Every year in February, Tucson, Arizona, becomes the center of the colored stone industry, hosting several major gem and mineral shows. Dealers, cutters, and miners come from all over the globe, bringing with them a spectacular array of gems to sell. In 2014, GIA once again interviewed industry professionals at the shows to see the very latest and gather insight on the global market. Links to these interviews are listed below.
Exceptional Gem Artistry in Sunstone, Rutilated Quartz, and Beryl – Tucson 2014
Gem cutter Alexander Kreis of Idar-Oberstein relates his approach to unlocking the beauty of rough gemstones such as Oregon sunstone, beryl, and rutilated quartz. He describes the influences that play into his unique designs, whether it’s the pure, crystalline beauty of a flawless piece of rough or the presence of striking inclusions.
Natural-Color Tanzanite and Yellow Sapphire – Tucson 2014
Israeli dealer Kobe Sevdermish introduces us to the subtle beauty of unheated tanzanite, bright yellow African sapphire sought after by his clientele as a fancy-color diamond substitute, and the rich, earthy colors of heated zircon from Tanzania.
Gem Crystals – Tucson 2014
Industry veteran Steve Ulatowski notes how recent market changes have driven prices for rough colored stones of all types to unprecedented heights. He explains the impact on his business and reveals some of the key factors behind these shifting market dynamics.
Innovative Optical Effects, Unique Rings with Raw Crystals – Tucson 2014
Husband-and-wife team Brian and Kendra Cook reveal the design philosophy behind their unique gemstone products, which use “raw” gem crystals, clever optical effects, or aromatic oils to tantalize the senses in a combination of texture, color, and scent.
Mexican Fire Opal – Tucson 2014
Tucson is a showcase for fascinating and diverse gem materials. Included in this segment are emerald, quartz, and liddicoatite tourmaline crystals, Taiwanese “seven-color jade,” synthetic quartz from Russia, treated Brazilian quartz, and turquoise and benitoite from the United States.
More of the Interesting and Unusual – Tucson 2014
The Tucson Gem Show provides a venue for a myriad of fascinating and diverse materials. Included in this segment are fascinating emerald, quartz, and liddicoatite tourmaline crystals, decorative objects made from Taiwanese ‘7-color jade,’ synthetic quartz from Russia, advice for choosing star rose quartz rough, treated Brazilian quartz, and finally turquoise and benitoite from the United States.
Red Beryl – Tucson 2014
Ray Zajicek of Equatorian Imports Inc. displays some exceptional examples of red beryl from Utah, in both loose form and in suites of jewelry. As mining there has ceased, this material is likely to become an increasingly scarce commodity.
Varieties of Rutilated Quartz – Tucson 2014
Bill Heher of Connecticut-based Rare Earth Mining Co. shows exceptional rutilated quartz from Bahia in northern Brazil. Thanks to its seemingly infinite variety and one-of-a-kind appeal, this material is popular among contemporary jewelry designers.
Fossilized Drusy Shells – Tucson 2014
Tarun Adlakha of Indus Valley Commerce in New Delhi exhibits fascinating fossilized gastropod shells replaced by chalcedony and encrusted with drusy quartz.
Cultured Pearl Market Update – Tucson 2014
Fran Mastoloni of Mastoloni Pearls in New York offers a cultured pearl market update. He discusses current design trends in pearl necklaces and urges retailers to embrace the rich variety of cultured pearl types available today.
Fine Australian Chrysoprase Rough and Carvings –Tucson 2014
Mary Lou Osmond of Candala Chrysoprase talks about the company’s chrysoprase chalcedony mine in Marlborough, Australia. She explains that growing demand has customers purchasing her top-quality material to produce calibrated cabochons in addition to the carvings that were once the mainstay.
Fine Corundum, Paraíba Tourmaline, and Alexandrite – Tucson 2014
Dave Bindra of B&B Fine Gems in Los Angeles comments on the corundum, Paraíba tourmaline, and alexandrite markets. He displays exceptional specimens from his booth at the AGTA show, including a 112.82 ct alexandrite, a 33.16 ct blue sapphire, and an electric blue 14.59 ct Paraíba tourmaline.
Stone and Fossil Photography – Tucson 2014
Mike Woodward of San Clemente, California, showcases striking photos of stones, fossils, and gem materials that resemble abstract paintings or landscapes.