Entries in tucson gem show (7)
Hey guys & gals.
I've never started a blog post like that before. Should I just leave it? Ok, I will.
Here is the long overdue blog post about the items I brought back from my trips to Tucson & Miami. Anytime I go to a jewelry show, I never know what I'm going to find so the energy is always slightly tense and adrenaline is constantly flowing. If I buy something at a show, I never know for certain if I'm going to keep it or sell it--I've realized I have to bring it home and introduce it into my collection, wear it a few times, and decide if it feels like it should be mine forever or not. I can't tell you how I determine that, I just know.
This time around in Tucson, I never knew I would find a piece of jewelry I would love and end up keeping. I was totally focused on buying gems, crystals and random minerals (see second photo) but when I stopped by the Excalibur Estate Jewelry booth at AGTA in Tucson, the ring kind of found me. It didn't help that I had been searching for a special client of mine for something just like this, but it was out of her budget. I bought it anyway. The whole rest of the trip, I treated it as though it was for my client and that I would be saying goodbye to it as soon as I got home. Every time I thought about selling it, I couldn't! I also kept looking at pictures of it (actually the exact photo in this blog post) the whole plane ride home. I had to keep it.
My next trip to Miami was only a week later, so normally I would be like "my budget is DONE" after buying something like that in Tucson. I had some good timing with my EBTH sale being launched the same day Miami started. I took my entire inventory and put it up for auction with EBTH--sort of nail-biting as every piece is sold at no reserve--so yes several pieces went for hundreds less than retail value, but I was able to justify finding and buying three amazing new pieces for my personal collection.
The three rings in the last photo above on the left are my Miami Antique Show finds. The furthest one on the left is from Shelly Storch Fine Jewelry--I found it early on in the day on my last day, I made an offer which wasn't accepted and then came back right before I left at the end of the day. This is one of those rings that you simply can't stop staring at! The turquoise and black enamel ring was found at Haig's of Rochester and I love the contrast of the turquoise with the enamel. I think it may have been a stick pin conversion--while most stick pins are tiny, this one is pretty large, which is what I like about it as well. The last purchase from the Miami Antique Show is the Art Nouveau diamond and black enamel ring from Marlene Wong Alvarado Antique & Estate Jewelry. She is a seller who has been in the business for YEARS and is based out of Corpus Christi, Texas. She told me she personally wore that ring for over 20 years, as it was in her personal collection and this was the first time she was offering it for sale. I told her I would take good care of it! It is marked Syman and I couldn't find much about this maker online. I posted a photo of the ring on a Facebook Group I'm a member of--Antique Jewelry Identification Group--and my friend Jenn believes that it is a Colorado based company from the early 1900s. If you know more about this maker, please contact me!
WANT MORE? Check out what else is in my jewel box!
Outside of AGTA Gem Fair where you can pull up and valet your car--my parking skills thinks this is a great idea
Oh my opals! From Exhibitor Only Beads based out of Atlanta
Freaked for this huge yellow sapphire from Mayer & Watt
Both photos above were found at Under the Crown Jewelry -- the carved scarab moonstone struck a cord with me and I loved learning about their Crown Jubilee faceted diamonds, their trademarked diamond cut which is fashioned from an Old Mine or Old European cut diamond. There are two sets of crown facets and two sets of pavilion facets. It's the only diamond that has the crown and pavilion in perfect harmony!
The view above--AGTA is huge, with over 300+ exhibitors, you truly need AT LEAST two days to cover the show--for me I took two days, plus a third day to come back to buy some things that kept haunting me.
These types of set ups lead to a treasure hunt unlike any other! Whether you have a piece of jewelry in mind you're designing or just let yourself gravitate toward certain stones...it is a fun experience!
If I want to see the cream of the crop, I visit Omi Prive where I got to try on incredible sapphires, emerald, zircon and tsavorites. Amazing!
I loved the concept that Pala International devised with these "Collectors Sets" of gems--each a unique assortment of gemstones, perfect for a collector or connoisseur.
Gold rush has come over the AGTA Gem Fair! Lots of vintage goodies from Excalibur Jewelry
Left: a yummy watermelon tourmaline from Kimberly Collins Gems
Right: an insanely perfect specimen of chrysocolla from Rare Earth Mining Co.
Seriously enchanted by these kite-shaped emeralds from Manak--these need to be rings ASAP!
Just browsing the many aisles upon aisles of gems, jewels, and treasures at AGTA.
Left: more watermelon tourmaline and Right: some insane opals from exhibitor Robert Shapiro
No caption needed--you may be already able to tell these insane gems and rings are Omi Prive.
