Sponsored by HiBid
5 Things That Were Hot in Tucson
Senior Editor Brecken Branstrator talks about the stones and colors most prominent at the gem shows.
The annual Tucson gem shows in February are a blessing for a number of reasons.
The first is that it gives all of us in much colder climates the opportunity to head out West to the warm (at least during the daytime) desert and get some Vitamin C.
It’s also a fabulous time to catch up with industry friends and be able to totally geek out over gems with the exact crowd that appreciates the enthusiasm.
This year, with the entire National Jeweler team finally making the trek to Tucson with me, I walked the many show floors and talked to many exhibitors at AGTA’s GemFair, the GJX show and then had some of my own fun out in the tents and hotel shows.
Overall, the buying activity seemed to be decent and everyone, at the very least, was more than happy to be back in the desert and seemed optimistic about the direction in which the gem market is heading.
Here’s a round-up of some of the trends prevalent out West, both from my own observations and from the feedback I got after talking to a number of exhibitors.
1. Sapphires. This one didn’t surprise me, as it’s been a consistent topic in the gemstone market for a while now, but I always feel the need to include it since sapphires are doing so well right now.
Not only did I see sapphires everywhere in Tucson, but for so many of the exhibitors that I talked to both during the shows and afterward, this was one of the first answers they gave me when I asked what was selling.
And not just blue, which has stayed hot as it leverages the colored bridal trends and blue stones ride a popularity wave right now, but the fancy-colored sapphires and the warm options they bring as well.
2. Pastels. Consumers are craving them, designers are putting them in many of their designs and dealers are happy to provide them; pastel-colored gems are definitely having a moment.
My first point about sapphires has a lot to do with this trend, as people have told me time and again that the peachy and pink fancy-colored sapphires have helped keep interest in the classic stones, and the conversation around this color set continued in the desert.
Also doing well right now are aquamarine, amethyst, morganite and the blush shades of garnet, all
It seemed like spinels were everywhere in Tucson, and they weren’t just being displayed by many exhibitors but also purchased by many attendees.
Reds and pinks might be among the most sought-after, but the uptick in demand for the stone has trickled through to its other colors, like lilac, gray and steely blue.
One exhibitor in a post-Tucson conversation told me that demand was high for all of the gem’s colors she offered at GemFair--red, coral, light pink and the gray/platinum hues.
4. Rubies, especially from Mozambique. While Burmese rubies may have stolen the spotlight in the fall as the news broke that they could be imported again, it was their African counterparts that brought so much of the love for the red corundum to Tucson.
There were so many fine Mozambican rubies at the shows, which is fitting since it seems to be the direction in which that market is really heading.
I had one exhibitor tell me that their fine Mozambique material garnered a lot of attention, with their Burmese ruby-like characteristics and coloring and their much more affordable pricing.
He added that the company, and several other dealers he has talked to, believe that interest in this particular stone will continue to grow as consumers realize just how great the material is.
Interestingly, he told me that be believes the increased awareness is due in large part to the marketing efforts done by Gemfields to promote their rubies.
5. Special stones. Tucson is always great for a hands-on learning experience, but this year there seemed to be even more interesting and rare stones than I remember in years past.
I was introduced to sphene a few times and had a long conversation with a dealer about trapiche gems--and not just of the emerald variety--and where he thought that market was going for these stones (more to come on that topic in a blog post next month).
Another dealer told me that while he did sell a lot of emeralds and sapphires, he noticed that people were getting to be a bit more adventurous with their buying during this year’s Tucson shows.
Special stones also includes stones with quality and interesting cuts, because that was a prediction from many dealers before the show and it certainly seemed to hold true.
Plus, JSA President John Kennedy talks about the trajectory of industry crime over the last 20 years.
The fair was evacuated temporarily Tuesday after four suspects smashed a showcase and stole jewelry from British jeweler Symbolic & Chase.
Rare & Forever is helping to create an enjoyable diamond buying experience for the millions of newly-engaged couples.
It is the fifth acquisition under the ownership of private equity firm Epiris, which bought Bonhams in 2018.
Experience all the Italian Jewelry market has to offer in Las Vegas.
Retail ounce sales were up 23 percent year-over-year in Q1, according to the recent Platinum Jewellery Business Review.
Scheduled for Sept. 8-11, the event will comprise more than 310,000 square feet of show floor, exhibits, and education space.
Continental Diamond in Minneapolis is awarding a total of $25,000 in prizes via daily sweepstakes.
“Confluence” is happening in August.
He first took a job at then Philadelphia-based Jewelers’ Circular-Keystone in 1963 and retired in 1996.
It cited two recent cases in California, plus incidents in Florida, Kansas, and Illinois.
The 10,000-square-foot location allows for expanded collections from design partners while continuing custom design and other services.
Svetlana Lazar’s “Wishing Well” collection utilizes an innovative component to mimic the movement of water beneath them.
Sponsored by AGTA
All proceeds up to $25,000 will benefit the It Gets Better Project, a nonprofit that supports LGBTQ+ youth.
It’s a reminder that life is best lived with discretion.
The end-to-end software allows for real-time control over all sales, inventory, repairs, customer communications, and marketing.
The Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences aims to set a color standard for the trade name.