Saturday, January 31, 2009

Algurite - The Italian Fire!

I ran into the nicest man Marcos Campos Venuti is in Tucson representing what he is calling a "New Finding From The Past".

Alurgite - is a stone that combines several minerals - it is referred to as "a purple manganiferous variety of muscovite mica".

Venuti has a great selection of "boulder and drusy algurite, a very special red mineral from an Italian mine that closed 30 years ago!"

You can find him at the Riverpark Inn - Room 113 and in Tent C1 ! I suggest that you look him up in the daylight hours - at the tent outside - the sparkle from the red mica-like top layer has the metallic shine of native copper.

Since the stones are actually cut by the seller he can talk very intelligently about the geology, gemology and lapidary aspects of this stone!

Do me a favor an ask him to see his faceted agate - he cut and faceted a stunning stone with the bullseye faced up - gorgeous!!!!

Vendor Info:

Marcos Campos Venuti
PhD Volcanologist, Lapidary, Editor of Rivista Gemmologica Italiana
Pueblo Gem Show
Riverpark Inn
Room 113 & Tent C1

Tucson Gem Show - RiverPark Hotel

So - you know I have to start with the weather it was 75 degrees today in Tucson and yes we are sitting in Paradise!!!

The RiverPark is one of my favorite venues - the staff is delightful (Brandon in the lobby bar is a gem)and the exhibitors diverse...

BTW - let me warn you that you will hear this several times - but right now during the hustle and bustle of setup it is sooo alive here!

The entry to the hotel is a good indication of what is to come...check out the 6-10 ft crystals that line the Lobby Entry!

Let's take a walk outside and I can show you just some of the stuff vendors are unloading...

While it is a little early to start talking trend - there is a lot of Sugilite at this show - from the powdery light lavender to the deep purple with the bits of glittery black! I have yet to see any of the gel/transluscent material but then there are a lot of vendors that are still checking in!

This photo is for my friends Judy & Nia!!! Poor Boy Opals is their favorite opal vendor. They are setting up on the opposite side of the pool from last year - if you are looking for them!

So - the way it works at the hotel venues is, there are tents with exhibitors in the courtyard area (these tend to be jewelry and bead dealers) with rough dealers working out of the hotel rooms that face the courtyard.

I was able to get a quick shot so you can see the tables coming off the sliding glass doors of the hotel rooms.

Now - the tip here is - if the vendor has some nice rough on the tables outside their room be sure to check on what they have inside their room - the high grade rough or in some cases beads will be inside where they have more control over them.

The Main Pavilion isn't open yet - which is one of the reasons I love this show (there are some excellent gem carvers here).

But the South Pavilion is setting up so lets look at some home/office decor...

Moroccan Imports is right along gate on the "Bennigan's" side of the lobby.

They have everything from the hematite "buzzers" to the Amethyst and Citrine Cathedrals and halved Geodes that you can add a glass top to for a coffee table in your living room!

I really like the "conference" tables - I have a fantasy of being a big executive with an orthocerus (fossil squid-like creature) table in the conference room.

If you know me you know I love "critters" - not animals but bug type critters - so the crinoids and trilobites are great fun!

The show staff for this vendor are helpful, and educated - an important factor when talking fossils!

Then of course, after you have the fossil or stone table you need stone dinnerware - right?!

USMAN Imports has beautiful fossil and alabaster chargers, serving pieces, plates and bowls.

....and large sink bowls - even giant vases for home decorators.

Riverpark Inn
350 S. Freeway, Tucson AZ 85745

Moroccan Imports
booths in the Pueblo Inn, Riverpark Inn and JOGS shows

USMAN Imports

* these articles are an attempt to SHOW you the shows a vendor listing does not mean that I have purchased from them or that I recommend them - recommended vendors (these are people I have purchased from or know personally) will be listed in the column to the right.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Bill Larson, Pala Gems to Speak at Tucson

Pala International President Bill Larson will present a free seminar at next week’s AGTA GemFair in Tucson, entitled “Collectors of Gems and Minerals: How and Why.”

The presentation is targeted at the basic-to-intermediate level:
Collector Bill Larson follows a fine tradition of a few noteworthy gem and mineral collectors such as Dr. Edward Gubelin, Dr. Peter Bancroft, and John Sinkankas whose collections have informed the industry and who were themselves inspiration for, and mentors to, Larson. In this session Larson discusses the collector’s impulse, how to build your own gem and mineral collection, and reveals some of his holdings while appreciating the import of other gem and mineral collectors.

This presentation will make a great companion piece to Jason Stephenson’s “Collecting and Investing in World Class Gemstones” featured previously in Pala’s Gem News.

When: Saturday, February 7, 2009

Time: 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Where: AGTA GemFair, Maricopa Room, Tucson Convention Center

See Pala International’s page on the Westward Look Show site.

Pala International will be represented in Tucson as follows:
Event: AGTA GemFair

When: February 4–9, 2009

Where: Tucson Convention Center

Booth: 1016–1018

When: February 6–9, 2009

Where: Westward Look Resort

Suite: 236Website: Official show website

When: February 12–15, 2009

Where: Tucson Convention Center

Booth: Aisle 5 East

We look forward to seeing our many friends there. Visit the Pala International Show Schedule for future events.

