Wednesday, December 21, 2011

11th Annual Westward Look Fine Mineral Show

Saturday Event
"Collector Day"

Ron Gladnick  
shows selections from his private
collection in the lobby of the resort.
10 am to 4pm
Sunday Event
"Sunday Evening Program" 

Edward Swoboda 
"A Life of Gems & Minerals"

Social Hour: 6:30pm
Presentation: 7:30pm
In the Sonoran Ballroom

Keep up to date on the Houston and Westward Look Fine Mineral Shows and
sign up for the mailing lists by visiting
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2012 AGTA Gem Jammin'

Encore Set for GemJammin’ Tucson 2012

The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) is pleased to announce the return of GemJammin’ in conjunction with the 2012 AGTA GemFair™ Tucson.  Back by popular demand, this open-to-all trade professionals music jam, is a benefit for Jewelers For Children.  The event will be held at The Hut on February 2, 2012, from 8PM to the last lingering note fades in the early morning hours.  Participation and attendance is open to all members of the gem, mineral and jewelry industries.  

On February 2, 2012 GemJammin’ Tucson 2012 will offer the opportunity for jewelry industry musicians to take the stage, playing together in an un-rehearsed, and spontaneous musical evening. AGTA is once again producing and underwriting this unique event.

“In 2011 GemJammin’ netted over $5,000 for Jewelers for Children,” said AGTA’s CEO Douglas K. Hucker, “I’m sure we can top that this time. We expect more musicians and more fans to perform and attend,” he continued.

GemJammin’ Tucson 2012 is now actively seeking sponsors and musicians for early registration. New to GemJammin’ 2012 is pre-registration on the web that allows musicians to schedule the time they would like to jam and the musicians they would like to play with at

GemJammin’ Tucson 2012 will take place at The Hut, located in downtown Tucson at the corner of 4th avenue and 8th street. This location is central to all industry shows and hotels. GemJammin’ Tucson 2012 will begin at 8pm and continue until closing time.

Jewelers For Children is active in many critical children’s programs such as Make-A-Wish Foundation®, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation/Glaser Pediatric Research Network, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® and more.

For additional sponsorship information and to sign up to jam, visit the GemJammin’ Tucson 2012 website at

Thursday, November 24, 2011

AGTA GemFair™ Tucson Free Seminar Program

AGTA GemFair™ Tucson Free Seminar Program  

Just released by the AGTA GemFair Tucson...Nov. 23, 2011
The American Gem Trade Association released its educational lineup for the 2012 AGTA GemFair™ Tucson Free Seminar Program.  This four-day program provides a wealth of information, presented by industry leaders and innovators.

Educational tracks cover gemology, sales, marketing, training, appraising, estate jewelry, fair trade, travelogues, regulatory issues and much more.  AGTA offers over 40 free seminars during the GemFair that are chosen to help you succeed in the colored gemstone and pearl category.

Speakers at this year’s GemFair include popular industry presenters like Richard Drucker of GemWorld International, Kate Peterson of Performance Concepts, renowned gemologist Alan Hodgkinson, Gary Roskin, GIA’s John Koivula and Dr. James Shigley, Diane Flora of the American Gem Society, David Peters of Jewelers of America, Antoinette Matlins of the Gemstone Press, and AGTA’s Adam Graham.

There are also many new presenters on a variety of topics that relate to the colored gemstone and pearl business.

The Knot, the premier bridal magazine and online community, is presenting two sessions within the seminar program this year.  Laura Cave, Director of The Knot Market Intelligence will share insights from their comprehensive Engagement Jewelry Study in one session, then provide key social media tips in another.

MJSA also returns this year with their “At the Bench Live” program featuring daily bench demonstrations with some of the industry’s most respected bench jewelers.  Ann Cahoon, Alishan Halebian and Arthur Skuratowicz will provide hands-on demonstrations in the Galleria near the East entrance.

For a complete listing of all of the seminars available at the 2012 AGTA GemFair™ Tucson please click on this link:  Please note that many of these seminars will be recorded and available on DVD-Rom after the GemFair.

The AGTA GemFair™ Tucson is open from January 31 – February 5, 2012.  If  you attended GemFair Tucson in 2011, you will be automatically registered for 2012.  If you would like to register to attend in 2012, please click this link for all of the details:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

MJSA's At the Bench Live Returns to AGTA GemFair

MJSA will present its signature At the Bench Live demonstrations at the 2012 AGTA GemFair TucsonJan. 31 through Feb. 5 at the Tucson Convention Center. The interactive sessions will run daily and feature renowned artisans showing bench and design techniques that attendees can readily apply to their own operations. Related articles from MJSA Journal, the association's flagship monthly magazine, will be distributed at each session.

