One of the more interesting ideas that we’ve come across at the JOGS show in 2012 was the matching of a homes’ stone decor to the items used in the same room…for example, Blue Mountain Turquoise explains how stone left over from your kithen’s countertops can be turned into handles for sets of knives–raising them from the status of utensils to that of home decor.
For the interior designer, matching sets of kitchen utensils which accent the counters and hard surfaces of the kitchen were once only a dream…here we see how they can become reality-and beautiful as well. Join us as we learn how and why this magic occurs, and see what the fine folks at Blue Mountain can do for you.Read more →
We had the great fortune of discussing the famed Australian Lightning Ridge Black Opals with one of the premier suppliers of this wonderful gem. Every year at JOGS, Grand Opal PTY brings some of the finest wares to the Tucson Gem Show. Here, the world’s wholesale buyers-designers and fabricators of fine jewelry-can count on finding top quality materials.
Grand Opal specializes in the fabulous black opal, a gem that is simply full of fire in all colors. Unlike many other opals found the world over, when cut in cabochon, the black variety of opal shows the fire as against velvet, not suspended in clear crystal or milky whiteness. Join us as we discuss the qualities to be aware of when selecting these stones, and how to get the best deal when buying.Read more →
My mission this for this year’s Tucson Gem and Mineral Show has been to find the hard-to-find, the unusual and the rare. Thankfully, my task is a relatively easy one, at least on the surface. As the visitor, whether buyer or exhibitor, to these annual shows knows; there are a million points of interest to be found. True to form however, it can take some digging to find those things that are a little extra special.
One of those things I found was an exhibitor with some exceptional cut aquamarines of the clearest blue. Brought to Tucson by Texas dealer Neotric Gems, I had the opportunity to view and discuss them with Mr Prem Mittal and his lovely wife Asha. After 12 years of providing top notch diamond jewelry and loose cut precious stones, it is of little surprise to find some real treasures in their displays. They were gracious enough to take a few minutes out of their busy routine to show off the stones and give some buying tips for those of us who admire the aquamarine.
“As with any other cut precious stone, you must always remember ‘Cut, Color and Clarity.’” Mr. Mittal advised. “The aquamarine is no different, the better the cut, the bluer the color and the fewer inclusions, the better.”
He pulled out a few of the aquamarines I had come in hopes of finding. Each was a large stone, emerald cut, and of such a stunning blue, I had to wonder if they were indeed aquamarines! “Indeed, these are aquamarines, all natural in color, no green-only this lovely blue. And please, notice how clear they are, they are very fine examples.” So they were. While it is not a rare occurrence to encounter such brilliant blue of high clarity when shopping for aquamarines, it is indeed rare to find them of such large size and brilliance.
The Mittals agreed, they were both smiling broadly as I spoke my thoughts. “We have been very happy about the client’s reactions to these stones, it has been very positive. So few stones of this size are seen, we are very lucky to have them.” I agree. If the average price, a shockingly low average of about $10000 hadn’t been out of my budget this year, I certainly would have taken a pair of them home, I already know what I would do with them…
I had to sigh as well, about the line of jewelry the Mittals said were moving the fastest this year: gorgeous Victorian inspired large bangles adorned with diamonds, and ruby or emerald accents, these $12,500 dollar bracelets were simply some of the nicest I’ve seen this year. Avoiding the over-ornamentation of some Victorian pieces, there is nevertheless the same regal spirit in these bracelets so often associated with that era. I had to say “Perhaps next year…” with my fingers crossed.
It’s a good thing that the JOGS show is an annual event, because we can all be sure that when ‘next year’ rolls around, we already know where to go.Read more →
Each year, JOGS brings the best wholesale dealers to Tucson, along with their expertise and quality inventory. Al Zuni Global Jewelry has a history as a premier dealer in Native American jewelry, and they are proudly featured at the Southwestern Pavilion.
When it comes to selecting jewelry, it is very important to be familiar with the components in order to make a good purchase. In this video, Mr. Khalaf shows us all how to best select pieces made with this exotic shell.
