Company: AF-Design Year Started: 1989 Address: 1212 Broadway New York, NY 10001 Tel: (212) 683-2559 Fax: (212) 683-2556 E-mail:[email protected]
AF Design, Inc. is a well-known name in exquisite jewelry with intricate designs and styles from around the world. Since 1989, we have been in the business of manufacturing, importing/exporting and wholesale distribution of excellent quality semi-precious stone jewelry.
Af Design, Inc. is a family owned and operated business where we take pride in providing outstanding service to our customers in every aspect of the dealings.
Since we manufacture most of the jewelry, our customers benefit by receiving unique styles at affordable prices. We are also a direct importer of beautiful styles and designs. We travel to remote regions of the world and bring home the finest quality, uniquely designed semi-precious stones on sterling silver jewelry.
About the Tucson Gem Show
When and where?
Every winter during 2 weeks (late January to mid February) Tucson, AZ becomes a huge international gem and jewelry marketplace. Dealers and buyers from all over the world come to Tucson to sell and buy jewelry, minerals, fossils, gems and beads at the lowest wholesale prices.
How it started:
The first Tucson gem show started back in 1955 in a local elementary school with a group of mineral collectors and rock hounds. It was free show open to the public organized by a Tucson Gem and Mineral Society. This first show was very successful and organizers decided to make it an annual event. Show moved to the Quonset hut at the Pima County Fair and Rodeo Grounds where it stayed there until 1972. Later show moved to the Tucson Convention Center Arena. As of now this first show is still hosted by Tucson Gem and Mineral Society volunteers. Over the years it grew in the largest gem and jewelry event in the world – The Marketplace with over forty shows all around the city of Tucson which attracts over 55,000 exhibitors and buyers from USA, Europe, China, India, Thailand, Brazil, Japan, Hong Kong, Russia and many other countries.
Diversity of the Tucson Gem Shows Now
Tucson Gem show takes place not in the single place but in over 40 locations all over the city – in the hotels, huge tents, convention and expo centers and even parking lots. All shows are all organized by the different promoters. Most of the shows are strictly for the trade only , open to the business owners and buyers who represent retail stores and require special credentials to get in, but some of them are retail shows , open-to-the-public.
Some shows are featuring exhibitors who sell minerals, fossils and specimens, some have more dealers who bring beads and findings, some have finished jewelry pavilions and some would be known for the cut and colored stones.
The main, most popular shows in Tucson are Tucson gem and Mineral Show (Tucson Convention Center), JOGS Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show (Tucson Expo Center), AGTA GemFaire (Tucson Convention Center), GL&W Show (Holiday Inn), Gem Mall (Tent), GJX Show (Downtown Tucson).
Registration for the Tucson Gem Shows
Since most of the gem shows in Tucson are organized by different promoters they require separate registration for each show and ask for the different credentials. Buyers would need to have a business license, resale certificate, business card and photo ID to get the passes to the shows. Some shows would have online pre-registration and will mail the badges prior to the show. Some shows such as JOGS Show will have an option to print badges instantly from the show website. Majority of the Tucson Gem shows are free for the wholesale and buyers representing retail stores. Some shows would charge a fee for the public to grant an access to the shows (GJX Show).
Gem Show Tucson’s Products
Some exhibitors and buyers mistakenly think that Tucson Gem Shows are mineral show only. It is truth that there is the largest selection in the world of the most rear unique minerals, fossils and museum quality specimens presented together at the same time during the Gem show period. But in fact Tucson Gem shows specialize in much more categories of the gem and jewelry industry – finished gold and silver jewelry with precious and semi-precious stones, fashion jewelry, designer jewelry, findings, beads, Swarovski crystals, pearls, colored stones, cut and rough stones, fossils and meteorites, carvings, unique stone sculptures, interior and home décor and many others.
Some of the shows are specializing in the wide variety of merchandise. JOGS Tucson Gem and jewelry Show is knows as one of the largest show in Tucson which hosts dealers with finished jewelry, international silver and designer jewelry pavilions with group of manufacturers from Indonesia, Southwestern jewelry pavilion with the famous dealers of the turquoise and native jewelry, Amber jewelry pavilion with manufacturers from Poland, Russia and Lithuania. JOGS show has cut stone pavilion and huge mineral pavilion with exhibitors from Brazil, Thailand, Uruguay, Russia, USA, Africa and other countries.
Some shows in Tucson such as AGTA GemFaire and GJX Shows are featuring exhibitors selling the highest quality colored stones and lapidary. AGTA Gemfaire is also known for their educational classes, lectures and seminars for buyers.
Arizona Gem and Mineral Show (Martin Zinn Expositions) specializes in the variety of gems and minerals, fossils, specimens and gem and jewelry displays.
Gem Mall (huge tent next to the Holiday Inn hotel and GL&W Show) is known for its strong group of exhibitors selling of semiprecious beads and findings. Holidome Show (organized by GL&W) is one of the oldest shows in Tucson. The show is known for the group of an exhibitors who are selling beads, finished jewelry, gems and findings.
Transportation during Tucson Gem Show
The transportation between trade shows in Tucson is provided by the free shuttles running during 2 weeks period of the Gem Shows.
The main shuttle routes are: Cooper Route (Kino Sports Complex, Holidome and Tucson Expo Center) Ruby Express Route (Tucson Expo Center, Howard Johnson and Tucson Electric Park) Purple Route: Windmill Inn, Holidome/GemMall, Doubletree Raid Park) Red Route (Hotel Tucson City Center), Ramada Limited, Quality Inn, Mineral and Fossil Marketplace)
JOGS Tucson Show (Tucson Expo Center) offers free limousine rides for Gem Show buyers to and from AGTA GemFaire (Tucson Convention Center) daily. All Tucson Gem Shows are located in 10-20 min driving from the Tucson International Airport. Some local hotels provide a free shuttles to pick their guests from the Tucson International airport and a free transportation to and from the nearby gem shows.