Opals of different patterns and translucency all in one display! These are from Joel Price Inc.
More favorite finds: the two inlay stone pieces are from Rare Earth Mining Co. and I think they are my favorites of the entire Tucson trip! Left shows more opals, which I loved this unique display--really showed off each one individually.
Some incredible rings from Excalibur Jewelry, spanning all different ages and styles.
Loved learning about sunstones from Desert Sun Mining & Gems--each one is mined in Oregon (I even have a map and dvd to learn even more)!
As you may have guessed, I spent some serious time at the Excalibur booth, just because antique jewelry is my main love. All of these rings are special in their own way and I just loved this diamond bow necklace featuring a giant emerald cut emerald!
One of the "Collectors' Sets" from Pala International--love the variety of shapes, sizes and varieties of gems.
Pairing gemstones is quite the task--these gemstone pairs from Kimberly Collins Gems give any jeweler or designer so many options!
Left: this huge opal lay on an exhibitor's table with a sign that read "please touch, please take my photo" Right: colorful earrings from Campbellian Collection--can you spot the mismatched pairs?!
I also loved these rings from Campbellian Collection--from the bright colors to the unique designs, so good!
Some gemstones cut by the master Clay Zava featured here--including the snowcone cut which is slightly out of focus on the bottom.
Are you planning your trip for next year yet?? I feel like by now you might be!
Of course Mayer & Watt would have some insane trapiche emeralds--what amazing earrings would these make?!
Left: myself with the very talented Clay Zava of Zava Mastercuts, Right: Mayer & Watt was proud to present this incredible 190 ct aquarmarine sculpture with under-the-sea motifs like an octopus and other sea creatures carved into the piece. It is called "Love at First Sight" and was created by Susan Allen & Michael Cristie. Also included in the piece is a 470 c. chrysoprase, a 10.3 mm Tahitian pearl and 0.63 ctw of diamonds in 18k yellow gold.
From Lightning Ridge mine in Australia, this incredible opal featured at exhibitor Joel Price at AGTA.
I haven't made the journey out to the desert for the Tucson Gem Shows in five years! Can you believe it?! I'm usually focused on the Miami Antique Show and for the first time in years, the two shows don't overlap as much as they usually do--that makes me very happy and also very travel worn, but I'm up for the challenge!
The AGTA Gem Fair has been happening since 1981 and is a tradeshow that is open to wholesale only, where they cater to those stores, designers and clients who are discerning, looking to find the best jewelry, gemstones, and so much more. There are several aspects about AGTA that sets it apart from other gem shows in Tucson during this week, and when attending your first AGTA Gem Fair like myself, you quickly learn and take notice! This year's show spanned from January 31st-February 5th, at the Tucson Convention Center--a glorious facility with all the necessary features for a large tradeshow. A huge plus for AGTA show-attendees is the fact that you can shop and buy with confidence knowing each exhibitor is a Member of the AGTA. Every exhibitor is a United States or Canada-based professional, who adhere to a rigorous code of ethics. Quality, value and selection--all high standards of AGTA, providing sources you can trust.
Other great features include valet parking--which my rental car would like to personally thank AGTA for this, as I nicked my car a few times trying to parallel park in Tucson. Good times. Also, the variety of food trucks outside the show was really cool! We all have been there before--super hungry during a tradeshow with limited options for dining. This was such a neat way to remedy hunger and also be on trend--because everyone loves a food truck! And other perks including some obvious-yet-vital things like air conditioning! Yes, the desert gets toasty in late January/early February, and with most shows outdoors in the sun, we sometimes forget how nice an indoor, air conditioned show can be!
My first day at the show, I just come off a four hour plane ride + two hour car drive, so I knew exactly where to head on the show floor--the antique jewelry vendors!! I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were actually a few and they each easily gave me life. I enjoyed oogling over Excalibur's jewels and Under the Crown's diamonds, of course learning a thing or two, as I always do from my antique friends. I may or may not have bought something amazing from Excalibur on day three--just because I couldn't stop thinking about it, and although the piece was supposed to be for a client of mine, I'm 89% sure I'm now keeping it for myself. Oh lord, I need help.