As discussed in the video, the Santo Domingo tribe produces some of the most colorful jewelry with shades of purples and oranges that are primarily found in the shell of the Spiny Oyster. Join us as we discuss what to look for, and what to pay, for these beautiful pieces.
- James S.Read more →
Every year at JOGS, one of the best known trading posts in America brings the world a selection of beautiful and exotic Native American arts. Featuring a brilliant selection of kachina dolls and Native American jewelry from the tribes of the Southwest, Kachina Country is the place to find what you’re after.
Whether you want one-of-a-kind artist-carved kachinas, or a line of custom made dolls, Kachina Country is the place to find them. Roy, the owner, has a factory on site with Native artisans creating great works, and also has unique pieces created by his network of artists. Badger, Mudhead, or Eagle, this is the place for your kachina needs.
If you happen to be after Native American jewelry as well, there is a wide variety of Navajo, Zuni, and Hopi jewelry available. Vintage or new, you can find gorgeous pieces of sterling silver jewelry set with turquoise, coral and jet, in all price ranges.Read more →
Just inside the west entrance at the Tucson Expo Center by Irvington and Palo Verde Roads, are some of the best emeralds to be found at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. Refugio Del Sol, one of the first booths you will come upon at the 10th Annual JOGS Gem & Jewelry Show. The booth hosts not only the charming Molina family, but also some of the most beautiful emeralds available anywhere.
Helmed by Hernando Molina, and staffed by the next generation of Molinas embodied in Sebastian and Alejandro, Refugio Del Sol—Shelter of the Sun—is quite aptly named. A warm, bright and tranquil spot in the middle of what is often the busiest spot of the gem show—JOGS Show’s entry hallway. For the seventh year running, Tucson and much of the world have known for the past 7 years that these were the men to see for fine 18kt jewelry bedecked with fantastic Colombian emeralds, and a surprisingly wide variety of fine loose emeralds as well.
When they had a moment, which is pretty rare given how busy they are, the Molinas answered a few questions regarding their business, and the market as they’re experiencing it this year. “The first few days this year are the best we’ve seen for the last few years, there was definitely a pick up in traffic. It has evened out but it still is good.” What’s selling the best this year? “Of course, loose stones are our specialty so they are selling very well. We noticed also that rings are a very big seller this year, everyone is buying rings, rings, rings.”
Another customer stepped up, and I had to leave. A quick question—what has brought this exhibitor back to JOGS for so long? “The promoter, Vitaliy M. really does and excellent job of promoting the shows, and every year we get more customers, so we always come back.” Here’s hoping we see more of the Refugio Del Sol and their wonderful gems at the 2014 JOGS Gem & Jewelry Show!
- James S.Read more →
As testament to the incredibly wide variety of exhibitors hosted at the Tucson Expo Center by JOGS Gem & Jewelry Show, we found a dealer here with a gorgeous selection of tribal jewelry as well as their own line of tribal inspired jewelry. This was a delight to find among all of the gems and beads and contemporary designs which are the stock in trade of JOGS.
Cross Cultural Creations, and its two principals Ben Chaffee and Alex Zinn, are only 3 years old as a business concern, but their wares are ‘as old as the hills’ one might say. When I had a chance to chat with Mr. Chaffee, he explained to me the inspiration for their designs come from the centuries-old traditions of the Hmong peoples, as well as some of the other regional hill-tribes in Southeast Asia.
Leading me to one side of their exhibitor booth, Mr. Chaffee described trips to the hinterlands of Laos and Thailand in search of the region’s traditional jewelry, and explained the appeal the pieces hold for visitor’s at the show, “It is not only the design itself that seems to attract the attention of buyers, but the materials as well. There is a certain tone to the metal—it is 30-40 percent silver, the rest being mostly copper—that gives a timeless look that seems to have a great appeal.” The next table over abounded with Cross Cultural Creations’ own unique designs, many of which are inspired directly by traditional Hmong style; others feature the materials native to the region combined with contemporary western sensibilities.
