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TRADE NEWS


A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

10 February 2015

by Karen Nuckols

A contrast in show venues in Tucson and near Scottsdale, Arizona, with one thing in common: many satisfied buyers.

Each February the Arizona desert blooms with trade shows for the jewellery industry and its related fields. In Scottsdale we have the Centurion Show, so elite and private that the press is not allowed to say exactly where the show is held. On the other hand, over 40 shows featuring everything from fossils to carvings to rough gemstones to beads to high-end jewellery and more are held in Tucson at various times from late January to mid-February. Three shows: AGTA GemFair™ and GJX, both held from February 3 to 8, and JCK, February 2 to 7 are of prime interest to retail jewellers.

This year the Centurion Scottsdale Show was held, as it has been for the past several years, at a fine resort in Scottsdale. From February 3 to 6 over 160 vendors and sponsors were on hand to offer all types of jewellery and services to the invitation-only, high-end retail jewellers who attended. Featured speakers included “Saturday Night Live” Alan Zwiebel, Henry Winkler and Marlee Matlin who spoke on overcoming adversity; Mary Lou Quinlan who offered advice on women’s purchasing behaviours; and Shane Decker, a jewellery industry sales training star, spoke as well. President George W. Bush spoke at the close of the show.

Any of the many shows held in Tucson could be of interest to retail jewellers, but three stand out as “must attends”: GJX held in a large, air conditioned tent in downtown Tucson; AGTA GemFair™, at the convention center across the street; and JCK at the Starr Pass Marriott Resort & Spa. Over 300 exhibitors provide AGTA GemFair™ attendees with opportunities to purchase equipment, polished coloured stones, pearls, and finished jewellery of all types. The nearly 500 vendors at GJX sell finished gemstones, jewellery, gem carvings and/or related lapidary equipment and packaging. JCK’s 140-plus exhibitors sell finished jewellery and gemstones. Both the AGTA GemFair™ and JCK offer a variety of seminars and networking opportunities throughout the shows.

Jewellery Highlights

Pinks and blues abounded at all the shows. Also prominent were long chains and chunky bracelets among others.

Helen Serras-Herman
Helen Serras-Herman

Helen Serras-Herman, always a delight to visit at AGTA and a talented gem sculptor, debuted the “Pink Panther,” a 14K yellow gold pendant that can also be worn as a pin. The stone is drusy cobalto-calcite surrounded by a ruby and anthill garnets.

Claude Thibaudeau
Claude Thibaudeau

At Centurion Scottsdale Claude Thibaudeau presented a new twist to his stunning La Royale bridal collection. He has added veritable Princess cut diamonds enhanced in a soft sky blue color. The design features a blend of white and blue Princess cut diamonds set point to point to give a star-like effect.

Rina Limor
Rina Limor

Also at Centurion Scottsdale, at the Rina Limor booth, one of the many pieces in her extensive collection was a pair of earrings showcasing Australian opal doublets emulating a tribal tradition and set in 18K gold.

Caroline C
Caroline C

Moving to GJX, Caroline Chartouni of Caroline C displayed her Asta ring. The AGTA Spectrum Diva Award winner this year, this ring is set in 18K gold and features a 24.15 ct star sapphire accented with diamonds.

Michael John (left), Jack Kelege (right)
Michael John (left), Jack Kelege (right)

Long necklaces and wide bracelets were seen everywhere. Jack Kelege at Centurion Scottsdale was showing this 37-inch stunner of 14K gold with 2.80cts of white diamonds. Michael John (Centurion Scottsdale and AGTA) also featured long necklaces such as this one in 18K rhodiumed gold with a pendant of 3.71cts of rose cut diamonds.

Charles Garnier
Charles Garnier

Charles Garnier exhibited at Centurion Scottsdale where he won the design award in the sterling silver category for his glamour cuff. The 1-inch sterling silver cuff with woven silver strands and simulated diamond accents comes in 3 finishes: sterling silver, two-tone 18K gold and rhodium and rhodium.

Gumuchian
Gumuchian

In the category of whimsy were Gumuchian’s (Centurion Scottsdale) ice cream rings. For the pistachio ring, the main stone is chrysoprase, a rare green form of chalcedony, accented with tsavorites. According to Patricia Gumuchian, chrysoprase is a stone of grace and compassion which facilitates deep meditation and relaxation.

Le Vian
Le Vian

Another whimsical piece was found at LeVian, also at Centurion Scottsdale. This parrot watch is part of LeVian’s Into the Wild™ collection. It features 3.15 ct of Chocolate Diamonds® and Vanilla Diamonds®. The watch also contains 1.57 ct of Forest Green Tsavorite®, Passion Rubies®, and Cornflower Ceylon Sapphires®. The strap is genuine alligator. This is a limited edition piece.

AG Color (left), Constantin Wild (center), Omi Gems (right)
AG Color (left), Constantin Wild (center), Omi Gems (right)

And last but not least, it is always amazing to see the cut stones at the Tucson Shows. AG Color is well known for its quality tanzanite stones and finished jewellery. Constantin Wild at GJX, one of a number of exhibitors in the Idar-Oberstein Pavilion at GJX, specialises in the unusual, as can be seen in the 19ct canary tourmaline shown here. Omi Gems of AGTA showed fine colourful gemstones, including padparadscha sapphires shown.

Mason Kay
Mason Kay

Also at AGTA, Mason-Kay Inc. is known for its exquisite jade such as the fine lavender and green cabs shown.

State of the industry

By most accounts sales were good and there was an increase in buyers at the Tucson shows. Buyers were replacing inventory in many instances which should bode well for the industry in the coming months.

Save the dates

It’s back to the regular schedule for Centurion Scottsdale. The Super Bowl forced a change in dates this year. Centurion Scottsdale will be held from January 31 to February 2, 2016 (www.centurionjewelry.com). JCK is scheduled for February 3-7, 2016 (www.jckonline.com). GJX and AGTA will be open February 2-7, 2016 (www.gjxusa.com; www.agta.org ).

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