[2000] Tucson Gem Show

Hi Loren, Take along some copies of your resale tax certificate
and some business cards this will get you into almost all of the

Happy New Year,

Hi Loren, Take along some copies of your resale tax certificate
and some business cards this will get you into almost all of the

Happy New Year,

Loren, To register at most of the Shows in Tucson, You need a
copy of your State Tax number and a business card, (proof your
business is jewelry related). A few shows (A very few) require a
years worth of what kind of business (money wise) you generate.
My opinion is that is none of their business and I don’t take
mine there. Check the Lapidary Journal for a phone number to the
major shows and they are more than happy to let you know what
they require. Wear good walking shoes and carry a sense of

Marty (Gerry’s other 1/2) he is doing a Yuma show this weekend.
Galarneau’s Gems

    Does my Florida tax number constitute such proof? If not,
what does? 

Bring a copy of your resale licence (giving your tax number) and
a business card. To get into the hard shows, you need to show
additional things–I’m not sure what, though. I’ve never needed
to get into them. Too much else to select from!

Hi Loren,

Most shows require you to show them a copy of a
state/province/municipality tax liscence or business permit. Just
having a number without any supporting documentation isn’t good
enough. Some shows (the retail shows) may accept a business card
or company letterhead.

The Tucson Gem & Mineral Society show, the original show that
started it all over 40 years ago only accepts US currency (or the
equivalent), $5.50, I think. That show is the annual fund raiser
for the Society. Proceeds are used for scholarships for folks in
the geology, mineralogy & related areas.


I’m not sure if the classification “finest dealers” is the
correct one. One thing is for sure, the AGTA show is a majority
of “high end” dealers mostly from NYC and LA. To be in the AGTA
show, you have to be a member of the AGTA and to be a member you
have to have an American location. Many of the same dealers you
will see in the JCK and JA shows. It is the most expensive show to
participate in, thus the prices reflect this. If you are in a
hurry and don’t want to “work” for it, you can buy fine gems
quickly and in a “refined” environment. It is mostly a suit and
tie show (one dealer actually uses a Tuxedo). Many of the AGTA
dealers also have booths in the GLDA (Holiday Inn) Show or the
GJX shows.

Due to the AGTA’s disclosure rules, you can be pretty sure that
the dealer will identify any treatment or enhancement that has
been done to the stones you buy.

If you are willing to “work” for it a little, in the GLDA and
GJX shows, you are pretty likely to run into the suppliers of the
AGTA dealers - thus will buy the same stones at probably a lower
price, buying from their sources.

The GLDA show is in a Hotel with dealers stuck into every nook
and cranny - rooms, corridors, lobby, ballrooms etc. It is very
crowded and the likelihood of you being bumped into as you are
examining that great stone are very favorable. Many of the AGTA
dealers who had back-up spaces in the GLDA show have moved to
the GJX Show. One thing going for the GLDA show is the tendency
to group vendors together - such as a room just for people from
Idar Oberstein, an area for people from Sri Lanka, Uruguay, India

The GJX show is in a very large secure tent with wide carpeted
aisles and space to move around in. There are vendors from all
parts of the world. You can find finished gems, pearls, finished
jewelry, sculptures, gem rough and even while you wait lapidary

All three of the above shows are within very comfortable walking
distance from each other. There are free shuttles that stop at
each of these shows and will take you to most of the other 25 or
so shows.

All three of the above shows are whole-sale only shows. You must
have proof of being in the jewelry business to participate. (For
USA residents that means a business license and copies of
invoices showing proof of prior purchases). The AGTA show is the
most difficult to get into. On the first day the line is
sometimes 2 - 3 hours long.

If you get into the AGTA show, with that badge you are
practically guaranteed getting into all of the other “whole
sale” only shows.

In 1999 there were 29 different shows. This year there may be
more still. Of this total, only maybe four are strict
“wholesale only” shows.

As soon as you get to Tucson, get a copy of the Tucson Show
Guide and see the indexes by show, dealer name, dealer location
and by product.

   I'm very interested in visiting Tucson in February, and I'm
especially interested in finding some opals to make settings
for. I was hoping someone could offer advice on which shows, on
what days, would be the best choices, since I won't be able to
attend more than a couple of days. I know that the big show is
supposed to be from the 10th to the 13th. 

If you only have a few days, come during the week of February
2-8 and go to the three above mentioned shows. There will be
opals in each of them. If you have time left over after these
three shows, go across the freeway to the Motel Shows. You will
have to “work” at it more as these shows are very “eclectic” and
mix more things together.

