Early Edition: Inside the 2017 AGTA GemFair Las Vegas



The AGTA GemFair Las Vegas opens a day before the JCK show, giving buyers plenty of time to cherry-pick


Nowhere is the
phrase You snooze, you lose more fitting than at a gem show, where a wide selection of fine, one-of-a-kind stones rewards the earliest of birds. Keep that in mind at JCK Las Vegas this month.

The American Gem Trade ­Association (AGTA) GemFair Las Vegas opens in the South Pacific and Islander ballrooms of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center June 4, one day before the rest of the show, precisely so that buyers are relieved of competing distractions. GemFair runs through June 8.

“Our first day in Las Vegas is always killer,” says AGTA CEO Doug Hucker. “You can’t talk to anybody—there’s lots of action taking place.”

This year, the buzz will center on one very obvious category of color: “With Greenery being the Pantone color of the year, people are looking at greens,” Hucker says. “Peridot’s going to be good, and tsavorite. But I see emerald benefiting the least of all the green stones—there’s not as much production and it’s more expensive.”

Other topics on the gem trade’s collective agenda include a new blue sapphire find in Madagascar and growing demand for sustainable products. For more on the latter, don’t miss “The Supply Chain for Colored Gemstones: Challenges and Opportunities,” a panel discussion about transparency in the gemstone trade moderated by Cecilia Gardner, former president, CEO, and general counsel of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee. The panel, which takes place on June 5 (1–1:45 p.m., Tradewinds C/D), features Hucker speaking alongside representatives of the mining company Gemfields and the Responsible Jewellery Council.


Pictured: peridot and tsavorite, which will undoubtedly be at the top of many AGTA GemFair shoppers’ lists in Las Vegas (photo courtesy of AGTA Stock Photography Collection)