Color me excited.
It’s no secret that gemstones are my favorite jewelry category and have been since 2001, when I attended my first Tucson gem week. I was charmed by the vast, diverse, downright strange selection of stones on display, to say nothing of the roguish mix of characters who descend on the Arizona desert every February.
By the time I got home from that trip, schlepping a bag full of sliced agates and a gilded Reclining Buddha statue—purchased from an Afghan rug dealer at the Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show along Interstate 10 and still reclined on my credenza all these years later—I was hooked.
The best thing about Tucson gem week is that it keeps evolving, much like its historic and eclectic host city. The addition of JCK Tucson, which opened at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in 2014, finally gave gem hunters a designer-led finished jewelry show to pull the week together.
As we look ahead to the 2019 editions of JCK Tucson and the scores of loose-gem shows that run concurrently across town, we’ve assembled some useful info for those of you planning to attend.
We start with “Picks & Stones,” a forecast feature that helps explain tanzanite’s enduring appeal, the hoopla over Ethiopian emeralds, and why bicolor sapphires are suddenly all the rage.
Then you’ll find “West Pointers,” a collection of tips for shopping the gem shows culled from our favorite designers, by contributor Amy Elliott.
And finally, managing editor Melissa Rose Bernardo wraps up this first-ever special section on colored stones with a look at a memorable red-carpet moment starring a killer pair of emerald earrings.
Color us obsessed.
Top: (on the cover) Red Carpet earrings with 40.08 cts. t.w. tanzanite, 13.7 cts. t.w. diamonds, and 5.1 cts. t.w. blue sapphires in 18k white gold and titanium; price on request; Chopard; 1-880-CHOPARD; chopard.com/us
(Photograph by Nicholas A. Prakas; Hair and makeup: Claudia Andreatta/Halley Resources)