Day two of the AGTA show included exploring every aisle and seeing what I could find! Certain gemstones caught my attention--chrysocolla, sunstones, insane opals, fancy kite-shapes, etc. I was mesmerized by everything from Rare Earth Mining Co. and died a little when I saw some of the inlay pieces. Every single booth had something unique and if I had LOTS of money to spend, I would buy one thing from each exhibitor, most definitely. I remember someone saying that the people roaming the aisles is like a Who's Who among jewelry designers, and you'll likely get star-struck on many occasions. This was totally true! Running into some of my favorite designers was definitely a perk of attending the show and seeing each one in his or her own element, focusing in on designing and finding the right stones was fun.
My last day in Tucson was supposed to be roaming the highway shows and I actually ended up finding myself back at AGTA! There were several pieces that kept haunting me and I knew I had to come back to make them my own. I also wanted to spend some time at the Mayer & Watt booth because not only are Simon's gems incredible but he always has a keen sense on the gem industry and what is currently going on. I also am a big fan of his app--called Mayer & Watt--if you download it, you will see an entire database of gems! Both inventory and sold items are pictured, along with a Gemipedia, which gives you LOTS of information about each stone. The app is fun to go through and also done really well, most importantly the photography is gorgeous! So you must download it when you get the chance!!
I know many of you loved seeing my updates from Tucson and are wanting to plan ahead for next year already! Well you're in luck, AGTA already has announced next year's dates--so put January 30th-February 4th, 2018 in your calendar! I know I already am counting down the days (and saving my money lol)!
What a fun trip this has been--special shoutout to Abby of @nomadgold for being my sidekick, helping me with photography and convincing one another to YES buy that, definitely! Also thank you to AGTA for providing accommodations while in Tucson.
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JOGS Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show is one of the leading jewelry events in North America, let alone the annual Tucson Gem Shows. It brings approximately 40,000 visitors to the Tucson region annually, including international and national dealers from across the globe. Jewelry manufacturers, miners, stone cutters, carvers, jewelry designers, importers and treasure hunters from 26 countries make the trek to Tucson every year! This annual show is an absolute must for jewelry hunters chasing unique jewelry and gems masterpieces, stunning new jewelry lines that manufacturers were preparing all year long for the JOGS Show buyers, making JOGS perfect event for restocking for the new year.
I would recommend checking out the JOGS Show for at least 2 or more days—why?? Because it features more than 800 booths! They also offer cool things like jewelry making classes and seminars (over 200 possibilities with classes taught by world renowned designers and craftspeople). The atmosphere is friendly and inviting, just an overall upbeat and warm place. You never know who you might run into—new business contacts, stone collectors, miners, and jewelry designers. Those are just a few special reasons to love and attend the JOGS show. Other reasons include amazing deals (liquidation prices mean you could buy a ring for under $100 and see that very same ring at a store or mall a few months later for $100s), be ahead of the trend forecast (much of what is offered will become the next upcoming trends), and other perks like free parking, free shuttles and complimentary brunch buffet for qualified buyers.
JOGS gained popularity by having diverse international and domestic pavilions: Amber Jewelry - direct manufacturers and designers from Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Indonesia and Columbia with large variety of amber cameos, carvings, beads and designer jewelry; Southwest/Native Americans - handmade Native American Jewelry, Southwestern/Indian Arts and Crafts reflect the mastery of techniques; Major miners and dealers with finished sterling silver jewelry, cabochons, beads and rough from the world’s best turquoise mines; Indonesian/Bali Jewelry Manufacturers - direct manufacturers and designers of sterling silver and gold jewelry with semi-precious stones, shells, wood, pearls and corals, handmade from Bali and all around Indonesia; Silver Manufacturers - superior selection of finished sterling silver jewelry presented by the largest silver jewelry manufacturers and famous jewelry designers from USA, India, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, Italy and other countries; Nepal Group - ethnic tribal handcrafted jewelry, crafts and gifts from Nepal and Tibet; International Jewelry Designers; International Gemstones - international dealers bring their stocks of gemstones, precious and semi-precious from low to exceptional quality; rarest colored stones, cut stones, specimen, cabs, rough, fossils and beads from Thailand, India, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Columbia, Africa, Russia, Bolivia, and other countries and Stone/Mineral Decor - finished gemstone products, rough materials for decor purposes: sculptures, luxury fountains, stone and petrified wood furniture, onyx decorative home and kitchen decor, hand carved interior decorations from China, Madagascar, Brazil, Africa, and much more.
Registration is already open. To save time in line, pre-register now, just follow the link here.
JOGS Tucson Show is a not to be missed gem and jewelry event of the year!
This post was brought to you in collaboration with JOGS.
