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Tucson Gem Show to be a boost to the local economy

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TUCSON - The Tucson Gem show is the biggest of its kind and it starts this week on Saturday.

More than 50 vendors from around the world are visiting our city to sell their stones, and even more out of town guests are here to buy.

The Befort family is French and collect their stones and gems from western Europe.

The family has been in the gem selling business for many years and this is their 20th year coming to the Tucson Gem Show.

Luclle is the youngest of the Befort's visiting Tucson.

"So the family has been doing this since 1978," said Luclle. "My uncle and my mom have been doing this for a long time and I trying to know how it works and meet new people"

The Befort's aren't the only family from overseas.

The Patil's from India are on their 12th year selling at the gem show.

"We shortlist the best things out so we can bring it to Tucson, and then send the rest to other places," said Vishal Patil, a vendor for Savri Minerals.

That tells you that the Tucson Gem Show is on top of these vendor's minds all year.

Dan Gibson of is the senior director of communications for Visit Tucson.

"The most recent one came up with $130 million of economic impact," said Gibson. "That means that there is more money coming in and more people coming to see this great city and to experience the shows and have a great time."

That figure doesn't even include tax dollars coming into the city.

There will be vendors all over the city, but the main hubs will be at the Kino Sports Complex and near 22nd Street and I-10, which also features a fossil showcase.

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Daniel McFarland

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