Gem Show Shopping

Pack your Virtual Bags: You’re Coming to Tucson with Us!

Pack your Virtual Bags: You’re Coming to Tucson with Us!

Hooker Emerald Brooch

Hooker Emerald Brooch, designed by Tiffany & Co, previously exhibited at Tucson Gem & Mineral Show & worth $5,000,000 USD!!!

I can't believe how quickly the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show is coming around this year: I got back from Germany last Thursday night, where I spent a lot of quality time with my mom, and then I realized: I leave in THREE WEEKS!  I changed my Tucson travel dates this year because several shows start before my big ones (i.e. AGTA and GJX shows.) The AGTA gives booths only to their own vendors, and the GJX has a long waiting list to get a spot, so gem dealers like my opal vendors and some of my spinel vendors attend some of these other shows instead.

Here then is the big question: is there really anything new this year?  How’s this even possible?  Well it actually is possible thanks to new finds, such as a spinel find in Vietnam last summer; with lucky buys from my vendors, and with lucky buys from yours truly, those will arrive from overseas in February.

Let’s start with, well, ME.  As my friend Jochen from Jentsch Minerals was just in Madagascar, I bought some high quality grandidierite through him.  This time the gems are a bit larger, but not so big that they will break the bank.  On my WhatsApp the colors looked juicy and the gems sparkly, but my friend Gael is still learning to take adequate video (and admittedly he doesn’t have a state-of-the-art cell phone).  

In other ways, too, my “Tucson buying” has already started, as several of my vendors have given me the opportunity to make pre-show selections.  I have several boxes of Burma spinel melees on my desk already.  You will see these roll out in the next three weeks.  If these move well, I may stock up!

 

I have also negotiated to buy up an old production of Vietnamese lavender and lilac spinel pear shapes, small sizes, good for earrings, stacking rings, and I will come up with some other designs for them as well.  I will be able to price those fairly reasonably.  I was hoping for more lilacs and neon pinks in other sizes but right now that market is wiped clean.  But, some larger purples and lavenders are an option for me.  I’ve seen most of what will be presented via WhatsApp, it’s just a question of what I want to put aside...These pieces would be more expensive though, figure on several thousand for one piece since they also weigh a couple of carats, so it multiplies out in two ways (price and carat weight).

Related to this, I of course, keep getting asked about paraiba.  Having scoured this market for years, this is what I know: there are about 6 decent paraiba vendors in all of Tucson.  One or two are Brazilian with outrageous prices and they don’t allow you to memo gems.  I don’t buy there.  I wouldn’t be able to offer a return and the price would be high for that.  There’s another vendor, not Brazilian, who has top (top top top) quality pieces but those are in the 30K and up range, so I haven’t ever bought those.  But, they are amazing!  Another vendor from the US used to have stuff but he’s fairly sold down and I’ve passed on the rest.  The final two with anything but crumbly overpriced stuff are here in NY and I see their selection before it goes to Tucson.  I have three pieces that I am holding back on for now, available only upon request, and for the moment at least, I have no plans to buy in Tucson directly.  For me personally, and therefore for you, there’s no advantage in doing so.  If you have requests, please let me know and I will source if I can.  For the rest, as you know there will be a sale coming up, so you can buy the stock I still have.

Regarding the melee paraiba, there is a little bit left with my melee vendor, and I source it as needed.  I would buy it up but it would tie up all my cash flow, so that’s not an option for me, but production of these ended years ago.

In other news, I am negotiating for a small production of benitoite before it hits Tucson (it sells out on the first day)!  I was also shown some Vietnamese ruby and sapphire melees that I am interested in, but I haven’t made a decision yet...

I am going to stock up more on the high quality moonstone this time.  The main cost there is from cutting, not lack of availability.  If there are any requests, please let me know as I will be a very busy bee this year!  