The sessions are sponsored by the American Gem Trade Association, and the Bench and Tool Sponsor is the Jewelry Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The schedule includes:

January 31
Step to It:
Tricks for Soldering Multiple Joints in Silver
Presenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz, Director of Education at the Jewelry Training Center
Silver has become the metal of choice for many jewelry makers and designers seeking affordable price points. However, the metal poses its own challenges, not the least of which is how to solder several joints in close proximity--without melting previous attachments. Attendees will learn how to ensure their silver soldering goes smoothly, enabling them to create clean, secure attachments.

February 1
History Detective:
How to Identify Previous Repairs in Jewelry
Presenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz, Director of Education at the Jewelry Training Center
It happens all the time: A jeweler goes to repair a piece of jewelry, only to discover that the piece had already undergone previous repairs--and the work was less than stellar. At best, this creates a few new headaches; at worst, it leads to the jewelry being severely damaged. Attendees will learn how to identify these "danger points" before it's too late.

February 2
Working with Gemstones: The Designer's Challenges
Presenter: Alishan Halebian, award-winning goldsmith/designer
When faced with designing a piece around a gemstone--especially one with an unusual cut or other uncommon characteristic--designers and goldsmiths have a double-edged challenge: Create a design that brings out the gem's unique aspects, but also ensures the stone is securely set and protected. Award-winning designer and master goldsmith AlishanHalebian will demonstrate how he accomplishes both tasks to best ensure the gem is exquisitely showcased.

February 3
Mythbusters: Challenging Tradition at the Bench
Presenter: Ann Cahoon, designer/goldsmith, Flying Marquis Studio
Venerable traditions have built up regarding how bench jewelers should go about their craft. And, like all traditions, some may be true--and some may be little more than tall tales. This session will separate fact from myth, and attendees will come away with new insights into accepted procedures for equipment maintenance, the selection of tools for specific tasks, or simple safety procedures.

February 4
Using Handmade Chain in Custom Designs
Presenter: Ann Cahoon, designer/goldsmith, Flying Marquis Studio
As consumer demand for custom jewelry grows, so too are the ways in which jewelers are creating unique, personalized pieces. One method to add personalization is through the use of handmade chain. Attendees will discover techniques for creating handcrafted chain to complement specific custom designs.

February 5
Compound Interest:
Creating the Optimum Polish on Metals
Presenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz, Director of Education at the Jewelry Training Center
When it comes to the finishing and polishing of jewelry, you need to match your methods and metals to achieve the maximum shine. Attendees will learn how to apply various buffing compounds and polishing techniques to achieve the look they want.

MJSA's At the Bench Live sessions are sponsored by the American Gem Trade Association and will run daily from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Grand Ballroom in the Tucson Convention Center. For more information, go to MJSA Online at,, or call 1-800-444-MJSA (6572).

Monday, November 7, 2011

Taking You Back To Tucson...

Today I sent in the deposit for the house I'm renting for my two weeks in Tucson and it always makes me eager for, I started going through my photos albums and organizing photos in albums.  I keep coming across things I meant to post but ran out of time and never got a chance.

I know it's old but I found this great video with the Mayor on Opening Day of the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show - AKA The Main Event - to take you back and over the next couple days I will be posting from the show.

...and BTW - if you have questions or need recommendations or just want to discuss the shows we are always available on the Tucson Gem Show Facebook page and Twitter Feed...stop in and say hi!

Photo Credit:  From the Kristalle Blog:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

ACE™ It Conferences by NAJA in Tucson AZ

ACE™ It Conferences by NAJA
Appraisers Continuing Education

The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers announces its 37th Annual Winter ACE© It Education Conference to be held in Tucson, AZJanuary 29-30, 2012.

The appraisal organization dedicated exclusively to gems and jewelry presents an outstanding program to assist the professional appraiser’s continuing education and an unparalleled networking experience. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012 – Gemography!

What makes the outline of a Fancy Cut Diamond appealing? Your opinion matters to GIA.  (Part I)
        Al Gilbertson, GG

                               Developing the Mind of a Leader
        Bill Boyajian, GG

                              The History of Tsavorite:  The Green Heart of Africa
                                        Bruce Bridges

                             Understanding Clarity Enhancement of Emeralds
       Arthur Groom, GG  and Bryan Aderhold, GG

                              Ammolite, the Most Colorful Organic Gem of All
       Donna Barnson  

                              Stories, Tall Tales, and Things I wish I’d said
                                        Ralph Joseph, GG

Monday, January 30, 2012 – Gemography!