Parking during Tucson Gem Show
Limited parking is available at some Tucson Shows. The cost for the parking is somewhere from $5 to $10. Tucson will continue to have parking hubs at Tucson Expo Center (East Irvington Road), Congress Street hub and 22nd Street parking. JOGS Show (Tucson Expo Center) is offering over 1000 free parking spaces for all Tucson gem show buyers. Tucson buyers can park at Tucson Expo Center parking lot free o f charge and take complimentary shuttles and limousines to different gem shows.
Gem Show Tucson is a unique place where whole gem and jewelry world meets every year to find the largest variety and best quality merchandise at the lowest wholesale prices and the newest trends but to make the most important business connections to bring gem and jewelry industry to the next level.
Best Places to Buy Gemstones
There are many places to buy gemstones around the world. No matter where you go, you need to ensure that you have someone who can verify if you are not an expert.
When you are looking for the best place to buy gemstones you have three options.
A local jeweler
A diamond district
No matter which selection you choose, you should get written guarantees and proof for every product you buy. You can find many diamond districts in foreign countries popular for open gemstone markets. The advantage to purchasing gemstones in markets throughout places such as India or Thailand is that you get to make a vacation out of the trip.
Some of the best places to buy gemstones include Thailand, Madagascar, China, and India.
The best place to buy gemstones is also dependent upon the type of gemstones you want. No matter where you turn, it is important that you understand how to grade them for worth. Gemstones are slightly more challenging to grade than diamonds because they do not have a grading system.
If you are bringing gemstones from foreign countries into the United States for sale you should ensure you know the difference between an appraisal and a certification. You should always get a certification from a gem laboratory for every gemstone you purchase. This shows that it was verified by a third party and given a grading. The appraisal is like a non-binding estimate in that it is only for insurance and for retail value but not for quality.
If you are appraising the quality on your own, or with an expert you should begin with the four C’s before you begin appraising gemstones in any area.
Color is an important way to determine the worth of gemstones throughout India, Thailand, Madagascar, etc… Most prefer colors which are clear, intense, saturated, with a medium tone. If the color is too dark it becomes muddled which is unappealing. You want brighter colors because they are more vivid.
Once you verify the color you want, you want to look at the clarity. This is also called the saturation. The gemstones with the most value are those which are clear and have no flaws you can see. There are some flaws which might not be visible when the stone is face up, but rarely. Emeralds and red tourmaline often have small flaws so finding nearly flawless varieties of these make them very expensive.
When you buy gemstones they are sold based on their weight not on their size. The price you pay will be calculated per carat. Some gems might be dense so you could pay a lot less or a lot more for gemstones of highly varied sizes. Additionally, certain types of larger stones are rare and more expensive. These include emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and tourmaline.
The cut is important because it can add or subtract hundreds of dollars to the retail value and to the beauty. You want a cut which will reflect light evenly across the entire surface if you hold it to the light. You can easily compare cuts in open markets by holding similar gemstones side by side.
How to be Successful in Gemstone Business
How can I be Successful in Gemstone Business?
Gemstones are one of the oldest businesses in the world. Gemstones do not usually depreciate in value, which is why the business remains so successful.
Most of the time, the value of a gemstone is based upon supply. Since diamonds are low in supply they are expensive.
When you start a gemstone business you will only be successful if you can overcome the high start-up costs and yield a good profit.
If you are interested in starting a gemstone business, there are a few simple steps you need to follow.
You need to have patience, time, and money you can invest.
Choose the type of gemstones you want to sell
Find quality cutters
Determine your audience
You cannot grow or make gemstones which means you have to pay for cut gemstones or rough gemstones. This cost can become very high depending on the type of gemstone you are buying. The most expensive are typically diamonds and sapphires while topaz, tanzanite, and aquamarines are cheaper.
You can travel directly to mining sites in areas such as Myanmar, Sri Lanka, or Madagascar to reduce your costs. If you travel, you should have a good eye for quality stones or bring someone who does so that you do not overpay for bad gemstones. The more third and fourth parties you have involved in your transactions, the more you will pay for the gemstones.
You can visit trade shows such as the Tuscan Gem and Mineral Show.
When you look for investors, you can use Faceters.com. This company understands that success will not occur within a few months or years. If you want to succeed in the gemstone business you must gain a reputation with:
When you select the type of gemstones you are selling, this is often based upon the amount of money you have to start up initially. The more you have the higher quality stones you can sell.
You should also consider the condition in which you want to sell your gemstones.
You can purchase rough gemstones from places like Madagascar and then sell them at a premium in the United States. Another example is to buy uncut gemstones, use the services of a gemstone cutter, cut the rough gemstones into jewelry pieces, and sell them to jewelry stores.
When you sell retail gemstones you have the potential to make the most money, but you have to invest more at the beginning because you will need machinery and a professional cutter. You should know that these gemstones might not sell as quickly.
All of the gems you sell will need certification from the Gemology Institute of America or another outside party.
The cut of the gemstones can add or subtract hundreds from the price tag which is why finding a quality cutter is so important.
Determining your audience means meeting their needs. Any retailer will need certification but the sales pitch you use will be different for larger companies versus someone looking for an engagement ring.