The other thing I will stock up on are ruby and sapphire melees in all colors and sizes.  This is pretty much an all day thing, or a several day thing, as I have to match down suites.  The vendor has pre sorted parcels, i.e. 5 shades of lavender rounds in the 2-2.5mm size.  He will then sift out, say, 2.2mm from the shade I like best, but then I still have to match them.  Sometimes I think there are as many lavender and purple shades of sapphire as there are stars (or maybe I’m seeing stars as time passes).  Matching these is a job only for the obsessed.  So it’s fine for me…

Let me list here what I can get, and if you want to help me, in a manner of speaking, let me know what you might like, i.e. size, shape, amount.  Otherwise, I will just pick what I think is best.  

Blue sapphire: shades of blue, vibrant to light to dark, 1-3mm rounds mainly but other shapes also.
Ruby and pink sapphire: same idea, from light pink to deep pink to ruby color, all pre-sorted.
Lavender sapphire: light to medium, not super dark, but nothing in 1mm.  1.8 is the smallest I’ve seen.
I can also get teal, tealish-green sapphire, and I can get other shapes: 4x3 ovals, marquis, small pears.

Anything aside from lavender is heated or a mix between heat and no heat.  Lavender is usually from Madagascar and is not heated, just because at the moment, that’s the main supply line for this shade.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but for now this is all I can think of.

One final note.  Photos: I will of course keep you posted on Instagram and Facebook, and I will put out as many listings as I can manage.  What I will not do, however, is publicly post photos of gems that I haven’t bought yet or of selections at booths.  I don’t usually do that anyway, but as this has become a widespread practice, here’s my two cents. Vendors don’t like it, especially for finer goods.  Once a gem is “out there and been seen”, possibly with exact specs, those gems are kind of “spoiled”.  And if several people show the same gems, it gives a false sense of availability.  

There are also small sellers that pre-sell goods based on vendor photos at a low markup.  But they can’t offer a good return policy and they run the risk of selling you something that is no longer available once you pay.    

On Instagram, I’ve also even seen photos from wholesale websites (taken without permission,) sometimes shown by several different vendors, but when you ask, the gem isn’t available.  I’ve witnessed a small retail jeweler doing so on his website, and I’ve even had my own photos taken and reused both on Etsy and on Instagram.  I’ve even seen sellers photograph gems in vendors' boxes with the price on the front, thereby signaling that they were selling without a markup, when in reality, wholesale vendors provide (sometimes steep) discounts on that product.  
As much as I love the internet as a selling platform, I find that it provides a lot of confusing information, and I don’t want to add to the confusion.  Whatever I have for sale is either (a) mine, or (b) given to me on legitimate memo and just for me to sell for the duration, and (c) to the best of my ability, has not been in the hands of other vendors.  Caveat on that: sometimes I decide to show a gem that I co-own, or that I know is on a friend’s website, or that I was told has been shown around.  That’s ok, as long as I can make that decision.  But increasingly, I have decided to forego some selling opportunities because the gem has “been around the block already,” possibly at a multitude of prices.  So if vendors show me their rare goods, I usually ask them directly.  That way I can give full disclosure to my own clients so that they can make the best decision for themselves.

Continue reading

From Venice to The Venetian: CRD Heads to Vegas

From Venice to The Venetian: CRD Heads to Vegas

Still jet lagged from my recent trip to Venice, I am already packing my bags again!  The Las Vegas AGTA show starts Thursday the 29th and guess who will be the first at the door?  😊  We are all curious to see how this year’s show will do as there’s been some reorganization.  The AGTA has moved back to its earlier location, the Las Vegas Convention center, and the JCK will be at the Sands Expo and Venetian, with a new special section dedicated to colored gems and diamonds.  As a result of this split between locations, some vendors have chosen to just exhibit at the JCK instead, others exhibit at both.  So, we will be shuttling back and forth, checking out what’s new at both shows.

 

Those of you who keep a keen eye on our shop even when things are quiet (like when yours truly is overdosing on gelato while sitting in a gondola), you will have noticed the recent quick turnover of several Mahenge spinels from old stock.  We’ve seen a recent and well-deserved flare up in demand for this gorgeous gem and have done some early sourcing just this week.  We will feature our treasures on our site in the few days – as quickly as we can do photos and listings.

