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  1. #1
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default First Day of the Tucson Gem Show 2007

    The 2007 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show Saturday Jan 27, 2007

    The locals would know the show is going on without all the ads and signs because the traffic is unbelievable this time of year. Hubby is working a show at the Music Hall, located at the TucsonCommunity Center and parking for work is a drag for him. Suddenly, for 2 weeks, parking in Tucson is like parking in a big city. The streets everywhere are full of traffic. Traffic is slow.

    The TCC is also where one of the major gem shows, the AGTA, is located. The AGTA is the hub for the manufactured and wholesale jewelry crowd. That is where you can pick up the latest buzz and see members' exhibits. Stuller is a big exhibitor, for instance. They have their jewelry and findings and they showcase the pearls they sell on the upper level and their tools and machinery are in a huge area in the arena, located off the downstairs section of the TCC.

    A number of well known pearl companies are members of the AGTA. In fact so many are, there is a pearl committee, so to speak, which passes out literature on pearls and how to join their organization. The American Pearl Company has a display on the lower level, featuring their own American home grown beaded pearls. They also have many other pearls too, including natural, but tiny, pteria sterna pearls from Mexico. Buyers can pick up enough literature from this show to need an extra suitcase going home. They carry the best quality gems and pearls and the prices are 1/2 to 1/3 of B&B retail. In short, the AGTA show is the epitome of the old fashioned, B&M establishment jewelry show. AGTA is not the only show downtown, the JYX and the Pavilion at the RiverPark and the entire downtown strip of frontage highway and all of its hotels, are filled with booths. Most of these except the JYX and the Pavilion are open to the public, no tax documents required.

    I will go there later this week to check out the JYX booths, but today, Saturday, my daughter and I set out for the G&LW show. (Gem & Lapidary Wholesale) This show is located near the freeway and the Holidome, which is one of the hubs of the citywide network of shows. They have acres and acres of free parking and they have a little vehicle to transport one to and from their cars. They also have a free shuttle going to and from the downtown shows. I may try this on Monday?..

    The G&LW show has the second rate gems and pearls. I saw some 11mm buttons, very clean skins and nice, but not dazzling luster. The size is great. These run for $15 for one cherry picked strand to $6per for a kilo?s worth. I saw some quite large oblong and drop shaped dyed black baroques for $4 per. They had some major nicks in the skins, but in my estimation all that does is expose multiple layers of nacre. I got 4 strands, one of which had especially large pearls. I will post some pictures soon. Right now I am balancing a number of plates and too distracted to take photos.

    I only saw one white klonk at the this show- of course this show is for beaders mostly. It was at Evergreen and cost $200. Obviously, Roy did not want to sell it on the first day of the show. The pearls were kind of round ran from 11-14mm. Not a lot of mirror, but a very pale orient on patches of most of the pearls. I also found some faceted pearls with a lot of luster and water. The size and color are so similar to my woodies, that I think I can make some bracelets to match them.

    I am hoping to go back there one more time and get more of the 11mm buttons. Who knows when they will be seen again?..
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  2. #2
    CLICLASP
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    Hi Caitlin,
    I am so far away from Tucson and willing to go there next year ! Could you tell us about rare pearls, is it the world place to find a range of rare natural pearls of all kinds ? Melo, Scallop, Conches and so many more that I don't even know they exist ? What is one the show this year about rare natural pearls?
    Thanks

  3. #3
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Hi Clic
    I visited the JYX show yesterday and saw several booths with pearls i noticed

    First I saw the
    Bay of Cortez pearls booth. All their pearls are bead nucleated pteria sternas. I asked about keshi and none are to be had. They had a very tiny display, but they are some of the most unique pearls in the world right now. ( I think Care Ehret has a pipeline to these folks, but she is in the Pavilion and i won't see her today.)

    Then I ambled by a booth with lots of abalone. I looked up and saw a name tag with Wes Rankin on it. This was Pacific Coast Pearls. They had a lovely booth full of natural pearls with the emphasis on abalone pearls.
    I do believe he also has conch but I never got past the abalone. His abalone chunks and pearls went from a lot per gram down to $15 per gram. I rummaged through that box and found some old, drilled, abalone pearls. I made arrangements to buy some after he gets back home. I am so thrilled I can hardly stand it. The pearls I was looking at came from black abalone, though they are pale and somewhat chalky pearls they have the west coast pale iridescent look.
    Wes' best abalone is hard and brilliant with dark colors. He has some fabulous paragons depicted as 4" tall mermaids with the tails out of dark, brilliant, fang shaped abalone pearls. In fact that shape really lends itself to being a mermaid's tail. I just loved them and loved seeing the mermaids holding little pearls in their hands. So cute! I will go back and pay attention to his non abalone stuff next time.


    Then I wandered by a Chinese booth and said "Any big pearls?", he showed me a strand with a big lozenge pearl in the middle. About 15 pearls were 12mm or over. He wanted $40 for it. I bargained him down to $25. It is not as pretty as Roy’s in shape, but it also has really nice patches of high mirror and orient on every single
    pearl, , though no pearl is covered more than 50% with good luster. The other side is often dull, but strangely some have some transparency on the dull patches.



    The last booth I stopped at was Pacific Pearls
    – the name is similar to Pacific Coast Pearls. I have bought from them before. They specialize in off beat pearls. They have Chinese Kasumi type pearls with wild orient and brilliant colors. My eye was attracted to some “rose bud” pearls. These were 5mm and under. Exquisite in their tiny bumpiness, and rose buddy shapes, they are the poor man’s Kasumis, for they too have lots of orient. They started at $16 for one and went down to $7 for 9 of them.

    To be cont.
    Last edited by Caitlin; 02-02-2007 at 10:36 PM.
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  4. #4
    Pearl Designer & Collector Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Out of Murray Bridge, South Australia
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    Hi Caitlin,

    They have Chinese Kasumi type pearls with wild orient and brilliant colors
    Sounds like you are having a wonderful time. Wish I was there. It would be heaven.

    How much are they asking for the Chinese kasumi type pearls a strand. Could you get a card, phone number and email address and pass it on to me .... I really want some of those pearls.

    Thanks, Bodecia