Monday, January 30, 2012

Tucson - Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show

It is no secret that this is one of my all time favorite Tucson Venues...

  are welcome whether you are Retail or Wholesale (there is a Wholesale Only)
           ....goods run the gambit of finished jewelry - jewelry supplies - cut stones - designer faceted stones -
               gem rough, fossils and minerals.

New Era Gems -
Fire Agate Rough

Fossil Coral slabs
Fossil Bamboo

Turkish Diaspore Cut & Rough

Steve Ruse Designs - one of a kind jewelry (fine silver) and carvings (ancient ivory)

Oregon Sunstone - Tourmaline - Blue Chacedony

Himalaya Tourmaline Mine - California

You KNOW you want some...

Gems in Gems - there is no website for this vendor so this is the only time I get to catch up with the fabulous Marco!   these are Gems In Gems!

terminated tourmaline crystals in clear quartz

Iron Stain as a design feature

Polished Ammonite

Sunset Quartz

Tucson - Check In

People always ask for cost saving tips when planning a trip to the Tucson Gem Show...

Probably the biggest expense for anyone is lodging! $150 and up per night the local hotels can take all your gem spending capital!  What I have always done is rent a space in someone's home or rent a vacation can find links to vacation rental sites in the right hand column of this blog.

You are basically moving into someone's home and that is how it should be treated - no wild parties - but I know that none of my readers would ever!!!  ;-D

To give a couple of examples - one year I rented a room from a local artist and it was a fabulous experience that I will not forget - not only did I get to meet the wonderful Kate McKinnon but I also was introduced to an entire group of artists from another segment of our industry!!!  they were wild evenings even though I usually was tied to my computer!

This year I rented a three bedroom home with friends - boy did we luck out!!!  I can't sing the praises of this place could roll in dead tired and it is so well set up that you could shower and have coffee in the morning BEFORE having to go to the store for supplies.  With a Washer & Dryer - Cable TV and WIFI what more do you need?

Here is a brief glimpse of the Common Areas:

Backyard view from the Master Bedroom:

View into the Dining Room:

Living Room:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day One - Already Over Whelmed!!!

Slept in this morning and really got a refreshed start to the day!  ...I thought!

Yes, I knew as soon as I packed all those long sleeved shirts that it would be hot and it is GLORIOUS!

Ann Marie and I headed out to the Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show.  It is no secret that this is one of my favorite and this year is no exception...

At the Moldavite & Sugilite Co. Booth and the day started with rings -  Peridot Rings...

Rose Quartz Rings....

...oh and did I mention Rings?  Labradorite Rings!

...and Sugilite & Labradorite micro-faceted strands.

I really wish I could have gotten a better shot of the Opal - it is amazing.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

TUCSON 2012: Vendors Worth Looking For!


Geoff's Aerolite Meteorites Hotel Tucson City Center showroom (Suite 323 - Hotel Tucson City Center at 475 North Granada at St. Mary's, one block east of I-10) is open every day from Friday, January 27 through Saturday, February 11 from 10 to 6 pmAerolite Meteorites is in Suite 323 and don't miss our great friend and gem show partner, Anne Black of Impactika Meteorites in Suite 322.

Our Aerolite Meteorites tent at the TEP (Tucson Electric Park) show in 2011 was a huge hit with Meteorite Men fans and meteorite collectors, and we'll be back again in 2012. Our TEP booth will be offering an incredible assortment of quality iron meteorites—large and small—at wholesale prices to the public. TEP booth open from Saturday, January 28 through Sunday, February 12 from 10 pm to 6 pm. You will not believe the prices on our superb iron meteorites. Come see us first!


Evan Jones and Marc Miterman have joined forces as UNIQUE MINERALS bringing you the combined experience of over 65 years in minerals. Please stop by and see us at our two Tucson Show locations.
FEB. 2- 6
ROOM 315

FEB. 9-12
BOOTH 516-518

We bring you the finest and largest selection

The best smoky quartzes from the USA

Featured in the upcoming "Collecting Arizona" book

Celebrate the Centennial!

