Last updateWed, 20 May 2020 12am

Tucson AGTA GemFair wrap up! The inside scoop

At ground zero for colored gemstones, the show of shows, AGTA GemFair Tucson fulfilled expectations and beyond! We had a great show with a steady flow of customers, old and new, friends and well-wishers. We gave a sneak peak of our new Aria Emerald Collection and are launching several exciting new ventures based on contacts made at the show.

Tucson is a great place to connect with suppliers and clients. Against the backdrop of incredible Southwest scenery, you can entertain clients at your choice of restaurants, from Chinese and Thai to Indian and of course Tex-Mex! The American Gem Society Glow party was a fun venue and great place to connect.

MiaAward winning designer/columnist Mia Katrin checking out the local Arizona flora after the show.

We were thrilled to present our all-star panel discussion, “Selling Superstar Stories...Inside the Designer’s Mind”, with Paula Crevoshay, Lika Behar, Chi Galatea Huynh and John Ford, to a full house of retailers and designers who responded with enthusiastic active audience participation spilling over the after the presentation and continuing at the booths of the presenters! Audio versions of the memorable event will be available soon, contact AGTA for details.

Mia LajaSarah Laja exploring fancy sapphires.“Tucson in the jewelry industry refers not just to a place, but to a time, a group of people, and for most, an annual ritual. People work all year long in far flung places across the world, mining and cutting treasures, then partake in this once-a-year pilgrimage to bring them all to one place at one time. I saw unheated fancy sapphires from the miners in Sri Lanka; boulder opals hunted for and cracked before my eyes from Australia; rare abalone pearls dived for off the West coast in the USA. I visited the Brazilian miners who sold me tourmaline crystals last year and showed them the gems I cut, and the jewels I crafted from them and saw their eyes go big. One said, ‘I knew it could look like that...’  Tucson is the chance to be surrounded by the greatest gems on earth, and what’s more, all the people united by our love of them.”

Sarah Laja
Wild Gems
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Mia NovakRobert Strouf Novak visiting the Somewhere in the Rainbow Collection, sporting gem glasses by Erica Courtney.“I found the energy and excitement at the 2019 Tucson Gem show this year was at a fever pitch. Adding the Designer Showcase upstairs at AGTA was such a great idea. These top notch designers, many of which are AGTA Spectrum award winners, were able to show off their newest jewelry pieces. Seeing the phenomenal jewelry and gemstones featured at the Somewhere in the Rainbow Collection, curated by Shelly Sergent was one of my highlights. Best of all was that I was able to have a successful meeting with Greenland Ruby’s VP of Sales, Haley Henning, and look forward to designing jewelry with the World’s Oldest Ruby deposit on earth very soon.”

Robert Strouf Novak
Novak Gems & Jewelry
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Mia FordJohn Ford’s 2019 AGTA Buyer’s Choice winner featuring Lightning RIdge black opals.“The AGTA show lived up to expectations as discriminating buyer traffic was brisk. Some trends I see for 2019-20 are continued strong demand for blue and green gemstones. Our strongest seller was blue/green black opal, both set and loose. Our Spectrum Award winning necklace with blue/green black opals, tsavorites, sapphires and diamonds no doubt influenced our buyers. Overall I see more smaller independent retail buyers looking to add quality color gems, like our Australian opals, to their inventories.”

John Ford
Lightning Ridge Collection
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Note: Congratulations to John who won the Buyer’s Choice Award at the Spectrum Awards Gala!


Mia smithBrenda Smith exhibited at the new look Designer Showroom.“This year’s AGTA show in Tucson was a breath of fresh air. The traffic was non-stop. The attendees were well qualified and the designer section ambiance was like walking on a cloud with the bright, white theme carried throughout in the carpeting, drapes and showcases, creating a welcoming, spacious and prestigious environment. Personally, it was my best show yet. I continue to follow up on the leads and interest generated. I’ve already committed to exhibiting next year and look forward to the upturn in interest both in the industry and the prestigious venue.” 

Brenda Smith
Brenda Smith Jewelry
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Mia Katrin is an award-winning jewelry designer featured in over 100 top stores nationally. She is available for lectures and seminars. To add her Collections or book a lecture: www.jeweljewel.com, 877-539-3569, facebook.com/MiaKatrinforJEWELCOUTURELLC, subscribe to her YouTube channel www.youtube.com/channel/UC2B-53XBuB_HD5-bofc5jAA