Sunday, May 31, 2009

AGTA Changes GemFair Day Pattern for 2010

May 15, 2009 – DALLAS, TX: The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announced today that it is changing its day pattern for the 2010 AGTA GemFair™ Tucson. The GemFair has traditionally started on Wednesday and closed on Monday. It will now start on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 and close on Sunday, February 7, 2010.

“We have had many requests over the years from exhibitors and buyers alike to move our show dates back one day,” stated Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. “With the support and cooperation of the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society and the Tucson Convention Center, we were finally able to make it happen.”

The AGTA Spectrum Awards Gala is still planned for Saturday night, its traditional night. Other events may or may not change depending on the individual groups involved.


The AGTA is an Association of natural colored gemstone and cultured pearl industry professionals, dedicated to promoting the natural colored gemstone trade. The Association pursues this mission through the combined use of educational programs, industry events and publicity to both the trade and consumer. We are The Authority in Color.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


One of the stones on my wish list from Tucson this year was Hackmanite, however the only stones I saw were translucent at best - so imagine my surprise when Pala International posted this beauty for sale!

The May Gem News from Pala International reports that:

Hackmanite is a phenomenal variety of sodalite and a member of the feldspathoid group, hackmanite is mostly found in a translucent cabochon form. This month we feature a transparent faceted hackmanite from Afghanistan. This gem is near-flawless and exhibits all the unusual optical characteristics associated with hackmanite.

Hackmanite is known for its unique color-shift phenomenon when subjected to warm white light or daylight. The phenomenon is known as tenebrescence. Hackmanite will often increase in saturation when allowed to be “charged up” in daylight and sometimes shifts between lavender and magenta hues. Long-wave ultraviolet light also brings out an amazing fluorescence, as seen directly below; in this case we see a glowing orange/yellow hue. The distinctive color phenomena are derived from the sulphur component in hackmanite’s chemistry. Light can polymerize the sulphur into different-length molecules and ions that, in turn, have different colors. (Thanks to Dr. George R. Rossman for clarification of the color phenomena science. See this Caltech webpage for more on the sodalite group.)

This stone is the May Featured Stone: Lavender hackmanite from Afghanistan, 7.87 carats, 16.28 x 11.08 x 8.64 mm. Inventory #17382. (Photo: Mia Dixon)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Twitter Feed - Colored Stones in Antique Jewelry

"Colored Gemstones in Antique Jewelry" with Diana Jarrett, G.G., RMV.

Diana Jarrett has written articles for most of the trade publications and is a respected gemologist and appraiser. She recently updated the book "Cameos: Old & New" byAnna Miller, G.G. RMV. Following the recent passing of Ms. Miller the publisher sought to update the information in this popular reasource guide. Diana took on the task of updating info, adding new photos and general revisions in this 4th Edition. She was available to talk to and signing copies of her book at the AGTA show.

This is my "live" Twitter feed from the Seminar - as you can see - while I was posting, people who follow
me on Twitter were commenting and asking questions. This is done "on the fly" while the seminar is presented - please excuse spelling errors and disjointed comments.

"Colored Gemstones in Antique Jewelry" by Diane Jarrett starts in 15 minutes! #TGS

We are getting ready to start - "Colored Gemstones in Antique Jewelry" - we are in the Graham Room at the Tucson Convention Center #TGS

#TGS Not many colored gemstones were available for jewelry - political unrest! Distance...slow transport

Jewelry became part of search for beauty as opposed to just Religious adornment #TGS

Pearls used were natural - sapphire and amethyst were used - mountings were more sculptural - cuts simple #TGS

#TGS - new colors of spinel, pink topaz, pearls, rock crystal, emerald , sapphire and hair were all used in Georgian Jewelry

Louis XIV "Sun King" 1643 - 1715 - it was said that he glimmered from head to toe with Diamonds #TGS

Must have - 4th Edition of Cameos - Old & New - Ultimate Cameo and Carved Gem Reference Guide #TGS