February 3rd -- 6th, 2012

The 11th Annual Westward Look Resort Mineral Show
at the Westward Look Resort in Room #230 (Building 21)

... AND

February 9th -- 12th, 2012 

The 58th Annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show
at the Tucson Convention Center in Booth #517-521

 We're bringing plenty of new items including newly discovered, and classic mineral specimens from around the world, exciting gem crystals, custom faceted and carved gemstones, and one-of-a-kind pieces of custom jewelry.  Stop in and see us and check out all the new pieces we have to offer.  We look forward to seeing all of you there !!  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Andesine Locales Added to AGTA Seminar Schedule

Andesine & Labradorite from Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Mexico & Oregon: A Tucson Panel Discussion
Moderator: Dana Schorr

Panelists:  Richard Hughes, Ahmadjan Abduriyim, George Rossman, Adolf Peretti with Shane McClure & John Emmett

The mining of natural red and green andesine in Tibet and near-colorless andesine in Inner Mongolia has been a subject of controversy.  Large quantities of diffusion-treated andesine from Inner Mongolia entered the world markets without proper disclosure starting about 2000; however the idea that there might also be a source of natural red andesine in Tibet has been met with extreme skepticism from some quarters.  This has not only polarized the gemological community, but has also created a lack of confidence in natural Oregon sunstone.

This program will present the latest results from field visits to both Tibet and Inner Mongolia, along with advanced testing of stones from each of those deposits. 

Simple tests will be described to separate both Tibetan and Inner Mongolian andesines from Oregon sunstones.  The purpose is to finally put to rest the controversy surrounding these stones.

Free samples will be handed out to all attendees.

Tucson 2012: Vendors, Vendors, Vendors...

"One new piece that I am exceptionally excited about is the Olive branch bib necklace. As beautiful as it looks in pictures, it's even more stunning around the neck. This bold statement piece effortlessly fills in the neckline."                         Aaron Henry

Gene McDevitt
McDevitt Opal Mining
GJX Gem & Jewelry Show - Booth 105
198 S. Granada
January 31 - February 5, 2012
Hours: Jan. 31 - Feb. 4, 10am-6pm; 
Feb. 5*, 10:00am to 4:00pm.
*No buyers admitted after 3pm on Feb. 6. 

Tucson 2012

We are so excited to be bringing you 100+ classes this year at Tucson Electric Park (TEP) this January 28-February 12, 2012. We have pulled together a very impressive international team of instructors to bring you the largest selection of classes available in Tucson.

The Cortez Pearl @ Tucson
 GJX Show in the tent - Booth #508
(across from the Tucson Convention Center)

"This year we have a couple of things to show our visitors, including a magnificent multi-colored Cortez Pearl necklace: the first one for the year 2012. This particular necklace (code 2012-A) was on the designing table since 2009 and our associate Manuel Nava found the necessary pearls to finalize it just this new year. Although it does not contain any pearls from this year’s harvest, we decided to give it this year’s blessings.

We will also have our usual assortment of loose Cortez Cultured Pearls, Mabe Pearls (including some blisters) and some Silver Jewelry items. So, come on over and check out our unique pearls, learn how difficult it is to grow these Fair Trade beauties and get all the information straight from the oyster’s mouth: we’ll be happy to share a moment with you. "

High Desert Gems & Minerals is a gemstone mining company. We own mines in Oregon, Nevada, and California, including the famous Himalaya Tourmaline Mine near San Diego, CA and Spectrum Sunstone Mines near Plush, OR. Find out about our NEW SUNSTONE DEPOSIT at Spectrum MineOur other gemstone mines include Variscite, Nevada Turquoise, Opal, Mt. Airy Blue Chalcedony TM, Namibian Blue Chalcedony, Lavender Chalcedony, Purple Chalcedony, Smoky Quartz and Amethyst scepters, Fire Agate, Vesuvianite, and Gold.  