5 Shopping Tips for the Tucson Bead Shows

Heading for Sunny Tucson

(these are some really great tips from Jean Campbell - a contributing editor with Beading Daily - if you don't already get their free email newsletter take a minute to follow this link as subscribe

Usually the weather in Minnesota at this time of year makes people cuss and throw things. But I’m happily whistling away as I pack up beading kits and my Bermuda shorts. You see, I get to join 60,000 of my rock, gem, and beading enthusiast buddies and head down to Tucson, Arizona in a couple weeks!

This year I’ll be teaching a class for Swarovski and then heading up to the Glendale Bead Museum to teach a couple more classes. I purposely slated in a couple shopping days to visit some of the 40+ venues involved in this mammoth event, but alas, with our current household finances matching the economy’s, my budget director has given me orders: no deficits on this trip; surpluses only. (Who appointed this guy, anyway?)

Tracking Every Penny

My budget director doesn’t know about the Budget Shortfall Fund (i.e. the Rainy Day Dollars I’ve been squirreling away all year), so those shopping days I booked won’t be spent watching free HBO in my hotel room. I’ll need to be very judicious with my purchases, though, so will keep track of every penny I spend. Here’s the plan:

• Make a list of the important materials I need that I won’t be able to get elsewhere. Stones and pearls are the most plentiful in Tucson, so those will be at the top of my list.

• Pick up a copy of the Tucson Show Guide. It’s a free publication online or you can find it in the lobbies of many of the show venues. (If you're not attending the shows, you can purchase a copy. With a directory of thousands of suppliers and products, it's a handy year-round reference.) The Tucson Show Guide contains maps, contact information, exhibitor information, and even individual show floor plans. The cool thing about the online version is it has an interactive show planner, where I can drag and drop the events I want to attend into a single file. I’ll print my show planner out before I go so I don’t do a lot of extra driving around while I’m in Tucson.

• Put several copies of my resale certificate, business license, and business cards in a plastic sleeve. I’ll bring a copy of each to the wholesale shows I attend. This will make getting into the shows a lot quicker.

• Bring a permanent marker, plastic baggies of all shapes and sizes, and a calculator. When I’m finished shopping for the day, I’ll transfer the individual bead strands I purchase into baggies. I’ll label each baggie with the bead type, strand cost, cost per bead, and vendor. It sounds a little anal, but if I do it right away while the information is still fresh, it’ll get done. Then, when I get back to Minnesota to incorporate the beads into a project or kits, it’ll be easy to figure out what my bottom line charge needs to be.

• Bring my Budget Shortfall Fund and that’s it. When the fund is depleted, I resort to the free HBO.

Are you heading to Tucson? How do you stay within your budget at a bead show? Share your tips on the website.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On The Road - Tucson Gem Show!!!

Well - I leave tonight after class (gotta get my jewelry making out of my system) for the largest collection of gems & jewelry on the West Coast!

If you are going to be at the Tucson Gem Show please reply privately to me with your information we could meet up - I would love to be able to put a face with online names!
Can't make it to the show? be my guest! This year you have three options - you can follow my blog Tucson Gem Show - Live! at OR

...and new this year you can follow my Twitter feed - follow me and check for the #TGS - if you add the #TGS hashtag to each message then I can find you and you can find me!

I write at least one post daily and am going to try to live blog using Twitter - check my schedule (will be posting this on my blog) and post questions that you want answered by folks that I am taking seminars from. I will do my best to get you some answers.

Robyn Hawk
Tucson Gem Show - Live
Fly On The Wall-Views/Reviews

New Seminars from Jewelers Vigilance Committee!

JVC to Host Two Seminars at GemFair
-- JCK-Jewelers Circular Keystone, 1/22/2009 10:28:00 AM

"The Industry's Guardians of Ethics and Integrity"

The Jewelers Vigilance Committee will present two seminars, “The Basics Of Memo Transactions - The Do’s And Don’ts Of Trading On Memo” and “Burma And Beyond - Operating Your Business In Today’s New Regulatory Environment,” at the American Gem Trade Association GemFair Tucson at the Tucson Convention Center.

The memo transaction seminar will take place in the Cochise Room at 9 a.m. and the Burma panel will be in the Mohave Room at 11 a.m.

“The Basics of Memo Transactions - The Do’s And Don’ts of Trading on Memo.” The seminar covers many of the important points included in JVC’s new guide, “The Essential Guide to ‘Memo’ Transactions.” Seminar topics include: Consignment agreements, protecting your business in an event of bankruptcy, the steps to take to check credit worthiness and more. The guide was developed with The Jewelers Board of Trade to respond to industry concerns, especially now, about the consequences of sending goods on memo. The guide gives jewelry firms a step-by-step method to best position their businesses in cases of economic reversals. Seminar attendees will receive a copy of the Memo Guide.

“Burma And Beyond -- Operating Your Business In Today’s New Regulatory Environment” – JVC, and Douglas Hucker, AGTA CEO, provide up-to-the-minute information on the implementation of the recent Tom Lantos JADE Act which allows trade in rubies and jade from non-Burma sources, the importation and distribution in the U.S. of irradiated gemstones and much more. This seminar can help avoid interruptions in international business and will ensure understanding of legal obligations in this seemingly complex area. An international trade specialist from U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be on-hand to answer questions, and helpful written materials will be available.

“In these tumultuous times, it is very important for industry members to protect their businesses from risk,” said Cecilia L. Gardner, JVC’s president, chief executive officer, and general counsel. “Two legal compliance issues—one old and one new—are especially important to AGTA members and the color gemstone community right now; the risks of trading on memo and recent implementation of the Tom Lantos JADE Act.”

This report comes from JCK - stay on top of Industry News subscribe today!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

To Bead True Blue - New Location!

