(DENVER, Colo.) – HardRock Summit, the all-new trade show event for the gem, jewelry, mineral and fossil industries in downtown Denver, Colorado from September 16 – 21, 2021, welcomed over 1,900 professional buyers, 3,000 visitors and over 200 exhibiting companies at the two key venues: “Evolution” for minerals and fossils and the adjacent annual Denver Gem & Mineral Show at the Colorado Convention Center from September 16 – 19 and “Sparkle & Joy” a destination for fine gemstones and jewelry with a dedicated pavilion from the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) at the newly renovated Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel from September 18 – 21. The Summit provided opportunities for commerce, learning and networking with featured special exhibits and educational presentations. Visitor admission was free for qualified trade show professionals and buyers. A ticket admission fee was required for the public with limited Sparkle & Joy event access.
“We are so proud of the event and this new experience that connected the fine minerals and fossils worlds to the fine jewelry and gem communities for both discovery and business opportunities. The response of the exhibitors and the enthusiasm of the visitors, which was noticeable throughout, far exceeded expectations. We thank those who participated and attended to help drive the success of our debut show,” states Christoph Keilmann, co-founder of HardRock Summit. “In addition to the business opportunities, HardRock Summit curated some of the most remarkable and breathtaking special exhibits and educational talks for attendees to learn from and enjoy, and we are grateful to the museums, private collectors and thought- leaders that helped bring these once-in-a-lifetime exhibits and educational presentations to life.”
“Our upscale venues and remarkable special exhibit installations united the exquisite treasures of our industries and created a relaxed and beautiful place to conduct business. It was a thrill to welcome passionate professionals as well as the enthusiasts and their families to experience many of the finest specimens ever unearthed along with works of art jewelry designs,” said Wolter Mehring, co-founder of HardRock Summit.
One of the widely beloved special exhibits was the “Royal Rhodochrosite Reunion of the Alma King, Alma Queen and Alma Rose” – a trio of the world’s most exquisite rhodochrosite specimens from the Alma, Colorado area, united in a display case for the first time ever. The three specimens, which currently reside in three different museums across the US, were named “Honorary Citizens” by the town of Alma in a live declaration ceremony featuring two Alma council members dressed in historic mining costumes. Also, on display was the famous Katherine’s Necklace – also known as Colorado Fire – which was designed and created by Kimberly Knox, G.G. of San Diego, CA featuring 7 total rhodochrosite stones with a center stone of 14.06 carats with additional gems set in 18 karat gold.
The Meteorites installation, on loan from the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum in Bethel, Maine, featured the world’s largest Martian meteorite and was put on public display for the first time ever at this event. Also on display were several primitive chondrites from space which are over 4.5 billion years old and contain traces of nucleic acids that form the basic building blocks of life. For the interactive display, a large lunar meteorite could be touched by attendees with a video presentation to learn more about the history.
Another popular special exhibit was “The Hamlin Necklace” and a collection of tourmalines, on loan from the Mineralogical and Geological Museum at Harvard University and considered one of the most valued treasures of the Harvard Museum. Designed and commissioned by August Choate Hamlin in the late 19th Century, the necklace was donated to Harvard Museum in 1934 along with 87 cut tourmaline gemstones from Maine. The necklace contains 18 removable pendants with a variety of colored tourmalines primarily from Mount Mica. In total, the set consists of 70 gemstones with a total carat weight of 228.12 carats. The gemstones range from 3 carats to 34 carats. Also, on loan from private collector – Dr. Gene Meieran – the “Rainbow of 120 Trilliants” featured a colorful assortment of trilliant-cut gemstones.
Sparkle & Joy
Right in the lobby of the Sheraton Downtown Denver was a 250-pound “Topaz Crystal”- on loan from private collector Dr. Gene Meieran. Attendees and hotel guests could snap photos with the incredible topaz crystal and the Sparkle & Joy “Be Amazed” backdrop. In addition within the lobby, right before entering the Sparkle & Joy venue were two display cases featuring 19 exceptional natural fine mineral specimens.
“The Hardrock Summit – Evolution Show exceeded all of our expectations in 2021. The Colorado Convention Center is beautiful, modern, and centrally located within Denver, a great venue in which to hold a world-class Gem and Mineral Show. Top dealers, from around the globe, offered their very newest and finest collectible mineral specimens for sale to the numerous attendees. We expect the fine dealer list to grow significantly in the years ahead. The Evolution Show presented spectacular and important special exhibits of fine mineral specimens, gemstones and jewelry. Attendees were, also, treated to some fantastic presentations on a variety of mineralogical topics by distinguished speakers. The HardRock Summit has the potential of growing into one of the world’s finest Gem and Mineral Shows within the next few years!” – Steve Behling, sales manager of Collector’s Edge Minerals.
“We are very pleased in the overall results of this inaugural year. We are very much committed to coming back to Sparkle & Joy in the future. Truly thinking this will be a strong show option for the fine jewelry and gemstone industry to consider.” – Douglas Mays, US sales director of Wild & Petsch.
“I’m extremely optimistic about AGTA Denver at HardRock Summit. As a new and first-time show, the HardRock Summit was well organized and has so much potential for growth in Denver during the fall. Challenges were certainly presented, especially being on the heels of back-to-back events like the Las Vegas shows and the AGS Conclave, but looking ahead to next year the timing will be excellent and well-suited for the industry. The interest in colored fine gemstones and jewelry in the US is very strong and I anticipate this will be a must-attend, powerhouse show in the future.” – Kimberly Collins, CEO of Kimberly Collins Colored Gems and President-Elect of AGTA.
The HardRock Summit will return to Denver early in September 2022 – Evolution and Sparkle & Joy will follow the same date pattern all under one roof at the Colorado Convention Center.
“Despite the difficult conditions to organize an event of this magnitude especially with pandemic travel restrictions preventing many of our international exhibitors from taking part in the event, we can look back on an all-around successful trade fair for our debut event. We are lucky to have found the right moment for our first edition of the HardRock Summit and are looking forward to an exciting second edition in 2022,” said Keilmann.
For more information on HardRock Summit, please visit hardrocksummit.com.