Notes from the Field

Every year at the end of January, we repack our bags after Paris and head west for the Tucson Gem Shows. In addition to the main AGTA Show, there are also stones to be purchased at the Gem and Jewelry Exchange (GJX), the Gem Mall and the Holidome.

At the same time there are several other shows happening concurrently in New York City, during which new jewelry collections are released. As hunters, the week is a magical frenzy. Everyone brings out their best and brightest stones to share with the world and each is nothing short of dazzling… but you have to keep on your toes in order to snag the best stuff! We look forward to it not only because we love a challenge, but because we get to see some of our favorite friends and designers while out on the road.

We hit as many of the shows as we could while in Tucson, with a main focus on the Gem and Jewelry Exchange – which offers a concentration of stones from skilled lapidaries, who often directly own their mines. In between sleeping and shopping, we enjoyed a cappuccino at Cartel Roasting Co and walked down Stone Ave to 5 Points Market & Restaurant for dinner. We also made sure to stop by the historic Stillwell House on 5th to enjoy the garden, which is beautiful even in winter.

We came back to Santa Fe with an abundance – the Tucson Gem Shows are some of the best in the country for a reason. Included in our spoils are blue diamonds, raspberry sapphires, polished opal beads, Santa Maria Aquamarines from Brazil, and blood red Mozambique Rubies. One of our favorites finds was a selection of grandidierite – an incredibly rare, translucent mineral the color of ocean fog. We also sourced a nice bit of Castle Dome Turquoise, a scarce species once mined about 30 miles south of the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Arizona. Like SB, Castle Dome has a particularly vibrant color and can be identified by its distinct honey brown matrix. Find these stones and more at Santa Fe Dry Goods through our collaboration with Greig Porter later this year.

In some ways, the gem shows feel like a reunion – we often run into longtime friends and colleagues while browsing the floors, such as Denise BeteshMargery Hirschey and Lika Behar. This time of year also presents the perfect opportunity to make connections with new designers, such as Kimberly Collins, whose delicate gold stacking rings can be found in our cases later this week. While in Tucson, we also made sure to hop on a call with our East Coast friends showing in New York City, such as Yasuko Azuma, to secure our collections for the year. New additions to our family of jewelry designers will be announced later this year – and we are so excited to share them with you!

Ciao for now,
Shobhan & the Team

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