The show you mention from 10 to 13th of February is the
“Retail,” open to the public, Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. It is
basically “after” the other shows have closed. Lots of good
dealers - of course the prices will be different, as it is a
“retail” show. It also costs about USD$ 5.00 to get in each day.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, I recommend a visit to the
Tucson Show Guide online at
http://www.tucsonshowguide.com/show_index.htm with all of the
on the February 2000 Tucson Shows.

You can even pre register for some of the shows from this web

You will have a listing of all of the exhibitors that are
showing and the locations at which they are showing. If you go to
the individual show page you can find out the company’s booth

If you go to the search page, you can search all of the show
exhibitors, at all of the shows, to find which has a certain
product, or you can search for the same product in only a
specific show, or by country of origin (or state) of the
exhibitor, etc. There is a complete list of all of the products
listed and how they are specifically listed, to aid your search.

Of course the Colored Stone Tucson Show Guide charged each
exhibitor a small amount for its “online” product listings, thus
if a specific company did not pay for the listings, you will find
it on the list of exhibitors and can find out which show it is in
and the booth number, but will not be able to access its list of
products or their address & phone/fax, e-mail, & web-site

Best regards,

Robert Lowe,
Lowe Associates - Brasil
Gemstones, Rough, Specimens
Tucson 3-8 February - GJX # 205
e-mail: @Robert

Thank you Robert for all the great info on Tucson! Only question
left.Where to stay in town that is in close proximity and barely
affordable? If anyone knows let us all in on it!! Thank you and
Happy New Year!! Sonja

Hi Mary, some of the additional things that they ask for aRe: 3
or 4 Invoices from companies that you purchase your supplies
from. In addition to your licences. A really good show is coming
up at the Tupperware Convenion Center in Orlando this coming weekend.
Susan Chastain

Thanks Robert for a Discription of the Shows and the atmosphere,
I am plan on coming and experianceing it first hand , That is If
I ever get my VISA ( I was refused the first time ) I have put it
up for a second try , Well let me keep my mind on the positive
side :slight_smile: Hope to see you there !

Ahmed Shareek

Ahmed Shareek e-mail Shareek@ahmeds.com
Crescent Gems http://www.ahmeds.com/shop

Row 26, Mezzanine floor, Holiday Inn City Center. Bring a copy of a Orchid E-mail to redeem

Dear Robert, Thanks for your comprehensive and frank perusal of
the Tucson shows.Nearly every statement was well thought out and
enlightening, however, your reference to the AGTA disclosure
rules about treatments was humorous, verging on ironic. THERE IS
MOST GEMSTONES. Wherever gemstones are produced, the supply
chain can be infinitely long and is often attended by furtive
maneuvers. The prevailing ethic in this supply chain is silence.
It is up to the buyer to make a judgement about suspected
treatments; the intermediary is often a person who is an
uneducated street hustler who wouldn’t even know what treatment
meant. So when the ultimate buyer in his office in New York City
asks the seller whether the material has been treated, the
seller is more than likely to reply "Gee golly whilikers, I
don’t think so ! " ( sic !) Short of doing very complex
examination using exotic equipment, it just isn’t practical to
discern most treatments. And, if treatment can’t readily be
determined, how can it be policed ? I sincerely believe that the
old Alice in Wonderland tale about “rare is dear” is collapsing
and, rather than perceiving gems as status symbols and
reservoirs of value, people will come to accept them more for
their aesthetic value. I believe that more subtle considerations
will motivate the end consumer .The old fantasies about “crown
jewels” and biggest this or that will be supplanted by intrinsic
beauty and intriguing provenance.None of this is going to happen
overnight, but, the only thing that doesn’t change is change
itself! Ron at Mills Gem , Los Osos, CA.

Ron I missed the initial comment on the AGTA show regarding
disclosure rules but there are ways to determine if a stone has
been treated in many cases and many gem labs are currently
supplying certificates on treatments of gem materials. Of
course, as retailers, we are obligated to disclose the
possibility of treatment in all gem materials that might be
treated. However there are cases where origin can be properly
determined. I deal with a few people who are mine owners who are
able to confirm origin and treatment. I also deal with a lot of
AGTA members (being an affiliate myself) who have been buying
from established sources for years and who know where the
material they purchase is coming from. Are they 100% right?
No, but then they are enough of the time that you should be able
to trust their word. On the other hand, if you buy from people
who have NO interest in disclosure, than you can be assured that
everything you get will be enhanced.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