 

 

 

Jaimeen from Prima gems let me rummage around the older boxes amidst their Vegas packing frenzy and I’ve unearthed a few real “gems” – no pun intended.  Two of the pieces I grabbed, a round and a cushion, were actually handpicked to be featured in their JCK booth with mainly has jewelry (whereas the AGTA has mainly gems and some beads) – they were in a different tray and I asked if I could have them.  I also lucked out with three small tsavorites, also old stock, from Jaimeen’s private stash.  “You work with those,” he said.  Too nice to go to the larger wholesalers – or some such.  Many of the larger companies that Prima supplies to may not (this is my view) distinguish between the nice and the superb when they manufacture jewelry.  So, if my timing is right, I can get some of the true standouts from larger parcels before they move on to the manufacturers.

My Paraiba vendor also called me just before I went off to Europe because a new batch of blue glowies had arrived from Brazil and he wanted me to have first dibs.  The parcel hadn’t even been processed yet; he was still doing the basic sorting into price categories.  You see, these vendors have to negotiate on larger and unsorted parcels, they make a price, buy, then do the more refined grading.  Sometimes these negotiations are just over the best pieces in the parcel where those need to cover costs and most of the profits, the rest is extra.  So, for instance, a parcel may contain 3 paraibas in the 3-4 carat range that might be valued at $250,000.  Those can be the focus of the negotiations, and the small pieces are graded more precisely later – and it’s those smaller parcels CRD tucks into.  We’ve been putting these gems out slowly over the last month but also held back some, so watch for new listings of Paraiba.

Speaking of Paraiba, I also plan to stock up on some more melees.  The vendor prices have gone up for those – and they were never cheap to begin with – but they said they’d hold the price for me for a little longer, unless someone comes in and makes an offer for all of it.  In any case, while that stock has been selling down slowly, they have told me and I am sure it is true: there’s no additional melee being cut, so what’s left is what there is.  I am going to avoid buying 1mm sizes because those ARE already higher in price, even for me, but I can get 1.3, 1.5 or 1.6 and 1.8mm pieces as long as my purchase makes a full carat.  Everyone else must buy a full carat of any size they want – this is a seller’s market after all.  But I often get treated more nicely, as it were, because my purchases are relatively small but consistent.  Plus, I’d never ask to memo melee and they know that, nor do I pay late.  The rule for a small buyer like me is to always pay small purchases immediately and do so on a consistent enough basis that the vendors can count on this income. 

What else will I buy?  Well not sure.  I think ruby melee and emerald melee, as well as more smaller sizes is on my list.  Also, I will look to get more spinel melee in different colors (some of you have already noticed that I got a pre-Vegas shipment of the platinum color and I have another light grey to be listed).  I’m not sure about the calibrated Jedi’s, the largest size I can get is 2.5 and I have that, but I will be there on the first day and the vendor will probably hold some back for me if I let them know early.

Is there anything else you are interested in?  Just shoot us a note, pre orders are best but we will try to respond anytime!

And let me end with a few items that are not likely to stay in the shop after our sale because they are going back to the respective owners at the end of the show.  If you are eyeing any of these, please contact us, and we will re-memo them.  We always value your input as to what items are currently your faves and what you’d like to see more (or less) of, even when you aren’t necessarily buying.

 

8mm Trillion Green Beryl

African Sapphire Cushion Cut

10x6mm Elongated Cushion 2.38 ct Peach Sapphire Unheated Ceylon Sapphire 

1.22 ct Pear Lavender Ceylon Sapphire

Continue reading

Tucson is ON: Where we are going and what we are buying

Tucson is ON: Where we are going and what we are buying
I'm also going to stop at Nomads as well as Prima gems for their gorgeous green gems, in particular, blue green tourmalines, but possibly also mint garnet and tsavorite (though these have not sold well in my shop).  Maybe Jaimeen still has his old parcels of Mahenge spinels that he used to let me play with.  He also got some more lovely sphenes (very lemony), chrysoberyl, and a huge selection of Montana sapphires with pretty blue green colors.  Continue reading

