At the close of business on the final day of the AGTA Gem Fair in Tucson last February, an announcement came over the speakers. “To James Alger, from Urban Mining Company, Elvis has left the building!” Laughter and applause followed.
In a box of closeouts, Alger, gem cutter from Bedford, N.H., was selling a bicolor tourmaline carving by an unknown German gem artist. It was simply labeled “Bi Color Tourm Elvis.”
John Connelly and Paddie Harris, Urban Mining Company, Santa Monica, Calif., go to Tucson every year and look for the unusual bargain. This year they saw Elvis early in the week and came back on the last day to see if he was still there. It was their best buy of the day.
Standing only one inch high, the carving is done beautifully, finely detailed in every way…but one. Is it really Elvis? Some are now suspecting a possible Beethoven connection. But after months of searching for the unknown artist, no further information is known at this time. So Elvis wins by default.
However, if anyone has information about this carving, please contact JCK‘s gem desk at (646) 746-6428.