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Two Jewelry Designers Take-On Tucson Gem Demonstrate 2015

This yr, alternatively of having down being aware of the Tucson Gem Present plus the Miami Antique Jewellery Display have been nearly the exact same 7 days, I designed absolutely sure the fun gem searching excitement was covered by some jewelry friends! First, we had Lori Leven do an Instagram Takeover while in Tucson, now we have an exciting gem tale that includes Chelsey Kantor and Jane Pope, the two jewelry designers who made a decision to make the journey to Arizona with each other. Their insights are candid glimpses from a first-timer and second-timer examining out this legendary enormous exhibition. If you’re preparing on going, this may be considered a fantastic go through to assist strategy your vacation!

Get it away, Chelsey & Jane:

The Tucson Gem Clearly show feels like the center of the gemstone and jewellery world. It is totally overwhelming, beautiful and inspiring. As we were being told on our initially day there – this is “heaven for pirates.” Gearing up for the exhibit we did a bit of research. There is a list of over 30 shows on the Tucson Gem Demonstrate website! These happen all over the city. We knew of the main shows for wholesale only and then asked some buddies who have been heading for many years for some hints on what they recommend as “must-sees.” In 3 days we built it to only 7 shows! But with hundreds of vendors in each present we saw a lot!!!


Our first day was at the G&LW. This display is actually 2 shows in one – the holidome plus 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 jewellery, 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 – silver necklace for men70 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 experienced a burst of energy and decided to hit up one of the public shows, the Pueblo Gem & Mineral Exhibit 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 have been 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 being crystal skulls and lamps and bathroom sets. An interior designer would probably go nuts here! There had been also venders with rough and cut gem material. So entertaining to the crystals as they are grown by Mother Nature.


Our 2nd day was big – tackle AGTA and GJX, the premier shows for designers and jewelers. Equally have very strict entry policies and it’s no wonder-they are filled with top dealers in the world! The AGTA demonstrate (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! Equally 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 calendar year.

As an added bonus there ended up 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 significant 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. silver earrings for womenMined 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 exhibit and enjoyed the desert scenery up in the hills outside the main downtown. The JCK present 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 Exhibit – it’s of course at a Howard Johnson. Similar to the Pueblo exhibit, the parking lots, courtyards and rooms are filled with lively vendors. There have been 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 manufactured into sinks and soap dishes, florescent pink and purple dyed geodes and also the best rough and polished Labradorite chunks. We found the most delightful Brazilian stone dealer, who cuts beautiful Watermelon Tourmaline slices! Our bags have been a bit heavier on the way home but we left wanting more and discussing plans for us next year!!

>> Thank you Chelsey Kantor & Jane Pope for sharing your adventure with Gem Gossip!