Friday, November 7, 2014

#TucsonGemShow - Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show Announces Line Up For Fifth Annual Mineral Lecture Series


January 30th - February 11th 2015
At The Riverpark Inn, Tucson Arizona USA

Requests the Pleasure of your Company
At The Following Events 

at the Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show

The 2015 Tucson Mineral Lectures Series has been announced by the Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show, the program for its Fifth Annual Mineral Lecture Series offers luminaries in the Mineral field - Museum Curator, Volcanologist, Author, Collector, Geologist and more.

This event is open to all and you will find this group to be. as I have,  some of the smartest and most welcoming people in the Industry! 

Thank you once again to Maury and Aisha for assembling such a distinguished line up...much appreciated!

You are getting a sneak preview of the talk by John made me want to be there!  

Held in the courtyard of the International Fine Mineral Building 
at the Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show ….. means there will be plenty of free parking.

6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. / 9:15 to 9:45 p.m.
Hosted Wine and Cheese Reception 


7:15 - 7:50 pm 

John S. White, former Curator-In-Charge, Mineral Division, Smithsonian Institution

"Reminiscences of a Very Old Former Curator"

John White's "Reminiscences of an Old Former Curator" was originally delivered to the 2013 Rochester Mineralogical Symposium. White is the founder of Mineralogical Record and retired as Curator-in-Charge of the Division of Mineralogy at the Smithsonian Institution. White's presentation includes personal anecdotes that will delight the mineral and gemstone enthusiast. Posted by Pala International

8:00 - 8:30 pm 

Bob Jones, Sr. Editor, Rock & Gem Magazine

"Tucson: How It All Began"

8:40 - 9:15  pm 

Marco Campos-Venuti, Volcanologist

 "Genesis and Classification of Agates and Jaspers: A new Theory"


7:15 - 7:50 pm

 Dr. Don Lum

"Minerals I have Known and Loved"

8:00 - 8:30 pm

Peter Megaw, 

"An Explorer's Mineralogical  Adventures 
  in Famous Mexican Localities"

8:40 – 9:15 pm

Federico Barlocher

FILM: "Namak Mandi Peshawar Pakistan:  
The Mysteries & Secrets of The Legendary Gem Crystal Market Never Seen By The Public Before"

A BIG Thank You to Maury Destouet the General Manager of the Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show and the always polished Aisha Jan for assembling an amazing group of Experts for this Lecture Series. 

"I have the honor and pleasure to select the guest speakers and to assist in the organization of these events. Our company Rocksaholics is a proud participant of this show."

Aisha & Arif Jan, Rocksaholics, LLC

Monday, April 14, 2014

#TucsonGemShow - Jeffrey Bergman Brings a Rare Treat To Tucson, Burmese Trapiche Sapphire

Jeffrey Bergman has been collecting trapiche sapphires for over a decade and has assembled the largest collection known, rivaling the quality of pieces in the finest museum collections.

While the vast majority of trapiche sapphires are either opaque blackish blue with gray spokes or translucent dark gray on light gray, very occasionally, he would acquire a translucent gemmy vivid blue on snow white trapiche sapphire.  

The collection  on display at the Gem & Jewelry Exchange (GJX) in Tucson this year was made up of  is comprised of several dozen of the typical opaque or gray type trapiche sapphires...but then there were three of gem quality; a 3.90ct and an 8.70 carat gem with GIA reports, and an extraordinary 36.16 carat gem with GRS and Gubelin lab reports.  

His collection was on display at GJX in booth 106 with Mauro Panto of "The Beauty In The Rocks". With price points ranging from a few hundred dollars per piece to many thousands per carat I am sure that he was quite successful.

GRS gave a special comment “unusual translucent vivid blue color zoning” and Gubelin wrote one of their coveted full page appendixes where they call it an “extremely rare” and remarkable gemstone”.

The Gubelin lab report and appendix:

“The Spanish word trapiche, cogwheel in English, designates the agricultural tool which in former days was used to crush sugarcane. In the world of gems the same term is used for gemstones which show a characteristic six-rayed star pattern in cross-section. 

For a long time this peculiar appearance was only known from emerald, and is due to bands of dark inclusions which radiate from the center of the crystal – the optic axis – to the crystal faces. Only in the past twenty years other trapiche gemstones have been discovered, namely trapiche ruby, trapiche tourmaline, and trapiche sapphire. 

While the trapiche affect of tourmaline and ruby is caused by similar inclusions as in the trapiche emeralds, the trapiche effect in sapphires is due to a strong color banding parallel to the hexagonal growth zoning. The blue color is mostly concentrated along the angles of the crystal forming a blue star, while white zones are found between the star segments. Such trapiche sapphires are only known from Burma and are extremely rare.

This 36.16 natural sapphire described in the above mentioned Gubelin Gem Lab Report displays a distinct and well centered star. In addition, this remarkable gemstone has been spared thermal treatment. Such a combination of characteristics is very rare in Burmese sapphires of this size.”

