TVSN brings you the newest, rarest and most exotic gems available from the Tucson Gem Show, straight from the fair!
Taking place annually in late January and February at multiple locations across the city, Tucson becomes a playground for the world of international gem and mineral trading, collecting, and bargain hunting when the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase arrives.
It all started in 1955 when a group of mineral collectors and rock hounds from the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society held a free exhibition at a local elementary school, open to the public. The show was an immediate hit, prompting organisers to make it an annual event.
The now legendary Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase has grown from a ‘club show’ to a major show for gem professionals and enthusiasts from around the world.
Gem Adventurers™ Gavin Linsell and Eli Rifind, who are regular faces at TVSN, made the special trip to Tucson to source a really exciting selection of gems and minerals.
Our Tucson selection sees a variety of gems and minerals, one-off pieces and collector-worthy gem specimens, all bought during the Tucson gem shows in early February this year. These are being carefully set as gorgeous jewellery in gold and silver at the workshop, just in time for the TVSN show on 12 March.
Gavin Linsell has been able to write some progress blog posts for us, we hope you enjoy them! Keep an eye out on the TVSN Facebook Page for more updates and Videos!
Eli and I have safely returned to Thailand from the Tucson Gem Show where every year since 1955 the world’s top miners, lapidaries and gem traders get together at one location. The trip is still a tiring blur… There are simply so many gems to experience in such a short time. Tucson’s gem show actually includes more than 40 different shows at dozens of locations around town and that requires a lot of leg work!
We found lots of gems we were looking for (examples include Leopard Opal, Montana Sapphire and Oregon Sunstone) as well as some beautiful surprises we weren’t, but that is the reason you make the trip to Tucson. A fun aspect of the show is its social scene; from formal industry gatherings to causal dinners, we couldn’t walk far without hearing “Hey Gavin!” or are “Are you Gavin?” as old friends reconnect or mutual acquaintances introduce. For me, the biggest thrill of the show was being reminded how much I love being a gem professional.
The Mexican cuisine in town is also superb and despite Eli’s amusement at my profoundly poor Spanish pronunciation, we did find ‘the’ local place whose huevosrancheros and tamales were superb. Another highlight, and a revered Tucson Gem Show institution, is Li’l Abner’s Steakhouse, where every second table had a gem professional I knew.
By the end of the show we were exhausted, with Eli flying to New York and me taking the long flight home to the land of smiles. My trip was made a little brighter at a stopover in LAX when I met fellow Australian, Oliver a Red Heeler who works with PUP (Pets Unstressing Passengers). There are 25 dogs working at the airport and it was relaxing to take a minute to give Oliver a pat. He was too busy for a photo, but I did get his card! More importantly than us, all the gems we found at the show have safely arrived and jewellery design is underway.
Bye for now,
The Gem Adventurer™ team is busy getting ready for the TVSN Tucson Gem Show event on March 12th and this has given me some time to delve into the loose gems we found at Tucson. Some of the most striking are pieces of Amethyst Geodes from a deposit near the town of Ametista do Sul, in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. Ametista do Sul reportedly has the world’s largest deposit of Amethyst and is frequently described as the global capital for this gemstone.
Geodes, hollow crystal lined spheres, are true geological mysteries, and miracles of nature that make you appreciate the rare majesty of gemstones – underneath their hard exterior lies a beautiful surprise! Geodes start their lives as a hollow bubble inside a layer of rock. Over time water soaks through the hard, rocky outside of the bubble. As the mineral-rich water moves through the bubble, tiny crystals are left behind and with the passage of millions of years, this flow of water gradually forms more crystals inside the empty space.
Coveted by mineral collectors for their well-structured, pure purple crystals in an attractive arrangement, our Amethyst Geodes are unenhanced, showcasing the beauty of these rare, natural creations. Sure to prove immensely popular, these amazing crystals are just one example of some of the great gemstones we have instore.
I don’t know about you, but I love the beauty and intricacy of gemstone carvings and it was with great anticipation I got to catch up with friend and mentor, Terry Coldham BA (Geology) FGAA, at the Tucson Gem Show to see the latest results of his gemstone carving workshop in Bali, Indonesia. He had so many beautiful carvings it was hard to choose, but I was drawn to two pieces we’ll be offering loose; a beautiful Opal Lily from Mintabie (1931) and a Mookaite Lady Face, both Australian gemstones carved and polished to perfection by Terry’s skilled artisans.
Appearing to have a rainbow trapped within, the unique appeal of the Mintabie Opal Lily is its deft 360 degrees finish, proportion, shape, and symmetry that beautifully displays this gem’s signature play of colour. Unique to Opal, ‘play of colour’ is the attractive colourful flashes of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet that change with the angle of observation. Undeniably beautiful and totally natural, it could be set in a striking pedant or simply appreciated as a unique objet d’art.
A variety of Jasper (Chalcedony), Mookaite is a stunning multi-coloured gemstone only found in the Kennedy Ranges near Gascoyne Junction in Western Australia. The name is derived from Mooka Creek where the gem is mined. Also totally natural, Mookaite has deep saturated reds with swatches and striations of vivid yellow. Mookaite is an ideal gemstone for carving; as you can see, a skilled artisan can use the gem’s natural colour patterns to striking affect.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this sneak peek into what we’ll be featuring on TVSN on the 12th March.
Bye for now,