Sunday, February 3, 2008

Tucson Gem Show - Feb.3, 2008

Riverpark Hotel - Today we backtracked a little, Jennifer (my very talented roommate - check out her enamel & goldsmithing skills at: ) needed to exchange some star sapphire and star ruby she had purchased. It really reinforced the need to have basic tools (at least a loupe and penlight) with you when looking at stones and especially the penlight for checking the orientation of stars, cat’s-eye and color-change stones. It worked out great because it gave me the chance to pick up some rough to work on over at the Tucson Electric Park while I am staffing the Learning Center. So - I started the day with a triple latte near the fire ring – poolside at the Riverpark.

These are the tents leading up to the Riverpark Show. The double drilled shells that I picked up yesterday came from the second tent. Of course I wandered around some more and found more to buy!

I found these ammonite pairs that were screaming EARRINGS!!!!

At the same time I picked up some chrysoprase & rose quartz rough...I will post these when I cut them.
Walking by the Vista Gems booth and couldn’t resist the Medusa Quartz (AKA Paraiba Quartz) and Green Moonstone...

We jumped on the Emerald Gem Shuttle (the routes are all named for gemstones...ruby, tanzanite, etc.) and checked out the other shows along the freeway...the African Trade Village and the AKS Shows looked like they were busy – even though it was SuperBowl Sunday!

The AKS Shows are at the Howard Johnson and La Quinta – these two shows are the spot to find raw crystals and metaphysical teaching & products. Just beyond them was the Tucson Showplace - more of a fossil &mineral show, except for Rhodo Co. which is exclusively about Rhodocrosite (from specimens to sinks...YES...bathroom sinks!).

We went by the Tucson Convention Center, Hotel Arizona and the GJX Shows all of which start later this week.

Next on my agenda - a trip to the Tucson Electric Park to help Hans Durstling (the Dean of the Learning Center) set up for the Mayor of Tucson’s foray into gem cutting!

If you are in Tucson – the Electric Park Learning Center offers a variety of free seminars every day at 11:00am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm. To check out the line-up go to .

When I got there Hans was working with two Ethiopian gentlemen that had some of the nicest Ethiopian Opal I have seen so far. They were looking for information on a more user friendly way to market these stones than just as “nuts” for specimens. Hans as always...came through like the artist/teacher he is. With in minutes they were using the equipment provided to the Learning Center by Diamond Pacific (two complete Genie setups and a trim saw) without fear!

Ahmed (EthioGemStones) cheered from the sidelines while his partner took on a particularly difficult piece of opal – from slicing to pre-polish!

We are working on getting an internet connection in the Learning Center – then I can blog directly from the seminars! Oh Yeah – did I mention that there is a HUGE Village Originals tent at the Electric Park Show?

Tomorrow – is day one of my class at Rio’s Catalog In Motion...I am learning to use a Hydraulic Press!!!
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