Colored Stones / COVID-19 / Industry / Shows

Tucson Gem Fairs Are Happening, But Without ICA, AGA Events


While the American Gem Trade Association’s GemFair Tucson and GJX shows still plan to go on as scheduled in February, the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) and the Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA) have canceled the in-person events they intended to hold in conjunction with the Arizona city’s spate of gem fairs.

The ICA has called off the Gemstone Industry & Laboratory Conference it planned to hold on Jan. 31, as well as the ICA Tucson reception, originally scheduled for Feb. 2. Both are indoor events not suited for COVID-19 protocols, ICA said.

“We are terribly disappointed that our premier Tucson events will not take place this year,” said ICA CEO Gary Roskin in a statement. “First and foremost, we want all of our members to stay healthy and safe. We certainly do not want to create a situation that could endanger the health of our family. This may sound clichéd, but better safe than sorry. There’s always next year.”

The AGA is moving its Tucson conference, originally scheduled for Feb. 2–3, online. The 2022 AGA Virtual Tucson Conference will deliver half-day gemological education sessions Feb. 15–16. The virtual conference will be recorded and made available to registered participants to view later.

In addition, AGA’s gala dinner, silent auction, and presentation of the 2022 AGA Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology—which will be bestowed on Roskin—has been canceled. The award will be given at the next planned live AGA Tucson Conference on Feb. 1, 2023.

“The health and well-being of our members and conference attendees are of paramount importance,” said AGA Conference Committee cochair Dr. Çiğdem Lüle in a statement. “AGA invites the global gemological community to participate in our virtual conference. We sincerely hope you will join us and bring a friend.”

For more information on the 2022 AGA Virtual Tucson Conference, click here.

On the other hand, Doug Hucker, CEO of the American Gem Trade Association, says that his show will go on, Feb. 1–6, at the Tucson Convention Center. It will be held with local COVID-19 protocols, including mandatory mask wearing.

“The show is going forward,” he says. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed and if things keep getting better and improving, we’ll be in good shape.”

He says that, as far as he knows, none of the other major Tucson gem shows have been called off.

The Centurion Jewelry Show still plans to celebrate its 21st anniversary at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2, said organizer Howard Hauben.

(Photo courtesy of Jerry Rosen)

Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine

By: Rob Bates

Log Out

Are you sure you want to log out?

CancelLog out