Whoosh, I don’t want to sound like sour grapes but there are
several very creditable labs in the US that will and do cert
stones as to treatment and origin. There will be lots of these
certed stones at Tucson. The problem as I see it is that most of
these certs will run from between $200 and $600 per stone. See
the problem coming? If you want to spend $300 on a certed
sapphire it just dosen’t work. The GIA for years has said that
they will cert stones as to treatment and origin for $75 but it
just dosen’t happen, their certs (other than diamonds) are vague
with comments like natural sapphire or could show evidance of
oiling, which dosen’t do much. Guess what we need is a good
nickel cigar…


Hi All, As a veteran of the Tucson Shows (I covered them for
years as a writer and editor), let me suggest you take the time
in the next week or two to contact the shows you’re interested in
and pre-register whenever possible. Most will let you fax or
mail the registration info in, and then you can skip some steps
when you get to the show. I know AGTA and GLDA offer this option,
and it’ll save you tons of time when you arrive.

Don’t wait too long though: all shows close out pre-registration
at some point for logistics reasons. You can get the contact
for each of the shows from the Tucson Show Guide.

Oh, and one more hint. If you’re flying in from the East Coast,
the time change will probably land you in Tucson mid-afternoon.
Take advantage of the afternoon hours to register at the shows –
there are long lines in the morning, but you can often walk right
in to register at 4 or 5 p.m. Usually, if you check into your
hotel and go right to AGTA or GLDA, for example, you can get
there in plenty of time to register, and then you’re ready to hit
the show floor first thing in the morning. (AGTA has the longest
lines, so if you only have time to register for one show in the
afternoon, go to AGTA!) Even if you’re pre-registered, afternoon
is a much better time to stop by and pick up your show badge.

Good luck and enjoy your trip!

Suzanne Wade
Phone/Fax 508-339-7366

Daniel, I wouldn’t argue the point that treatment can often be
detected…my point is that it is increasingly difficult for
the independent appraiser and/or jeweler to make that judgement
call short of investing heavily in high tech equipment, spending
excessive money on laboratory examination and /or delegating
responsibility to others for documenting and validation. The
future is a product of trends; if we are to plan ahead ,we have
to make judgment calls about what is probably going to
happen.Artificial enhancement and replication of gems has been a
rapidly proliferating trend and, we are now on the threshold of
perfecting imperfections so that the synthetic gem can be more
readily confused with the natural. Behold, the age of the
virtual gemstone !

It is pointless for any of us to take a stand as to where the
path leads, but it is essential that each of us be aware of what
has and is taking place. Change is assured.

Beyond the foregoing considerations, I would call your attention
to another trend which has taken firm foothold in Western
Societies and that is the informalization of dress. If you look
at the attire of our Silicon Valley techies, many of whom are
millionaires, you would think that getting dressed at all is out
the window ! How does this relate to our industry? To me it
suggests that the world has become more democratic and
homogenous and that class distinctions are no longer "de riguer"
Flying business class is more a matter of comfort and self
indulgence than it is a symbol of status otherwise those who use
it would be wearing suits and ties. As a matter of fact, display
of wealth is a mark of stupidity inasmuch as it makes you a
target for assault.

As I see it, the indisputable role of the modern jeweler is that
of creating objects which symbolize relationships which bind
people together. Furthermore, because of that role, it behooves
us to create things which identify the wearer as a person of
good taste;it goes without saying that these objects must also
give good value and long service. There is a suggestion that all
of the foregoing considerations portend a diminished role for
jewelry; no matter, if you do your job well you will probably
thrive! Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.

Ron, Well I still dress in suits on Saturdays at my store
(granted they are handmade by a tailor who makes suits based on
suits from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s) so I am not sure that your
argument about the direction of clothes is the right one to make
here. You also seem to be denigrating the value of the
merchandise you actually sell. If we all say none of these gems
have any value than what the hell are we selling here. Surely I
cannot justify the price of any stone if we decide that all of
them must be worthless as there are too many synthetics on the
market. Please don’t get me wrong here. I have been talking
about disclosure to my customers for 25 years, far longer than
any other jewelers that I know of. The AGTA didn’t even exist
back then, but I still was telling customers about how the agates
I sold then were treated. And when we are in doubt about
treatment we always tell the customer to assume that it is
treated. We also inform every customer interested in amethyst
that we cannot guarantee natural origin as there are so many
synthetics on the market today. HOWEVER there are ways to
determine treatments. Labs like the GIA will always make a point
of researching and proving treatments (ie look at the uproar over
the color enhanced diamonds released on the market by Lazare
Kaplan this year–and the subsequent research done.) I would love
to be able to sell all my pieces solely on romantic value as you
suggest, but,and I am real sorry to tell you this, none of my
customers would accept this. I wouldn’t expect them to either.
You have to be able to justify your price in all ways—by the
design, craftsmanship AND materials. I also think your prediction
of the death of high end merchandise sales is a bit premature.
People who have money—including those badly dressed
millionaires–still want to buy something they can show
off–even if it means wearing it on a work shirt. This year in
the retail industry has certainly reflected that. I might also
like to point out to you that the crime rate is down in the
country as a whole and I know very few people who are
overwhelmingly concerned about wearing their jewels out. It has
also seemed to reach the point where so many people have so much
money that many who 5 or 10 years ago would never have spent 5-10
thousand on a piece will now willingly do so. All of this comes
from a guy with a store in Cambridge Massachusetts–you know the
Republic of Cambridge–the only city in the country that had a
spontaneous joyous demonstration when Richard Nixon resigned–a
city where if you don’t look weird you don’t fit in–and one
where I regularly have to tell the people that no I cannot make
the 4 ct diamond they own look smaller.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

