Sunday, January 31, 2010

Just a quick note...

I totally lucked out this year - the housing that I was counting on fell through at the last minute and I seriously thought I wasn't going to be able to go to Tucson this year.

Then one night I was reading through my "Tucson Gem Show" Google Alerts and saw a "room for rent" notice from...are you ready...Kate McKinnon!!!

Yes - that Kate McKinnon - of the books, workshops and

This is one of my favorite pieces from her Gallery pages - it "is" Kate - structural with a touch of whimsy. A fine silver castle ring with a move-able sunshade!

Kate is known for her book Structural Metal Clay...but keep your eyes open for her latest from Interweave Press - due out this Spring.

...and as if that weren't enough Greg Ogden and Andrew Thornton are also staying here - they are in town to represent Green Girl Studios (Cynthia just had baby number two and is at home) at the Too Bead True Blue and Tucson Bead Shows.

Did I mention that we are 2 blocks from that show and about 10 minutes from all the others...great location!

OK - just had to gush for a minute -this house is FAB! Good Night!

Day One - at the Riverpark Inn...

If you have followed this blog for long you already know that I tend to think of the Riverpark Inn as my "home base". The staff is always accommodating and the atmosphere is casual with a touch of home we call that California Casual Chic! in years part you enter through a path of HUGE Mineral Specimens - check out the size of this Quartz Crystal formation that is the support for the hotel entry next too it!!!

The Palo Verde Room always features an amazing vendor - in years past it has ranged from giant fossils to last year's gem crystal sculptures. Eons Ago Company has the room this year and they have filled the room with Fossils, Crystal Sculpture, Ammonite and Dinosaur Nests...yep and they are very large specimens.

The lobby features tiny showcases of the goodies to come in the tents...and a cozy fireplace for those chilly mornings.

This year the folks at Mineralogical Almanac have a table in the lobby. They have copies of the Mineral Observer - this publication is
stunningly beautiful on fine glossy paper stock filled with gorgeous photos of minerals and in the latest issue Russian Agates!

If nothing else you MUST pick up the latest issue of Rocks & Minerals...this issue is a tribute to the TGMS theme - Gems and Gem Minerals. Those of you who know this publication will be surprised (pleasantly - I hope) to see cut gems next to there mineral counterparts! This will make a great souvenir from the 2010 Tucson Gem Show!

A couple of the standouts at this venue are:

Sally Bass Jewellery - A Showcase of Wearable Art: an eclectic mix of vintage and new resin, Bakelite, wood, silver...almost anything that sat on her workbench too long! Sally has taken components and seamlessly mixed them to create a forward look with a Vintage spirit.

John Dyer - Just inside the Designer Tent - John Dyer's booth is a "must see"! This gem cutter is stellar and it is easy to see how he has won over 30 Awards. His gems inspire unique creations - touching the inner muse of the artists lucky enough to set one!

...there are a lot of amazing vendors at the Pueblo Show but I need to get to bed tonight so I am limiting myself to two - and a short list for you to check out:

e-bu (Huli Visions): their Treasure Scarves are an annual treat
Lou Gerin: darkly ominous skin and teeth...always a sight
Taiwoo Pearls: from Chinese Freshwater to Tahitians to South have to see this room once
Thomas M. Schneider: if you are looking for gem rough - at TMSGems you have found some of the finest

...the sun is setting, the show is closing and it's time to go home for the evening...more tomorrow from Tucson!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tucson Gem Show: This Just In...from Blue Cap Productions...

At the 2010 TGMS Show, BlueCap Productions will be screening all of their films throughout the entire show on the floor of the Main Convention Center itself!!!

They have moved their booth to 01E - which is in the South-West corner of the Main Hall. This will allow us to project our films onto the West Wall of the Convention Center - right above the South West Lounge.

...and will be screening titles such as:
  • What's Hot In Tucson (from 2007 to 2009)
  • Capturing the Minerals
  • Golden Age of Minerals
  • Perspective of the Woman Collector
  • Mineral Artist: Jeff Scovil
  • New Crystal Hunters: Pala
  • The Minette Collection
In addition to showing some of their newest titles which will launch at the show such as:
  • New Crystal Hunters: Arkansas
  • Eberhard Equit: An Intimate Talk
  • Clips from our new Thumbnail Series

We're excited about this new feature coming to the TGMS show and we want to thank the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society for allowing us to screen these great films.

