It's that time of year again for my annual gemstone buying trip, held throughout Tucson, Arizona. And I'm excited!
I spend a week hunting through convention centers, huge parking lot tents of vendors, and hotel rooms full of tiny gems in long cases for the rare, the uncommon and the exceptional. Vendors often reserve their most extraordinary specimens specifically for this show. Sometimes you’ll come across incredible quality gems from long-closed mines - quality that you’re unable to get any more - just because a hoarding stone cutter has deemed it “the right time” to let it go. That’s the jackpot! The dealers come from all over the world to sell and display at this famous show and it’s fun to meet people from far-flung continents, sharing their knowledge and expertise.
I am a methodical shopper and I like to browse by myself so that I can focus on finding "that gem" which meets my impossible-to-describe criteria. I’m always looking to discover new gems and rocks I never knew existed (even with a Gemological degree, there’s so much more to discover)! I love to find stones that have unique inclusions or dramatic matrix, or some incredible hue of a color that is uncommon making it a fresh counterpart to my signature look. At the very least, I’m always excited and inspired to be just around such bountiful gemology and I drink it all in!
This year I'm looking specifically for gemstones to inspire rings and pendants, but I also always keep an eye out for matched pairs - specifically stones that "mirror" one another - for my distinctive earrings. I especially get roused by the natural colors of gemstones (like the Siberian pink tourmaline I found at a past show) or by their patterns, aka matrix, such as incredible fossilized sequoia wood.
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