            Classifying Gemstone Treatments
                                             Angelo Themelis  
                                            Opals: Myth, Magic and Misconceptions
                                                                             Gerry Manning

                                             Mystery of Moonstones - Now in Color(s)!
                                                                             Nandu Nichani

              10 Steps to Glass Filled Ruby ID Bliss!
                                             Arthur Skuratowicz, GJG

To receive a conference brochure or for further information and conference reservations, contact Gail Brett Levine, GG, Executive Director, National Association of Jewelry Appraisers,  718.896-1536
f. 718-997-9057,, 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What's Hot In Tucson 2011 - Minerals - Review & Discount

I have spent the last week - literally - working my way through the 2 DVD Set (240 minutes!) of What's Hot in Tucson - the Mineral edition!  What do I mean working my way through...the incredible amount of information hidden within these entertaining videos is immense!   

Of course the big  joke in 2011 is that Tucson was anything but HOT - with below freezing temperatures for close to a week as is visible in the frozen fountain on the DVD jacket photo!

The Minerals video starts with the Arizona Mineral & Fossil Show, moves to the newest venue at the Pueblo Show at the Riverfront Inn, then the Westward Look Fine Mineral Show and ends at "The Main Show" the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show.   Along the way there are several candid Collector on the Street - where they talk to people about their finds at the show!  

For 2011 the Dave Wilbur - Bob Jones team is back!   What is fabulous about these videos is that several of these pieces were found within the last year...or a minerals that have been identified and named within the last 5 - 10 years!  ...and some of the rarest minerals available!

Cornetite - Henmilite - Alabandite - Ilvaite - Arfvedsonite - Aegirine

For me the star of the Mineral Scene in Tucson is the Collector's Day at the Fine Mineral Show at the Westward Look Resort - the Featured collector this year was Wayne Sorenson and I really love the way that BlueCap edited this portion with Wayne and Dave sitting down and chatting while the stunning specimens roll by!

You Will Find Unbelievable Beauty!
...the glowing red-orange of the Tasmanian Crocoite - the Adelaide Mining Co. room was dazzling!
...both crystal and wire silver & gold
...the Chaminoux Red Flourite and Shigar Red Fluorite
...the Rhodocrosite from the Wutong Mine in China was in several rooms but "The Emperor" and "The Empress" at the TGMS were the stars of this find! pocket of sparkling Prehinite fingers from Prospect Park, NJ from The Arkenstone 
...gleaming gemmy Milpillas Azurite crystals from Evan Jones minerals
...a two year old - 472 carat Emerald crystal from the La Pita Mine, Colombia - complete with it's custom lighted base!
...water clear Swiss Smokey from Pala International
...all of the new Cuprite - Copper Pseudomorphs
....and the amazing carvings from Pu Tzu at the Uncarved Block

It is great watching the way the dealers interact with Dave - his reputation in the field is unparalleled.  And one of the most candid moments comes when Bob Jones introduces and interviews his son Evan Jones, who along with his partner has some of the finest Milpillas Azurites!  Bob does a great job of explaining the various minerals present in these specimens and why the Azurite crystals just seem electric blue!

...and there are all of my favorite bathroom shots...remember these shows are in hotels and a good vendor uses every space available.  Wait till you see the Aquamarine in Rob's Levinsky's bathroom  ;-p

SO - did I mention DISCOUNT?  the folks at BlueCap have offered a special discount to all the readers of my blogs!    BlueCap is offering a special 15% off the price of your total purchase from now until Sept. 12, 2011!  
There is a 15% off coupon set up for your readers at our online store. The special code they will need to enter at checkout to receive the 15% discount is FLYONWALL. 
This code is good for two weeks from tomorrow, Monday, August 29 through Monday, September 12. It can be used once per order and will be 15% off the total order, no matter how many DVDs are in the order.
So don't forget to get your copy while they last
...special checkout code FLYONWALL - while you're there pick up the Gems & Jewelry video too!

Photo Credit: Gail Spann after Cropping Robyn ;-p
Product Description:
Join us as we spend three full weeks in Tucson, Arizona at the largest mineral show in the world!! We visit dealers and collectors from the Hotel Tucson City Center (formerly known as the InnSuites), Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show, Fine Minerals International Show, The Westward Look Mineral Show and round it all up with the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society Show (aka The Main Show).

