Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tucson Gem Show -- JOGS 2

Although missing from the name of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show (TGMS), the descriptive modifier "international" would fit quite nicely.
Just a walk around the Tucson Expo Center, site of one of the satellite shows held in the first two weeks in February before the main, best-of-the-best show (February 14-17), and listening to the conversations will confirm the appropriateness of this designation.
Here the JOGS Gem and Jewelry Show, the largest and most popular independent jewelry trade show in the Tucson area, features wholesale jewelry manufacturers, miners and international dealers from Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, China, Pakistan, India, northern Africa, Madagascar, Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico, and the US.
There are products at the JOGS show to suit just about any buyer. The product range covers all price points, from high end one of a kind designs or products

to everyday popular items available at wholesale prices.

Often buyers rely on the expertise of the wholesale sellers to pick out next season's hottest selling lines (such as this tree with amber jewel leaves?). Buyers can be seen purchasing large quantities at wholesale prices as well as occasional one of a kind purchases intended for personal and private collections.

When I asked one person in the amythest geode display if the geodes had come from the southwestern past of the country, he answered--after asking me to repeat the question talking more slowly--"Uruguay."

At another display area, I asked about these carvings and, if I understood the person, these jade figures are produced from Cambodian jade.

Buyer attendance at the JOGS show exceeds 27,000 from over 4,000 jewelry firms.

We came across some onyx tables made from dozens of 3-inch cubes glued together. They were large enough to seat four for dining. We also saw square onyx columns from four to six-feet tall with bulbs in the columns. They were the type of floor lamp that would serve as the center of attention in a room. Because they were such artistic creations, the owners of the Sedona (AZ) company asked that we not photograph them.

At the end of a corridor in the Center, we came upon hundreds of these beautiful stones (shown in the three photos below).
I had never seen anything like these and felt fortunate that I was granted permission to photograph them.
I learned that they were Madagascar jasper stones, and I think they are only found in one place off the coast of Madagascar.

But then we met Onnik Arakelian, president of Gold in Quartz. He had developed a procedure whereby he could inject gold, silver, or copper into quartz. He had been producing rough slabs of the quartz for sale to artists who would create jewelry, but decided to begin making finished jewelry himself.

The photographs of the cabachon (below) and rings (second photo below) don't do justice to the actual items. Onnik's matching of the precious metal with the colors of the quartz produced stunning items.

When we learned that Onnik's main showroom is located in Fresno (CA), we began asking about the possibility of stopping by this summer.


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