Jan 28th - Feb 9th: Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show The Riverpark Inn 350 South Freeway, Tucson, AZ 85745. Room 109.
February 9th - 12th:  58th Annual Tucson Gem & Mineral Society Gem Show “Minerals of Arizona” theme. Convention Center, Tucson, AZ
GEMS IN GEMS - Marco Campos Venuti, PhD
January 28 to February 9:  Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show (Riverpark Inn) in Room 113
January 31 to February 5:  We will have also a booth 917 – main tent in the GJX Show 
Please come inside in the room and visit us at the GJX booth 917
Marco says "We will be glad to drink a beer with you (please don’t forget to bring the beer, because we don’t have a fridge) talking about the many new stones we have and making some business."
Gems in Gems offers what is probably the widest selection of Quartz with "Stuff" in it that you are likely to see!  Quartz with Emerald Crystals -  Quartz with celsian and ankangite, Quartz with anatase, Quartz with rutile and dolomite, Quartz with euhedral pyrite, Quartz with tourmaline, Quartz with actinolite,  Green quartz with hedembergite from Greece, 
“Paraiba” quartz (the famous quartz with gilalite inclusions),   “Leopard” aguamarine,
Madammolite (iridescent ammonite from Madagascar, published in the last issue of Gems and gemology) to list just a few.
Ruby slices from Mozambique,
Rare gemstones, as hackmanite, amblygonite, petalite, sphalerite, inesite, chrysoberyl, sphene, leucite, ametrine, yellow smithsonite, blue and Ethiopian opal, cat’s eye aguamarine and tourmaline and many more.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tucson 2012: Classes, Workshops and Demos

"At The Bench Live" by MJSA at the AGTA Gemfair:  There’s nothing like learning from the masters—and jewelers who attend MJSA’s At the Bench Live seminars do just that. Featuring the industry’s most renowned experts, At the Bench Live offers a blend of best practices and innovative ideas. It creates an atmosphere in which questions can be posed, solutions offered, and problems solved. And it ensures that attendees can walk way with a bit more technical mastery at their command.

January 31
Step to It: Tricks for Soldering Multiple Joints in SilverPresenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz

February 1
History Detective:  How to Identify Previous Repairs in JewelryPresenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz

February 2
Working with Gemstones:  The Designer’s ChallengesPresenter: Alishan Halebian

February 3
Mythbusters:  Challenging Tradition at the BenchPresenter: Ann Cahoon

February 4
Using Handmade Chain in Custom DesignsPresenter: Ann Cahoon

February 5
Compound Interest:  Creating the Optimum Polish on MetalsPresenter: Arthur Anton Skuratowicz

Complete Descriptions at:

The show features jewelry suppliers, gemstone merchants, and nomadic traders, with objects including but not limited to collectibles, antiquities, artifacts, rare ethnographic objects, unusual gold and silver pieces, carved gemstones and pendants, champlevé enamel, uncut garnets, Gablonzer crystals, vintage jewelry components and findings, costume jewelry, hard-to-find ceremonial and tribal objects, and handmade earrings.

In addition to exhibits, the show presents 8,000 square feet of workshops and classes, taught by respected instructors, with step-by-step instruction for all skill levels in such techniques as hand knotting, glass pendants, bead making, soldering, jewelry design, mixed media, polymer clay, resin jewelry, enamelling, metal and wirework.

The Tucson Bead Show runs this year from February 4 to 6, 2012. It is open to the public, and is free for both wholesale and retail buyers to attend and register. With three intense days and 500 exhibits, The Tucson Bead Show is bead design. Meet bead makers, designers, artists, artisans. Take a workshop and learn more about bead design. Buy directly from the merchants.

The show also offers one of the most comprehensive workshop programs by well-known artisans and bead makers –offering step-by-step instruction for all skill levels in clay bead making, jewelry design, stringing and hand knotting, bead weaving, polymer clay modeling, soldering, metal and wirework, mixed media, glass pendants, and resin jewelry making.

A truly one of a kind Southwestern jewelry pavilion can only be found at the JOGS Tucson show. Exhibiting are the top dealers, miners and manufacturers with the largest stock of jewelry from Albuquerque, Mexico and China. The American Amber Association presents, at the JOGS Tucson Gem Show, the largest U.S. Amber jewelry pavilion. The Art Gem Décor pavilion contains some of the most beautiful décor items crafted out of stones, gems, copper, wood, metal and other materials. Besides the exquisite art pieces, you can also find some great everyday interior design pieces. Other JOGS Tucson Gem Show pavilions include the many international pavilions which represent the rich gem and jewelry heritage of Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Mexico and Nepal.

