Each February the world's largest gathering of colored gem miners, cutters, and dealers come together in Tucson, Arizona.
Maybe together is an overstatement… since the miners, cutters, and dealers exhibit at a number of hotels and exhibit halls scattered around town.
But we all make the effort to visit the various "important" shows. We can see all of the newest discoveries, gather and dispense news and opinions, and renew acquaintances from around the world.
At this year's shows we talked with old and new friends from Arctic Canada to Australia, and from Madagascar to Siberia. And just for balance, we talked with folks from Germany, Vietnam, Tanzania, and Afghanistan.
You could call it the United Gem Nations. It's an amazing experience! People from most countries of the world, practicing the free enterprise system with enthusiasm. We don't all speak recognizable English, but we all speak Gem.
Tourmaline Is Hot
While the show exhibitors are gem miners, cutters, and dealers, the customers attending the shows are jewelry storeowners, jewelry manufacturers, and TV shopping network representatives.
At this year's shows, high quality goods were in demand. Jewelers say their customers are requesting higher quality gems, even if they have to go to a smaller size gem.
Pink tourmaline, pink and blue sapphire, ruby, blue and cinnamon zircon, and some colors of garnet are hot.
The current supplies of high quality pink tourmaline from Nigeria, and the new finds of sapphire in Madagascar, are keeping prices from rising... even in the face of high demand.
Tanzanite was a problem. Quality is down and prices are up. Many buyers were passing on tanzanite this year.
It's also getting difficult to find well cut, top color blue topaz. Thank goodness our supplier in Thailand has not faltered in meeting our needs for top quality topaz.
Buy, Sell, and Trade
We took delivery of a large parcel of zircon at the show… and we kept several round cinnamon zircon gems for internet sales. They are all in the 6 to 7 mm size range, and they are beautiful, lively gems.
We also have more of our popular exotic pink tourmaline, some nice blue sapphires (and white sapphires), and we're expecting a few round rhodolite garnets to arrive from our Sri Lanka cutter before April.
So, we made a little money, and we probably have at least as many gems in stock as we had before the show.
Next month we'll examine the gem Peridot. While there is a "dot" in azgem.com there is no dot in per-I-doh.
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AZGem.com is the Web presence of:
The Dorado Company
P.O. Box 8232
Scottsdale, AZ 85252-8232