Yearly Archives: 2012

AF Designs – Exhibitor Profile

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.

  1. A local jeweler
  2. The internet
  3. 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.

Andesine Labradorite Gemstone

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
    • 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.
  • Clarity
    • 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.
  • Carat
    • 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.
  • Cut
    • 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.

  1. You need to have patience, time, and money you can invest.
  2. Choose the type of gemstones you want to sell
  3. Find quality cutters
  4. 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.

Chrysoberyl Gemstone

Finding Gemstones

  • 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 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:

I.            Patience

II.            Contracts

III.            Experience

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.

Color Change Garnet

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.


What’s Inside Jewelry Trunk Shows?

What’s Inside Jewelry Trunk Shows?

Jewelry trunk shows are most commonly held by designers or manufacturers who want to test a new jewelry design on the market. This means, if you know where to go, you can get new or unique pieces of jewelry before anyone else. The designer will go to a boutique, a gift store, or perhaps a gallery, and arrange for some pieces to be displayed and sold for the public. It is a great deal for both the store and those who brought or made the jewelry.

Jewelry trunk shows are one of the few places where a designer can have direct contact with the public who will be buying his or her product. The designer can also explain to the salespeople in the store what the selling points of the pieces are and how to best present them to potential customers.

In fact, such shows are often used as testing grounds for new designs. They are usually done far enough ahead of the actual release date so that changes can be made to the line of jewelry, rather through price points or through actual physical alteration to the pieces themselves.

One of the best reasons for a designer to go to a store and run jewelry trunk shows is to make sure none of the creations they offer look too much like something that’s already out there. No one wants to sell something that looks like a copy of someone else’s work.

Big designers or major boutiques are not the only ones to benefit from jewelry trunk shows. Many of us know someone who makes interesting pieces of jewelry and sells them to friends or on websites. That person might even be you. There’s no reason why such a person couldn’t run a trunk show of her own. Local, independently owned stores, like consignment shops, would certainly benefit from the extra business, as would the jewelry maker herself.

It takes a bit of preparation, but the end result is worth the effort. First, of course, a proper venue has to be found. Discuss with the store owner what times might be best for a show. You’ll provide the snacks and the drinks, and well as a portion of the sales to the store. That will make your proposition difficult to resist.

All the real preparatory work will be yours. You’ll need to advertise by printing flyers and posting them all around the city, and by emailing any customers of yours. The latter should be a big help by promoting through word of mouth, as well. Personally tell friends and family, and they’ll also spread the word. Be sure your flyers have the details of what food will be served and some good pictures of your best pieces.

When the day comes, arrive at least an hour early. Dress simply and elegantly. The simple black dress is always a good choice – but be sure you’re wearing your own jewelry to go with it. You are your best advertisement, after all. The show itself is your best opportunity to build up your clientele. Have a bowl available for business cards. You might even want to encourage customers to leave business cards by holding a drawing for free jewelry. Soon, you’ll have a mailing list to contact when you’re ready to sell your next creations.

Whether buying or running one of your own, jewelry trunk shows can be a lot of fun and places where you can save (or make!) quite a bit of change.
More Jewelry Show Us Articles

Upcoming events in Tucson, Arizona!

We have 3 upcoming events in Tucson! Our new show, “SuperStart Show” will be opening the beginning of next year. All dates are listed below! There’s plenty of time to register but why not register today and save time later? Click To Register

JOGS Tucson Gem & Jewelry Show Dates:
September Show: September 6-9, 2012
SuperStart Show: February 1-4, 2013
Winter Show: February 1-12, 2013


DanburiteOther Names:
Origin of Name: Location, Danbury, USA
Meaning of the Stone: Leo starsign
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Tectosilicates
Region: USA, Mexico, Bolivia, Japan,Russia,Madagascar
Color: colorless, yellow(light-faded) grey,brown,pink
Transparency: transparent, translucent
Fracture: Conchoidal, uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 7-7.5 (2.97-3.03)
Crystal System: orthohombric
Similar Minerals: Topaz, Apatite, Citrine

1. Legend and History:

Danburite is a relatively newly discovered stone carrying no historical or legendary matters; It was first discovered in 1839 by Charles Upham Shephard in Danbury, Connecticut, USA, and this is where it’s name derived from.
Danburite is said to be a stone of strong spirituality and an excellent crystal for the relief of stress and worries. In addition, it is said to help with restless sleep disorders, stimulation of the heart, and bring on its wearer a positive outlook on life.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Danburite is a common mineral, but rather rare as a semi-precious gemstone. Honey colored crystals are known to be excavated in Baja, California, while colorless crystals, of up to 10cm high are found in Charcas, Mexico.
In addition, Russia, Bolivia, and Burma also have Danburite deposits where large white, yellow and green crystals have been found.
This gemstone is usually cut en cabochon or with flat sides to be put on jewelry as it resembles topaz and citrine both which are rather expensive and rare.

3. Interesting Facts:

Danburite has often been referred to as the stone of “joy and celebration”.

4. Care and Storing:

Danburite is best stored in a presentation box or soft cloth pouch; It is cleaned with water and soap. Danburite must not be cleaned with steam or use of ultrasound.