...and when you get tired of walking, sit down and take a workshop!  With over 100 Classes and Seminars presented through ArtBeadCircle you are wure to find something you want to learn.  Workshop Schedule at: 

What is TEP? TEP stands for Tucson Eletric Park, also called Kino Sports Complex, and the TEP Gem & Mineral Show is surrounded by baseball diamonds. TEP is one of the largest and most exciting shows in Tucson every year, drawing over 260 vendors, thousands of customers, and features acres of free parking! There's also a convenient shuttle service if you are coming from out-of-town. The show is free and open to the public. The TEP Gem & Mineral Show will be in the Tucson Show Guide and Tucson EZ Guide, so you can plan your events while attending the Tucson shows.
T.E.P. Gem & Mineral Show in coordination with will be bringing you 100+ classes this year at Tucson Electric Park (TEP) this January 28-February 12, 2012. They have pulled together a very impressive international team of instructors to bring you the largest selection of classes available in Tucson.  JewelryTools will be holding over 100 classes in one of the big white tents you'll see from the freeway, I-10, as you're approaching Ajo Road. Make sure to plan for plenty of time at the show before and after class, because you'll want to explore the whole show! Whether you like rocks and gems, silks and tie-dyes, incense and gifts, international food, or you just want to see the most unsual finds in all of Tucson, TEP is the best place to be!

Workshop Schedule at:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Special Events - Tucson 2012

Saturday Collector's Day at the Westward Look Fine Mineral Show
Collection: Private Collection of Ron Gladnick
When: Saturday, February 4, 2012   Time: 10AM - 4PM
Where: Westward Look Resort Lobby

Saturday, February 4th at 6 pm at the Hotel Arizona:
The week will culminate with the inaugural Jewelers Ethics Association reception, open to all members of the trade, on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. at the Hotel Arizona. Complimentary beer and wine provided by Spectrum Sunstone Mine.

Sunday, February 5, 2012  
Program: Edward Swoboda: "A Life of Gems & Minerals"
Special Guest: Wendell Wilson, Bill Larson, Gene Meieran
Time:   Social Hour - 6:30P    Presentation - 7:30P
Where: Westward Look Resort - Sonoran Ballroom

Ed Swoboda's love for minerals started when he was a little kid and, at 94 years, he's still going strong.  He was the owner of the Pala Chief Mine, Stewart Lithia Mine and the world-famous Tourmaline Queen Mine - which he still owns. In 1971 he, and partner Bill Larson, uncovered the blue cap tourmaline pocket at the Queen Mine which made, and continues to make, mineral history.  

Notoriously shy, this pioneer and legend of the mineral collecting world has graciously accepted our invitation to come and present a brief overview of his experience and life in, "A Life of Gems & Minerals."  This is sure to be a completely packed presentation so come early and stay late.

Sunday, January 29

16th Annual Coyote Classic Charity Golf Tournament
Sponsored by FedEx
Omni Tucson National Resort - 2727 West Club Drive
Benefiting the Tucson Officer’s Run for Special Olympics
Sign-up 12:00 pm   -  Shotgun Start 1:00 pm
Sunday, January 29

The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers
Tucson Convention Center, Maricopa Meeting Room
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Contact Gail Brett Levine at 718-896-1536 or

Monday, January 30

GILC Meeting
Tucson Convention Center, Graham Room
8:30 am – 4:00 pm
By invitation only.

ICA General Assembly
Graham Room  -  4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
By invitation only.

Wednesday, February 1

Cultured Pearl Association of America
Cushing Street Bar & Grill  - 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
By invitation only.
Call Bo Perry at 212-255-6875 for more information

International Colored Gemstone Association
ICA Cocktail Reception, Marriott University Park Hotel - 6:30 pm
ICA Members welcome by invitation only.
RSVP to the ICA at 212-620-0900

Thursday, February 2 

IDCA Annual Event
Marriott University Park Hotel
7:00 - 11:00 pm
By invitation only 212-921-4488

AGTA GemJammin’
The Hut  -  8:30 pm
Join the jewelry industry’s best musicians for a great night of music and fun!
Tickets are $10 at the door and all proceeds go to Jewelers for Children.
More info at

Friday, February 3 

2012 AGTA Annual Tucson Membership Meeting
Tucson Convention Center, GemHall Floor  9:00 am
Come and meet the new elected members of the Board Directors.