#TGS Victorian - during the reign of Queen Victoria sample shown Victorian Mourning Earrings in Onyx - dark ruled after death of the king

Travernier was the most famous of the jewel providers to the king - famous for the French Blue and the Hortensia Pink Diamonds #TGS

Interested - in Antique Jewelry? Seminar - Gemstone Editor for Rappaport talk about Colored Stones in Antique Jewelry! #TGS

#TGS 18th Century - Georgian Era - Age of Innovation in jewelry - great experimentation - created jewelry for the rising middle class

#TGS each era seemed to be a complete switch from the previous

Diamonds in that day came from the Golconda Mines in India - 5 years to get to the mines and bring them back to your king! #TGS

#TGS - Paste (imitation stones) with pinchbeck (a golden metal), foil and the foundations of synthetic gems.

#TGS Modern Antiquity - Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco
Rubies and large Baroque Pearls were common - in Royalty the men wore more jewelry #TGS

#TGS European Renassance 14-17th Century - we have to rely on paintings from the master painters

#TGS Early Victorian - 18-22kt gold and romantic designs - birds, hands, flowers lots of diamonds.

Mid Victorian Era - Coral, Ivory, Miniature Mosaic, colorful stones #TGS

Jewelry - used topaz, zircon and Turquoise with gold and diamonds in the Victorian Era #TGS

GIA - ICA - AGTA - AGS - there are a number of trade organizations so we are protected when we buy colored stones today. #TGS

Various forms of enamel were preferred to replicate naturals forms and objects #TGS

if you are replying to my posts from the Tucson Gem Show - remember to add the #TGS - then everyone can find the messages.

Art Deco 1920-1935 linear shapes andlines - geometrical and architectural lines in jewelry - alot of black & white #TGS

Effect of globalization of the trade in Colored Stones - info exchange about availability & access to Colored Stones and Organizations #TGS

What you WON"T see in Antique Jewelry - modern cuts - Demantoid, Tsavorite, Tanzanite, Kunzite and Morganite - cultured pearls #TGS

Know when colored stones were discovered - know when pearl culturing was invented #TGS

Platinum and colored diamonds - fine lacey looking metalwork with a "knife edging" technique - flat culet on the stones #TGS

Queen Elizabeth had a square cut diamond and platinum ring made for her during this period and the rage became white metals #TGS

Edwardian 1901-1910 Edward wanted a new wave - a more hopeful era - lighter colors in jewels and clothes #TGS

@mikekirkwood - thanks Mike - do you know that I am posting from the Tucson Gem Show? #TGS

@Thyme2dream - right - Diana covered the black stones in the Victorian Era - but it was also very common in the Deco era. #TGS

Square and baguette cut were designed in this period by Cartier #TGS

#TGS late Victorian Era - Jet, Bog, Hair, Marcasite, Hematite

Art Nouveau 1895 - 1912 nature subject was leaves the human form and even bugs - natural pearls colored feathers pale variety of beryl #TGS

Lalique 1904 To Have & To Hold Engagement Ring - must see!!! #TGS

Art Nouveau concentration on pastel colored stones mimicking nature and natural pearls #TGS

If you weren't able to go to the Tucson Gem Show this year - Be My Guest - Tucson Gem Show - Live! #TGS

@aprettyrock - can you imagine-diamonds & pearls sewn to your garments - she said he was known to wear up to 100 pcs of jewelry at once #TGS

Thank you to:


@Jonara Blu




...for participating in my first ever Twitter Seminar.

Photo Info: Art Nouveau Ring ( France c. 1904 )

RENE LALIQUE (1860-1945)

'The Betrothal -To Have & To Hold'
Art Nouveau Ring
Gold, enamel & peridot
Length: 1.6 cm (0.6 in) Width: 1.8 cm (0.7 in)
Signed: ‘LALIQUE’
French. Circa 1904


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