We asked and you answered….find out what we’re buying in Tucson

We asked and you answered….find out what we’re buying in Tucson

I can’t believe it’s right around the corner: the biggest and most fun gem trading event of the year, the Tucson gem shows.  Both the AGTA and GJX shows open on Tuesday, February 5th and run for six consecutive days, during which we will have our 20% off gems sale.  This year, the sale will be preceded by a 30% off sale of items we’d like to move out to make room.  We are happy to take suggestions for what to include in our sale.  Those of you who watch our inventory carefully will know which items have been with us longer.  Offers on a package of several items are welcome too, just keep in mind that 30% is more than our profit margin, so there are limits to what we can offer, especially on newer items.

Also, at the end of this blog, you will find a list of consignment gems we are considering returning at the end of the Tucson show, so now’s the time to make your purchases on those. Or, if your wallet isn’t big enough, let us know if you’d really like us to keep the gem a little while longer.  You’ll notice we borrowed a lot of sapphires and demantoids, as well as a few spinels. 

To those of you who have filled out the Tucson survey: thank you thank you thank you.  It is very helpful for us to know what’s on your mind and how we should allot our funds.  If you haven’t yet filled it out, please do, it’s invaluable to us and to our survival as a small company.  I wish so much that we could buy everything, but in the end we are all in the same boat.  We have to choose!

Link for Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DSTPPZ7

Here’s what we’ve learned from you so far:

  1. Your favorite colors are blue-green, lavender, purple, and you’d like us also to carry more color change gems. Fewer respondents than expected favored peach.
  2. Gem cuts we’ve not designed enough jewelry for are all the squarish and rectangular cuts: emerald and radiant, aascher and princess, cushion cuts.
  3. Among your favorite gems are red and pink spinels, blue tourmaline, ruby, Paraiba, emerald, green tourmaline, in exactly that order. (Opal, star gems and cat’s eyes, fancy diamonds were at the bottom of the list).
  4. Pendants and statement rings are your favorite jewelry items.
  5. You’d like to see more sales and discounts (favored over a loyalty program which was second, a referral program, giveaways, and expanded free shipping).
  6. Lastly, many of you would like us to carry larger focal gems. We are happy to do that, but we need to hear more from you.  Also don’t forget we can source just about anything from our vendors, so all you need to do is ask!

But we have hadonly about 40 responses so far, and the more we can get, the more we can report back to you on whether these results are representative.

Given your responses, we will keep our eyes peeled for the bluest tourmalines on the market (hopefully within a reasonable price range), and lavenders/purples will be our first priority. 

In fact, the VERY first thing we plan to do is find my lavender sapphire source from Thailand.  He’s the one with the melee you have been buying, pinks, blues and lavenders in the smaller sizes, as well as ruby melee and small rounds.  Did you notice I listed a few more from last year by the way?  They were bought in February 2018 but the bag had fallen behind my cabinet and was buried under my favorite winter slippers from last year!

I’m also hoping to score a few more Paraiba cabochons in the 2-3mm range from someone at the GJX show.  And benitoites.  While the latter haven’t gotten much love from my first 40 survey takers, they have been among my most searched items in the Etsy shop, together with Paraiba.

Ok folks, that’s it for now.  More updates coming next week.  Stay tuned to our social media channels!

Consignment gems we may return, your last chance to buy!

 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/618061147/star-ruby-untreated-star-ruby-ruby

