An Inside Look at the 2013 Tucson Shows


Every February, in Tucson, Arizona, the global colored gemstone industry comes together for one of the biggest gem shows in the world. Dealers, cutters, and miners descend on this town from all parts of the globe, bringing with them an amazing array of gems.

All kinds of gemstones, from emerald to agate and ruby to meteorites, are found in Tucson at this time, along with the industry leaders who bring these stones to market.

GIA interviewed a number of industry professionals to gain insight into the overall global market, as well as individual areas of expertise. Links to these informative interviews are listed below.

Rajneesh Bhandari, RMC Gems Thai Co. Ltd.
Mr. Bhandari is an expert in gem treatments, gemstone synthesis processes, and the creation of imitation gemstones. All of these are topics of the utmost importance to the trade and consumers alike. In these interviews, Mr. Bhandari discusses imitations of morganite beryl and bi-color tourmaline as well as the use of thin film coatings on gemstones and the future of treatments.
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Dudley Blauwet, Dudley Blauwet Gems
Mr. Blauwet is a colored gemstone dealer with decades of experience. His journeys to buy colored gemstones take him to deposits all over the world, including South East Asia, Central Asia, Africa and other localities. Join Mr. Blauwet as he describes his latest travels and the world’s supply of colored gemstones.
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Edward Boehm, Rare Source
Mr. Boehm is a geologist, gemologist, and accomplished gem dealer who works with rare and higher-end gems. He has traveled to a wide variety of gem sources across the globe and often speaks on both the supply and demand side of the market. Mr. Boehm discusses the overall colored gemstone market as well as markets for specific gemstones in his interviews.
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Bruce Bridges, Bridges Tsavorite
Mr. Bridges grew up in the colored gemstone market, working with his famous father Campbell Bridges at the prolific tsavorite-producing Scorpion Mine near Tsavo Park in Kenya. Mr. Bridges discusses the history of tsavorite mining, current production, and tsavorite qualities, as well as the assassination of his father and the current legal situation.
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Evan Caplan, Evan Caplan Fine Gemstones
Mr. Caplan is well known in the colored gemstone industry as a knowledgeable dealer in the upper end of the market. In his interviews, Mr. Caplan gives his insight into why supplies are tight and demand is high, as well as what he feels lies ahead.
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Paula Crevoshay, Crevoshay
Paula Crevoshay is a world renowned designer who is driven by uncompromising passion for her work. She has been dubbed the “Queen of Color” by the trade press. In these interviews, she conveys her philosophy of jewelry design and her sources of inspiration. She also describes some of her own magnificent pieces in detail.
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Michael M. Dyber, Ledge Art Studio
Mr. Dyber is a leading designer-gemstone cutter and carver. He has faceted and carved a variety of gemstones. He looks at the rough material and its potential as a true artist would. In these extensive interviews, Mr. Dyber discusses all aspects of artistic gem cutting and carving.
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Arthur Groom, Arthur Groom and Company
Mr. Groom is an expert on the emerald market as well as on emerald enhancement. His business encompasses buying rough emerald at sources around the world, including Afghanistan, as well as emerald cutting and enhancements, wholesale trading, and retail sales. In his interviews, Mr. Groom discusses the Afghan emerald market, evaluation of emerald rough, and describing emerald quality. During the interview, he describes a variety of emeralds he has on hand.
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Bob Halem, Manager, Royal West Warehouse
Mr. Halem was at the Tucson show with a large variety of quartz geodes as part of his inventory. He spoke to us on a wealth of topics, from geode sources, quartz treatments, geode cutting, evaluating geode qualities, packing geodes, and the geode business.
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Susie Kennedy, ICA Director, Susie Kennedy Jewelry, Ltd. and The Kennedy’s International
Mrs. Kennedy has been involved in all aspects of the colored stone industry. With her husband, she has truly been involved in the entire mine-to-market value chain. In her interviews, Mrs. Kennedy discusses gemstone production and the industry in East Africa and the future of mining in Africa. She also describes her start in the gem industry and gives perhaps the best advice around on building a career and creating a networking system in the gem business. Mrs. Kennedy also describes how she met a tight deadline to provide then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a magnificent pair of tanzanite earrings for a dinner with the President of Tanzania.
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Moussa Konate, BC Gemas do Brazil
Mr. Konate is intimately involved in the mining of copper-bearing tourmaline, as well as some aquamarine, in Mozambique. He has been a driving force in copper-bearing tourmaline production. During his interviews, Mr. Konate discusses current production of copper-bearing tourmaline in Mozambique, changes at the mine site, the market for African copper-bearing tourmaline, and the Mozambique aquamarine mine he is involved in.
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Jeff Mason, President, Mason-Kay, Inc.
Mr. Mason is highly experienced in the jadeite market and is a prominent dealer of a variety of jadeite colors and cutting styles. In these interviews, he discusses the highly specialized market for jadeite, as well as jadeite treatments and carvings.
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Sam Naseri, Global Gems
Mr. Naseri was at Tucson with a large quantity of rough lapis lazuli, along with other materials like sugilite, and a variety of beads. He has been in the gem business since childhood and travels to Afghanistan to buy lapis lazuli. In his interviews, Mr. Naseri discusses all aspects of trading in lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, including government regulations, transportation of material, evaluating quality, old and new production, mine locations, and the market.
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Bryan Pavlik, ICA Director
Mr. Pavlik has been involved in many areas of the colored gemstone industry, including mining, buying of rough, gem cutting, dealing in loose colored stones and mineral specimens, jewelry, gemological laboratory work, appraisals for the Austrian Government, and liquidations.  During his interviews, Mr. Pavlik discusses the liquidation business, the global gem market, current market fever, and global gem shows.
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Stephan Reif, Sales Executive, the Green Dragon Mine
Mr. Reif has intimate knowledge of the Green Dragon demantoid garnet mine in Namibia. In these extensive interviews, Mr. Reif provides a wealth of information regarding the mine’s geology and production, along with government mining regulations and water requirements. Mr. Reif also discusses, in detail, the cutting of demantoid garnet, quality evaluation, and the market.
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Joshua Saltzman, Nomad’s Lapidary Company
Mr. Saltzman is involved with buying rough colored gemstones from around the world, and cutting and selling finished colored gemstones globally. His company focuses on precision cutting of a wide variety of colored stones at the higher end of the market. In his interviews, Mr. Saltzman discusses the company’s cutting philosophy, market update, spinel sources and production, Afghan tourmaline, the rubellite tourmaline market, and working with untreated stones.
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Menahem Sevdermish, CEO and President GemeWizard
Mr. Sevdermish is one of the leading Israeli colored gemstone dealers, cutters, and experts. He has been buying, cutting, and selling colored gemstones for decades and has focused on unique stones with exciting colors. He is also the inventor of GemeWizard, a computer software program for grading colored gemstones, as well as a provider of pricing information and an internet trading platform. In his interviews Mr. Sevdermish discusses natural-color gemstones, Tanzanian gemstones, Tanzanian production, and unique tanzanite colors.
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Bill Vance, Vance Gems
Mr. Vance has been involved with buying, cutting, and selling colored gemstones for decades. He received his Graduate Gemology Diploma in 1983. In his interviews, Mr. Vance discusses the reason for the current price increases in gemstones, availability of gemstones in the market, gem cutting, building credibility in the trade, and advice to young gemologists.
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