New Location!
To Bead True Blue
Just a reminder –To Bead True Blue is this Sunday through Friday, February 1 – 6, at its new location –Tucson Doubletree Reid Park, 445 South Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85711.

To Bead True Blue is the major event of its kind in the U.S., representing 500 artists and artisans who will be showcasing a fine assortment of beautiful handwork, including antique beads, designer components, nomadic textiles, art jewelry, gold and silver, precious gems, handmade beads, ethnographic art, metalwork, ceramics, hats, wearable art, and extensive selections of wholesale bead and jewelry supplies.

Workshops, forums, and seminars are offered daily. To view workshop and exhibitor lists go to The dates and times are: February 1 through 4, 10am-6pm; February 5, 10am-8pm; and February 6, 9am-12pm.

Also, our new event called The Tucson Bead Show, follows TBTB on Saturday through Monday, February 7 - 9.

Anna K. Johnson
Director, To Bead True Blue

In Town Early? Check Out The Freeway Ave. Shows...

The string of shows along the Freeway are a good place to start - most open Jan. 30th - easy to do on foot - the Congress St. Parking Hub is just around the corner on Congress just a block west of Freeway Ave.

One nice thing about these shows is that everything is in one place - the food is good (ranges from Carl's Jr. to Bennigans) - there are areas to sit to give your feet a break - you can find gems, jewelry, rough, mineral specimens, african trade beads, clothing, rugs, etc.

This group of shows start at the DaysInn:

GlobeX - DaysInn Convention Center
date: 01/30/2009 - 02/15/2009
time: 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
location: Days Inn Convention Center
address: 222 S. Freeway Ave.
This show features a really great variety of items and is open to the public...great spheres, a good Fire Opal dealer and American Pearl.

Rapa River Gem & Mineral Show
date: 01/30/2009 - 02/15/2009
time: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
address: 292 S. Freeway Ave.
The vendor to check out here is one you won't miss Rock Your World - will do just that!

Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show at RiverPark Inn
date: 01/31/2009 - 02/12/2009
time: Jan. 31-Feb. 11: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Feb. 12: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
address: 350 S. Freeway Ave.
I have to report a little bias here - this is my favorite of the "Freeway" shows - in the tent they have several Award Winning Gem Carvers - great OOAK Beads - some of the best Opal available - and along the outside they have funky foreign jewelry around the pool - along the hotel rooms there are rough gem dealers and I love to sit under a heat lamp by the pool early in the morning or later in the evening enjoying a coffee!
Somewhere around here I would get on a shuttle - there is a whole group of hotels along this stretch - tell the shuttle driver you want to go to the last show on Freeway that he goes to - along the way look at the shows going by and make a notation of the ones you want to check out.
Start walking back down - utilize the shuttle if some don't appeal to you. Along this strip is a Metaphysical Show - not sure where since it moved last year and I missed it.

Howard Johnson Gem & Mineral Show
What: Jewelry, silver, minerals, gemstones, lapidary, metaphysical objects/art, beads
When: Jan. 31-Feb. 14, 2009
Where: 1010 S. Freeway Ave.
...along your journey - don't miss The HoJo Show (Howard Johnson) has one of the most interactive online vendor maps available - easy to look for folks you want to visit...may I suggest one? Taj Imports - this company has booths in all of the big Wholesale Shows (AGTA, GJX, Holidome) - this is your opportunity to get more time to talk with them in a more casual setting.

Explore - have fun and tune in to see where I am...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gem Jam - For Players In The Jewelry Biz!

Gordon, Manning, Klecka to Lead Industry VIPs
at Gem Jam Tucson 2009


Paso Robles, California: Industry VIPs have begun signing up in significant numbers to participate in Gem Jam Tucson 2009.

Premiering on February 5th, 2009, Gem Jam Tucson 2009 will bring together musicians
and music lovers within the jewelry industry for an evening of live music, fun and
relaxation during the Tucson show.

Lead by jewelry industry icons Gary Gordon, Gerry Manning and Paul Klecka, nearly 20
musicians have registered to play at the event and a large number of fans have pledged
to attend to listen and cheer them on.

Gem Jam Tucson 2009 will be an opportunity for musicians within the jewelry industry
to take the stage and play together in a minimally structured environment, make music
and enjoy a casual evening in the company of fellow industry members.

Proceeds from Gem Jam Tucson 2009 will benefit the Jewelers For Children and the
jam is completely endorsed and supported by the American Gem Trade Association
(AGTA). Sponsors currently include MVI Marketing, Stuller, Gemagine Inc., BAH
Design, Diamond Nexus and Dazor.

Since registration has been strong, musicians are encouraged to sign up early to ensure
their place on stage as there will be a limited number of spaces available. Musicians
may register at

Conceived, developed and produced by Jack Malinowski and Marty Hurwitz, Gem Jam
Tucson 2009 will take place at The Hut, which is located in downtown Tucson at the
corner of 4th avenue and 8th street. This location is central to all industry shows and
hotels. Gem Jam Tucson 2009 will begin at 9pm and continue until closing time.

For additional information and to sign up to jam, visit the Gem Jam Tucson 2009
website at

Thursday, January 22, 2009

These Are Few of My Favorite Vendors...

I am soooo excited - I leave in three days and I have spent the last few days trying to figure out where some of my favorite dealers are. I thought I would share some of those folks with you and by all means feel free to share your favorites with me in the comment section.

This list is long so lets start with a booth that offers a little of everything - beautiful cut gems, specimens and rough - Robert Lowe...

