The Tucson Gem Shows 2010 are now history...
as they say on TV. The exhibitors, non-exhibiting dealers and buyers have moved
on. Many of the Asian, African, and European exhibitors are traveling around the
USA, calling on customers that did not attend the shows.
We enjoyed out time at the various shows,
as usual. We were able to visit with old friends and become acquainted with a
few new exhibitors. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the new exhibitors from
Afghanistan, and it's good to see gem rough material once again flowing out of
We did not buy or sell anything while in
Tucson. We didn't take any rough material or faceted stones to sell, and we
didn't see anything new that shouted "buy me." Our purpose was to see
people and exchange information with them. These exchanges confirmed what
everyone already knows... the gem business is still in "the
The Tucson Gem Shows 2010 were about as well
attended this year as the previous year's shows... as the photo above illustrates.
ago the aisles were crowded with buyers.
Campbell Bridges Follow-up
My husband and I stopped by the Tsavorite USA booth while we
were at the AGTA show. We had not been able to attend the memorial reception held the
previous evening to honor the life of Campbell Bridges.
We spoke with Bruce Bridges, Campbell's son. Bruce was injured in the attack
that took his dad, but Bruce's physical injuring have pretty much healed now. It
was very evident that the emotional injury is raw and the lack of justice for
his father adds to his pain.
Bruce reports that the local political (and security) climate continues to be
dangerous. Powerful local (and national?) politicians see the Bridges' gem
mining concessions as a prize they can simply take by force.
The mine complex continues to be protected by it's own private security
force, but the situation remains so dangerous Bruce will not allow his mother to
stay there overnight.
Most of the attackers are known to the security personnel, and their names
have been reported to the authorities. Bruce believes that pressure from the
international gem community will motivate Kenyan national authorities to arrest and
prosecute the perpetrators. To add your support, go to the Tsavorite
Before we left Tucson some progress had been made. The reputed mastermind
behind the murder of Campbell was apprehended, but not by government
According to the ICA, " the Bridges family’s private security force apprehended Daniel M.
Mnene, and held him until police arrived to arrest him for allegedly killing
Bridges and attacking Bridges’ son Bruce and four colleagues last August. One
of these colleagues was a security officer that apprehended Mnene."
officer was brutally beaten and stabbed by the mob that murdered the renowned
gemologist in Taita Taveta District in Tsavo
National Park. The officer reportedly accompanied police to the station to document the
arrest of the alleged suspect."
Details on the
charges filed against Mr. Mnene are still not available.
Mnene is believed
to be behind the illegal mining in the region, and the attempted takeover of the
Bridges’ mining concessions.
One gem industry newsletter reports on the memorial reception this way...
"Bruce Bridges’ emotional
remembrance of his father included the tragic details of the last
moments of Campbell’s life. He thanked the ICA for its collective
efforts to rally the support of the international gemstone community
immediately following the murder of his father and the association’s
commitment to the family and Campbell’s legacy. Bruce called on the
international community to support the efforts to seek justice for
Campbell and the prosecution of the known perpetrators."
Campbell Bridges contribution to the gemstone industry is huge... and
historic. To learn
more about this industry giant, use the search box below and a keyword phrase
such as campbell bridges tsavorite.
A search using the keyword tsavo also returns interesting information.
Gem Industry News...
Pearl Price Rise Continues
Pearl prices are
going up - still.
This appears to be happening across the board... in the face of the current
business slowdown. South Seas, Akoya, Chinese Freshwater, round, baroque,
color-treated - it doesn't seem to matter.
I was told by several
dealers at the shows that a combination of disease and bad weather has
significantly impacted pearl production quantity and quality. The disease part is
especially significant because it will take a few years for the farms to replace
the mollusks that grow the pearls.
My prices for pearls
will not be impacted, because I usually buy a several year supply when prices
are favorable. I have pearl stud earrings, and strands at good prices. I
especially like the lustre, shape and size of the "potato" pearl
strands pictured below.
From a supply perspective, now is the time to replenish your depleted inventory.
If you have some money to invest in inventory - there are deals to be had.
And you should have some cash. After all, that depleted inventory was sales.
From a sales perspective, gift giving occasions have not disappeared. Birthdays,
anniversaries, and many other reasons to give nice jewelry at a great price just
keep on coming. Your customers (and their friends) need what you offer!
A market where people perceive they should spend less fits right into your