If you're going to be in Tucson, stop on by our booth to say hi (we're going to have a few more surprises at the show) or just take a break in the lounge and watch some mineral magic.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's A Tucson Stampede...Beaducation Style!

Tucson 2010
Beaducation's Stamping Classes
To Bead True Blue
and Tucson Bead Shows

Looking for a new technique to liven up your jewelry designs? Learn the art of stamping on metal from expert and Beaducation founder, Lisa Niven Kelly. In class Lisa will share her tried and true tips and techniques for stamping pendants perfectly every time. The class fee includes practice copper sheet, copper and sterling silver blanks, jumprings and use of all tools in class. Students don't need to bring any tools or supplies, we'll have everything that you'll need.

The class will take place on site at the To Bead True Blue Show. Students must check in at the main registration desk for classroom assignment.

To guarantee a spot in class all students must preregister through this website. Check the class title for the date and time to make sure that you have registered for your preference as there are 4 different sessions of this class.

Questions? Please email Looking forward to meeting you in class.
Tucson Tip - at $20.00 per class this has to be one of the best learning deals at the Tucson Gem Shows to register go to the Beaducation website.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2010 Gem Show Shuttle Routes

I want to say thank you to the Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau for posting such complete information.

Because Gem Ride was largely funded by state money to ease transit during the I-10 Widening Project, the service is now discontinued. However, many shows will be running private shuttles.

The good news is that several of the shows have made plans for their own shuttles.

For a downloadable and printable file click through:

...and you can print the routes here:

But if you have your own car there is parking available at most of the venues and several Public Parking Lots...comfy shoes and a light load and you will do well!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Free Seminar Offerings from the ISG!

The International School of Gemology (ISG) is presenting an impressive lineup of seminars at the Hotel Arizona...see if there is something that looks good to you. I know that I am going to try to make it to a couple.

Friday Feb. 5th:

  • ISG Free Seminars in the Cholla room starting at 8am

8am - 8:50am PEARLS: Latest market news by Julie Salvetti
9am - 9:50am Evaluating Rough for value and cutting by Larry Heath
10am - 11:30am Forensic Gemology: How to become a gem treatment sleuth to protect our industry by Robert James

Saturday Feb. 6th:

  • ISG Free Seminars in the Cholla room starting at 8am

8am - 8:50 Insurance Appraisal Tools by Jason Mendenhall

9am - 9:50am Inside the Chantaburi Gem Markets with Dave Fortier

10am - 10:50am Create an eCommerce Website in 2 days for under $200.00 by Lisa Brooks-Pike

Join the fastest growing gemological community in the world!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Zultanite Introduces New Website

Ok - I know what you are saying - What the heck is Zultanite? a stunning phenomenon stone!

Introduced to the world at the 1999 AGTA GemFair in Tucson, AZ - this stone has swept the market - while it was originally only available through a limited number of outlets, this new website has brought the beauty of Zultanite into your home! You will find jewelry designs that are as unique as this gem by designers and gem-cutters with International reputations for quality.

Gem Family: Zultanite is a unique variety of mineral species Diaspore.
Chemical Formula: ALO(OH)
Chrystal Structure: Orthorhombic
Hardness: 6.5-7.0 on the Mohs' scale.
Refractive Index: 1.70-1.75
Brifringence: 0.048
Density: 3.4

The soft golden green stone has a subtle color change to a delightful raspberry mauve...can't you see this in a Spring line?

Visit the Zultanite booth at AGTA's GemFair February 2-7, 2010 - Booth 1422

...from Zultanite Gems, LLC:

Zultanite Gems, LLC offers consumers more ways to collect this one-source only phenomenal and rare gemstone via their new website.

There are now even more convenient ways to acquire the exotic gem Zultanite. But still only one place in the world produces this sultry jewel; ancient Turkish Anatolian mountains. In different lighting, the delicate green transparent gem transforms itself into a soft raspberry to champagne hue. This exciting and relatively new jewel is avidly collected by the connoisseur and knowledgeable jewelry lovers worldwide.

Now Zultanite Gems, LLC makes it even easier for all collectors to acquire this rare stone. It is still available either loose or mounted. But many jewelers have stressed that this special gem needs a thoughtful and creative setting. In response, Zultanite created a luxurious collection of jewelry designed by Alberto Parada, Dangler Studios, and others now available through retailers or on their website.

