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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.
Gem Shows - 2004
The Tucson Gem Shows of 2004 have come
and gone... but they were fun while they lasted!
The Tucson Gem Shows come together in Tucson,
Arizona each February. It's the crowning event of the year for the gem
Dealers, traders, miners, cutters, buyers,
suppliers, journalists, and many others associated with the gem industry view
the collection of Tucson Shows as a single event.
An event that seems to take over the town for
about two weeks. Hotel rooms double in price and are difficult to find. Reserve
a room months in advance is the rule.
Friends living in Tucson tell me they avoid
going out to eat while the gem shows are in town. It's just too crowded.
The gem shows both compete and cooperate
among themselves. They compete for exhibitors and buyers. They cooperate in
making it easy for buyers to visit several shows in just a few days.
Show dates are coordinated to help attract
Many of the shows help sponsor shuttle buses
which move buyers between various show locations each day.
The more important shows restrict attendance
to industry members only. Multiple documents and references proving industry
affiliation are required when registering.
Internet, fax, and mail pre-registration is
now offered by many shows, but there are still long registration lines of those
As you would think, security is heavy.
Uniformed, off-duty police officers, undercover officers, armored transports,
and other security measures are employed.
And is it any wonder! Most of the shows
feature hundreds of dealers, most of them selling loose colored gems.
Our favorite shows are:
The GJX Show (Gem and Jewelry
Exchange) has become one of the more important shows in just a few years.
They attract leading colored stone dealers, manufacturers of finished
jewelry, and diamond dealers as exhibitors.
The AGTA Show (American Gem Trade
Association) is a very important show. This show's exhibitors are almost
exclusively world-class colored gem dealers.
The GLDA Show (Gem and Lapidary
Dealers Association) is the granddaddy of commercial Tucson gem shows. This
one seems to offer exhibitors selling all gem industry products and
There are about thirty other shows that make
up what we call The Tucson Gem Shows. There are bead shows, rockhound shows, fossil,
meteorite, and mineral specimen shows. They all come together in Tucson each
For those who aren't aware, Tucson is located
in southern Arizona's Sonoran Desert. The sunny and mild winter climate is a
real attraction to buyers from eastern U.S. cities experiencing snow, ice and
Holding the shows in sunny Tucson is just
icing on the cake for most buyers. They really come because the dealers are
there. Big and little dealers alike, all competing with each other.
And of course, the dealers come because the buyers are
there... and the event just keeps growing each year.
We meet with miners/dealers from the U.S., Madagascar,
Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, India,
China, Pakistan, and Thailand, each year at the Tucson Gem Shows.
Some are old friends, and a few are new
friends. This year we met a group of gem miners from Zambia sponsored by
the European Union. They were a great group and we were impressed with their gem
Many Asian and African dealers travel
for days to attend, but Tucson is only two hours south of our home in the
The defining feature of the 2004 shows in my
mind was the increase in facet-grade gem rough available at the shows.
We usually have to work very hard to find
good rough in Tucson, but high quality rough was available at both the GJX and
GLDA shows this year.
By buying gem rough and having it cut
ourselves, we keep our cost (and yours, too) very affordable.
The Tucson Gem Shows of 2004 were larger and better
Two new deposits of rare blue gems have been discovered recently.
in the Motagua Valley of Guatemala, miners have uncovered
a sizable deposit of deep blue jade. This same valley is the location of the
historic jade deposits of the ancient Mayans.
The deposits of green to blue-green jade worked by
the Mayans were lost for centuries... until being rediscovered during the
A Canadian exploration and mining company,
True North Gems, has announced the discovery of blue gemstones believed to be a
rare deposit of blue beryl.
Described as "a transparent gemstone the color of
blue velvet," Blue beryl of this color is perhaps so rare that it may have
only been found once before, in Brazil.
The blue gemstones are currently being classified by gem
labs to determine if they are a completely new classification of gemstone or the
world's second occurrence of deep blue beryl.
Are you making up new pieces of jewelry to rebuild and
upgrade your inventory depleted by holiday sales? Now is a good time to work at
this fun and vital task.
We've recently received some new emerald, morganite,
sapphire, peridot, and chrome diopside from our cutters.
As usual, all these gems are in sizes appropriate for
center stones in rings and pendants.
Send me an email for information on gems that interest