https://www.etsy.com/listing/639026177/star-sapphire-burma-sapphire-blue

https://www.etsy.com/listing/622679949/star-sapphire-purple-star-sapphire

https://www.etsy.com/listing/617582778/pear-shape-spinel-loose-pink-spinel

https://www.etsy.com/listing/668779021/pink-spinel-pear-shaped-pair-of-spinels

https://www.etsy.com/listing/628203150/ceylon-sapphire-sapphire-cushion-pink

https://www.etsy.com/listing/613934638/ceylon-sapphire-sapphire-cushion

https://www.etsy.com/listing/609108540/pink-sapphire-hot-pink-sapphire-loose

https://www.etsy.com/listing/613928204/peach-pink-sapphire-padparadscha-colored

https://www.etsy.com/listing/639714522/unheated-ceylon-sapphire-blue-sapphire

https://www.etsy.com/listing/654933316/lavender-sapphire-oval-ceylon-sapphire

https://www.etsy.com/listing/634203651/ceylon-sapphire-sapphire-round-5mm

https://www.etsy.com/listing/652801901/unheated-ceylon-sapphire-ceylon-sapphire

https://www.etsy.com/listing/636238201/demantoid-demantoid-gem-russian

https://www.etsy.com/listing/611949160/demantoid-garnet-demantoid-gem-horsetail

https://www.etsy.com/listing/605409558/sapphire-rounds-blue-sapphire-unheated

https://www.etsy.com/listing/611958244/demantoid-garnet-demantoid-gem-demandoid

https://www.etsy.com/listing/618679889/demantoid-garnet-demantoid-gem-demandoid

https://www.etsy.com/listing/223445381/lavender-spinel-vietnamese-spinel

https://www.etsy.com/listing/653447710/pink-spinel-vietnamese-spinel-cushion

https://www.etsy.com/listing/653921722/pink-sapphire-unheated-ceylon-sapphire

https://www.etsy.com/listing/239917817/color-change-sapphire-unheated-sapphire

https://www.etsy.com/listing/659326339/lavender-sapphire-loose-oval-sapphire

https://www.etsy.com/listing/640642008/pink-sapphire-hot-pink-sapphire-loose

https://www.etsy.com/listing/639434962/lavender-ceylon-sapphire-loose-oval

https://www.etsy.com/listing/647148179/lavender-sapphire-round-ceylon-sapphire

https://www.etsy.com/listing/241562380/pink-sapphire-round-unheated-pink

https://www.etsy.com/listing/650036399/hot-pink-sapphire-unheated-sapphire-pink Continue reading

LAS VEGAS – A New Trip, New Adventure, Last Chance to Snag Our Loaner Gems

LAS VEGAS – A New Trip, New Adventure, Last Chance to Snag Our Loaner Gems

It’s that time again!  In a little less than 3 weeks I’m leaving on my trip to the AGTA and JCK Shows in Las Vegas for more gem sourcing.  As always, I am happy to take pre-orders for gems so please email us if you are interested!

What's New this Year: 

I’ve set up an appointment with Sergey, my Russian demantoid connection, who will be exhibiting at JCK. He’s bringing more smaller sizes of demantoids for me this time, especially 2mm and 2.5mm, and I’ve also requested some in the 4mm range as that seems to be what most of what you guys are interested in.  But I’m also switching out larger pieces I had on memo.

Same with Dudley Blauwet, my contact for Ceylon sapphire and Burma spinel.  Expect some fresh inventory there, and please do tell me what you are interested in so I know what to source.  Kornerupines are not likely to be refreshed, I’m going to have to make do with what I have here as there’s no new material on the market.  Last time I checked with Steve from New Era Gems in April, all the rough had been sold.  I know one supplier that still has some but I will only get them on request as everyone is holding on to what is left, now that interest in this rare gem has gone up.

Regarding spinels, I still have Vietnamese and Burmese materials that I held back from the last trip and you’ll see these put up on sale starting Memorial Day weekend.

Emeralds: I have neglected those a bit as of late, and plan on stocking up!  There will definitely be Colombian materials, and if I can manage, some of the bright green Afghani gems too!

Tourmaline: A new shipment of Namibian materials has arrived with my supplier already, you will see some of those in the shop soon...

Benitoite: With the renewed interest I am seeing in my shop, I am gunning for more slightly larger pieces as well as more melee sizes.

Red Beryl: Haven’t had those lately but some untreated melee sizes are coming up.

Paraiba: Again, a new shipment is expected and I have an appointment already, but this shipment is very small.  However, I am still holding back some stock acquired earlier.  So for now there is still stuff, just not as much as before. 