“Party at the GIA Gem Mine” Annual Dinner, Auction and Dance Party
Sponsored by the GIA Alumni Association
6:30 – 11:00 pm
Marriott University Park Hotel
Join us for a silent and live auction, buffet dinner, awards presentation, and dancing.
Attire: Casual evening or business.
Admission: $65 after January 20 and at the door.
To donate auction items, call 800.421.7250, ext 4145, 760.603.4145, or email All auction proceeds will benefit the GIA Alumni Endowment Fund. Shuttle service from the Convention Center to Marriott University Park Hotel courtesy of AGTA.

Saturday, February 4

AGTA Spectrum Awards™ Gala
Marriott University Park Hotel - Grand Ballroom
7:00 pm – 12:00 am
Come celebrate the winning designs of the 2012 AGTA Spectrum Awards™ and enjoy a great night of dining and dancing. Tickets are priced at $100 per person.
Call 800-972-1162 for more information.

Seminars Tucson 2012: Education Is King!

One of the best things about the Tucson Gem Show is the amount of knowledge you can garner from some of the greatest people in the Industry!

The AGTA GemFair is known for the quality of their Seminar Schedule every year!  this year is no different with the addition of  Laura Cave, Director of The Knot Market Intelligence as she shares insights from the 2011 Engagement Jewelry Study from The Knot, the #1 wedding planning site online!

I have to say that this year it is more difficult than ever to choose the seminars I want to attend - almost every one of them sounds fabulous!

From the AGTA website:

Free Seminars
AGTA GemFair™ Tucson offers important educational seminars designed to help industry professionals looking for new and innovative strategies to create opportunities for profit and growth in their businesses. Choose from more than 30 seminars geared toward a wide range of interests and needs.

Our exciting lineup of FREE seminars offers education at every level — from basic to advanced. Seating in all free sessions is limited by room capacity and, in a few cases, by the availability of samples. Plan to arrive early to ensure seating. Speakers are subject to change without notice. Presentations last one hour unless otherwise noted.

With Topics ranging from Beginners Issues like “Keys To Selling More Color” from Adam Graham of the AGTA or “Passport To Pearls” with Kathy Grenier of the Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA).  To more advanced sessions from John Koivula of the GIA (Recent Inclusion Discoveries) and Cathy Calhoun of Calhoun Jewelers with a talk on Procuring Estate Jewelry (“when to offer cash and when to offer credit, how to receive the best value back for your expenditure, whether turning to estate dealers, holding a piece in your own estate case, or when it makes sense to melt.”).

If gemology is more your thing and you like hands on demonstrations and learning to use the tools of the trade there is a three hour session with Antoinette Matlins on Gem ID Made Easy:
A 2-Part Workshop that teaches the use of most Gemological tools and this year Recognizing HPHT Diamonds with Dusan Simic, Analytical Gemology and Jewelry.

For a complete list of seminars see the AGTA Website:

But the AGTA doesn’t have all the Seminars in town in fact there are some really good offerings from the Jewelers Ethics Association and the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society.

JEA (Jewelers Ethics Association) will present the following free seminar program at the Hotel Arizona:

Monday Jan. 30
* 6:30pm David Epstein of Precious Resources “Luck Or Plan? Your Gemstone Sales Success”

Tuesday Jan. 31
* 6:30pm Robyn Hawk @AFlyOnTheWall – “Building Your Brand Through Social Media”

Wednesday Feb. 1
* 6:30pm Dan Cooper of Gemcuts International – “Natural Sapphire: Availability & Demand”

Thursday Feb. 2
* 6:30pm Jim Rentfrow of The Green Gem Foundation – “Ethical Gemstones”

At the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show there are several Seminars from 9:30 am to 6 pm on Friday February 10th in conjunction with the Arthur Roe Memorial Micromount Symposium.

