Extinct Giant Killer Clam Shell and Giant Baroque Pearls Coming to the JOGS 2017 Show!

Though a story of kindness and generosity, The JOGS Tucson Gem and Jewelry show this year will have a unique find on display – two ancient giant baroque pearls and a giant killer clam shell, which will later be up for auction. Both these special finds are being brought to the show by Volker Bassen, who dreamed of one day finding a giant pearl of his own.

“I left Sweden and came to East Africa in 1990, visiting Kenya and Tanzania after having been to Morocco and Tunisia. Africa had always fascinated me, by the age of 8 I declared to my mother that I was going to move to Africa one day!

I fell in love with East Africa at first sight, this is the true Africa I remember telling myself. It was all I had ever dreamt of and so much more. The friendliness and positivity of the people, despite all their hardships and poverty struck me and I felt a special bound and admiration for them.

I got involved with different coastal communities, helping where I could, learning to think outside the box in order to implement some rather innovative projects which I felt could improve their living standards, especially among the youth. I had always been considered being an entrepreneur by my family and friends, now I was becoming a philanthropist as well, an inevitable progression that fulfilled me, defining my personality.

Over the years I have spent close to a million U$ in public-private partnerships, promoting marine conservation, developing aquaculture projects such as Spirolina and Tilapia fish farming as well as supporting local orphanages and schools. My motto is “no one can do everything but everyone can do something”

In 2004 I met Nimu, a wonderful Kenyan woman who was to become my wife. Together we have 3 beautiful children, Samuel, Siv and Noah.

I have always felt drawn to the sea and the Indian Ocean is simply stunning with it’s unique marine biodiversity.

Here is the birthplace of the world’s larges fish, the whale shark and I have devoted much of my time to protect these gentle giants, setting up the East African Whale Shark Trust in 2005, dedicated to conservation and education.

Locally the whale shark is called Papa Shillingi, according to the coastal Digo tribe legend, God was so pleased with his creation of the whale shark that he sent his angels down from heaven to sprinkle silver coins upon it, thereby it’s name; Papa Shillingi which means ‘shark covered with silver coins’ in Kiswahili. With more than 5000 scuba dives under my belt another big passion of mine is underwater photography and filming as this gives me the opportunity to share my adventures with other people like yourselves.

The Eastern Indian Ocean also used to be home to the world’s largest clams, Tridacna Gigantea, a predecessor to today’s giant clams Tridacna Gigas which can be found in and around the South China Sea. I have been collecting fossilized specimens of these amazing giant clams ever since I first saw them back in 1990. “God doesn’t make them anymore” they became extinct around 180.000 years ago when sea levels suddenly rose by 20 meters. Since these clams were dependent on sunlight as they lived in symbiosis with an algae growing on the clams mantle, converting sunlight to sugar for the clam to feed on, they sadly starved to death as not enough light reached the algae.

Although rare, they are occasionally found deeply embedded in ancient fossilized coral reefs, sometimes several kilometers inland.

My dream was to one day find a pearl inside one of these clams having seen baroque pearls from the Tridacna Gigas clams, most notably the Pearl of Allah, also known as Pearl of Lao-Tze. Giant clams produce the biggest pearls in the world, not surprisingly, being the largest clams in the world. The Pearl of Allah, with an estimated value of up to 50 million U$, I figured that if I ever managed to find a pearl from the T.Gigantea, it would empower me to finance community projects on an even larger scale.

Then one day, 2 days after my son Noah was born I was visited by one of the Digo tribal chiefs and as custom has it, he presented me with one of the largest clams I had ever seen as a gift to celebrate the birth of my son. 4 years earlier when my son Samuel was born that same chief gave me the biggest clam in my collection with a staggering weight of 612 Kg, once cleaned and polished it weighted 355 Kg, the biggest giant clam in the world! It took us a week to clean out the giant clam as it was full of calcified lime stone, almost as hard as cement. To my surprise  I found a blister pearl the size of a tomato followed by a smaller one, I just couldn’t believe my luck, 2 pearls in one clam! I decided to call the largest of the pearls ‘Pearl of Noah’ and the smaller pearl ‘Pearl of Siv’ naming them after my children. I couldn’t believe my luck, it was too good to be true but sometimes things just are I was told by my wife.

