Tucson Day 6

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Good morning!  I've had my coffee and breakfast, checked emails and we're about to start our day of gem hunting.  Have you ever wondered how anyone stays organized going to so many shows over a span of a week?  Well here is my method.  Before I go to the shows I make a list of all the vendors I want to see, figure out what shows they are in and then organize my days by going to venues that are close to one another on the same days.  Here is my schedule for this years Tucson shows.

During the show I'm writing notes on the various sheets as reminders of what I found or what I'm still looking for.  I regularly post pictures of what I'm finding with a bead buying group on Facebook and if I get requests from any of them after I've already gotten to Tucson I start writing notes on the back side of my schedule.  Here are my notes for this year, so far.

Of course I don't always follow my plan since I may spend longer at one show than I expected.  But that's OK - I just add notes to indicate if one show needs to move to another day.  With so many different shows to see you really have to make a plan so you can get everything done in the time you have.

And now we're off to AGTA!  I'll have some very tired feet at the end of the day today.

I'm back from todays show and have a lot of beautiful gems to share with you.  We started off the day at AGTA show.

Here is a picture of the red carpet at the entrance and their banner at the door.

  

We got our badges and headed in.  Here is a picture from above the exhibitors area.

There are gemstones or pearls on just about every corner and, if you notice, all vendors have a corner spot :)  We wandered around in the exhibitor area, I checked out what Taj had available and we looked around to see if there were anymore interesting vendors to visit.  I ended up not buying a thing but still got to see a lot of beautiful things and I learned a bit about Edison pearls.  We also passed by one vendor who had a LOT of gorgeous and big gems and saw this kunzite that came from San Diego, in the Pala area.  Turns out the vendor is from Fallbrook!  What a coincidence!

As we left the exhibit area we passed by the Smithsonian exhibit.  It is there every year and there is always something new being shown.  Today the things that caught my eye were this beautiful necklace and these gemstones.  I've been seeing a lot of kunzite and here it was in the Smithsonian exhibit.

  

We left AGTA and went across the street to the GJX show.  Both this and AGTA are high end shows, though I have no problem finding things in my price range :)  It was pretty trippy one year when there were bad storms that kept shipments from getting into Tucson on time.  We went to GJX and not all the vendors were setup.  What we saw were armored trucks outside the tent and a conga line of armed guards were wheeling in large black shipping boxes.  You see diamonds and emeralds and gold all around, but it takes seeing guarded dolly after guarded dolly being wheeled in for it to sink in just how expensive some of this stuff is! 

But onto my adventures :)  I headed first for A-One Gems.  They were supposed to have quite a few things that I got requests for.  Well it turns out they didn't and all that I was looking for was either still at the JOGS show or wasn't brought over from Hong Kong.  That was pretty disappointing but I still managed to find beautiful gem strands to buy.  I just loved these aquamarine rondelles.  Lower quality, but I actually like it when there is some milkiness in rondelles.  I also got these pretty multi-garnets.  I LOVED this green fluorite but it was way out of my price range.

    

I did remember to get a picture with Naresh and Rachna.  The shot with Naresh included a finger - ah well!

 

Next we headed to Best In Gems for another live shopping session with Annette in Australia.  I spent a lot of time fondling blue topaz pairs.  My gosh do they SPARKLE!  But before spending boatloads on a pair I have to make sure they have no nicks or chips.  Unfortunately some of the gorgeous ones did have little nicks (that is what one discovers when one fondles gemstones ...) so they went back into the bins.  I finally did find a couple of pretty ones for her and some really faceted, sparkly ones for me.  Annette also wanted some K2 jasper and I wanted some grey moonstone.  Here are the little pretties I got.

 

And here is Sandy who totaled me up and carefully packaged up my gems.  And here is a shot down the row from Best in Gems so you can get an idea of how this show is just row upon row upon row of vendors (and this is the short direction of the tent!).

 

By this time my feet were tired and I just did not have the energy to walk up/down/up/down/up/down all the rows so I made an executive decision and we headed to the car.  I wanted to stop by JOGS again to pick up some requests.  However, on the way out we happened upon one vendor selling diamonds.  On man did they sparkle!  I could not catch the intensity of the sparkle on my camera.

  

Then as we continue walking down this same row we see GOLD!!!  Huge chunks from Australia and pretty big nuggets from Alaska.  Absolutely amazing!

 

Here is shot of the unassuming exterior of GJX.  Who would imagine all of the fabulous gemstones awaiting you inside?

We hopped in the car and headed back to JOGS.  My first stop was at a new vendor (for me) with a lot of beautiful Bali sterling and gold vermeil findings.

I looked at their chandeliers during our first visit and wanted to check their pricing against some online places where I've purchased in the past.  Considering shipping charges from Bali the prices were reasonable, and I don't have to wait weeks for them to arrive.  They had some interesting clasps for Kumihimo woven designs, some nice chandeliers and some beautiful beads.  I got a little bit of several things so I can try them out and see how I like them.  Here is their booth and my Bali stash.

 

Next I stopped by A-One Gems again to pick up some requests.  There were some beautiful stones available - green tourmaline, these gorgeous multi-tourmaline ovals and these fabulous, faceted aquamarine tires.

    

The aquamarine got added to my stash and I picked up some strands of the tourmaline for some requests.  Here is what I finally got away with  :).

 

Since it was 10 minutes until closing we called it a day and headed out to dinner.  Now it's time for me to look through the Tucson show guide to see what new venue we'll explore tomorrow.  I always try to visit one new place each time I'm here.  We leave tomorrow afternoon so we have the morning to do a little more exploring.

 

 

 

 

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