The Tucson Gem Show attracts gem dealers and jewelry professionals from all over the world, including professional gem cutters from the Idar-Oberstein region in Germany, stone dealers from India, and dealers in Chinese freshwater pearls. This year, it was 17 degrees below zero in Tucson, Arizona—the lowest temperature on record! A lot of the vendors set up in tents outdoors, and they all sat around huddling. Despite the cold, it was an excellent show, and gave me a glimpse of what’s going to be “in” for jewelry this year.
Moonstone has been trending for the past few years, and is now stronger than ever. It seemed as if every other booth featured moonstones in their jewelry design! Really fine moonstones have a blue shade that’s hard to get – and I saw a lot of stones that weren’t so blue among the new materials.
I saw a tremendous amount of Chinese freshwater pearls showcased in a lot of new jewelry. Pearls have been big in the jewelry market for a while, but they’re producing more than ever now. At first, Chinese freshwater pearls were inexpensive, but that’s not the case anymore; the pearls keep getting larger and larger and better and better.
I love it when old stones come back to the forefront. Spinel was an overlooked stone that we’ve seen a lot in antique jewelry, and now it’s being revitalized in contemporary jewelry. It’s always nice to see that.
The Skinner Fine Jewelry department attends the Tucson Gem Show every year to keep on top of the market and become more knowledgeable on what to look out for in terms of good, natural material. New simulants and synthetic stones are constantly coming on the market, and it’s getting harder to detect synthetic enhancements. One thing I love about estate and antique jewelry is that the stones were all natural!
Due to the cold and snow, my flight got cancelled, but I eventually made it home with some nice new material, including a really interesting ruby, to include in our upcoming Fine Jewelry auction on March 15th.
I’d love to know: which of these three jewelry market trends are you most excited about? What else is up and coming in fine jewelry? Leave your comments below.