My friends and I spent this past weekend in Mason/Fredericksburg for a getaway weekend from Houston. When planning the trip, we were so excited to see that the weekend coincided with Texas Topaz Day in Mason on Saturday, March 23rd. We read in your newspaper that “The town will be full of rock hounders, geologists, gemologists, gem dealers, and gem cutters.” We were so excited about seeing all the vendors, learning about topaz, and probably making some nice topaz jewelry purchases.
Unfortunately, we were incredibly disappointed when we got to Mason on Saturday afternoon. Outside the jewelry show, there were only about 4 or 5 rock dealers, none showing any effort or excitement to “celebrate Mason County topaz, the state gem.” Based on the article published in your paper on March 20, 2013, we expected Texas Topaz Day to be an serious event celebrating all things topaz. Instead, our trip to Mason for the event was a waste of 2 hours of our day and a disappointment for our group of frustrated potential topaz jewelry buyers.
It is such a shame that the city does not do a better job in capitalizing on its famed Topaz to draw in tourists and visitors who could potentially help stimulate the Mason economy with jewelry and antique purchases, dining, and accommodations. Texas Topaz Day has a lot of potential to be a wonderful annual centerfold event for Mason - with jewelry and other retail vendors, dealers, demonstrations, talks, hunting, and more - that would attract visitors and tourists to the city. I hope that Mason takes advantage of its prized and exclusive gem to help draw people to the city, instead of disappointing tourists with a mis-advertised and sad sidewalk set-up of rocks.