Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Favorite Color Combos

Going gem shopping, for me, isn't only about chasing down the nicest and most unusual gems.  It can also be about finding colors that work well with my designs or my other gems.  I get very exited when I find a bright 1.2mm melee gem that still pops, like the amethyst I recently added to some of my designs.  Amethyst may not be an exiting stone, but having purple melee IS exciting.

So one thing I'll be looking for, both in Tucson and other upcoming shows, is more melee for my halos, petals, and earrings that take smaller gems.  I'm also going to look for gem colors that complement the colors I love.

Here are some color layouts I have been playing with that I really like.  The first shows some possible layouts for my nine stone ring, using zircon, tanzanite chrysoberyl and tsavorite.  The second is a mix of four different color sapphires, a mint, a tsav, and a tourmaline.

Tsavorite, Zircon, Tanzanite, Chysoberyl

Sapphire, Tsavorite, Mint Garnet, Tourmaline

Another interesting color to work with is purple.  I like seeing it with greens or pinks.  The first layout pairs a tanzanite with color change garnets, then two sapphires, then with hauynite and rhodolite.  Then I added spinel and then purple sapphire and alexandrite.

Tanzanite and Color Change Garnet

Tanzanite and Sapphire

Tanzanite, Hauynite and Rhodolite
Spinel, Purple Garnet and Tanzanite

Unheated Tanzanite, Alexandrite, Purple Sapphire
And here is a pretty blue, green, and purple combo that I recently made.  This is spinel, emerald and amethyst. Then Tsavorite garnet and Zircon. And more...

Spinel, Emerald, Amethyst
Tsavorite, Zircon
Zircon and Mint Garnet (or was it emerald?)

Zircon and Demantoid

Burmese spinel are also a fun design challenge.  Aside from yellow, you can add a chrysoberyl or a minty stone (I think that was a lighter Paraiba).

Spinel and Paraiba

Spinel And Chrysoberyl
Or you can go all out and mix every color. Can you guess what they are?

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Tucson: The List

I don't think I've been this excited about a trip in a very long time - not even my Christmas trip home to Germany and France.  Going to Tucson is just different.  And expensive, lol.

I am slowly assembling a list of gems I want to look for.  Here is my progress.  Additional suggestions are welcome - if you have a specific order, let me know, suggestions are just that, I won't hold you to buying anything.  :)

Paraiba: Anything reasonable, but only from Brazil.  Melees.1-2mm rd.

Paraiba and Spinel

Emerald and Hauynite
Hauynite: 1-2mm round melee, maybe one larger piece (meaning 3mm or so).  They break easily so the investment is not a good one.

Burma Spinel: Melees and small baguette, there isn't likely to be anything larger that's good but I'll look.

Vietnamese Spinel: Matched pairs, elongated pear shape, lavender.  Maybe a color changer.  They also have pinks from Vietnam, nice color, no grey but less vibrant than Mahenge.  With Mahenges disappearing from the market, at least for the moment, I may buy though.

Vietnamese Cobalt Spinel: There isn't likely to be much, I heard there was little or no production.  But I will look.

Sapphire: Blue pairs, always. rich purple, color change, cool shapes.  Maybe stars (I could use thoughts on that, I'm iffy about whether I should buy).  Only no heat Ceylon of course, probably no other sapphire for me.  Melee - last year I got these nice lavender melees that I use a lot.  I will look for that seller, he also had the teal green rounds.

Purple Sapphire and Paraiba Tourmaline

Ruby: Maybe one or two pieces.  Madagascan has a nice blood red color.  So that's a thought.  Maybe a ruby star?

Aqua: Looking for nice baguette shapes.  At the moment aqua supply is low.  Prices have jumped up a bit.

Sphene: I'm totally out, but I will probably have to go for Sri Lankan stuff, which has more orange tones in it.

Tourmaline, other: not high on the list but if I see something nice I'm game.  Indicolite would be good.  Or a light seafoam color.  Afghani material.

Other: anything matched elongated pear (i.e. tourmaline).  Any other cool baguette shapes for my new pieces, larger ones for earrings.

What I'm not prioritizing: emerald (my supplier is in NY and last year nobody in Tucson had anything reasonable), Mahenge, Tsavorite, Mint and other Garnet (my supplier is also here).

There are three people I want to get to on the first day (tall order).  There is always a mad rush for the booths with more rare goods or good prices.  I remember one booth where I know the owner was over run.  You couldn't see anything.  Lucky for me that I knew them, so I put aside a small tray for myself and told them to do the invoice the end of the day.

Larger companies,like online retailers, often show up on the first day and buy a lot. They buy in big gobs and they seem to prefer to grab entire productions of something to corner the market.  That's what I saw in Tucson last year anyway.  Other companies send scouts, or hire gem buyers, to get them their goods.  So for certain things, there can be competition among buyers.  Other things seem to hang out the entire show and nobody buys them.  The trick is not to get caught up in the mad rush.

Vietnamese and Burma Spinel

Red Tourmaline

Again, let me know what, if anything, might be on the list.