city of Denver, which has a longstanding rich tradition with minerals and gemstones, only adds to the allure of this event for industry and collectors alike.”

Jewelry, gemstone, mineral, and fossil dealers will gather Sept. 15–18 at the Colorado Convention Center for the Hardrock Summit, which also includes educational programs with world-class experts.

Hardrock customers
The 2023 Hardrock Summit will have more than 250 exhibitors and include AGTA GemFair Denver and the Denver Gem & Mineral Show.

“The Hardrock Summit presents the perfect opportunity to discover the most exquisite gemstones, minerals, and fine jewelry,” Mehring says.

Two other events are held at the downtown Denver convention center in partnership with the Hardrock Summit: the American Gem Trade Association’s AGTA GemFair Denver and the 55th Annual Denver Gem & Mineral Show. Dealers at all three expos sell jewelry, gemstones, gold, silver, minerals, and equipment. The Denver Gem & Mineral Show, where specimens such as meteorites, fossils, and minerals from around the world will be seen, has a “Gem Minerals: Nature’s Bling,” theme for 2023.

One highlight of the Hardrock Summit, Mehring says, is the Fluorescent Mineral Room, where glow-in-the-dark minerals collected by Conrad North and Brian Walco from the Fluorescent Mineral Society are displayed.

Hardrock Summit gems
Local, national, and international vendors attending the 2023 Hardrock Summit will bring some of the finest examples of minerals and gemstones, event organizers say.

The Hardrock Summit also will feature exhibits from the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals, New Mexico Bureau of Geology’s Mineral Museum, Mines Museum of Earth Science, the University of Arizona Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum, and Denver Museum of Nature & Science, as well as the Jim and Gail Spann collection, the Gene Meieran tourmaline slices, and many other private collections.

For education seekers, the Summit has curated a series of talks by representatives of such organizations as GIA and the International Gemological Institute and other professionals in the field. AGTA is hosting a panel on colored gemstones and cultured pearls on Saturday, Sept. 16, moderated by John W. Ford, CEO of the association, and featuring speakers Kimberly Collins, Kimberly Collins Colored Gems; Nikolai Israileff, ASBA USA; and Robyn Dufty, DuftyWeis Opals.

The family-friendly Summit also includes hands-on learning experiences—from gold-panning opportunities to gemstone-cutting demonstrations—for kids and curious adults.

The Hardrock Summit is open to members of both the trade and the public at no cost. (The AGTA Pavilion is open only to qualified industry professionals.) Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday. Registration is required.

Top: At the 2023 Hardrock Summit, the public can see an array of gemstones, jewels, minerals, and fossils; visit exhibits and vendor booths; and attend educational talks. (Photos courtesy of Hardrock Summit)

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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