Coral, Coral gemstone, Coral jewelryOther Names: Precious coral, red coral
Origin of Name: Greek Word «κοραλι» meaning coral
Meaning of the Stone:
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Corallium rubrum
Region: Australia, Algeria, Italy, France, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, Mauritius, Cuba
Color: Red, pink, rarely white, light blue, black
Transparency: opaque
Hardness (Gravity): 3.5-4 (2.6-2.7)
Crystal System:
Similar Minerals:

1. Legend and History:

Coral has been found in archeological sites which date back to 10.000BC; It was very popular in Ancient Egypt for the art of jewelry making, but also in Celtic tribes, from which it is believed to have got its name from.
Coral had a great trade associated to it in the beginning of the Christian Era, from the Mediterranean to India where it was believed to have many mystical powers.
The Romans believed that coral, when hung around children’s necks, would protect them from danger.
It is believed that coral sharpens the mind, and cleanses the urinal path but also heals problems of the eyes.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Coral, is in fact a species of marine life, and is the common name given to the specific species of corallium rubrum, It is rather durable in the form of a gemstone and used for many types of jewelry.
The hard skeleton of coral is matte in its natural form, but most often polished up to provide a glossy shine when used in jewelry. As coral is relatively soft however, it is usually cut en cabochon or used in order to make beads.

3. Interesting Facts:

In Ancient Greek Mythology, I is said that Poseidon, the God of the Seas, lived in a palace which solely made out of coral.

4. Care and Storing:

Coral should be protected from heat, sweat, and beauty products which may make it fade and loose it’s natural color. There are however techniques for coral to get back its color, mainly by dipping it into hydrogen superoxide. Soap and water is recommended in order to clean coral, while heat and ultrasound should be avoided.

Color-Change Sapphire

Other Names:
Origin of Name: Greek «σαπφειρος»
Meaning of the Stone: September birthstone
Classification: precious
Family: Oxide Mineral
Region: Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Canada, Brazil, (Tanzania is the main deposit for color-change sapphire)
Color: Varieties of blue, purple, blue-purple, pink-orange
Transparency: transparent to translucent, opaque
Fracture: conchoidal, uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 9 (3.99-4.10)
Crystal System: Trigonal
Similar Minerals: Tourmaline, Topaz, Zircon, Tanzanite

1. Legend and History:

The remarkable beauty and amazing properties of sapphire have intrigued people from the beginning of historical times; In the past the majority of blue precious and semi precious stones were named sapphires. It was not until the 19th century when sapphires and rubies were recognized as varieties of corundum. In Medieval times sapphire was said to reflect the sky and the highest of spiritual values.
Sapphire is considered to be a symbol of wealth and prestige, and is said to relieve it’s wearer from pain, protect from evil, as well as bring power, honor and immortality to its wearer.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Color change sapphire is considered to be a highly rare variety of sapphire, as it has the ability to exhibit different colors in different light, thus being blue when outdoors and purple when in indoor light, but also pink and green.
Not all stones exhibit the same change in color; others change fully while others only partially, like for example a change from blue to bluish purple.
Although color change sapphire deposits are found in many regions, the main location for high quality gemstones is in Tanzania.

3. Interesting Facts:

Given the remarkable hardness that the sapphire stone exhibits, it is not only used in jewelry making; Sapphire crystal is used for most watches as it does not break easily and is fairly scratchproof. In addition, some high quality windows are made of sapphire.

4. Care and Storing:

Sapphire should be protected from high temperatures as it may lose its color and beauty. Cleaning sapphire has no true limitations and any method may be preferred, caution must be taken however when the crystal has inclusions.

Color-Change Garnet

Other Names: Granat
Origin of Name: French (pomme) grenat,
Meaning of the Stone: January Birthstone
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Nesosilicate
Region: USA, South Africa, Russia,
Color: Technically all colors (blue however is visible in specific lighting)
Transparency: transparent,translucent
Fracture: conchoidal, uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 6.5-7.5(3.1-4.3)
Crystal System: Cubic, rhombic
Similar Minerals: Ruby, emerald, chrome diopside

1. Legend and History:

The name garnet is said to originally derive from the latin “granatus” which means seed, however, a more efficient meaning is that of the French word (pomme) grenat, meaning pomegranate as most garnet crystals look like the seeds found inside a pomegranate.
Garnet was, for many years, a very sought for semi-precious stone, as jewelry has been found which is dated back to the 6th century B.C. Plinius named all stones which had a reddish color, including garnet, carbunculi.
It is believed that garnet protects it’s wearer from enemies, stimulates the imagination and strengthens the power of love. In addition it is said to cure arthritis, rheumatism, and gaps in the memory.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Garnet is a color changing gemstone, occurring in every color except blue, which may only be seen under specific lighting and circumstances; Most varieties of garnet are named based on their color, for example pyrope garnet received its name from its red almost fire like color.
The main varieties of garnet recognized are, pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular, uvarovite, and andradite.
Garnet is mainly used as a gemstone to create beautiful jewelry as it may be found in many colors depending on the variety, thus resembling Alexandrite which is a highly expensive and rare stone.

3. Interesting Facts:

The rarest of the Garnet varieties, which was not discovered until the 1990s, is the blue garnet, a color thought not to exist in garnet. Although the blue color can only be seen under specific lighting and environment.

4. Care and Storing:

Garnet must be kept from sudden changes in temperature and knocks. Cleaning must take place only with water and soap, followed by a soft cloth; Steam cleaning is not recommended for garnet and should be avoided.