Still, I wasn’t sure if they were indeed baroque pearls, I guess I was in a state of disbelief, so I had them sent to GIA (Gemological Institute of America) in New York to verify if they actually were real pearls. After about a month I received an email from Dr Chunhui Zhou, senior researcher at GIA. He wrote to me confirming that the 2 samples I had sent him were indeed baroque pearls! He describes the 2 pearls as “very interesting and unique” and asked me if GIA could be allowed to publish their lab-report about these pearls in their upcoming scientific journal Gems & Gemology.

Needless to say I was thrilled and gave him my consent.

With 1256 carat the Pearl of Noah is the largest T.Gigantea pearl ever found while the Pearl of Siv with it’s 758 carats is the second largest T.Gigantea pearl in the world. Although not as large as the Pearl of Allah or some other baroque pearls found in T.gigas clams, the uniqueness is what defines these two pearls.

The pearls are now in Switzerland to be dated, I estimate them to be between 200.000 to 240.000 years old, making them the oldest baroque pearls ever found. Once that is done I intend to put them up for auction together with the clam they were found in. I am also auctioning off the world’s biggest clam in a bid to raise funds for a maternity ward. After all, if it wasn’t for the kindness and generosity of the Digo tribe I would never have found them. I am a big believer in karma.”

Volker Bassen also has a charity and 20% of the revenue from the sales of any clamshell (including pearls) goes towards different community outreach projects in Kenya. He supports the Born Again orphanage with 68 children aged between 5-16, a local school and a myriad of other projects related to the health and well-being of those who are most vulnerable. Some of these projects include the treatment and prevention of Jiggers, a parasite in Africa that often affects children, and his newest project, which will help allow girls and women experiencing their menses to stay in school and retain their jobs. “The stigma surrounding menses is making hundreds of millions of women suffering, we need to change that, period!” If you are interested in purchasing this amazing find, you can rest assured that a large percent of the proceeds will go to a great cause.

Luxury washbasin, every piece is unique, nothing beats it!

Volker Bassen will be auctioning off his Giant Killer Clam in Tucson. The shell of T.Gigantea is traditionally a very exciting find, as its white shell can be used to create unique works of art, and is often used as a rare but environmentally-friendly replacement for ivory. Some unique uses for the shell include turning it into either a display piece, or even a one-of-a-kind luxury bathroom sink!

Tridacna Gigas clamshell art from the Island of HaiNan. The price of these amazing carvings have skyrocketed after the Beijing Ivory Carvers Association started using fossil Tridacna Gigantea from Kenya, the perfect alternative to Ivory.

Tridacna, also known as part of the seven treasures of Buddha is thought to bring good fortune and health to its wearer according to ancient Chinese belief, perfect for making unique jewelry.

 Volker Bassen’s giant killer clam Tridacna Gigantea shell and two giant baroque pearls are a must-see at the JOGS 2017 Gem and Jewelry Show. The Show is located in Tucson, Arizona, and runs from January 26th to February 6th. Tickets are available for purchase to the public, and are free for registered wholesale buyers.
If you are interested in attending the show, register today!
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Wyoming Jade at JOGS Tucson Show: The Best in the World

Recently at the JOGS TUCSON WINTER SHOW 2013, Sean Jordan brought out beautiful Wyoming Jade, considered the best in the world. Wyoming Jade was heavily mined between 1940-60 in the Granite mountains in Wyoming. Since Jade does not naturally occur in Wyoming, it has been found in deposits around the Granite mountains classifying it as a nephrite Jade. Which is a stone so close to Jade that it is basically the same thing, the only way to tell is through tests such as x-ray or chemical. This beautiful stone ranges from opaque to translucent and comes in many shades of green as well as black and white. This stone can go for $2-$75 or more a pound depending on the stone. Many places sell imitations and real ones are sold at very high prices. Come to JOGS Tucson Gen and Jewelry Show for the best prices on Wyoming Jade.

