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Tucson 2018: The gem show rollercoaster

By Lauriane Lognay

This ring by Pamela Huizenga features aquaprase combined with yellow gold.
All photos courtesy Lauriane Lognay
The 2018 Tucson shows featured a number of interesting new gemstone finds.
Blue chalcedony, also known as aquaprase, is a new discovery that made its entry at the Tucson shows this year. Pictured is a 200.25-carat piece.

Deep in Arizona, there is a place that could be called a gemstone paradise. Offering near-infinite rows of gems—Australian and Ethiopian opals blinding you with their fire, Paraiba madness, and tourmaline rainbows—it leaves you full of questions and wonder. This is a place where origin is important, where difference is viewed as best, where people start and end their businesses, and where millions of dollars circulate in the space of a few weeks. It’s also a place where rarity takes on a whole new meaning. Welcome to the Tucson gem shows!

It’s no secret 2017 was a confusing year for most vendors in the gemstone and jewellery industry. Trends changed at a faster pace, and pieces that worked just fine the last few years were not sellers. (For example, black sapphire was extremely popular a few years ago, but is now only a less expensive option for buyers seeking black diamond.) Let’s take a closer look at how these changes affected the happenings in Tucson, the heart of the gemstone selling business, this year.

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