February 4 - 9, 2009
Gemstones, Rough, Specimens
Robert P. Lowe, Jr.
Booth # 205 - GJX

Robert P. Lowe Jr. invites you to visit us in Booth # 205 at the GJX - Gem & Jewelry Exchange, Downtown Tucson, for:

TOURMALINES (cut and rough):
Greens, Pinks, Indicolite, Rubelite, Salmon, Yellow , Silver, Orange, Purple, Bi-color, Tri-color, - sliced, faceted, cabochons, Cat's Eye; Paraiba - cut & Faceting Rough; Watermelon - slices, singles, sets, matched pairs, cabochoned slices.

...all of the other Brazilian Colored Stones plus so much more...
Aquamarine (cut and rough),
Citrine (cut and rough),
Amethyst (cut and rough),
Rutilated Quartz (Calibrated),
Imperial Topaz (faceted and specimens),
Brazilian Opals - Crystal, Fire & Boulder,
Brazilian Emeralds - faceted, cabochon, slices and rough,
Colombian Emeralds,
Emerald Faceting Rough,
Faceted Spessartite Garnet,
Chrysoprase (cut and rough),
Tourmaline in Quartz,
Actinolite in Quartz,
Rutile in Quartz,
Green Gold Quartz (cut and rough),
Chrysoberyl (cut and rough),
Prasiolite (cut and rough),
Rose Quartz, Garnet (cut and rough),
Rhodolite Garnet, Green Beryl (cut and rough),
Yellow Beryl,
Fire Agate,
Persian Turquoise,
Lapis Lazuli,
Lightning Ridge Opal
We have Bullets and Blades in a number of stones:
Chrysoprase, Dendritic Opal, Brazilian Fire Agate, some Amethyst and Citrine, Emerald with matrix.

Plus the following Rough:
Prasiolite (Greened Amethyst)
Brejinho Amethyst (Large and Medium sizes)
Brejinho Amethyst (sawed clean)
Green Gold Quartz (Ouro Verde)
Green Gold Quartz (Ouro Verde) (sawed clean)
Amethyst Bahia
Citrine Bahia
Emerald Bahia
Mexican Fire Opal
Imperial Topaz
Paraiba Tourmaline (Brasil)
Green Beryl Pre-forms
Colorless Topaz
Tulear Garnet (Madagascar)
Red Garnet
Color Shift Garnet
Blue Apatite
Rose Quartz
Peridot - San Carlos 2 -4 gram pieces, clean
Best regards,
Robert P. Lowe Jr.
Lowe Associates - Brasil
Gemstones, Rough, Specimens
Tucson - Feb 4 - 9, 2009
GJX booth # 205

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

ISG: Tucson Seminar Invitation

Photos and Text Courtesy of Robert James at the ISG

Grain Boundary Diffusion of Gemstones: Tucson Seminar!

On Friday, 6 February from 1500hrs to 1630hrs, the International School of Gemology will hold a special free seminar at the Hotel Arizona in Tucson Arizona on the Grain Boundary Diffusion of Transition Metals in Gemstones. This seminar will present the results of our 14 month study of this unique gemstone treatment by the ISG Gem Research Center and its community of gemologists, jewelers, gem dealers, and consumers.

To complete this study the ISG accumulated over 2,200 specimens of rough and faceted gemstones including andesines, tourmalines, topazes, garnets, and diamonds. With over 20,000 total carats of gemstone study specimens this is the largest gemological investigation of its type ever undertaken regarding the identification of a gemstone treatment.

The study took two separate paths of investigation in order to provide the most comprehensive
evaluation of the grain boundary diffusion of transition metals in gemstones. The first was to accumulate a full complement of study specimens and have those specimens evaluated by independent scientific laboratories using LA-ICP-MS, SEM, SIMS, XRF and XRD technology. The second was the ISG in-house study of the specimens using the Enwave Raman Microscope, Vis-IR Spectroscopy, and additional gemological tests including magnetism and a wide array of microphotograph inspections of the internal characteristics of the specimens.

Based on the above the ISG has successfully identified the grain boundary diffusion of gemstones, and will present our scientific evidence including a slide show presentation of the microphotographs at the Tucson seminar.

Also at this seminar we will present several diagnostic gemological tests that can be performed by home town jewelers and gemologists to identify this treatment without the need for local jewelers to incur the high costs of advanced evaluations. These tests have been developed by the ISG through the use of the independent lab results and in-house research to formulate these diagnostic tests.

The ISG believes the grain boundary diffusion of transition metals in gemstones has been an ongoing process in the industry for a number of years. It is a viable treatment that produces permanent results, beautiful gemstones, and makes available to the market a much larger number of gemstones than would otherwise be available. As a result the ISG is making available both training and marketing support to the Thai dealers in an effort to expand the acceptance of this gemstone treatment, and to provide consumers world wide with proper disclosure.

The ISG Gem Research Center is a grass roots level organization comprised and supported by home town independent retail jewelers, gemologists, independent gemstone dealers, and consumers located around the world. The ISG has students and graduates in 55 countries world wide, and is the only gemological school that provides training in both gemology and jewelry appraisal.

Please direct any inquiries to the ISG office at 210-877-5816 or

Robert James FGA, GGPresident, International School of Gemology

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Giant Tanzanite to be Displayed at Tucson Gem Show

The largest tanzanite ever discovered has been cut and polished and will be on display at AGTA GemFair Tucson.

