Tucson Gem Show 2024 in Review - Moriartys Gem Art
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  • Tucson Gem Show 2024 in Review

    by Jeff Moriarty February 04, 2024

    Summary

    Steve Moriarty, from Tucson, Arizona, shared his experiences at the world's largest gem and mineral show, which attracts international visitors and spans over 40 separate events. Having been there for 10 days, with most shows starting recently, Morty and his team set appointments to secure the best selections early. Highlights include acquiring a large morganite from Mozambique, expected to cut into a significant gem, and a sizeable tanzanite. They also sourced new Parado from Tanzania, fancy tanzanite, London blue topaz, and other gems.

    Moriarty mentioned staying at Lowe's Ventana Canyon and enjoying a concert by Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Eric Johnson. The team bought Pakistani Peridot with exceptional colors and cuts, and opals from Ethiopia, noted for their quality and value. Other purchases included rainbow moonstones, amethysts, blue zircons from Cambodia and Malawi, meteorites, men's rings with meteorite inlays, Molly Garnets, and Zimbabwean sapphires and aquamarines, the latter being a new discovery for them.

    Morty observed a significant increase in gem prices but considered the trip successful. The visit also included a memorable encounter with two bobcats near their accommodation, adding a unique touch to their Tucson 2024 experience. Morty invites visits to their websites for more on their gem and jewelry offerings.

    Transcription

    Speaker 1 (00:05):

    Hi, Steve Morty here from beautiful Tucson, Arizona, where it's going to be an 80 degree day today. Hopefully you have weather as well wherever you're at. We're here at the world's largest gem and mineral show, which actually encompasses over 40 separate gem and mineral shows. We come out here and meet the people as they come in because this draws people from countries all around the world. And we set up appointments before the shows. We've already been here for 10 days and most of the shows just started in the last couple of days. So we make appointments, meet with them, because our goal is to see 'em first and get the best of what they've got. And we had a really, really good show. We found a lot of good things starting with our first day. We dealt with a good friend of ours. We were actually with him in Kenya, actually it was Tanzania back in October, and he's recently come back from both Bangkok, Thailand and Tanzania and Kenya and brought some great stuff.

    (01:16)
    And some of the things I bought were a really large morganite. This actually comes from Mozambique, but this stone is 745 carrots in the rough. So I'm expecting 300 plus carrot. Morganite, never seen one that big. Personally. They may exist, but it's the largest I've ever seen. Should cut a trillion or a shield, just a remarkable gem is what I'm expecting. So also bought a large tanzanite that's going to cut somewhere in the 40 karat range, and we've got some new parado. This material is coming out of Pakistan, sorry, out of Tanzania. It's called Gogo, which is named after some of the local Tanzanians. It's a group called the Gogos, and so they named the Parado. They're mining after that. So it's a little different color. I'm expecting it to be grate stones. Most of the material will cut two three Kara stones, but we found some really large ones up to 40 karats in the rough.

    (02:27)
    So you would expect somewhere 10 to 15 karat finish stones, which for this material is remarkably large in my understanding. We also got some fancy tanzanite, some blue topaz, London, blue topaz, some rines. So our first stay was out at the Lowe's Vanana Canyon. We stayed out there. It's really a beautiful place. Unfortunately, we worked all day, so we really didn't have a chance to enjoy it. But if you ever come out here, it's just a beautiful place to stay. Next, Michael bought some Chinese minerals and that night we went out to see Joe Satriani who was playing with Steve Va and Eric Johnson. So that was an incredible night for us. We love guitar, so we had a little bit of entertainment other than gems out here. The next thing we bought was Pakistani Parado. Our Pakistani supplier had some remarkably cut stones. I mean beautiful cutting mint greens as well as the typical Pakistani greens.

    (03:42)
    Just some of the best colors and cuts that we've had from this supplier. We also met a new supplier of Pakistani rough. He had one piece that was just incredible, weighed over 115 carrots. Just the cost of it just kind of kept me away from it. Had great color, would've cut a 50 60 carrots down. People have told me later that I probably should have bought it because that size stone just brings big money, but the cost was big money, so I avoided it and bought some of the smaller stuff that's going to cut from probably eight to 15 karat size. But again, the colors are remarkable. So next we bought one of my favorite gems, which is the opal coming out of Ethiopia. Our supplier is one of the best, and what he had this time was just incredible stones. So we probably bought another thousand carats of opal.

