HardRock Summit Sparkles in Denver

The fine jewelry, gems and minerals show increases attendance and is set to return to Denver in 2023
HardRock Summit Sparkles in Denver

The HardRock Summit concluded its 2nd edition with an increase in attendees and exhibitors representing over 25 countries. The four-day show ran from September 8-11, 2022 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver and was open to trade professionals and the general public. In attendance, over 6,000 people engaged with companies exhibiting an array of fine jewelry, gems and minerals. All attendees were able to view the extraordinary special exhibits on display and attend education centered around the themes of gold, treasures and gemology. 

“Building on the momentum of last year’s event, this year we expanded our reach to welcome a wide range of attendees from independent boutiques and specialty stores to the big box, online, and key regional retailers as well as designers, museum curators and collectors looking to buy and source. We also had an increase in attendance by gemology enthusiasts, rockhounds and families who had an interest in learning about some of the world’s most rare and precious gems, jewelry and minerals,” states Wolter Mehring, co-founder of HardRock Summit.

 “An exciting draw for attendees in addition to meeting with the many leading exhibitors from around the world who offered rare, high-quality gems and minerals and designer jewelry, was the access to exclusive special exhibits and expert-led educational seminars throughout the show,” says Christoph Keilmann, co-founder of the HardRock Summit.

Located together in one venue, the HardRock Summit featured multiple show areas for attendees to explore:

Evolution show dedicated to the rarest and finest minerals and gems ever unearthed from an expansive group of leading minerals and specimen dealers.

Sparkle & Joy show for fine jewelry, artisan designs and high-quality gemstones in cooperation with the prominent associations AGTA GemFair™ Denver and Brazil’s IBGM.

Denver Gem & Mineral Show featuring gems, minerals, fossils, jewelry, beads, décor and metaphysical products. The Denver Fine Mineral Show and the Gem & Mineral Show (DGMS) have been staples in the Denver area for nearly 60 years, recognized for producing engaging activations designed for the entire family, including live gemstone cutting demos, a fluorescence room, gold panning for children and rock hunting games.

Special Exhibits on display were impressive showcases of the most precious natural gold specimens ever discovered including “The Dragon”, considered the most valuable crystallized gold specimen from the treasury of the Natural History Museum in Houston, as well as “The Crystal” and the famous “Ram‘s Horn” from Harvard’s Mineralogical & Geological Museum. Also on display the captivating “Ausrox Nugget” the 3rd largest in the world, weighing over 52 pounds. 

The privately-curated, Somewhere In The Rainbow Collection, featured an assortment of “Masters of Modern Design and Lapidary” in addition to a display featuring an attention-grabbing vintage Cartier diamond headpiece from the 1920s.

Top special exhibit attractions were the treasures on display from historic sunken ships. After a century and a half on the ocean floor, nearly 1,000 historic California Gold Rush-era sunken treasure items from the 1857 sinking of the “Ship of Gold,” the S.S. Central America, were brought together again at HardRock Summit.

More than 60 Gold Rush-era gold and gemstone rings, gold nugget stick pins and gold quartz cuff links were recovered and displayed for the first time in Denver. One of the most important recovered items is a large 18-karat gold quartz engraved brooch that prominent San Francisco businessman Samuel Brannan was sending to his son in Geneva, Switzerland, as a gift to the son's teacher. Among other notable, recovered items exhibited was the lid to the oldest known Wells Fargo treasure shipment box and clothing including a pair of the earliest known Gold Rush-era work jeans.

Education included daily expert-led seminars on gemology, mineralogy and “Fabulous Treasures” special exhibits including two presentations on the S.S. Central “Lost & Lifted” discovery by chief research scientist Bob Evans and collection manager Fred Holabird, President and CEO of Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC.

According to attendee and journalist Kyle Roderick, “the educational opportunities and gathering of illustrious gem, mineral and jewelry retailers make the HardRock Summit an important show for the gem and jewelry industries as well as the public. The once-in-a-lifetime special exhibits featuring world-famous fine specimens differentiate the HardRock Summit further from other shows of the genre by imbuing it with rare historical, cultural and experiential value.”

“Based on the feedback from attendees and exhibitors, HardRock Summit is a well-timed and unique event which is positioned to be a staple in the fall trade show calendar for years to come,” says Mehring.

“It’s great to see the momentum that AGTA GemFair™ Denver and the HardRock Summit are gaining,” says Kimberly Collins, AGTA President. “This show has such a positive and inviting atmosphere, and it happens at the perfect time of the year for retailers to stock-up for the holidays.”

AGTA CEO John W. Ford adds, “I think that formula proved to be successful for all of us. We had an exciting mix of buyers and exhibitors, who can’t wait to do it all again next year!”

The HardRock Summit will return to Denver in September 2023. Dates and details will be announced in the coming weeks.

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