The unusually large piece of rough was uncovered at the TanzaniteOne mining facility in Meralani, Tanzania, in early 2008. Rare Multicolor Gems, at its cutting facilities in Jaipur, India, shaped the 525.55-ct. stone “to reflect maximum brilliance, while keeping its incredible size and unique color,” the Tanzanite Foundation said in a statement.

Plans are being made to send the gem to the American Gem Trade Association for grading and certification according to the Tanzanite Foundation’s Tanzanite Quality Scale.

The gem will be on display at the Tucson Gemfair at GJX Booth #824-924, Feb. 4 – 9.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

SUNSTONE - this just in!!!!!

This just in from the Dust Devil Mining Company!


We have a new location at the Tucson Show this year.

You'll find us in the GJX location on Granada across the street from the Convention Center. We're located in the Idar-Oberstein Group Annex right by the entrance. (Exotic Gemstones) Booth 4203

Dust Devil Mining Company Booth 4204

The best Oregon Sunstone selection in Tucson!
Fabulous schiller beads, premium faceted gems and designer jewelry!

NEW!! Beautiful Schiller Sunstone carvings and cabochons...superb quality.....all American and All Natural!

Oregon Sunstone......Wear it and generate some HEAT!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

HELP!!! Too Many Choices....

People ask me why I go to the Tucson Gem Show each year - well here is a great example...these are the seminars I would like to attend.

Wednesday, Feb. 4
Bezel Setting- Learn to Set Faceted and Cabochon StonesBilly Beadle- Master Stone Setter & Technical Trainer at Stuller, Inc.(GemHall II, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.)Billy delivers valuable tips and insight with his live demonstration of how to bezel set in high walled and low walled settings in both faceted and cabochon cut stones. You will learn how to cut proper bearing seats for round and oval shaped cabochons, gravers for seat clean up as well as finishing of bezel edges. Gain valuable insights insight on how to properly tighten bezel settings using both manual methods as well as pneumatic equipment. With growing popularity of bezel setting styles, this class is sure to improve the techniques of novices and seasoned veterans alike.

Thursday, Feb. 5
Morning Session
A Love Affair with Color -Rob May, NCDIA (Greenlee room, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.)Intermediate. Color grading Natural Color Diamonds is considered one of the greatest challenges in gemology, but selling Natural Color Diamonds and diamond jewelry is easy when associates are prepared. Join Natural Color Diamond Association and learn about the complexities of Natural Color Diamonds, including how to answer consumer questions and tap into consumer interests. Add some color to your life and see how even a small investment can result in increased sales, healthy margins and colorful profits.

Colored Gemstone Estate Jewelry - Diana Jarrett, Heritage Gems (Graham room, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.)Basic - Intermediate. Before the marketing machine which unleashed focus on diamond jewelry purchases, jewelry wearers embraced colored gems. The relationship of Estate Jewelry and the colored gemstone world is such that an understanding of when and why certain colors were in use, what changes in availability of gems meant for jewelry design, and even how the availability of substitute and synthetic materials altered jewelry in a given period helps you better present colored gemstone estate jewelry to your clients.

Afternoon Session
Into the Field: Stories from Afar - Edward Boehm, JOEB Enterprises (Maricopa room, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.)Basic – Advanced. Why does the movie-going public turn out again and again for another Jones movie, from Arizona, to Indiana, to Wyoming and around the world? Adventure, excitement, being transported from the mundane to exotic locations. Make these very thrills available to your colored gemstone customers with stories from the sources of origin told by world traveler and colored gemstone dealer Edward Boehm. With over 20 years of experience in the gemstone industry, Edward travels to the source to procure unique and collectible gems for his clients. Offer tales of the exotic to enhance the value of the gemstone treasures your clients seek.

Friday, Feb. 6
Morning Session
Intriguing Gem Stories - Alan Hodgkinson (Greenlee room, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.) Gemological Beginners – Advanced. A look at various gems: natural, synthetic, composite which, over the years, the presenter has found gemologically fascinating and which have enthralled others who are gemologically enthusiastic - if you are not an enthusiast for gems (beginner or advanced) this is not for you! The observations are based on the reaction of each gem to one or other of the standard gem testing instruments: microscope, refractometer, spectroscope, polariscope, ultra-violet and filters.

Hammers: The Stars and Characters and How They Perform Bill Fretz (Rio CIM 9:00am-10:30am) Hammers are either the main performer or a behind-the-jewelry-scene necessity, and each hammer has a role to play. Every hammer matters, and how each contributes to the many facets of your work will be the focus of this discussion. Fretz Design, LLC, features the jewelry and sculpture of William Fretz, whose work is known and collected worldwide. Bill's work has won many awards and has been exhibited at shows and galleries. His passion for making tools culminated in his own line of miniature stakes and, most recently, forming hammers. He and his wife, Marian, run their business in Bucksport, Maine.

Argentium® Sterling Silver: Casting, Fusing, Fabrication & Granulation - Ronda Coryell (Rio CIM 11:30am-1:00pm )Explore the technology and techniques required to work with Argentium® Sterling. Ronda will discuss the art of granulation on castings and how to best combine other metals with Argentium. Ronda Coryell, a master goldsmith, is the shop manager and an instructor for The Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts, one of the world's most well-regarded learning institutions for beginning and expert jewelers. Ronda holds a degree in Art Education and founded the Northwest Chapter of the Florida Society of Goldsmiths. Her work has won recognition in competition and exhibition.