Lastly, there’s been an interest in more precision cuts lately, and you will definitely see those in the shop. 

Now, one other thing that’s important.  As you probably know, some of our inventory is on memo – on loan, that is, from other suppliers.  That material gets switched out periodically, suppliers want back what doesn’t sell, and there’s no point in it sitting in my shop.  So what I thought I would do this time is supply you with the list of these for you to decide if you’d like any before they go “back home”.  Gems are on sale till Sunday and then once again starting memorial day.  There will be a flash sale in the meantime on some older inventory, but not on anything on this list.

Sapphire matched pair: 

 Sapphire pears

and 

and this one: 

Sapphire oval:

Sapphire round:  

and Round Pair

Aquamarine baguette matched pairs: and 

This aquamarine pair

Mint tourmaline round:

Cobalt spinel oval: 

Pink sapphire oval: 

 

Lagoon tourmaline: 

Pink tourmaline pear:

Green tourmaline emerald cut:

Demantoid pear suite:

Demantoid round: 

Demantoid pear: 

Demantoid cushion: 

Enjoy and stay tuned on our social media channel for news and videos!

 

 

Continue reading

Tucson Treasures: News from the Gemstone World

Tucson Treasures: News from the Gemstone World

We did go overboard this year.  I bought SO MUCH STUFF and it will take me weeks to release it all on Etsy.  But let me get out a couple of news items for you first, and then I'll give you an overview at least.

1. Tanzania. With a new government in place since last fall, there have been a lot of export restrictions in an effort to stop corruption and black market trading.  My friend Jochen from Jentsch Minerals had to pay a lot of extra fees to export his crystals, Steve from New Era Gems didn't get his entire shipment out, and reports I heard from other vendors are that there were restrictions on all gemstone rough exports.  But the situation is slowly straightening itself out - Tanzania lives off the gemstone trade after all.  I don't know further details, but we may have to expect some slowing down of exports for a few months.

2. Mogok.  There are travel and mining restrictions in Mogok as well so there's been difficulty exporting rubies and sapphires.  At Tucson most sellers seemed to have older stock.

3. Russia.  While there are new finds of Russian demantoids, it is still very difficult for Russians to export their goods.  Shipping gems is illegal, they have to be set in jewelry, so people have to travel with their inventory and then keep it abroad.  

Disclaimer: I haven't done any serious research online to determine more details about what is really happening in Tanzania, Mogok and Russia, but my main interest is always to find out which gems are flowing freely and which aren't so I know what to stock up on and when.  So take this information as vague and subject to change.

Purchases.

1. Paraibas: I bought some but mostly I bought before I got to Tucson.  The situation is roughly the same as the past couple of years.  Prices have not increased drastically but there's also very little product.  I got smaller single stones (2-3mm), some cabochons, and that's more or less it.  What I have left has to be priced individually so it will trickle out slowly.  Also watch for some slices coming out.  

Paraiba 1mm Melees

2. Kornerupine: I got almost nothing so you won't see much more in the shop.

3. Burma spinel: I got some more melee, not a ton, and I did get that larger cushion single and cushion pair, which matches.  Those were really nice buys despite the price.  Very neon color.  I got the cushion on the first day actually, both purchases were old stock.  In other spinel news, I also have some old Vietnamese material (no longer on the market) - a precision cut pear, and a larger suite of 8x4mm pinks to lavender color.  

Cushion Spinels

Vietnamese Spinel Ombre

4. Demantoids: I stocked up on some medium sized pieces and pairs (not many), and I will be listing stuff in the 1-4K category, which I didn't really have before.  I also got some super bright melees, 1.5mm and 1.3mm.  I didn't list those yet.  I went back for more but they were sold out the first day.  I also have a couple of ombre layouts that would work in my 2mm hexagon settings.

