Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Tucson or Bust
I think I can speak for most gem dealers when I say that if 2010 Tucson GemFair was anything like 2009, there would be some tough decisions ahead. Thank you all for making it a VERY solid show for us and many others. 2010 is at least starting with “pop” if not a “bang”!
Many retailers and designers used a lot of their overstocked inventory accumulated through the years to keep themselves afloat in 2009. We are very lucky to own the kind of inventory that not only doesn’t smell bad or go moldy when it’s old, but it usually gains value. Holiday sales were strong enough to have buyers coming to Tucson with expectations to replace stock with something new, exciting, and with not too high of a price point. This was the perfect formula for moonstone, our stone of choice. We had 26 feet of nothing but moonstone, but it was moonstone like no one has ever seen. Dividing the cases by origin gave everyone who stopped by an education on source, quality, and quantities available. To confirm our suspicions, 2010 gave us the largest number of sales ever in Tucson. We may not have had the largest dollar figure, but 30% more people bought from us than ever before. This means more designers, manufactures, and retailers will be showing moonstone than ever before. If you haven’t tried it…..you should.
The big question when we get home (other than “how was the show”) is always, “What gemstone was the highlight of the show? What stone stood out from all the thousands of gemstones at show?” This year it was definitely SPINEL.
Spinel, like the economy goes in cycles, and is usually related to ruby market. Even though spinel comes in almost every color, the reds are prized. In the late 70’s it starting to become popular because Burma ruby was scarce. Then the Mong Hsu mine was discovered in Burma, and with a little extra heating, there were enough rubies to supply demand and spinel once again went into the closet.
It has tried a few small comebacks, but has always remained the gem dealer’s favorite gemstone. The public has never quite realized the beauty they are missing. Today we have a new spectacular find of the hotter than hottest pink spinel from Tanzania that just cannot be ignored. It is incredible that this color comes out of the ground with NO enhancements from a laboratory. This gemstone pops in any light, any case, and any metal, anywhere. We have some great photos on our website. Check it out.