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.
Five Star Gems brings Alexandrite from India to Tucson Gem Show
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.
JOGS Celebrating its 10th anniversary
With the almost overwhelming number of venues that make
up Tucson’s annual Gem and Mineral Society’s huge event, it’s almost easy to forget that each one represents another independent show-within-a-show. One of the largest is celebrating its 10th anniversary—JOGS Gem & Jewelry Show 2013, promoted and organized by Vitaliy Mayzenberg.
Located near Palo Verde and Irvington Road, near the interchange for Interstate 10, JOGS Gem & Jewelry is hosted within the Tucson Expo Center, a sprawling indoor space with four distinct wings and ballrooms; all situated on 25 acres of property and parking. Over the last 10 years, the Expo Center’s General Manager Scott Gardner has been instrumental in helping Vitaliy and Irene Mayzenberg realize their vision of creating a truly international show featuring buyers, designers and manufacturers from around the world; catering to the wholesale buyer who is looking for the best and latest in international jewelry trends.
Fortunately for Tucson, and all involved, each year sees that dream coming closer to fruition; and this year-their 10th anniversary demonstrates very well how Mr. Mayzenberg’s vision is nearing reality.
To help understand the appeal of the show, for both buyers and exhibitors, and how the envisioned growth has taken place; I spoke to several buyers and to a few exhibitors. Their reasons for returning year after year are sometimes surprising, but in the end, boil down to the essentials of good business.