Just Back from the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show!

I spent the better part of last week shopping for Bead World (and myself!) at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. Proximity to the largest gem show in the world is certainly an advantage for our stores. We drive in to Tucson, stay a few nights and drive home with a van stuffed full of gems, pearls, sterling silver beads and findings, handmade glass and so much more for our clients. In addition, we have the opportunity to interact with amazing vendors and exchange an incredible amount of information about jewelry design and the beading industry. The folks from Nina Designs, Pegasus Findings, Dakota Stones, Hands of the Hills and Bead Palace are among our best bead show friends. If you encounter them at a show, buy with confidence. And tell them that the Bead World gals say Hi!
My favorite area to focus on is always gemstone beads, and this show was no exception! Every show seems to have “standout stones”; gemstones that are abundant, well priced and particularly beautiful. My favorites for Tucson February 2010 are:
* Tanzanite: This glorious little lavender stone made an amazing comeback this year. All of the sudden, it’s everywhere! Gorgeous faceting, luminous smooth cuts, tiny, huge… You name it, it was available, and for prices that blew my mind!

* Moonstone: It has already been labeled “the stone of the season” by those who get to decide these things. I’m afraid I have to agree with them. The quality of the moonstone available this year was really exciting. We bought, literally, everything we could find.

* Sapphire: Okay, so everyone loves sapphire all the time. I know. But when we can sell large faceted sapphire rondelles in our retail stores for under $100.00 per 16 inch strand, we have a truly wonderful situation.
Go, my friends, go forth and bead! Make gorgeous, sparkly gemstone treasures! And let me know… What are your current favorites?
Much love,
Lezli

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