Afternoon Session
Gem ID – Parts I and II (hands-on) (3 hour extended session) - Antoinette Matlins, Gemstone Press (Graham room, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.) Basic-Advanced. (Part I not required to benefit from Part II. Part II is not required to complete Part 1). These non-technical, half-day workshops demonstrate how to use simple, portable instruments to quickly and easily identify colored gemstones typically seen in the jewelry market, detect treatments, and spot many fakes and synthetics. Techniques to screen for HPHT-treated diamonds and surface-coated diamonds and gemstones are also covered. Even gemologists can benefit from time-saving tips. Increase confidence when buying away from your store, office, or in the field. Class size limited. (First-come, first-served, limited attendance).

Saturday, Feb. 7
Morning Session
The Quest For True Pavé - Blaine Lewis (Rio CIM 9:00am-10:30am) Explore true pavé techniques that are easier, faster and more effective than traditional methods. Blaine will use high-magnification video to demonstrate using a style of true pavé to achieve the highest echelons of pavé and thread setting. The New Approach School for Jewelers specializes in communicating advanced techniques in a state-of-the-art teaching facility with highly skilled instructors. Founder/Director Blaine Lewis has developed a program that facilitates learning with hands-on experience and high level-magnification demonstrations.

Wax Carving - Kate Wolf (Rio CIM 11:30am-1:00pm)Kate will demonstrate time-saving techniques for making mirror images and hollow forms in wax. This presentation is modeled after Kate's "Workshops at Wolf Designs," during which demonstrations are viewed at ultra-high magnification, providing a clear understanding of the processes shown. Kate Wolf of Wolf Designs is a master model-maker who has been making jewelry and carving wax for 30 years, and has taught for 17 years. She also develops and markets award-winning tools and waxes (Wolf Tools and Wolf Wax).

“Collector Day” with Jim and Gail Spann in the lobby of the resort showing their private collection. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Westward Look Resort

Afternoon Session
Five Quality Characteristics of South Sea Pearls - Carolyn Jacoby, Australian Pearl Centre(Mohave room, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.)Basic – Intermediate. Learn the proper way to assess the quality and value characteristics of white South Sea cultured pearls. Optimize your buying and selling by knowing what differentiates luster, complexion, size, shape and color. Understanding what makes these pearls so remarkable, and the inspiration of world renowned designers, will surely expand all your pearl sales. As the 19th century was renowned for natural pearls, the 21st century will undoubtedly be known for culturing the most beautiful pearls in the world.

Collectors of Gems and Minerals: How and Why - Bill Larson, Pala International Basic – Intermediate. (Maricopa room, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.) Collector Bill Larson follows a fine tradition of a few noteworthy gem and mineral collectors such as Dr. Edward Gubelin, Dr. Peter Bancroft, and John Sinkankas whose collections have informed the industry and who were themselves inspiration for, and mentors to, Larson. In this session Larson discusses the collector’s impulse, how to build your own gem and mineral collection, and reveals some of his holdings while appreciating the import of other gem and mineral collectors.

Gem ID – Parts I and II (hands-on) (3 hour extended session) Antoinette Matlins, Gemstone Press (Graham room, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.) Basic-Advanced. (Part I not required to benefit from Part II. Part II is not required to complete Part 1). These non-technical, half-day workshops demonstrate how to use simple, portable instruments to quickly and easily identify colored gemstones typically seen in the jewelry market, detect treatments, and spot many fakes and synthetics. Techniques to screen for HPHT-treated diamonds and surface-coated diamonds and gemstones are also covered. Even gemologists can benefit from time-saving tips. Increase confidence when buying away from your store, office, or in the field. Class size limited. (First-come, first-served, limited attendance).

Sunday, Feb. 8
Morning Session
The Latest News from GIA Research - Dr. James Shigley, GIA (Maricopa room, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.) Intermediate – Advanced. In this very popular annual presentation, you’ll have the chance to meet a member of GIA’s Research staff who will answer questions and provide you with an overview about the very latest developments in the lab, including updates on gem identification and other topics of current interest.

Excerpts from The Colored Gemstone Course - Kate Peterson for Diamond Council of America (DCA) (Graham room, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.) Basic. DCA’s Colored Gemstone Course presents a broad but inclusive discussion of colored gemstones and pearls. The key focus is the essential information associates need to be persuasive, professional and honest in their sales presentation. In this session especially for those just learning to sell colored gemstone set jewelry, you’ll hear about the 4 C's of value, size and durability factors, gemstone origins, fashion and care, different types of colored gemstone jewelry, the concepts of designer and branded lines, and the emotional, symbolic and physical impact color has on all of us.

Channel Setting & Bezel Setting- Tips & Tricks that truly make the difference! - Billy Beadle- Master Stone Setter & Technical Trainer at Stuller, Inc.(GemHall II, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.)Experience a live demonstration of Channel setting techniques from Billy Beadle a Master Stone setter at Stuller. Billy brings invaluable tips on proper seat cutting techniques, bur selection for diamonds and color stones, use of gravers for channel wall preparation and cleanup. Learn different stone tightening techniques using pneumatic equipment as well as basic chasing and burnishing. Learn how to properly finish off channel walls for a professionally look. Take advantage of seeing and talking with a true master of channel setting techniques. Billy also delivers valuable tips and insight with his extended live demonstration of how to bezel set in high walled and low walled settings both faceted and cabochon cut stones. Learn how to cut proper bearing seats for round and oval shaped cabochons. Learn how to use gravers for seat clean up as well as finishing of bezel edges. Gain insight on how to properly tighten bezel settings using both manual methods as well as pneumatic equipment.

