G’ Day! Gavin from Gem Adventurer™ updating you on the Tucson Gem Show 2019. Apart from catching up with mates, given 19 years as a gem professional, I ostensibly know everyone, but I still manage to meet someone new…
This year it was a Frenchman, Denis Gravier FGA, who has been trading gems for 30 years, and as he specializes in “unusual gems for unusual people”, we immediately connected.
He had the best Spanish Cherry Sphalerite I have seen in years, noting its red hues are the rarest… if you think you’ve seen Sphalerite before, trust me, you’ve never seen it this beautiful.
Staying in the family, we have beautiful Tanzanian Wurtzite, which has the same chemical composition as Sphalerite, but a different crystal structure. It is impossibly rare… I think I have seen three pieces in my life, and the crimson hues of this gem… WOW!
The team had a bet on how many times I’d say my favorite rarity phrase, “this is rarer than rocking horse doodoo”, but when it came to Denis’s Hauyne, no one could argue. Hauyne is the bluest of the blues and is extremely scarce, hailing from the Laach Lake near Eifel in Rhineland, Germany.
But his pièce de résistance is a beautiful Zimbabwean Cross Diamond, whose unique pattern is due to crystallography and inclusions.
We didn’t forget your love of ornamental gemstones and sourced some stunning Carnelian Eggs and Rock Crystal Obelisks from Madagascar, as well as beautiful Chinese Fluorite Hexagons.
Getting back to Madagascar, my old buddy Tom Cushman, Madagascar’s ICA Ambassador, had incredible Madagascan Demantoid; noting it is usually khaki, but these greens match Russia’s finest.
My lovely friend, Helen Shull, also stole my heart with some gorgeous Madagascan Hessonite.
The legendary Glenn Lehrer, a world-renowned master lapidary with over 40 years experience, also provided some very special gems.
Taurus Ilakaka Pink Sapphire, Quasar Moroccan Amethyst, and a one-off Mojave Chalcedony & Druzy Carving, which will quickly find a home.
Not to be outdone, Mark Kaufman, whose business is best described as a hobby out of control, presented Tanzanian Chrome Tourmaline, Malawi Rainbow Moonstone (now ancient history), as well as the best Tanzanian Opal I have ever seen!
Two Aussie Opal legends, and friendly competitors, came to the table with Rod Griffin presenting incredible Boulder Opal Squares, and the Opal Hunter, Mark T, awesome Soapstone & Black Opal Dice… don’t just pick them up, roll’em, and take the gamble!
Not a mineral or an organic gem, but beautiful, rare and durable, we have Detroit Corvetite, Fordite, as well as some Fire Truck, echoing this city’s unique automotive history.
We then got gnarly with Surfalite, from the famous surfboard workshops of California.
Last, but not least, my personal favorites are two Dinogems… one has bright pinks and black mottling conjuring Picasso, and the other blacks, greens and tans, embodying the imagined colors of these legendary animals.
We have more, but we all love surprises! I’ll close with a personal story… day two I broke my cardinal rule and ate at a trade show. The chicken and humus were potentially lethal, and after three sick days, I went out with 15 gem guys to Li’l Abner’s Steakhouse, devouring a 900g porterhouse with photos to prove it!
See you 18th-21st March, Cheers Gavin.
Written by Gavin Linsell