Show Dates: Jan 26 - Feb 6, 2017
10 am - 6 pm, last day Feb 6 10 am - 4 pm
Address: Tucson Expo Center, 3750 E Irvington Rd, Tucson, AZ 85714
Pre-registration link: http://jogsshow.com/register/?cmpn=gemgossip
For more info please visit www.jogsshow.com
>> P.S. JOGS Gem and Jewelry Show 2017 will host the biggest clam in the world!!!! from Volker Bassen (Volker Bassen will be showcasing it at JOGS Tucson Show along with other unique pieces).
He found the clam personally in East Africa. Once cleaned and polished it weighted 355 kg, making it the biggest giant clam in the world! It took him a week to clean out the giant clam as it was full of calcified lime stone, almost as hard as cement. To his surprise, he found a blister pearl the size of a tomato followed by a smaller one, 2 pearls in one clam! He called the largest of the pearls 'Pearl of Noah' and the smaller pearl 'Pearl of Siv' (names of his sons). Being 1256 carats, the Pearl of Noah is the largest T.Gigantea pearl ever found while the Pearl of Siv being 758 carats, making it the second largest T.Gigantea pearl in the world. The pearls are now in Switzerland to be dated, estimated age between 200,000 to 240,000 years old, making them the oldest baroque pearls ever found. The clam is absolutely unique and largest one and will be presented exclusively at JOGS Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show only.
This year, instead of getting down knowing that the Tucson Gem Show and the Miami Antique Jewelry Show were nearly the same week, I made sure the fun gem hunting excitement was covered by some jewelry friends! First, we had Lori Leven do an Instagram Takeover while in Tucson, now we have a fun gem story featuring Chelsey Kantor and Jane Pope, both jewelry designers who decided to make the trip to Arizona together. Their insights are candid glimpses from a first-timer and second-timer checking out this legendary massive exhibition. If you are planning on going, this will be a great read to help plan your trip!
Take it away, Chelsey & Jane:
The Tucson Gem Show feels like the center of the gemstone and jewelry world. It is totally overwhelming, beautiful and inspiring. As we were told on our first day there - this is “heaven for pirates.” Gearing up for the show we did a bit of research. There is a list of over 30 shows on the Tucson Gem Show website! These happen all over the city. We knew of the main shows for wholesale only and then asked some friends who have been going for many years for some hints on what they recommend as "must-sees." In 3 days we made it to only 7 shows! But with hundreds of vendors in each show we saw a lot!!!
Our first day was at the G&LW. This show is actually 2 shows in one - the holidome and the gem mall. It feels like a mini city on it’s own, composed of huge tents (and I mean like football field big!). There are all sorts of vendors - from finished jewelry, to parts, to pearls, to minerals, to fossils, to cuts stones of all shapes and sizes and beads! Do not forget the beads!! Sooo many beads!! We looked at a bunch of vendors...I was looking for turquoise and some cool new non precious stones and discovered Septaian Nodules! These are super cool concretions formed 50 - 70 million years ago, sort of like fossilized mud cracks, but actually the way they are formed is a mystery. Sometimes they are known as Dragon’s Stone. Jane was on the hunt for a bridesmaid earring and some pearls. She found some amazing faceted rose cut labadorite and sapphire sets for her bride to pick from.
At the end of day we had a burst of energy and decided to hit up one of the public shows, the Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show which is at a hotel. There are vendors set up in the courtyards, parking lots and inside hotel rooms. It has much more of a funky treasure hunt vibe! Your never know what you might see in the next room. There were giant crystals (like 7 foot tall Amethyst) and a room filled entirely with glowing quartz crystal balls the size of a ginormous balloon. There were crystal skulls and lamps and bathroom sets. An interior designer would probably go nuts here! There were also venders with rough and cut gem material. So fun to the crystals as they are grown by Mother Nature.
Our second day was big - tackle AGTA and GJX, the premier shows for designers and jewelers. Both have very strict entry policies and it’s no wonder--they are filled with top dealers in the world! The AGTA show (American Gem and Trade Association) is located at the Tucson Convention Center. There is a section for tools and a section for gems; they also display the year's Spectrum Award winners. This is the place for lust-worthy gems. Tons of mega-sized diamonds and colored stones. There are also lots of melee, sapphire and diamonds! Both Jane and I bought gray diamonds to use! We looked at some beautiful Montana sapphires; they come in a wide range of blue, green, yellow and oranges, mostly small sizes and are still mined in Montana. We stumbled upon some huge Emeralds, a little bigger than our budgets this year.
As an added bonus there were some major fan girl moments--seeing some of my favorite designers like Ted Mulehing and Christian Hemmerle.
