Desert Gems

Colored stone jewels bring the heat to JCK Tucson

A visit to Tucson in the dead of winter typically happens for one reason in this industry: gemstones. With long desert days dedicated to gems, minerals, beads, and fossils, Gem Week is a dream for both the jewelry designer and rock hound alike, allowing them to learn, discover, and, inevitably, take home and create a masterpiece to suit their findings. But when JCK took up residence in Tucson in 2014, it became clear that loose gemstones, though historically (and crucially) the biggest game in town, weren’t the only reason to attend Gem Week anymore.

JCK Tucson bills itself as the “Jewelry Industry’s Winter Oasis,” and the description is quite apropos: With many flocking from the chilly East Coast, this is indeed a respite from the blustery winds and sick-of-it-already snowfall that just won’t stop coming. And while the industry warms itself by the heat of gemstones new (like aquaprase), tried-and-true (beef up on that sapphire stock!), expected (there is no desert gem show without turquoise), and rare (what is that?), the show provides another category of goods waiting to enthrall: finished jewelry. In the spirit of creation, much of what’s on display exemplifies what it is to put any of the previously mentioned gemstones in their best light—through the gifted hands of jewelry artisans and brilliant minds of imaginative designers. So whether you jet to Tucson for loose gemstones or set ones, to do business with current brands or discover new ones—it’s these finished, gemstone-laden pieces that represent the heart of it all. This is what a beautiful stone becomes—one that, in the aisle of a gem show, perhaps, catches the eye of a passerby who finds herself unable to go home without it. Here are just a few of the treasures you can expect at JCK Tucson 2017.

Aaron Henry Designs pink tourmaline ring | JCK On Your Market

Olive branch ring in 18k rose gold with 5.47 ct. cushion-cut pink tourmaline and 0.24 ct. t.w. diamonds, $9,580; Aaron Henry Designs

Alexis Barbeau blue tourmaline turtle necklace | JCK On Your Market

Turtle pendant in sterling silver and 14k yellow gold with 20 ct. blue-green tourmaline cabochon, price on request; Alexis Barbeau Designs

Audrius Krulis Swirling Brook peridot bridal set | JCK On Your Market

Swirling Brook bridal set in 18k yellow gold with 2.17 ct. peridot and diamonds, $800 (band)–$4,200 (ring); Audrius Krulis

Geoffrey Scott Horizon moonstone necklace | JCK On Your Market

Horizon necklace in oxidized sterling silver with moonstone and light-rose amethyst, price on request; Geoffrey Scott

JS Noor rainbow necklace | JCK On Your Market

Vedic collection necklace in 18k yellow gold with 4 cts. t.w. sapphire, $3,200; JS Noor

Lord Jewelry tanzanite cabochon ring | JCK On Your Market

Vintage-inspired ring in platinum with 4.75 ct. tanzanite and 1.58 cts. t.w. diamonds, price on request; Lord Jewelry

Lauren K Iris opal and emerald necklace | JCK On Your Market

Iris necklace in 18k yellow gold with 3.68 cts. t.w. black opal and emerald and 0.78 ct. t.w. diamonds, $5,775; Lauren K

Michael Jensen turquoise Tower ring | JCK On Your Market

Tower ring in 22k yellow gold and sterling silver with natural turquoise, $1,900; Michael Jensen Designs

Nina Nguyen Over the Moon necklace | JCK On Your Market

Over the Moon necklace in oxidized sterling silver and 14k yellow gold with moonstone, $2,498; Nina Nguyen

Rona Fisher ruby Dancing Diamonds ring | JCK On Your Market

Dancing Diamonds ring in palladium and 18k yellow gold with rose-cut ruby and 0.28 ct. t.w. diamonds, $3,995; Rona Fisher

Todd Reed one-of-a-kind rose-cut diamond ring | JCK On Your Market

One-of-a-kind ring in 18k yellow gold with 2.55 ct. rose-cut diamond, 0.44 ct. t.w. rose-cut diamonds, and 0.11 ct. t.w. brilliant diamonds, price on request; Todd Reed

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JCK Contributing Editor

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