...and also on Saturday February 11th there is a program for the 33rd Annual FM-TGMS-MSA Mineralogical Symposium built around the topic “Minerals of Arizona”

Thursday February 9th from 1 pm to 3 pm
Mineral Photography Seminar with Jeff Scovil

Saturday, February 11th from 2 pm to 3 pm
“Bisbee Mines and Minerals”
Richard (Dick) Graeme - a Bisbee native, and was born in 1941 into a pioneer family  of miners that first arrived here in 1883.  Like his grandfather and father before him, Dick went to work underground as a laborer, as soon as he was old enough.  By time the mines closed in 1975, he had become the Resident Geologist at the Copper Queen Branch.  N ow, more than 50 years after Dick began working in the mines,  he continues to work in the copper industry as the head of a company in Peru.

Bisbee was a mining town; few were its residents that did not depend on the mines for their livelihood.  Thus, the tempo of the whole community revolved around the operations schedule and the mine whistle, which signaled that it was time to drop into the dark world of the miner.  Bisbee was a mining town; where miners toiled in the hills that surround it, going ever deeper to win an important resource for the growing American industry.  

World Gem Society Tour of Tucson 2012 sponsored by the International School of Gemology.

International School of Gemology Tour of Tucson 2012 Headquarters this year is the Holiday Inn, Grant Avenue. This will be our starting point each day at 0900hrs, and our always-popular "Show and Tell" in the evenings after the shows, starting at 1900hrs (7pm). Here is the schedule:

Tuesday 31 January 1900hrs: FEAR FACTOR for First Timers to the Tucson Gem Shows.

Wednesday 1 February: Head 'em Up...Move 'em Out to the AGTA Gem Fair and the GJX Show!

Thursday 2 February: Kickstart my Heart on the Wild Side of the Freeway

Friday 3 February: Gonna Give All My Secrets some of the out of the way shows that you might not know about. 

Saturday 4 February: Boogie Fever, Boogie Down on Electric Avenue Park

Sunday 5 February: SNOOP DOG DAY to the Fossil Shows to find some BONES!

The AGTA also offers Fee-Based Seminars in conjunction with the GIA
The AGTA offers fee-based educational seminars presented by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). To enroll in GIA tuition-based classes and seminars, or for more information, please call 800-421-7250, x 4001 or visit

Diamond Grading Lab Class  COCONINO ROOM
Required for these diploma program(s): GIA Graduate Gemologist, Graduate Diamonds
Through our unique combination of hands-on training, one-on-one coaching, and integrated multimedia presentations, you’ll learn to grade diamonds consistently and accurately using a modern gem microscope and jeweler’s loupe. Become proficient in GIA’s Diamond Grading System, discover time-saving shortcuts to determine a variety of grading factors, and learn to read a GIA Diamond Grading Report. Spend more than 18 hours practicing grading techniques on diamonds that were carefully selected and graded by GIA. In the process, you’ll learn to recognize the most common diamond features. Students must pass a two-stone practical test to complete the class successfully.
Monday-Friday Jan 30 – Feb 3, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.;
Coconino Room
Tuition: $1350 + $70 for Books & Materials= $1,420 + applicable sales tax
Earn a Letter of Completion

Field Gemology  COCONINO ROOM
2 hours
In this lecture and hands-on seminar, you will learn to utilize pocketsize instruments to make identifications in the field. By using instruments such as a loupe, hand-held spectroscope, and dichroscope, gemologists can make identifications at trade shows, buyer’s offices, swap meets, garage sales, and even mines.
Saturday, Feb 4, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.; Coconino Room
Tuition:  $145
Earn a Letter of Attendance

Identifying Ruby Treatments  COCONINO ROOM
2 hours
Numerous treatments and combinations of treatments are applied to rubies from a variety of sources. Some of these treatments can have a significant effect on the value of rubies. During this lecture and hands on lab, you’ll learn what treatments you can identify with standard gemological equipment and how to detect their identifying characteristics. Treatments covered in this seminar include heat-treatment, glass filling, composite rubies, flux-assisted healed fractures, and beryllium diffusion.
Saturday, Feb 4, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.; Coconino Room
Tuition:  $145
Earn a Letter of Attendance


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