Gesturing to an interesting necklace of silvery feathers, Mr Chaffee explained that the wholesale buyers have been buying mostly necklaces “Like this one, which is actually zinc, a nice alternative to sterling at this time when everyone is conscious of cost; it has the great look, but at much less than you’d normally expect to spend. With a price point of about $20 it has probably been our best selling piece this year. Our bracelets from the Hmong people themselves have also been great sellers, and at about $100 to $150 each, they’re really going great.”
While this is only their first time at JOGS Gem & Jewelry Show, or attending TGMS, they are already planning their return next year. “Vitaliy (Maysenberg) has really done a great job of promoting this show, and we’ve done great business, we’re definitely looking at coming back next year.”
You can find out more about this exhibitor at their website– http://culture-cross.org/ or by finding them on Facebook.Read more →
For the past 7 years, one of my favorite exhibitors has graced the halls of JOGS Gem & Jewelry Show with their beautiful and sophisticated lines of jewelry. With their classic 18kt and diamond jewelry, and the stunning South Seas pearls, there is no mistaking Amy Simon with any other exhibitor at the show.
For 28 years, Los Angeles, CA based Simon Cheng, and his lovely wife, have been presenting jewelry that can’t be described as anything but beautiful. It is no wonder that they have developed a following which returns year after year to see their latest offerings.
When asked about which items are most popular this year, Mr. Cheng responded ‘Pearls, especially the white pearls from the South Seas, are the most popular gem this year. Some years, we sell more cut gemstones, or diamond rings, but this year it is the white pearls.’
Has there been a change in business over the last few years for Amy Simon?
‘We have not noticed too many new buyers this year, but we are very happy to say that many of our clients from before keep coming back to JOGS, so things have not slowed down for us too much.’
- James S.
When you spend your professional life surrounded by beautiful gems and jewelry, it is all too easy to get a little jaded (sorry for the pun). What might draw ‘Ooohs’ and ‘Aaahs’ in any other circumstances, can begin to bring just a raised eyebrow, if even that. So, like the many thousands from around the world who flock to Tucson for the annual Tucson Gem &Mineral Show, I keep my eyes peeled for the unique or the extraordinary.
Luckily, this year I found a number of rare, unusual and exotic stones in tucked away corners of the show. One of the exhibitors in one of these corners this year is Ikram Ahmed from Five Star Gems who is exhibiting at the end of one of the grand halls of JOGS Gem & Jewelry show. What’s so special about this exhibitor’s offerings? Well, he has some excellent examples of a pretty rare stone sourced in an unexpected place—Alexandrite from India; and boy, is it nice!
I took a few minutes of Mr. Ahmed’s time, and asked him about his gems, and will share with you what I learned from him.
Found only in small pockets, veins and mines of Alexandrite being nearly unheard of, the beautiful gems Mr. Ahmed brings to Tucson are sourced by his buyers from small villages in rural India. Rarely measuring more than a few carats in size “Larger stones are too rare, no one finds large 10 carat Alexandrite of good quality.” Even though they have been known for about 400 years now, and deposits outside of Russia have been found in Brazil, and more recently in India, this is one of the rarer stones available on the market.
These wonderful stones exhibit the green to red shift characteristic of the dichroic Alexandrite; which is the trait which draws so much interest to them. It was explained to me that the percentage of change, whether it be 20% or 90% was one of the most important aspects of this precious gem, and that care should be taken when examining them under different lights. “White light will show off the green color, which should be a deep green with some browns or reddish tints. These other colors will help you determine how much ‘shift’ will occur when you look at the stone under yellow light or in sunlight. When away from white light, you want to look for bright flashes of red, and a nice overall reddish tint to the stone.”
As the conversation turned to valuing the stones, and insuring that the buyer or designer doesn’t overpay, some guidelines from Mr. Ahmed were very helpful. For ‘average’ stones, that is stones with a 20-35% shift in colors, weighing less than 3 carats, you should expect to pay between $3-500 per carat. Higher quality stones, those with say, 80-90% shift in color are much more dear, with 1 carat stones fetching about $3,500 a carat, 3-4 carat stones bringing $7,000 per carat, and nearly unheard of 10 carat and higher stones bringing $15,000 per carat or better due to their rarity.
- James S.Read more →