Im, Thanks for documenting the certification problem which I
have raised in this same sequence of discussions. Now we are
going to have to get down to considering how to deal with this
dilemma. For the time being, the jury is out, but I have a hunch
that we are on the verge of a big shakeout wherein some heads
will roll and others will rise to the occaision. As ever, change
challenges…Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.

Hi All, I’m going to Tucson, probably arriving Jan. 31st or Feb.
1st. The person I was going with who was pulling a trailer for
us to stay in, now can’t go and I’m wondering if anyone (female)
is looking for a roommate. I don’t have reservations anywhere
and know it is too late to get them. If anyone has suggestions
about a place to stay or would like a roommate please let me know
off line. Thanks, Jan McClellan @jan

I’d bet that all the best-priced and best-located rooms are
fully booked; however, the reservation sites like expedia.com and
travelocity.com are still showing some rooms that can be reserved
online, especially in the chains like econolodge and comfort inn.

Suzanne Wade <suwade@ici.net> said: ...pre-register whenever

Hi everyone! Pre-registering is indeed the best way to go.

The pre-registration for the AGTA GemFair in Tucson (at the
Tucson Convention Center February 2-7) was extended, but will end
this Friday, January 7, 2000.

If you need a registration form, travel or lodging assistance, or
on educational seminars in Tucson please get your FAX
number to me as quick as you can… and I’ll get the form (or
other info) right to you.

James Marker <@James_Marker2>
AGTA phone: 800-972-1162 or 214-742-4367
AGTA fax: 214-742-7334 or 214-741-5010

PS - I know many of you from having previously been the Manager
of GIA Online Education and Sevices, but I now work for the
American Gem Trade Association… please be sure to stop by and say hi when you’re in Tucson!

statements which you have taken exception with, and, in many
cases, completely mis-construed. In your latest letter you start
out with reference to the fact that you wear trendy, tailor made
suits on some Saturdays and you go on to say that ,because you
do, it may not be fair to suggest that the rest of the world has
gone casual. I simply fail to see any logic here.
You go on to say that I seem to be denigrating the value of the
merchandise that I actually sell. Well, since you do not know the
merchandise that I sell, how can you say that I am denigrating it
? The fact is that I am very careful about the merchandise that I
sell. It has to bear up under the scrutiny of a qualified
appraiser, it has to bear promise of durability for the
purchaser, any treatment has to be disclosed and it has to
represent good value to the consumer. Furthermore, most of the
stones I sell are ones which I have acquired at the source
starting with rough which I have had cut. If I don’t have what
the customer needs I then go to my supplier which is Stuller. I
go to Stuller because I know of no other company which can even
come close to them when it comes to integrity, service and depth
of stock. Your next statement ,“If we say that none of these gems
has any value then what the hell are we selling here!” I have
simply never made a statement to that effect. I have, however,
suggested that adulterated gems should never be represented as
having the same value as the ones which have been doctored. I
think that it is important at this point to clarify some of the
considerations involved. When the term enhanced is used it can
have a very wide range of connotations. Literally, enhancement
could be a simple matter of cutting the rough stone which, in
turn, enhances the beauty of the natural rough. Tumble polishing
agates is a form of enhancement. On the other hand, when you use
various methods of concealing fractures, you are disguising
defects which could bear heavily on the durability and value of
the stone, in which case, in the absence of disclosure, you are
perpetrating a fraud. I hope that you will see that I am not out
to wield an axe, but, rather, that I am concerned about
directions in which the industry seems to be heading. Morality
and ethics seem to be becoming outmoded concepts. The prevalence
of misrepresentation in all phases of our lives is more and more
evident. Cheating in college exams is taken for granted and lying
on employment applications is something that is assumed. Commerce
without conscience is what it is all about and that kind of
thinking is the catalyst for destruction of the industry.

Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.