I was feeling green that day and Omi Prive pulled through with an intense lineup of green gems — tourmaline, garnets, emeralds and even opals with hints of green flash
A sampling of Moroccan fire amethyst from Azurz — it has little needles that are red which give it its unique color and name
Opals from Parle Gems — the carved one is
Gem Artist: Jewels from the Woods, Gemstone: Ametrine
These gemstones were cut by Glenn Lehrer and have a platinum bezel set emerald drilled into each one, so cool!
These are the amethyst stalactites I was obsessed with — they are from Rare Earth Mining Co.
An insane opal from Parle Gems which was pretty all the way around — it had no back or front!
One of my wish list items was a fantasy cut ametrine done by a gem artist — sadly I never found one that “spoke to me” but these are from Thomas Trozzo
Parle Gems brought these Intarsia pieces they’ve had since the 80s to the gem show since they knew how much I’m obsessed with inlays.
The craziest, most intense watermelon tourmaline I have ever seen — with three colors in one from Kimberly Collins
Love these cabochons, also from Kimberly Collins
SPONSORED BY AGTA: AGTA GemFair opened its doors on February 5th, 2019 and this year boasted record-breaking attendance numbers, including me! Last year, I hopped right off the plane and visited the show straight away after traveling all day. This year I did the same, except instead of hopping off the plane, I waddled my pregnant self to the rental car area and took things a little slower. I even had some help this time around, as I brought along a photographer Lauren Newman! It is always exciting to show someone what Tucson is like who aren’t in the jewelry and gem business, and to share the magic that is this desert town transforming into one large gem fest.
I like to recommend AGTA to jewelry designers who are looking to purchase gemstones for their collections; there’s an array of rare gemstones, large parcels of melee, high-end and mid-range gems and everything in between. Tools are another section of the show which I sadly don’t have much knowledge for and I usually skip over these booths. Luckily for the customer coming to the show, AGTA is organized into sections that make it easier for you to know right where to go depending on your needs — like the new Grand Ballroom area located upstairs. This new section was ideal for stores who attended and wanted to pick up a new jewelry line or wanted to find some antique & estate jewelry to fill their vintage department. The downstairs, main floor, called the Gem Hall remained mostly loose gemstones, beads and had a few highlights, for example a CAD design studio available to try out, Angie Crabtree live painting and having her work on display, the Smithsonian had a few pieces exhibiting, as well as GIA had a quick lab you could use for gemstone grading.
Husband and wife team of Azurz
Some inlay pieces by Steve Walters seen at Rare Earth Mining Co.
Boulder opals found at Parle Gems
Multi-colored tourmaline and quartz found at Azurz — this had a matching mate
Met some new people while shopping the aisles at AGTA, like Shayna Jewelry
On day one of the show, I only had about three hours to attend since most of the day and afternoon was filled with travel. I still got through several booths and the adrenaline of the sparkly gemstones really keeps you going. I spent a lot of time at Rare Earth Mining Co. looking through amethyst stalactites because of a newfound obsession with them. I picked out a few to take home with me. Their selection of unique gemstones, both shiny and opaque, is always top notch. I then got my opal appetite satisfied visiting Parle Gems, as you can see from the photos above, they have all kinds and all shapes (lightning bolt & slug to name a few 😉 )
Had to find the best and brightest Paraiba Tourmaline I could spot and I found it at Erica Courtney’s booth, already set beautifully into this pendant!
Erica Courtney also had a couple mosaic Tahitian pearls which blew my mind!
Butterfly diamond rings from Manak
I have a video of this Tanzanian yellow Danburite cut by Zava Mastercuts — it is 8.32 carats and the yellow looks more intense in the video, this was hard to photograph!
Love this opal from B & B Fine Gems
On day two I was refreshed and ready to take on some more gems (and honestly couldn’t wait to eat lunch at the food trucks). I spent most of the day checking out Erica Courtney, Kimberly Collins, B & B Fine Gems, Omi Prive, Azurz, Mayer & Watt, Zava Mastercuts, and so many more. I only had a few minutes to check out the new Grand Ballroom, so I left knowing I missed so many I wanted to see! The hardest part about Tucson is not having enough time/energy in one day! The other bad thing about this year was the weather — it was in the 30s most of the mornings and would get up into the low 50s midday, and rain happened on the first two days. Luckily these were the days I was at AGTA, so the cold weather was not a factor — a great thing about an indoor show!
I hope you enjoyed my AGTA recap this year. This photo-heavy blog post is dedicated to all those who couldn’t make the trip to Tucson this year. I almost didn’t go, but I’m so so so glad I did! Can’t wait until next year. 🙂
All photos shot by Lauren Newman for Gem Gossip.
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