Opal & Demantoids

5.Sapphires: watch for more 2.5mm purples (2 and 3mm are gone already), more purple singles, a pink pair, blue pairs, and a little more in terms of blue singles.  I also have yet to list my unheated Madagascar pink sapphire/rubies - they have a super saturated color and are smaller rounds at 2.5-3mm.  I also have some very strong saturated pink sapphire melee (1.5-1.7mm)..  The ruby pair I have listed is also awesome.  I have a small pair of baguettes also not yet processed.

Pink Sapphire & Tourmaline

Blue Spinel & Pink Sapphire

6. Benitoite: that almost sold out from under me but I secured some melee, ombres and two smaller rounds on the first day.  

7. Tourmaline: I have more Namibian pieces, especially blue pairs, I got some Afghan mints, some lovely old mine Zambian yellows, 4mm and one 5mm rouind pinks, pink pear pairs, other green rounds (blue green to mint green) and some precision cuts.  

Canary Tourmaline & Grey Spinels

Yellow Zambian & Pear Shaped Pink Tourmaline

Afghani Tourmaline & Marquis Shape Paraiba 

And to tie up loose ends, watch for more of the following: 4.5mm mali garnet, sphene, grey spinel, opal pairs, zircon (blue), precision cut aqua (mostly sold out though), Afghani emerald (small pairs), one nice round blue spinel, 

Precision Cut Tourmaline & Round Burma Spinel

Precision Cut Tourmaline & Peridot

Blue Zircons & Grey Spinels

Boy that IS a lot of stuff.  No wonder I am broke:)

 

Continue reading

Tucson Continued: More News about Our Upcoming Trip

Tucson Continued: More News about Our Upcoming Trip

In my last blog entry, I talked a bit about what I am planning on buying / not buying during my upcoming trip to Tucson.  I’ve now contacted most of the gem dealers I work with to see what’s new, what they will bring, etc. 

Starting with my shipment from Madagascar: it will arrive on 1.19.  My friend Jochen Hintze from Jentsch Minerals is bringing it – he’s passing through on his way to Tucson.  If you want to visit his booth by the way, he will be at the Inn Suites from 1/27-2/8.  He doesn’t sell faceted stones, however.

I will be getting a box of chrysoberyl, a box of sapphire, and a box of grandidierite.  All are part of a trade.  My friend Irene from Antsirabe needed some funding last summer to prepare and deliver a shipment of calcite to a French/Malagasy couple that was selling them in Denver and Tucson.  Irene needed an ox-cart, an oxen and some men to transport the material, as well as labor to cut the rough into egg shapes and other shapes.  I sent the money via Western Union and expressed the offer to trade for gems.  So with your purchase of any of these, you will have directly funded a small business enterprise and helped a family in Madagascar.

Not yet Processed Chrysoberyl

I’ve also talked with my friend Dudley Blauwet.  He has worked up some more of his older kornerupine rough which I plan to get.  I’m especially hoping for 3.5-4mm sizes.  The more reddish Burmese spinel are nearing the end but there are more pinkish ones still, and a LOT of sapphire, which  I’m always excited about. There will be a little more of the Afghani emerald and Dudley is also enthusiastic about a new lot of pink sapphire/ruby.  There will be mostly rounds, 3-3.5mm, all Madagascan material, no heat.  I received a photo but it’s not a very good one so I’m not going to publish it here. Also, with more experienced gem dealers that know me well, I can work by description only, the photos, in the end, don’t add any informational content.

Chrome Beryl with Red Burma Spinel

Afghani Tourmaline with Red Burma Spinel

There will also be a tiny amount of small cobalt spinel, I’ve asked for that to be held for me and I plan on grabbing that right away.  Listings for that should be up on the 31st or 1st.

Paraiba tourmaline will also be available.  I just got off the phone with those sellers and they are in the process of grading a new batch.  I am going to go on Tuesday 23rd to inspect it – before it ships to Tucson.

I hope to be picking up a few pieces of lagoon tourmaline later this week, to be listed on the weekend if I have time. 