Only one site in the entire world mines Zultanite, but the updated website it's easier than ever for the trade and consumers to access this beautiful must-have gem. Visit the new website: and browse the jewelry collection. This stand-out jewelry offers the beauty, rarity and value that stimulate sales with your buy-shy customers. The pricing is stable through the website or at retail. So consumers have more ways to collect Zultanite, and retailers are provided with broader sales opportunities.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Michael Dyber - American Wins Idar-Oberstein Cutting Competition!

Michael M. Dyber. of New Hampshire, is the only American to win the First prize twice in the 40 years of the most prestigious gemstone cutting competition in the world “The 40th German Award for Jewellery and Precious Stones, Idar-Oberstein 2009

Mr. Dyber’s first prize winner is a 113.24 ct. Aquamarine. Utilizing his signature lapidary techniques: “Dyber Optic Dish” ™ and now his newest technique the “Photon Phacet” ™ the Aquamarine was designed and cut so that it reflects optical illusions in three dimensions. It was completely cut by hand on equipment built by Michael in his New Hampshire studio.

This year's theme was “Long Live the Reflection”
The pieces could be unmounted gemstones, gemstones in finished jewellery (in this case only precious metals were allowed), gemstone objects and gemstone sculptures.

“This award represents another step forward in my endless pursuit of infinite gem designing.” says Michael.

The 40th German Award for Jewellery and Precious Stones, Idar-Oberstein 2009” is presented by the Federal Association of the Precious Stones and Diamond Industry, in the German Capital of the gemstone industry, Idar-Oberstein, Germany.

see: for more information.

Each year, artis
ts, lapidary artists, jewelers and designers from around the world compete for this coveted award.

In February, Dyber was awarded a Grand Prize, in the 2009 AGTA Spectrum - Cutting Edge Competition, at the AGTA Gem Fair Tucson 2009. The first place winner was an 89.79 ct Aquamarine, and was cut utilizing his signature lapidary techniques: “Dyber Optic Dish”™ and the “Photon Phacet” ™

Mr. Dyber’s ever changing collection of signed original creations can be seen at his booth at AGTA Gem Fair Tucson 2010, Booth 106, Feb. 2-7, 2010.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Liddicoat Awardee to Appear on Writers Panel...

Latest winner of the prestigious Richard T. Liddicoat award to appear on a panel of authors at the AGTA Gemfair!

Gemological Institute of America (GIA), at a surprise ceremony awarded John Koivula, chief research gemologist, the Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement.

For those of you who are attending the Tucson Gem Show there is a rare opportunity to meet three of the most important writers in the industry!

February 4th

THURSDAY 1:00 – 2:00 P.M.

Books for Gem Lovers!
John Koivula, Ron Ringsrud, Richard W. Wise
(Mohave room)
Basic - Intermediate. Authors of recent new and revised Gem Books discuss their works.
John Koivula: Photo Atlas of Inclusions in Gemstones: Vol III and Geologica-Earth’s Dynamic Forces

Ronald Ringsrud: Emeralds A Passionate Guide The Emeralds, The People, Their Secrets

Richard W. Wise: The French Blue

This should have something for everyone - the range of authors is really good. If you aren't familiar with their work - let me take a minute to help you catch up!

John Koivula's books should be on every Gemologists bookshelf. Some of the best microphotography available is in the three volumes of his Photo Atlas of Inclusions in Gemstones.

The third volume of his Atlas and his Geologica will be available for purchase and John will signing these highly sought books! This is exciting because you can't just go to Amazon and pick up these books...and of the three presenters this is book I don't yet own and autographed copy of!

Ron Ringsrud's "Emeralds, A Passionate Guide " is being compared to Richard Hughes' "Ruby & Sapphire"...the name is perfect - Ron is passionate about the stones, the people and the ways of his adopted home in Colombia! Click through to read a review of Ron's (standing room only) book signing event in Southern California here.

....and last but certainly not least - Richard W. Wise has already made a name for himself as a world renown jeweler but not one to sit on his laurels, Wise wrote a best seller in the gem industry. "Secrets of the Gem Trade" is a book that appealed to Industry and Amateur alike, and now he has produced a book that defies categorization..."The French Blue".

"The French Blue" is an illustrated historical novel of the the 17th Century. It follows the voyages of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier on his gem expeditions, through adventure and love affairs, culminating in the story of the blue diamond that became known as "The Hope Diamond".

Tucson TIP! Did you know that you don't always have to pay for a first class education? In Tucson the AGTA Seminars offer some of the finest speakers in the Industry - free of charge!!! So find a seminar that appeals to you here and I'll - See you at the Show!!!


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