Now that I've finished logging all of my purchases from the Tucson Gem Shows, it's time to share with you what I came home with.
This first photo starts (at the top) with some lemon quartz that are the same cut (yes Deb, the same cut!) as the labradorite beads I purchased from my friend Deb. I searched for this cut in any gemstone, but these were the only ones I found. I discovered that it is called a marquis cut. Continuing south, you can see smooth ruby briolettes, moss aquamarine, citrine and something called hydro-quartz in a deep green. Since returning home, and doing some research, I've found out that anything called hydro-quartz is most likely not quartz at all. More likely, it is lab created cubic zirconia. The color did look a little too good to be true. It's still a beautiful "stone" and the price was right. No regrets.
This next photo starts with smooth flat iolite briolettes followed by labradorite, citrine, rutilated quartz (love this) and peach moonstone.
Very special citrine briolettes (they are quite washed out in this photo) are at the top of this last photo. Next is some lovely kyanite, smooth amethyst, prehnite and long tapered and faceted black spinel.
Of course, there are more gems, but I'm running out of patience with this photography stuff. I want to play!
One of the "new" stones to be found all over the gem shows was green cat's eye. It was a pretty shade of green, but it was outrageously expensive. And I'm not quite sure what "new" means in the world of gemstones. Maybe a new mine was discovered.
After attending these shows for about 10 years, I've come away with some insights all my own regarding gemstones and marketing. The emergence of what I call the Alcoholic Quartzes (champagne, whiskey, beer, cognac) several years ago got me thinking. Here's the scenario as I envision it:
Miners are hard at work digging up amethyst (quartz) with plans of heat treating it to make citrine. This is the case with most citrine on the market today, as naturally occuring citrine is quite rare.
They find some low grade amethyst and send it off to the scientists in the lab. It emerges from the heat treatment process in all sorts of wacky golden yellows, not anything like the citrine they were expecting.
A brilliant gemologist declares "it's pretty enough, let's just give it a new name". Voila, the alcoholic quartzes are born.
The world according to Vicki.