Friday, February 8, 2019

Tucson days 5 & 6

I'm home now but wanted to finish up my blog posts.  To start day 5 we had to go to the Pueblo show to pick up my package of half drilled earring pairs.  On the way in we checked out the tents that have REALLY nice minerals and crystals.  Here are some of the cool things we saw.

Gorgeous lapis                                                               Beautiful wood pieces with inlaid turquoise
   A beautiful petrified wood bowl                                           Awesome amethyst and other crystals
A cool looking crystal slice - polished and beautiful!
We picked up the earring pairs and on the way out I stopped at a European Closeout booth and got this booty at a good price.  My mom picked up a $10 grab bag full of various jaspers, rhodonite, unakite and some other mystery gemstone beads.

Red jasper, howlite, malachite holed rings (or squares) and black onyx drops
I also stopped at Chili Jewels again to check out the earring pairs.  My mom spotted them yesterday and I totally missed them.  We sorted through over a LOT of pairs and found these beauties.

Half drilled larimar earring pairs
Next was a lunch stop.  We got some caffeine and chocolate (and my mom got a sandwich) at Starbucks and I got a veggie sandwich at Safeway.

Then it was time to visit AGTA and GJX.  This was opening day for those shows.  If you wonder how big these places are think of a warehouse in a tent.  Here is an aerial picture of the GJX tent.


In years past both venues were packed on opening day.  That has not been the case for several years now.  I actually don't mind since it is much easier to get around where there are not mobs of people.  I don't know if people just spread out their time now or if fewer people are showing up.  We started at AGTA.  Once we got our badges, we headed downstairs to check out the vendors and the exhibits.  The Smithsonian always has some very cool items (gemstone related) on display. I always stop by to see Taj since they often have some interesting cuts of gemstones.  I didn't find anything really interesting but I did get these.

Coated pyrite, some multi-gemstone strands and lab cubic zirconia in a gold color and very sparkly
Then we went across the street to GJX.  I didn't have a ton of time so I hit the vendors I needed to see first.  We started at A-One Stones.  I knew they had small, black spinel strands at a really good price and I was hoping they would have some interesting cuts as well.  I spent quite a bit of time here picking out strands for myself and sending pictures and choosing strands for Annette of Annette Piper Jewelry.  She is in Australia so my afternoon is a perfect time for her to do virtual gemstone shopping.  Here I am messaging with her and picking out strands for both of us.

And some shots of all the beautiful gemstones in their booth.

And finally Naresh and the woman who helped me keep everything together and helped find me more things to buy :).  Unfortunately I forgot to write down her name and it is now gone from my memory bank. 

And here are the pretties I got!

Black spinel, green onyx and carnelian in various shades.
Amethyst flattened and twisted pillows, tiny iolite, chrysoprase, larimar and tiny blue lace agate

Garnet, neon apatite and aquamarine
Next we went to the 3rd Best in Gems booth for the week. They have 4 booths during the gem show but the 4th doesn't open until GJX closes. I got more earring pairs. This booth had marcasite pairs which are really pretty! Some pyrite and quartz in various patterns that look beautiful.

Turquoise and marcasite                                                Blue topaz, ametrine and azurite

And, just to give you a feel for what you see as you walk down rows and rows in these venues, here is a shot down the short dimension of the GJX tent.  Gemstones on tables and in cases as far as the eye can see .....  I should have gotten a picture of a booth with plates full of gemstones (diamonds, emeralds, rubies, ...) sitting on top of their display case.  Needless to say there are a lot of security personnel wandering around as well.

On the way out we saw the beautiful gemstone carvings made by Peter Muller.  I love these flamingos.

And that was it for day 5.  We had dinner with a long time friend and I was pretty tired so this blog post is quite late.

