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HardRock Summit 2021 Brings Unprecedented Special Mineral & Jewelry Exhibits and Education to Denver

The new trade show in Denver dedicated to fine jewelry, gems, minerals and fossils is open to trade and consumer audiences for education, connection and commerce.




(PRESS RELEASE) DENVER, CO — HardRock Summit announces the full schedule of educational programming and special exhibit presentations that are set to debut at the all-new trade show event for the gem, jewelry, mineral and fossil industries in downtown Denver, Colorado from September 16 – 21, 2021. The HardRock Summit will feature two key venues: “Evolution” for minerals and fossils at the Colorado Convention Center from September 16 – 19, 2021 and “Sparkle & Joy” a destination for fine gemstones and jewelry at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel from September 18 – 21, 2021. The Denver Gem & Mineral Show will hold their annual show adjacent to the Evolution venue, and the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) will have a dedicated pavilion within Sparkle & Joy. Evolution and Sparkle & Joy are within walking distance of each other and are connected by a complimentary shuttle service on the overlap days, to allow visitors to easily move from one location to the other.

“HardRock Summit is not only bringing together top fine gemstone, jewelry, mineral and fossil companies, but we have curated once-in-a-lifetime special exhibits featuring world-famous fine specimens from various museums and collectors for professionals to the general public to marvel,” says Christoph Keilmann, co-founder of HardRock Summit. “In addition to unprecedented special exhibits on display only in Denver, we are also hosting a series of enriching educational panels and expert-led discussions on a variety of topics from Colorado Fossils to Fluorites where leaders from the fine gem and jewelry world will share their knowledge.”

Special Exhibits On Display


  • The Alma King, Alma Queen and Alma Rose – a trio of the world’s best Rhodochrosite crystals will reunite for the first time ever. The three specimens will also become “Honorary Citizens” by the city of Alma, Colorado also known as the city of Rhodochrosite.
  • Meteorites – on loan from the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum, Bethel, Maine
  • World’s Largest Martian Meteorite
  • Lunar Meteorite
  • Large Touchable Meteorite
  • The Hamlin Necklace – 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 gems of varying colors primarily tourmaline from Mount Mica. The necklace can be customized using the different pendants. In total, consists of 70 gemstones with a total carat weight of 228.12 carats. The gemstones range from 3 carats to 34 carats.
  • Katherine’s Necklace – also known as Colorado Fire – was designed and created by Kimberly Knox, G.G. for San Diego, CA features 7 total stones with a center stone of 14.06 carats. Additional stones include (2) 5.5 carat stones, (2) 3 carat stones and (2) 1.5 carat stones set in 18 karat gold.
  • Rainbow of 120 Trilliants – on loan from Private Collector, Dr. Gene Meieran, a selection of colorful trilliant-cut gemstones.

Sparkle & Joy

  • Large Topaz Crystal – on loan from Private Collector Dr. Gene Meieran, the weight is close to 250 pounds.
  • Gem Crystals – a display of 19 exceptional natural fine mineral specimens.

Educational Sessions – Evolution

  • Thursday, September 16
    • 11:00 am – Jeff Scovil, “The World’s Most Colorful Mineral-Fluorite”
    • 12:00 pm – Lou Taylor, “Colorado Fossil Discoveries: Old and New”
    • 1:00 pm – Ryan Bowling, “Fantastic Fluorite Finds of the Alps”
  • Friday, September 17
    • 11:00 am – Dr. Peter Megaw, “Mexican Fluorites”
    • 12:00 pm – Dr. Virgil Lueth, “Exploration into the Cause of Color in Fluorite”
    • 2:00 – 3:30 pm – “The Earth and Stars” panel discussion featuring: Dr. Terry Wallace, “Geology of The Solar System”; Pete Modreski, “Minerals in Geologic History”; Matt Morgan, “Reshaping the Earth’s Surface” and a Q&A ​​​facilitated by Dave Waisman.
  • Saturday, September 18
    • 11:00 am – Dave Bunk, “Colorado Fluorites”
    • 12:00 pm – Phil Simmons, “New Mexico Fluorite”
    • 2:00 – 3:30 pm – “Rhodochrosite – Colorado’s State Mineral” panel discussion featuring Bryan Lees, Collector’s Edge Minerals; George Sparks, President – Denver Museum of Natural and Science; Aurore Gilguet, Executive Director – Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals; Gail Spann, President, Board of Directors – Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals; Renata Lafler, Executive Director, Colorado School of Mines; Joel Bartsch, President – Houston Museum of Natural Science and followed by a Q&A facilitated by Dave Waisman.
  • Sunday, September 19
    • 11:00 am – Robert Carnein, “Phenomenal Fluorite: Luminescence Phenomena in a Collector Favorite”
    • 12:00 pm – Jared Freiburg, “Illinois Fluorite”
    • 2:00 to 3:30 pm – ​“Colorado: Its Mines, Minerals and Men” panel discussion featuring Mark Ivan Jacobson, “Mineral Dealing and Collecting in CO: 1859-1910”; Steve Zahony, “The Sylvanite Silver Mine, Gunnison County, CO”; Ed Raines: “The Sphalerite Problem”.

Educational Sessions – Sparkle & Joy

  • Saturday, September 18
    • 4:00 pm – Dr. Raquel Alonso-Perez, “The Hamlin Necklace, From Art to Science”
  • Sunday, September 19
    • 11:00 am – “Colored Gemstone & Design Trends for Fall and Beyond” presented by Women’s Jewelry Association featuring Brecken Branstrator, National Jeweler; Nan Lung Palmer, Facets Jewelry Consulting; Erica Silverglide, Gemology Geek and moderated by communications consultant, Jen Cullen Williams.
    • 4:00 pm – Cynthia Renee, “Once Upon a Jewel”
  • Monday, September 20
    • 11:00 am – Shelly Sergent, “America the Beautiful”

“This new show in Denver will unite and highlight the talent, exquisite treasures and passion of our industry,” Wolter Mehring, co-founder of HardRock Summit. “We welcome anyone with an interest in gems, jewelry or minerals to attend for unrivaled educational opportunities and an up-close viewing of many of the finest specimens ever unearthed.”

Tickets & Registration

  • Evolution
    • Minerals. Fossils. Meteorites. Gemstones. Jewelry.
      September 16 – 19, 2021
      Colorado Convention Center, Four Seasons Ballroom
      The venue is open to qualified trade professionals, buyers, retailers, press as well as the general public for a $10 ticket admission. Tickets here
  • Sparkle & Joy
    • Fine Gemstones. Fine Jewelry. One-of-a-Kind Pieces.
      September 18 – 21, 2021
      Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Plaza Ballroom
      The venue is open to qualified trade professionals, buyers, retailers, press as well as a $30 VIP ticket admission with limited access. Register/Tickets here

Visitor admission is free for qualified trade show professionals and buyers. A ticket admission fee will be required for the public with limited Sparkle & Joy event access. The different types of attendees – from trade professionals to VIP clients and the general public – will be easily distinguishable through color-coded badges.

Visit for the most up-to-date exhibitor lists, registration and more.
A free downloadable show app HardRock Summit is now available. Download here.



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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