The Pueblo Gem Show is always one of my first stops after flying over the desert into Tucson. There are several dealers here selling quality gem rough for faceting.
Along with the dealers selling rough at this show there are many cut stones, finished jewelry and mineral specimens such as the Tanzanite shown below.
Sometimes it's worth looking through some of these mineral specimens for a cutter, as often they can be cut into a gemstone.
I saw these dispensers last year, and this year they seem to have expanded the product range. For some reason, there is a glass rod in the water with rough gemstones. I didn't spend the time to inquire what the purpose is, but I guess in jewelry shop it could be an interesting conversation piece.
On the walk over to the Pueblo show, I see these guys each year. Kind of a "welcome to Tucson" bark.
Just north of the Pueblo show is another show that has a bit of a different flavor. Lots of geodes, large polished rocks, some hippy type clothing and a little bit of gem rough.
Below are some Aquamarine from Mozambique on the left, and a large parcel of Tourmaline from Afghanistan. This parcel was only to be sold as a parcel, which is often the case in Tucson.
A few more parcels of Tourmaline from Afghanistan. Nice blue/green color. I did select some pieces from these parcels.
On the lower left is some very nice color Amethyst. Didn't buy any, as I rarely cut quartz.
On the other side of highway 10 is a show on Simpson Street. Usually there isn't much of interest here for me, other than a free parking lot. This show has mix of items from cheap jewelry, inexpensive cut stones, fossils and lots more.
I did run into a rough dealer I normally see at the 22nd Street show from Pakistan. He always has some very nice Peridot and other stones found either in Pakistan or close by.
I selected some pieces of peridot, his largest Helidore and a few pieces of Morganite.
Paper plates are quite common as a way of showing gem rough
I made a stop at the JOGS show, to visit RUSGEMS. They are a Russian company that is in the business of making created gemstones. I just hope the FBI doesn't investigate me or dealing with them or get a FISA warrant!
Normally I cut 2 or 3 created gems a year, but every time I list one, it sells fast and a few people email me asking if I have more. So this year I did buy a number of pieces from them. Their material is not a stimulant which mimics a real stone, but actually crystals that are grown using technologies that reproduce the process of natural formation. I bought some Ruby, Sapphire, Alexandrite and Emerald.
Below is a small parcel of Umba Sapphire. These are natural stones that have not been heated or treated in any way.
Some Montana Sapphire on the left, and Morganite on the right. This year it seemed as Morganite was a popular stone in Tucson, with much of it being set in rose gold.
Some of the finest Peridot in the world come from Pakistan. I selected these 7 pieces. Total weight is just over 100 carats. The intense colored Blue Zircon is from Cambodia. The past 10 years blue zircon has become very rare in the rough as there is very little production.
This was a particularly nice parcel of Spessartine Garnet from Nigeria. Rich color. This parcel is over 100 carats.
The two Opals on the right are from Ethiopia. Some of the production comes out as a very clear stone that can be faceted. There is a gamble with these, as they can crack like crazy once you start to cut them. The stones are basically a light straw color but with a rainbow of opal flash. We'll see how they turn out.
Below are two pieces of Tourmaline from Afghanistan, and two pieces of Tanzanite.
These two Spinel show just how much color can effect the price. I bought them both from the same rough dealer, similar size, but the stone on the right cost exactly double what the left stone did, even the the left stone is a bit bigger.