Don’t look now, but I think we have an upward economic trend happening. It’s not as quick as the fall, but down is always faster than up. Gravity works against us in more ways than just climbing a mountain; and if we can continue this analogy, we are climbing Mt. Everest after a free fall from 35000 feet. Make sure to bring along some oxygen!
Tucson was good, a solid improvement for the majority of the vendors over last year, but no one was sure if this was a precursor to this year’s business. Happily, Chicago proved to show the same trends, a significant increase in the number of shoppers and the total number of invoices written. Inventories of the unusual have to be replaced, and those of us who carry reasonably priced, beautiful gemstones are doing better--not great, but better. Be grateful for the little things.
Chicago is “my kind of town”. The show is 2 miles from downtown, so any hotel is close. Great restaurants, shopping and music are within walking distance from most of the downtown hotels, so after the show you can choose a great meal without waiting 45 minutes for a table, your spouse will have had a great day shopping at The Rack (Nordstrom’s), or the Jazz Record Mart (the largest jazz and blues record store in the world), or take the fantastic river tour of some of the finest architecture America has to offer. In fact there is so much to do that many of the vendors stay extra days to enjoy the city and visit those “salt of the earth” mid-westerns. Like Tucson, this show is enjoyable for the customer, the vendor and anyone who wants to come along. I strongly encourage you to come next year if you missed this year’s show.
Moonstone and labradorite are still our strongest sellers. We recently received a new parcel of some of the largest, cleanest labradorite we’ve had in years. These pieces range from 15 to 20cts in size. I think some of the older European gem houses are cleaning out their vaults to encourage sales, and we are the benefactors of their spring cleaning.
Another great find for us was a parcel of the Tanzanian hot pink spinel at a very reasonable price. We have 5mm rounds, matched pairs of cushion, round, and trillions all from $300/ct and up.