This stunning example was featured in the Las Vegas Show report by Gary Roskin in the Summer/Fall edition of the 2013 Prism magazine (a production of AGTA).  The extra fine  trapiche sapphire is 12.29 carats, set in white gold  and flanked with asteraited diamonds.
You can find Jeffery Bergman at:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

#TucsonGemShow #AGTA - The Tanzanite Foundation Presents The Maasai Ladies Project

#AGTA - The Tanzanite Foundation Presents The Maasai Ladies Project

In the Hall as you enter the AGTA GemFair is what I refer to as 
the Hall of Learning, Support and Publications...
one of the agencies represented is the Tanzanite Foundation. 
 This year they had a great display of tumbled Tanzanite nugget jewelry 
that was hand crafted by the local Masai women...
a new project to provide a steady income stream
 for the women and their families.

A little bit about the ladies from their website...

In the village of Nasinyai - just outside the tanzanite mining area - 
a group of ladies gather together to make spectacular jewellery 
with wire and tanzanite donated by TanzaniteOne. 
Each piece is 100 % handcrafted and all proceeds are reinvested back into the project.

Formed in 2012, the ladies were tutored by renown gem carver Naomi Sarna 
in the art of wire wrap jewellery making, and after a period of learning 
now create stunning one-of-a-kind pieces 
which are sold through The Tanzanite Experience boutiques in Africa, 
Television Shopping and will soon be available online

This gem of an idea was conceived by The Tanzanite Foundation
and now donations of time and skill by others - such as Adam Woodhams, 
a local photographer who manages the project in Tanzania, 
and TanzaniteOne Staff who tumble the stones - mean the project is now 
creating a steady income to help the ladies support their families. '
Special thanks to TV network The Liquidation Channel for their on going support.

To catch up with the latest, visit the The Maasai Ladies Facebook Page 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

#JCKTucson #TucsonGemShow - JCK Conquers Tucson - The Luxury Floor!

One amazing gem after the other - and I am VERY happy to report, lots of COLOR!  

A HUGE Trend that I hope to see more of going forward was Cabochon gems...but the slices and rose cuts don't appear to be slowing down at all!

The ornate and colorful Bollywood style seems to be holding on for another season and, Desi Girl that I am (in my dreams), I couldn't be happier!

Opals of every color and size, traditional gems from new locales and mosaic diamonds are all fun newer trends...

BA Gold - Booth 114 

Aspery & Guldag - Booth 327

Aspery & Guldag - Booth 327
Lord Jewelry - Booth: 426

Lord Jewelry - Booth: 426

Marco Daniel, Inc. - Booth 327

JS Noor - Booth 401

JS Noor - Booth 401

JS Noor - Booth 401

Mysterium Collection - Booth: 504
Mysterium Collection - Booth: 504
Izabel Camille - Check out the links they each tell one of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales!
Ugly Duckling to a Swan - Ballerina for the Red Shoes....etc.
 Represented by Arslev Jewelry - Booth 504
 Represented by Arslev Jewelry - Booth 504
 Represented by Arslev Jewelry - Booth 504

 Represented by Arslev Jewelry - Booth 504

Cicada Jewelry - Booth: 318
Cicada Jewelry - Booth: 318

Cicada Jewelry - Booth: 318

Vivaan - really stunning jewels that celebrate colored stones

Vivaan - stunning tumbled Tanzanite!
Gasia Booth 69

Gasia Booth 69

Gasia Booth 69

All in All I would say that JCK's newest show 
is a MAJOR HIT!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

#TucsonGemShow - Master Cutter and a "Prospector" on the Weather Channel Display Record Topaz in Tucson

One of TV's "Prospectors", Richard Fretterd,
 Shows Record Topaz in Tucson

by Christine Ford

A Woodland Park prospector and a Sedona gemologist set the gem and mineral world to talking at the recent Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. Richard Fretterd displayed some of his rare apricot-peach colored topaz crystal specimens from his "Angus Dei Tribute Pocket". The biggest one, cut and faceted without computer assistance by gemologist Stephen Kotlowski of Sedona, is the largest faceted topaz from Colorado by 3 times. 

The finished stone, called "The Agnus Dei Tribute Topaz", weighs 1,345.15 carats or just over half a pound. Fretterd says Agnus Dei is a Biblical reference to John 1:29, and is "a tribute to the Lamb of God." It originally came out of the pocket at just over 1.5 pounds, or 3,634 carats, according to Kotlowski. That's a 37% recovery from the original topaz, he said. 

The crystal is now a very deep oval shape and took Kotlowski about 120 to 140 hours of labor to complete. It is finished to the highest possible polish and meets the criteria for a competition type stone, where judging is typically done using a 10x loupe. It has a total of 275 facets.

