Sunday, February 3, 2008

February 2nd - GlobeX, Rapa River & Riverpark Shows

Photo: Rock Our World's large crystal cathedrals.

Globe X - This show is the craziest mix...gems, beads, pearls, crystal cathedrals, rugs, singing bowls, African Trade beads, Tibetan Silver and fossil creatures crawling across stone as tall as you are!! All of this is flowing from two stories of hotel suites out into the courtyard & parking areas between the rows of hotel rooms.

We were here to check out the opal carving demo by internationally known carver, Daniela L’Abbate. I met Dani at the 2007 show and Jennifer (my Tucson roommate) had some opal questions that needed answers. Dani shares space in the Down To Earth Opals booth and as usual their Lightning Ridge location always assures topnotch product from the source!

Contact Info:
Tel/FAX (+61 2) 6829 2616
Daniela L’Abbate
Tel/FAX (+61 2) 6829 2757

Daniela L’Abbate's Opal Carvings at Down To Earth Opals, Lightning Ridge,AU

Daniela took time to work with Jennifer personally explaining orienting opal & polishing techniques.
Jen and Dani were deep in conversation so I went off on my the end of the aisle I found Jim & Diane Coon’s Gem Brite Lapidary. I heartily recommend his cabs (sorry I didn’t get a photo). He has a wide range of stones and while he doesn’t have a website I am sure he would be willing to send information on any stones you need. His Willow Creek and Imperial Jaspers were incredible but I was particularly impressed by his Peruvian Blue Opal Cabs that were gemmy and translucent!
Contact Info:
Gem Brite Lapidary - Jim & Diane Coon
785 Makinster Rd., Tillamook, OR 97141
(503) 842-6317

I couldn’t for the life of me get a photo that showed the amount of color in the Ammonite from Freya’s Jewellery. This Canadian company had some of the most reasonable prices on really amazing ammonite pieces that showed 3-5 colors per piece!!!
Contact Info:
Freya’s Jewellery – Ammolite in the Rockies
Oswald (Ossi, Sr.) Treutler
P.O. Box 950, Banff, AB Canada T1L 1A9
Ph: (403) 762-4652 FAX: (403) 762-8044

At the edge of the GlobeX show (it may in fact be the Rapa River Show – they pretty much run together) were some dealers with African Trade Beads.

Next stop was the Riverpark Hotel – this is definitely my favorite of the outdoor, everything but the kitchen sink is a little more refined but not so refined that it was expensive. Unlike Globe X most of this show is under giant tents – there are still folks selling out of there suites. I will never forget the first time I asked a dealer to show me a strand of emeralds and he had to crawl across his bed to get to the case...only in Tucson!
The nice thing about this one is that the outside booths are poolside! There are bar & food stations outside and a Bennigan’s inside.

The outside booths at the edge of the Riverpark housed the “cheaper stuff” – now in saying that be aware that this is also where I made my first purchase (double drilled shell bracelets in the photo), so cheap isn’t always bad! The gem rough at this show is beautiful, but I will talk about that tomorrow when I go back to pick up some rough that I can work up in the Learning Center later this week!

OK – so into the “big” tent – lovely things from Amber to Watches made from Meteorites. I left Jennifer at “The Opal Zone” looking at some really nice Koroit opal (he also has some of the nicest Ethiopian Opal I have seen) and I went off to look for the award winning faceter/carvers that I remembered from the previous year.
It didn’t take long to find John Dyer the gemstone artist, behind the crowd at his booth...check out his newly revamped website at . Just around the corner was Sean Davis Creations’ custom carvings, always a unique - you can see an example at . I found the folks at Vista Gems to be delightful and very helpful – their Trend Watch hint was green moonstone!!! Another Trend Watch - Larimar was beautifully represented by Larimar from Conlight...find him online at .
John Dyer – Gemstone Artist (that clean-cut young man between the two women) talking with customers at his booth just inside the poolside entrance of the “big tent” at the Riverpark Hotel.

TREND WATCH – We all watched as Rutilated Quartz jump onto the “must have” lists of several major designers...well my picks for this year are Medusa Quartz (AKA Paraiba Quartz and Lepidocrosite in Quartz (AKA Fire Quartz). Daniel Ingalsbe at Pyramid Imports had a large assortment of Medusa Quartz, which features a beautiful aqua inclusion splashed (literally it looks like water dripped into the stone) in clear quartz. And while his Lepidocrosite in Quartz was gorgeous I have to say it was the first time I have ever seen Lepidocrosite in Amethyst. He is based in Brazil and Tucson assuring “from the source” quality.
Contact Info:
Pyramid Imports
Tucson Ph: (520) 977-8265
Brazil Ph: 55-33-3275-1459

With booths at Globe X as well as the Riverpark, the folks at United States Pearl Co. located in Hong Kong and E. Tennessee oozed southern hospitality, they were helpful and accommodating...their product speaks for itself. Clean beautiful pearls both loose and made into jewelry...but the showstopper was the incredible selection of baroque pearls – all natural color.
Contact Info:
Ph: 1-800-248-3064

Rows and rows of luscious pearl strands and fabulous, one-of-a-kind baroque pearls!!!!
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