Afternoon Session
How to Tell Your Color Stories for Free Media - Debbie Yonick, Yonick Writing Co.(Mohave room, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.)Basic. Industry insider Debbie Yonick covers retail practices as a freelance writer for several publications. In this session, learn how jewelers around the U.S. approach generating free media by recognizing and creating stories that draw editorial attention. Hear tips about planning and execution through successful pick-up for that most desirable news coverage, bringing you value which money can’t buy.

Palladium: White, Light, Natural… NOW! - Kate Peterson for Palladium Alliance International (Maricopa room, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.)Basic – Intermediate. Even though Palladium has only been recently reintroduced to the jewelry industry, the excitement about this naturally white luxury metal is very high. The number of designers and manufacturers producing Palladium jewelry has increased exponentially over the past several years. The potential for Palladium is amazing – particularly in its use with colored gemstones and fashion jewelry! However, as with every new stone, metal or jewelry trend, Palladium sales can still fall apart at the counter if the retail salesperson is not prepared with both the facts and the appropriate methods for communicating information to the customer. In this program, you’ll learn all you need to know about this amazing metal: the features, benefits and consumer applications that will put YOU on the cutting edge of fashion, design and innovation with today’s customer.

Varieties of Natural Pearls - Elisabeth Strack, Gemmologisches Institut Hamburg (Gila room, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.)Intermediate – Advanced. In Tucson, researcher Elisabeth Strack has found that a number of dealers offer pearls of rarer mollusk species which can achieve quite high prices. In this session, learn what you need to discern how to consider these varieties, including features to look for, cautions, and what you might expect from each variety regarding availability, affordability, and acceptance from clients.

Sunday Evening: A panel of distinguished photographers will present “My Favorite Specimens in Pictures and Stories.” Social hour: 6:30 p.m.; presentation: 7:30 p.m. Westward Look Resort

Monday, February 9, 11:30am-1:00pm You're Not Learnin' Unless You're Burnin: A Foundation For Jewelry Soldering with Arthur Anton Skuratowicz, GJG, CGA Whether it's preparing the metal surface or mixing fuel and oxygen, good bench soldering habits help produce consistent and repeatable solder joints. In this seminar, topics such as oxidation, chemicals, tools, gasses, flame types, soldering vs. welding and metal alloys are covered. Stable holding devices and solder techniques will be demonstrated, along with tips on how to rescue a crooked or failed solder joint. The Jewelry Training Center Inc. is a jewelry trade school that is dedicated to providing continuing education for the seasoned jeweler as well as preparing the next generation of jewelers for the retail trade. Arthur Anton Skuratowicz, president of the JTC, uses an easy-to-understand live-video approach to teaching and incorporates more than 26 years of jewelry experience into his teaching.

Monday, February 9, 2:00pm-3:30pmMarketing: 90 Tips In 90 Minutes—How to Use the Internet to Market Your Jewelry with Bradney Simon This rapid-fire seminar will energize and inspire you when you see marketing opportunities available to you through the internet. Learn how to use this powerful medium to reach in to your geographic area and bring more customers into your store. Bench Media is a publishing company dedicated to providing affordable educational materials to bench jewelers. Their publications include E-BENCH newsletter, BENCH magazine, and the new online television network, Bench Jewelers Television Network. Founder/president Brad Simon is a JA® Certified Master Bench Jeweler® and a management professional.

As you can see I am going to have to make some tough decisions as to which ones will work into my schedule...and these are just the FREE events!!

But imagine getting the opportunity to learn to use your wax carving tools or hammers from the people that developed them - or learning Gem ID from the woman who wrote the book!

This is why I keep going back!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Local Events...yes, there is more than just the TGS!

Also, local artist Anne Mitchell has some really great
workshops going on in her studio:

2009 Tucson Workshops a 3-day metals experience

Saturday, January 3, 2009

JRB Marketing Academy for Jewelry Designers

Introducing the JRB Marketing Academyfor Jewelry Designers

First JRB Marketing Academy to be held in 2009 in Tucson
at the historic Manning House during Gem Fair Week

The Jewelers Resource Bureau is taking its education on the road in 2009 by offering seven jewelry business-oriented classes in Tucson during Gem Fair Week.

The sessions will be held at the historic Manning House in downtown Tucson, and designers can sign up for one, two or more of of them to ramp up their marketing skills for the new year.

The dates are Wednesday Feb. 4 through Friday Feb. 6 during the Manning House Bead Show. Please note that although the academy is being held in the building during the bead show, the classes are not bead related. The location was chosen because the place is beautiful and convenient for designers visitng Tucson during this popular week.

The Manning House is located at 450 W. Paseo Redondo in downtown Tucson.

Designers can register for the classes on the Manning House bead show's site:

Most classes are geared for all experience levels although a few are best suited for beginners. They will be taught by Cindy Edelstein of JRB and Marlene Richey, author of the newly published, "Profiting by Design: A Jewelry Makers Guide to Business Success."

In addition, both Cindy and Marlene will be holding speed coaching sessions at a reduced rate during the afternoons in order to work with you personally and specifically on your goals and business plans.

Bring whatever materials and samples you want feedback on and a list of questions -- surely more will come up during your classes, too -- and you will get the kind of customized, one-on-one advice you really need. The cost is $2 per minute for as long as you like.

Email Cindy or Marlene at: to set up appointments in advance.