Only the most experienced of gemologists could create this type of faceting by hand and eye or " on the fly" as Kotlowski described it, without assistance from GemCad or any other preset computer design. He has been faceting colored stones since he was a teenager " back in 1969," he said, and has done it professionally since the early 1980's. He received his Graduate Gemologist degree, in residence at GIA in New York in 1984 and received "Certified Supreme Master Cutter" status from the American Society of Gem Cutters in 1989. He has also won numerous awards, including several AGTA Spectrum " Cutting Edge" awards.
The "Angel" is 171.77 carats and the reflection of the facets
when viewed face on with the narrow end up resembles an angel.
The Tucson show was the Tribute gems' first public appearance. It created a sensation, and is even being considered for acquisition by the Smithsonian, according to Fretterd, who said he would prefer to see it stay in Colorado, perhaps at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Fretterd recently donated a 345 pound smoky quartz from the Lake George/ Florissant area to the Pikes Peak Historical Society Museum in Florissant, in memory of his late brother Vincent, joining a 439 pound smoky he donated some years previously. Fretterd is deeply spiritual and shows it by his generous nature, including his willingness to support local venues. He hopes to see the PPHS museum expanded to include a gem and mineral "Hall" of local specimens. 

Kotlowski surprised Fretterd at the Tucson show by bringing another specimen of Rich's which he was not expecting to be ready. The "Angel" is 171.77 carats and the reflection of the facets when viewed face on with the narrow end up resembles an angel. Turned in certain lights, it appears the angel moves its wings. Kotlowski took the original 450 carat rough crystal and created a custom blunted triangle from it. It is also apricot-peach in color and from the same pocket in El Paso county. 

It just goes to show, says Fretterd, that "the U.S. has wonderful minerals. too"

 "And gems!" added Kotlowski.

Photo Credit: Stephen Kotlowski

About Christine:Christine Ford lives near Lake George, Colorado. Hard rock mining in her family goes back at least four generations, from the ore mines of Michigan's UP to Austria in the 1800's. Nowadays, she calls herself a rock hound. She grew up in Wisconsin and raised her two children in Alaska. Christine was a member of the Chugach Gem and Mineral Society; she spent one summer prospecting the Yukon alone.

Ms. Ford has been an occasional contributing writer for several local publications, including newspapers and tourist guides, since 2005. She recently wrote a two part series on The Weather Channel's reality TV show, Prospectors. Ms. Ford is also an accomplished photographer, her photos can be seen at Ford

Christine has been disabled since 2000 by degenerative disk disease, 3 spinal fusions and fibromyalgia, but continues to expand her world whenever possible.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

#TucsonGemShow - JTV Talks Tucson Finds - The Rare & The Beautiful

Jewelry Television Announces Key Finds from the Tucson Gem, Fossil & Mineral Show

JTV showcases upcoming trends from 'Rock Center'

Jewelry Television (JTV) announced key trends and product acquisitions made recently at the largest gemstone event in the world, the Tucson Gem, Fossil & Jewelry Show in Arizona. As one of the largest retailers of gemstones in the world, JTV scours the show each year searching for new gemstone materials and unique stones to bring back to eager collectors.
Key gemstone buys included: 
  • Sphalerite – this gem has four times the light dispersion of a diamond and it comes from a famous Spanish mine originally sealed in 1989.
  • Colombian Emerald – this emerald sets the standards to which all other emeralds are measured. As it has become more difficult to source, JTV was pleased to find this gemstone available.
  • Bixbite – An all-American beauty and one of the rarest gems in the world, bixbite is always difficult to attain. Found only in the Wah Wah Mountains of Utah, it is estimated that only one blood-red bixbite crystal is found for every 150,000 diamonds.
  • Chromium Kyanite – With color and rarity rivaling blue alexandrite in daylight, the chromium kyanite gems come from Orissa, India. This natural untreated gem’s unique color is due to a rare combination of trace elements and is sure to excite collectors.
  • Bixbite from
  • Purple and Blue Spinel – Nicknamed "Gem Island," Sri Lanka is a natural treasure trove of gemological wonders and our buyers discovered rare, untreated purple and blue spinel from this storied locale. The exceptional brilliance, paired with highly saturated hues, set them apart from all other gems on the planet today.
“Our buyers noted that worldwide demand for colored gemstones is on the rise,” said Jill Johnson, vp of marketing at JTV. “We canvas the world to stay on top of emerging trends, discover rare gemstones, and make them accessible to anyone who love to collect or create their own jewelry masterpieces.”
For more specific information on the gemstones cited above, refer to JTV’s extensive online Learning Library.
JTV offers more ways to shop. Check your local television listings, shop online at or download free mobile shopping apps for the iPhone, Android, and iPad.

About Jewelry Television®
Jewelry Television® (JTV) is one of the largest multichannel retailers of jewelry and gemstones in the U.S. appealing to fashion-conscious women, jewelry-making enthusiasts and private collectors. The privately-held shopping network broadcasts high definition programming, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to more than 80 million U.S. households. Committed to consumer education, the network employs numerous Graduate Gemologists and Accredited Jewelry Professionals. offers the most comprehensive jewelry and gemstone Learning Library on the internet, and is the third largest jewelry website according to Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide for 2012


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