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Miadonna & Co. opening traditional store

Miadonna & Co., a manufacturer of lab-grown gems and diamonds, have decided to open there first brick & mortar store in Portland, Oregon in July. This is a step in a different direction from there traditional online sales.  CEO Anna-Mieke Anderson stated that lab-grown diamonds are more pure than traditional diamonds and that the companies goal is to rebuild countries affected by diamond mining.

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Christie’s Auction sale of the 40.5 ct. diamond did not go as planned

The 40.5 ct. internally flawless D-color  Golconda diamond necklace which headlined Christie’s Hong Kong Show did  not sell for the estimated $10 million. There was an offer for $7.2 million but it was not sold as the owner wanted $8.5 million.  Although, two records were still broken. A pair of Flawless diamond ear pendents weighing 25.49 cts. and 25.31 cts sold for $9.7 million breaking the highest price for a pair of ear pendants. Also a 6.13 ct green diamond ring sold for $3.64 million, an auction record for a green diamond.

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10 ways to significantly improve returns at trade shows

Set daily leads and goals- Make sure your staff and your self have a daily goal for how many leads all of you want to acquire. Stress the importance of achieving this goal along with maybe giving prizes to those who go above and beyond.

Increase focus and pre-show and show events/promotions- Instead of giving gifts to everyone, let it be known that a special gift will be given to special customers. Those customers will come and spend time with you and will remember your booth among others at the show.

Gather only specific information- Find out specific information about your customers business tactics, such as who they cater to and where they are located. Include these details into the conversation to help you separate your hot/cold leads.

Make yourself interesting-  Use different elements to make your booth look interesting and appealing to customers.

Show interest in customers- Start a quick conversation and ask questions before offering your product.

Make sure your trade show skills are on point- Memorize prices and product details along with proper approaches. Practice this with your team to build muscle memory.

Make sure your graphics are original and interesting- Everyone knows you’re selling jewelry, try to spice it up with something a little bit more interesting to make consumers draw you out from the rest. Also, put quick bullet points on your graphics as trade show attendees are known for there quick glances.

Keep up your appearance- Greet guests kindly, smile, walk around. Never let yourself or your staff sit down at trade shows. It will be very tiring at times but when you see your sales rise, you will see how worth it it is.

Keep track of Data- Bring tools with you that can be used to keep track of the data collected at the show. This data will be vital for you in making your next business move(s).

Do not loose your leads!- Keep track of your leads throughout the day. If you don’t have time throughout the day, then do it at night. All those interactions and faces can easily be forgotten with the constant heat of a trade show. The last thing you want to do is loose them.


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3 tips for success used by multi-million dollar companies.

Always make sure your message is getting across to your customers- Online marketing can be tricky at times. Try and play around with some different strategies too see which one works best at reaching out to your customers. This may include e-mail campaigns, social media, or even organize events or seminars for customers. Experimenting can be costly at times but it is key, find what works and use it.

Have a clear purpose for your business- Make sure that your company has a clear purpose and a way to solve the customer’s problems. Do not shape your business around any problems the customer has and try to do a little bit of everything, this will not work. Make sure you are concretely proficient at one aspect before trying to branch out.

The right team of loyal individuals- With the online market constantly changing, Entrepreneurs need to make according changes to there marketing team. Failure in doing so could cause the teams marketing strategy as a whole to weaken.

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Frederique Constant: Your ticket to a fine luxury timepiece for a reasonable price

Peter Stas and Aletta Bax, the two owners of the company, had one mission: to create fine, high-quality luxury timepieces and sell them at a price appealing to everyone, not only the super-wealthy watch fanatics. This relatively new brand launched its’ first six-watch collection in 1992, three years after the company was founded(est. 1989).  Watch making run’s in the Stas family as Peter’s great, great grandpa, Constant Stas, created clock dials in 1904. Frederique Constant became a huge success, besides offering high-quality, Swiss timepieces for reasonable prices, they also opened up there own manufacturing studio in Geneva 10 years ago. They are creating some fantastic, exclusive time pieces to mark there 10 year journey. These watches have definitely made a mark among the competition creating watches with dual timers, moonphases, Manufacture-made movements, calendars and other exclusive features. All watch creation and assembly takes place in the companies Geneva manufacturing plant including state-of-the-art computer software technology to help with design. The beautiful finish and engravings all done by hand put the red bow on the present as a true luxury watch for affordable prices. Next time you run into a Frederique Constant watch, take a closer look. You may just leave with it on your wrist.