Day 6 was short. We had 2 hours to shop.  We started at the JG&M Simpson street booth.  I thought I would be able to shop at Best In Gems (I still needed some black rutilated quartz pairs that I didn't have time to shop for the day before) but their booth was empty.  I obviously misunderstood the BIG folks at GJX when they said they wouldn't be their until the show closed.   So I checked out a few of the other booths and made one last stop to say good bye to Toyo at his booth. I did a quick check for green kyanite and found a strand of nice blade style beads.

And here we are with Toyo for a final picture.

Then we caught a shuttle van back to the convention center and went back into GJX.  We did a final visit at Best In Gems and got these pretty pairs.

Marcasite, black rutilated quartz, sonoran jasper and chrysocolla
And that is it for my Tucson visit!  We headed back to the airport and flew back to San Diego.  I'll be designing with a lot of these beauties soon so keep an eye on my cserpentDesigns web page and my cserpentDesigns Facebook page.  I update both of those pages first with my new designs and I sell first on Facebook.  If designs don't sell on Facebook then they show up in my Zibbet shop. I hope you enjoyed following my shopping adventures in Tucson!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Tucson day 4

It was raining in the morning, cleared up a bit, dumped on us during lunch and then cleared up for most of the evening. We got a few spits on the car as we drove home but nothing big.  But enough about the weather!

We started the day at the Pueblo show.  My first stop here is at Yau Shing Gems.  I have a GREAT time shopping for half drilled (and sometimes front drilled) beads - mainly for earrings.  Due to issues they had taking credit card payments in the booth I had to leave my pile of pretties with them overnight.  I'll pick them up first thing in the morning.  I can't share pictures of all the pretties I bought but I did take some pictures of the booth and of the gals who helped me with pricing, finding specific gemstones and anything else they could.

     Calibrated cabachons

Louisa and Annie at Yau Shing Gems

                                                                                                 The many half drilled and front drilled bead packages along
                                                                                                with strand beads at Yau Shing Gems.

While the folks at Yau Shing tallied up my invoice my mom and I went out for lunch.  We thought we would be finished with lunch before the rain came - but we were wrong!  It dumped on us during lunch.  Fortunately we were under an umbrella and did not get drenched.  A few rain splatters but that was it.

And here are the pairs I bought.  I just took a picture of one of each, but, in most cases, there were 5 pairs in each package.

Our next stop was at Chili Jewels where you can find some wonderful larimar!  I got a beautiful cabachon for another jewelry designer and some strands of small larimar and apatite for me. 


This is Patrick at Chili Jewels who helped me do                         My little larimar and apatite beads
show and tell with the various cabs that my friend
had to choose from (via phone messaging)            

We left the Pueblo show, made a stop at Starbucks by the Costco (Kino and I-10).  From there we headed for the Electric Park show.  Well that's what I call it since that's what it was called for many years.  Now it is officially the Kino Gem and Mineral Show.  I hoped to see the giant slabs of opal that another gal saw but I either missed them or they sold.  We did see many other interesting things!

Mexican Purple Opal which I LOVE                                                       I don't know what this is

Dinosaur bone                                                       
                                                                                                       And another stone I don't know the name of

Mom in front of a fossil with trilobites                                            And a cool ocean critter fossil

Another mystery stone                                                                       Agate planters

Labrodorite rough!!! The flash is beautiful!

Awesome metal work! Isn't that donkey cute! I love his expression. And the cactus and javelinas are darling!

Visiting with another of my favorite vendors World Bead Mine

Mom checking out the petrified wood                       

Here are some of the gems I got.

Some nice peacock pearls                                                                   Pretty cloisonne and HALF DRILLED
                                                                                                            BEADS!!!  I don't find them often in Tucson
                                                                                                            Though you can't tell I got nice lapis, onyx,
                                                                                                            amethyst and hematite.  Probably 8mm


Peridot carved melon beads, NICE biwa stick pearls and carved, mother of pearl wing pairs.

That was it for the gem shows but I did meet up with an online friend who I had never, before, met in person.

Here are Kelly and I in front of the Sunny Daze Cafe where we and our moms ate.  It was fun to finally meet her in person after "knowing" her online for several years.

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