Industry / Shows

Hardrock Summit Celebrates Show Success, Announces 2024 Move


With double its visitors, organizers for the third Hardrock Summit in Denver say the show was a bountiful display of minerals, gemstones, and jewelry, and they are excited to move the 2024 event to its new location.

For its fourth edition, the Hardrock Summit is moving from the Colorado Convention Center to the Westin Westminster during its full run from Sept. 12 to 15, 2024, say Wolter Mehring and Christoph Keilmann, co-founders of the event.

They describe the four-star hotel as luxurious but also spacious, offering an ideal location and efficiencies—like being only 15 minutes from downtown Denver—to both show visitors and industry exhibitors.

Alex Fitz
Alexandra Fitzgerald brought her socially and environmentally conscious fine jewelry line Alex Fitz to the 2023 Hardrock Summit, showing off pieces like these chunky stacking rings.

This year’s Hardrock Summit had nearly 6,000 guests, including more than 1,100 trade visitors, Mehring and Keilmann say. They described the show’s mood as upbeat. Show exhibitors say they are looking forward to a positive holiday season from what they experienced as visitors shopped the show floor.

The Hardrock Summit serves as a top fall event on the jewelry calendar, and this year’s event gave new and established jewelry brands and designers a chance to gauge interest, chat with buyers, and see what consumers might be interested in as the all-important fourth-quarter sales season starts to kick in. JCK attended the event to see what was new and different as well.

Booths including Misfit Diamonds, with its smoky salt-and-pepper diamonds as well as special selections like a stunning 7.22 ct. antique oval brilliant sapphire, made people stop and shop. Nearby, the Aspen-inspired artistic forest scenes from Wolfgang Vaatz stacked his counter with customers. Buyers also were eager to chat with jewelers such as Alexandra Fitzgerald with her Alex Fitz statement jewelry and to see the array of new designs at Gold and Smoke.

For Alex Fitz, offering jewelry that is meant to be worn on special occasions is its stock in trade—if you want something to go with your sweatpants or joggers, you may want to keep looking because these elegant, sculptural works are ideal for this season’s suits and gala dresses, says owner and designer Alexandra Fitzgerald.

Gold and Smoke
This was the trade-show premiere for Gold and Smoke, the collaboration between wife-and-husband team Kelly Selcer and Manos Phoundoulakis.

Gold and Smoke made its trade-show debut at the Hardrock Summit, and wife-and-husband founders Kelly Selcer and Manos Phoundoulakis say they were excited to meet with buyers who want to stock their “empowerment jewelry” made from flattened bullets and cast into gold pendants, rings, cufflinks, and earrings.

“We wanted to create a message that could be embraced by anyone,” says Selcer, a former real estate agent who now helps create and design each Gold and Smoke piece.

At Mason-Kay, jade hopefully will be the reason for the shopping season ahead, says Kristina Mason. Its double- or triple-ring pendants made from a single piece of jade caught the eye of many visitors, offering an ideal Sweetest Day gift.

“Jade is the perfect daily-wear gemstone,” Mason says, as it loves to be touched by those who wear it, whether they’re men or women. Mason-Kay also expects to see more men wearing stacking bracelets, like its jade beads, into fall and spring 2024.

Top: The 2023 Hardrock Summit enjoyed high attendance as well as exhibitors such as Misfit Diamonds, which brought this stunning 7.22 carat sapphire along to the Denver-based jewelry and mineral show (photo courtesy of Misfit Diamonds). 

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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