Along the way we see some of the Ilvites from China that made such a huge hit, the Russian Cuprites that were one of the hottest new finds at Tucson, one of the finest emerald specimens in the world, a behind-the-scenes viewing of the new Kunzites from Pala, an exclusive interview with the owner of the Tourmaline Queen Mine and the first owner of the world-famous Rabbit Ears Blue cap (Dave Wilber was the second owner) and a whole lot more!!!!

And, as always, we also feature Jeff Scovil's Top Ten Tucson Photos where Master Photographer Jeff Scovil shares his top ten picks for specimens shot while on location in Tucson.
It's four-hours of non-stop mineral fun on 2 DVDs and even a VERY special surpirse at the end of the program that we hope everyone enjoys.

This is What's Hot In Tucson for the year 2011 and it's HOT!!!!!!

Your "FLYONWALL" discount is available on your entire purchase from the BlueCap Store - so - Check out all the quality videos offered by BlueCap Productions at:

Free Spectrum Entry With Your AGTA Membership!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

2011 Spectrum Awards - Part 2

Todd Reed was the big winner
in 2011 winning his category
and the coveted Best of Show

Moving on to Part Two of the Spectrum Awards Editor's Day Event...

In this video you see the real value in participating in competitions and challenges - especially in this particular competition.

Todd's Winning Design
The contacts that are made and the important people that see your work are the Editors of some of the most prestigious magazines - in Jewelry; JCK - in Luxury; Town & Country - in Fashion; ELLE, Marie Clare, and more...

Has this started your creative juices?  Come on...this could be your "golden" opportunity!

Photo Credit: Todd Reed from the AGTA Facebook page - Jewelry Photo by Robert Weldon for the AGTA Spectrum Awards page

Saturday, July 16, 2011

2011 Spectrum Awards - Part 1

The buzz is building and people are talking Tucson already...

Can you feel the shift in the mood...the Industry is feeling hopeful!   What a wonderful feeling!  I am getting excited for Tucson myself! 

The American Gem Trade Assoc. (AGTA) has released videos from Editors's Day 2011 - where editors from the best in the Fashion Industry mix with Judges and view the Spectrum and Cutting Edge Award entries.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What's Hot In Tucson 2011 - Order Now!

Well, the wait is finally over - the 2011 edition of What's Hot In Tucson is available!!!

From BlueCap CEO & Videographer, Bryan Swoboda's Announcement:

This is our fifth year covering the Tucson show and every year it gets better and better. Dave Wilber, having finally WHIT11-Ilviteovercome many of the physical ailments that have been plaguing him, returns as our knowledgable and locquciousShow Host.Bob Jonesalso returns as our Co-Host and together we blast throughthree weeks of the biggest mineral show in the world to bring you the hottest minerals under the sun.

WHIT11-cupriteWe start our adventure at the Hotel City Tucson Center (which we still refer to as theInnSuites) where we check in with a hand full of dealers showing off specimens ranging from the truly spectacular to the rare oddities.

Then we're off to the newly developed, and quickly growing, Pueblo Inn Gem & Mineral Show. This is their second year where they've created an International Fine Mineral Sectionand it's one of the more fun and eclectic stops in our journey.

WHIT11-tourmalineNext, we stop off at the Fine Minerals Internationalshow where we get a sneak peek at their gallery-like showroombefore it opens to the public. One of the biggest thrills of the entire show is when masterpieceafter masterpiece comes out of the safe for our private viewing. It's almost Wonka-esque.

WHIT11-stibiconiteThe next stop is up at theWestward Look Mineral Show (aka Fine Mineral Show: Tucson) filled with some of thefinest dealers on the planet. This is what I consider a mineral time machine - you arrive on a Friday and before you know it, it's Monday and you have no idea where the time has gone!!!

WHIT11-rhodochrositeOur whirlwind adventure ends at the grand-daddy show of them all - TheTGMS Showat the Tucson Convention Center (or as everyone refers to it - The Main Show). This is the show that started them all and it never disappoints. Display case after display case is filled with specimens, oddities, treasures and more all interwoven among the dealer booths and ice cream stands (ok, there may be only one ice cream stand but I must have visited it a dozen times over the weekend).

WHIT11-emeraldIn all, it'sthree long weeks in Tucson seeing and filming minerals every single day. We've taken those 504 hours of time and, for your convenience, distilled it and compressed it down to only 4 hours on 2 DVDs!!! How nice.

And last but not least, for the past five years everyone has been asking about a certain thing that we FINALLY added as a surprise ending. Want to know what it is? Buy the DVD and keep watching through the closing credits. If Dave doesn't kill me, I'm hoping to make this a new feature for all future What's Hot In Tucsonepisodes so voice your support!!!!


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