What I have NOT been successful with is hauyne.  I have contacted the dealer but not heard back.  And I don’t know where else to look.  Dudley had some, but it has ALL been bought at this point. There was a dealer in GJX from whom I got quite a few two years ago, but last year he wasn’t there.  It’s a seller who usually trades in Vietnamese goods (spinel mostly) but last year they didn’t have enough material to bother with the trip.

Our Tucson sale starts Sunday 28th but expect some listings to show up earlier. 

Finally, if I may, it would help us a lot if you could fill out the questionnaire we are sending out.  We’d like to get as much information as possible before we start spending our hard earned funds, so that we don’t end up getting our cash stuck with purchases that don’t move.  So even if your own kitty doesn’t allow it this time around, it would help us to know what interests you most.  The toughest and riskiest decisions for any gem dealer are what to buy and what to leave alone, even if we like it ourselves.  Once your money is traded for gems, you’re stuck with what you have and you HAVE to try to sell it!

Afghan tourmaline super close up (not yet listed, 6x4mm in size)

That’s it for me folks.  A news blast is scheduled next week to officially announce the sale (so if you read this blog you are ahead of the game!), other than that you’ll have to stay tuned to Social Media and the shop to find out what’s new.  We will do our best to keep you informed as we head for 14 hr working days (and hopefully a trip to Tombstone) in the less frigid Tucson.

(Picture of the lavender sapphires I am hoping to buy in smaller colors and other shapes, i.e. round).

 

Continue reading

New Show: Denver and Beyond

New Show: Denver and Beyond

I'm excited to introduce a new travel and purchasing trip this year: the gem shows in Denver.  Every September, there are approximately 10 overlapping gem shows: The Intergem show, Denver Coliseum Show, The Denver Fine Mineral Show and the Denver Expo Fine Mineral Show, among others.

For a complete show schedule, go here: https://xpopress.com/showcase/profile/2/denver-gem-mineral-showcase

Most shows focus on minerals, but you can also get beads, gems and jewelry, as well as fake dinosaur eggs and all kinds of other entertaining stuff.  

My friend Jochen Hintze from Jentsch Minerals is exhibiting in the Coliseum show, so I've decided to hop along to check out what's happening. I will be attending shows from the 14th to the 17th of September, and on the 18th we are leaving on a road trip to Tucson crossing over the Rockies and turning south into Utah for a few days so that Jochen can put his minerals back into storage until the Tucson shows.  Jochen's promised me a couple of Canyons - as a rock hound, he's been through much of these areas with an RV, and I'm sure he will have a lot to teach me about the geological history of the region.  I'll be sure to post pix in addition the obligatory gem photos.

I am planning on a gem sale starting the 24th but you will see me trickle out listings from the show beforehand as time permits.  Karen, Debbie and Joanne will be working from New Jersey to continue with shipping and custom orders.  Items listed from Denver will be shipped after the 22nd.

The Denver shows do not have as many high end gemstones as Las Vegas or Tucson, but I will be meeting up with a couple of vendors that I don't otherwise get to see to stock up.

My friend Dudley Blauwet is exhibiting as part of the Main show and I have already requested sapphire pairs, sapphire singles, larger kornerupine (insofar as possible), Burmese spinel, kenyan tsavorite, and emerald.  Dudley said he was working on several parcels of Afghani emeralds, no oil, that he will have ready for me.  I get to come to the show during setup so I can pick from the rarer goods early!

At the Merchandise Mart I will meet up with my Benitoite supplier to get some more ombre suites (currently oversold), some larger (ish) singles, and also some Sweet Home rhodochrosite, which he cuts little by little only for these shows.  (Production of both benitoite and rhodochrosite ended a few years ago.)

In addition, Jochen has promised me some grandidierite from a recent find in Madagascar, the pieces will be larger but not as clean.  

I also plan on stopping by the Denver Expo in the Quality Inn to say hello to Steve from New Era Gems.  I'm sure he will have some nice new Mahenge garnets and other stuff.

So as you can see, I will be pretty busy, and I'm really looking forward to this because I've never been to Colorado or Utah.  

I will keep you posted on Facebook, Instagram and Etsy. Stay tuned.

Continue reading
  • Page 1 of 3