GJX (Gem and Jewelry Exchange) is right across the street and has some more variety with finished jewelry, gemstones, gem carvings and rough stones. The highlight is definitely the fantasy cut gemstones and Idar-Oberstein section. Idar-Oberstein is German town world renown for their lapidary work for over the last 200 years. We saw some amazing specimens, including the jaw dropping Paraiba cabochon and massive fantasy cut Aquamarine. There was also some beautiful tourmaline and topaz rough from African dealers and Jane found a gorgeous Emerald for a special project. We also discovered a gem called Diaspore. Mined now only in Bauxite, Turkey it is unique and rare color-changing gem, light-green in daylight and pinkish-orange in incandescent light.
Our third day was spent doing a little more exploring. We stopped by the JCK show and enjoyed the desert scenery up in the hills outside the main downtown. The JCK show is filled with beautiful jewelry collections from designers all over the world, not really our market but we were definitely inspired.
The last stop was The GIGM or Howard Johnson Gem Show – it’s of course at a Howard Johnson. Similar to the Pueblo show, the parking lots, courtyards and rooms are filled with lively vendors. There were more huge mineral specimens and tons of rough gems – crates of large black tourmaline chunks and steel drums of little rough aquamarine crystals. Plus fossilized Ammonites made into sinks and soap dishes, florescent pink and purple dyed geodes and the best rough and polished Labradorite chunks. We found the most delightful Brazilian stone dealer, who cuts beautiful Watermelon Tourmaline slices! Our bags were a bit heavier on the way home but we left wanting more and discussing plans for us next year!!
Did you miss the epic Instagram Takeover on my Instagram feed this past weekend?! If so, we've got you covered! Here is the recap of all that went down in Tucson, AZ when Lori Leven, owner of Love Adorned in NYC went gem hunting in the desert!
Hello from Tucson Gem Show! These rough stones, already beautiful enough on their own, are perfume holders called Aroma Jewels. They are made by the most wonderful, knowledgable husband and wife team. The met in high school when she came from Brazil as an exchange student and they have been traveling the world gem exploring for the last 40 years! They believe in using the purest form of their materials and often craft jewelry from stones they've mine in 24k gold. They go by the name of Natures Geometry.
These beautiful Ethiopian opals differ from Australian opals in that Australian opals form in ancient sea beds and "Welo" opals originate from volcanic activity. Volcanic opals are also called hydroplane, meaning that they absorb water and change from opaque or semi-translucent to translucent or transparent, often making the color play disappear. Fortunately GIA tests show that wells will revert back to their original state once dried without any adverse reaction such as cracking. Even so, I wouldn't wear them in the shower! ;)
Under specific wavelengths of light THIS looks like...
The legend of Lou Zeldis lives on through Liz Marx. A dear, long time friend of Lou's who has tirelessly been cataloging Lou's creations all the way back from his days of making jewelry in Peru in the 1970s. I met Lou in Bali in the early 90s and was immediately struck by how prolific of an artist and designer he was. Besides jewelry Lou made incredible textiles, basketry, furniture and art objects. He was a wonderful man and I know I'm not the only one who misses him...
It rained HARD for the first two days of the show. Harder than most Tucsoners had ever seen. By the time the skies cleared and I made it out to the dirt (mud) fields where the larger than life amethyst geodes were, most of them had already been sold and loaded up on pallets to go to their new owners. So while I couldn't stand straight up inside this particular geode, I still am in awe that this came out of the ground looking like a regular old rock until someone burst it open with a big hammer!
Petrified palm wood knife handle with rock crystal reverse intaglio eyes!
It took J Ranganatha Rao three years to develop his technique of turning gemstone bowls. They are so thin that they're translucent and glow in the sunlight. This one is sapphire.
Idar-Oberstein is a small area in SW Germany where modern lapidary artists create some of the most interesting free form cuts in the world. This is an example of a large, most impressive rutilated quartz.
I met Katie Finn of Elizabeth Street Jewelry many years ago when she first started making jewelry. I can't say that I know another jeweler that has the talent, drive and acumen that it takes to be the one woman show that she is. Last year we collaborated on a successful capsule collection of rings and this year's collab should be even better. She found these sweet spinels in Tucson yesterday. Can't wait to use them...
Incredible group of agatized druzy shells estimated to be over 100 million years old. In nature 95% of shells are right coiling. In Hindu and Buddhist tradition, left coiling shells hold great metaphysical powers. 100% of these shells are left coiling! Available soon at Love Adorned.
So I've gotten to thinking...
Over and out Tucson!! See you next year! Thanks Gem Gossip