I got up to the gem and mineral show at the Westward Look resort in Tucson today for a quick walk-through. This is clearly where the big action is. in almost every suite I went into, the people talking were clearly 'insiders.' There were discussions of who bought what specimen, significant new pieces on the market, and introductions of people who knew each other by reputation.
At the Miner's Lunchbox suite, a buyer from one of the nation's largest museums (I won't say which one) was chatting with the owner who pointed her towards a beautiful specimen of native gold from Idaho [right]. He said it and a companion piece had been discovered by using a magnetometer over the tailings pile outside the mine. It can be yours for $45,000.
Makes me want to grab a magnetometer and head out to the old mining sites in Arizona.