The Classes
1. How to Make a Living at Your Art
INSTRUCTOR: Marlene Richey
DATE: Wed, February 4, 2009 9:00am - 11:20am
LEVEL: Beginner
You have found your passion, now you want to make a living at what your love. But how? You have to develop not only the skills to create art but to get your work into the marketplace. This class will help you understand the steps necessary to run a successful art/craft business as well as teach you tricks of the trade to ensure your art is more than just a hobby. The class is hands on, fast paced, and fun with tons of handouts. Discover why designing your business can be just as much fun and just as creative as designing your jewelry.

2. Defining Your Brand Identity
INSTRUCTOR: Cindy Edelstein
DATE: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 12:00pm - 2:20pm
Great designs are the first step to success but a clear and insightful brand identity is what turns those great designs into a great business. You have to find and communicate your unique selling proposition to be able to have a place in the market. Design talent is not enough. Learn how to find your brand, communicate it and keep it consistent so that you can set yourself apart from your competition. You will have time to discuss successful strategies of others and do exercises that help you craft the identity that brands your work.

3. Building Your Marketing Toolkit
INSTRUCTOR: Cindy Edelstein
DATE: Thursday, February 5, 2009 9:00am - 11:20am
There are many tools to use to communicate with prospective customers, consumers and editors and all are necessary for your success. In this interactive workshop we'll discuss all the tools and how to use them -- and you'll figure out which ones you want to employ right away. From the old standards (brochures and postcards and direct mail) to the cutting edge (blogs, facebook and enewsletters) we'll cover them all.

4. Craft Fairs, Trade Shows and Personal Appearances: How to "Show Up" for Success
INSTRUCTOR: Marlene Richey
DATE: Thursday, February 5, 2009 12:00pm - 2:20pm
Whether it is wholesale or retail, indoors or outside, juried or not juried, local or national, craft or fine jewelry, you will come away from the class with more confidence on the ins and outs and how-to's of participating in all the various types of shows. I will discuss everything from finding the appropriate show venue, the application process, filling out the ten feet of paper work required, the jury process, to designing a booth, traveling to the show, set-up and tear-down, security, making sales, displays, getting paid, and learning that the bottom line of a show is not always the sales at the event. We'll also translate the experience to instore events and personal appearances (aka trunk shows) and learn how to maximize those events as well.

5. How to do Your Own PR
INSTRUCTOR: Cindy Edelstein
DATE: Friday, February 6, 2009 9:00am - 11:20am
Dream about having your jewels on the cover of a magazine? Wish for your phone to ring off the hook because Oprah thinks you're a Favorite Thing? Wishing you'd get invited to events where the paparazzi snap -- or at least people are looking for great jewels? We'll teach you how to find, contact and entice the media to write about your jewelry. We'll break down the different media outlets, how to build a press kit, how to pitch an editor and how to maximize the publicity you get. You'll learn how to write a press release and make a "pitch."

6. The Art of Selling
INSTRUCTOR: Marlene Richey
DATE: Friday, February 6, 200912:00pm - 2:20pm
Most really good salespeople (not the used car stereotype) are born that way. But that doesn't mean everyone can't learn some of the basics, things like how to close a sale, greet someone who walks up to your booth at a craft show or answer difficult questions. You'll learn how to provide a potential client with the necessary information to become a paying client, and you'll learn some of the tell-tale body language signs that will give you the confidence to be your best self in a sales situation. Just as there is an art to making jewelry, there is also an art to selling it. Learn from someone who has been there, learned through experience and done it. See why some simple tricks of the trade can make sales exciting -- and definitely rewarding.

7. Profiting from an Online Presence
INSTRUCTOR: Cindy Edelstein assisted by Larry Chasin, Ideal Diamond Solutions
DATE OFFERED: Friday, February 6, 2009 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Wondering how to use the internet to grow your business? From online stores to selling communities to your own website we'll discuss all the options and figure out which ones are right for your business. We'll talk about what you need to have on your website to maximize traffic, aid sales and partner with retailers and customers online. You'll learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and why you should care about it more than anything else. With this class you'll be confident about your next steps to increase sales online.

About Cindy
Cindy Edelstein is the owner of Jeweler's Resource Bureau, a niche marketing consultancy dedicated to helping designers grow and prosper. A journalist by trade, Cindy's expertise comes from 20 years in the fine jewelry industry championing the designer sector with projects she has invented just to serve her niche. She has created trade shows, conferences, publications and online businesses that offer designers education, marketing opportunities and business advocacy not seen anywhere else. She consults with the premier jewelry trade shows -- Couture and JA New York -- to help designers reach their best customers. Often called the Designer's Guru, Cindy has listened to her clients and set out to teach and offer them all they need and make it fun and easy to do.

About Marlene
Marlene Richey has been on both sides of the jewelry showcase having run a wholesale handmade jewelry business and a successful jewelry gallery. During the past three decades she has grown and nourished these artistic, entrepreneurial businesses and taught herself how to sell, market, merchandise, publicize and profitize designer jewelry and fine craft. She is a well-known teacher and lecturer on the subject of design entrepreneurship and the author of the book "Profiting by Design."

About Larry
Larry Chasin is the president of Ideal Diamond Solutions, the first jewelry industry internet platform that helps bricks-and-mortar jewelers sell more product online and connects them with fine jewelry designers via the JRB Designer Gallery on IDS.

Larry is committed to the growth of the jewelry industry on the internet and to helping every jeweler prosper from it. IDS has patented technology that allows for true interconnective business relationships that make it easy for all kinds of jewelry makers and sellers to sell in cyberspace.


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