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The Rarest of the Rare

Diamonds are among the rarest stones in the world, even lower quality diamonds are a luxury not many can afford. Nevertheless, this beautifully colored stone holds the belt as the rarest and most expensive diamond in the world, the red diamond. The gem must be “predominantly” red, meaning no other color hues on the gem besides the deep, red color. The GIA, an Institute constantly grading the worlds most precious stones, further proves the red diamonds rarity by stating that there has never been a diamond who’s color hue can be described as only red from 1957-1987. It is believed that this beautiful stone receives its red color from the gliding of its atoms resulting in change to its atomic structure.

The .95 ct “Hancock Red” is a famous red diamond that was the highest, per-carat stone sold at auction($926,315) in 1987. It went for $800,000 at the Christie’s New York auction. The sale of the Hancock Red tickled the fancy of many celebrities and others around the world. Diamond cutters now know how get the beautiful red color to its full potential.

A little bit out of your price range? Regular diamonds both real and synthetic can treated to produce the lovely red color.

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China wants heavy say in price of gold

The leader in gold production and import, China, has initiated a plan to make Shanghai a gold trading hub. This move could overthrow London and New York as the leaders in gold pricing. The Shanghai Gold Exchange, the worlds largest gold exchange, approached a few banks including Australia and New Zealand Banking Group in order to start global trade in the cities free-trade area.  Last year, China overtook India as the worlds largest gold importer and as a result gold  demand increased about a third to 1,065.8 tonnes in 2013.

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Adapt to Survive

Since the booming popularity increase of the internet and e-sales, the jewelry business became a took a sharp turn and became a whole new ball game. Many who have adapted prospered, and many who have not suffered the consequences.

Before, buying jewelry could be a nightmare if you knew nothing of it. Your best bet was to listen to suggestions(which often times where in the best interest of the seller or individual giving them), or simply walk into a store and hope you will not be heavily overcharged. Thanks to the internet, you can browse though reviews of different  jewelers to compare and check credibility as well as enlighten yourself on different products all from the comfort of a computer. However, how the online jewelry market will continue to grow is still a mystery as it is not at its prime yet. This is a question that even a Harvard Business school team along with the GIA(Gemological Institute of America) do not have the answer to yet.

One of the main factors that draws jewelry buyers to the internet market is customer testimonials. There is a huge difference between buying a $5.00 item or a six figure piece of jewelry online. These testimonials help because new buyers could either feel safe or back away from the online store depending on previous customers experiences. If someone bought a $600,000 ring and loves it along with the service, than someone else reading it will most likely do the same. A very important factor is loyalty from customers and for the brand, this is what keeps an e-store going.

A successful E-store, as a successful brick&mortar, must provide the best prices mixed with the best customer service and products in order to succeed. Although the internet allows next level service: the store is open 24/7, it’s never crowded, and you can forget about salespeople. Allowing you to take all the time you need to zoom and browse through the products and make good choices is definitely a plus for the internet.

The internet has lit-up the dim world of jewelry by educated consumers and giving them more freedom. Although, no one knows how the future will be for Jewelry E-commerce as it is relatively new and has yet to overtake traditional jewelry sales in total sales and in quantity. Even though consequences have come upon many who refused to use E-commerce in there favor.

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Address: 3750 E. Irvington Rd., Tucson, AZ 85714
Billing Agent: 650 South Hill Street, Suite 513
Los Angeles, CA 90014, USA
Phone: (213) 629-3030
Fax: (213) 629-3434
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JOGS International Exhibits, LLC
3750 E.Irvington Road
Tucson, AZ 85714