    (04:38)
    I continue to buy opal because I think it's some of the finest opal on the planet, and the prices are incredible when you can get a top gem quality opal, 10 carat plus for a hundred a carrot that's very, very inexpensive in the opal market. So we've got a lot of that to show you. We also bought some rainbow moons down this material. I think we bought an 11 karat piece, and just the colors in them are pretty extraordinary. We've done real well with it. So we bought three pieces of that. We also bought some amite amite. I wasn't going to buy this time, but of course as you take a look at things, you go, holy mackerel, that's an amazing piece. So I did buy a few more amite and Michael bought some bigger specimens. Blue zircons is what we did remarkably well with.

    (05:31)
    We bought Cambodian material, which is very well priced in stones that are probably three to 10 karat sizes. And then we bought from the new source in Malawi. Malawi produces amazingly deep colors in small stones, and our supplier really does great cutting. So to get small stones, great cut, things that aren't cut too deep, which blue zir on is often cut on the deep side. But this material from Malawi, the way the rough is, it cuts like a normal faceted stone. No extra depth, but still in incredible color. We bought meteorites. Michael got some bigger specimens. I bought a few cut pieces that we'll make into jewelry, and I also bought some men's rings. I bought four men's rings set in sterling silver, quite inexpensive. And they're centerpiece, of course, is the manna luta meteorites. I bought some Molly Garnets, this rough, remarkably big sizes.

    (06:44)
    I mean, I've got a piece that probably will cut over 10 carat, and I've never had a Molly Garnet, probably over three carat in size, so that will be something we'll see in the future. Sphe bought one darker. We'll see how it looks. Kind of a gamble just sometimes you're dealing with the lights out here and you don't know exactly how it's going to appear in your lighting, but beautiful. Cut and looked great. We'll see when we get it home. Zimbabwe's fiends. Now these are remarkable. The color is just amazing. The dispersion should be great. And when we got these back to the hotel, just the color was just super. And also from the same source we bought Aquamarines, some of the deepest color aquas that I've ever owned, which I didn't even realize that Zimbabwe was a source of Aquamarines. And a little shout out thanks to Maria for turning us onto this source because this particular supplier didn't even put 'em out. They were underneath the counter and he was a little reluctant to show her, but Maria talked him into letting us see him and just thrilled with what we got.

    (08:06)
    Sapphires, our regular supplier from Sri Lanka. We make every attempt to see him first. Then we got a really good selection. Yellows one big yellow, I'm not sure how big it was. Almost five karat, some pinks, some peach color bicolor kind of pinkish red to blue, something I've never seen before, as well as some other bi colors and yellows and greens. Not sure what other colors. Well, we got some fine blues of course. So those are the highlights, but there's many, many other gems. We bought tanzanite and turmo lanes, just a wide variety of stones. One note about pricing out here. Pretty remarkable how high some of the prices have gone. I gave my Michael and Jeffrey Specialites before the show for Christmas and come out here and see what the price of Specialites is. It's amazing. 600 to a thousand a carat for spec, tight garnets, and many, many other gems.

    (09:25)
    The prices have just gone up dramatically. You can almost go through the list and of gems, and they've all gone up significantly. But it's been a great trip out here. We've got this beautiful place we came to stay in, and the first day here, we right out back, we first saw some scat. We weren't sure what it was. And then we look up and here's two bobcats. I mean literally 20 feet from us, and kind of shocked me a little bit. I didn't realize they were quite as big as they are, but we haven't seen them since. But that was a fun start to the trip. So this is Tucson 2024. It's been a great trip. So visit us@moregems.com. Tanzanite jewelry designs.com, mothers family rings.com, and mineral mic.com.

    Jeff Moriarty
    Jeff Moriarty

    Jeff Moriarty has been in the jewelry industry for almost 20 years. His family now only owns a retail jewelry store in Crown Point, Indiana, but he also travels the world with his father in search of rare gemstones.

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