Prepping for Gem Week With a Peek at JCK Tucson 2018

Most jewelers arrive in Tucson in early February expecting to shop for loose stones, mineral specimens, and other quirky finds from the wide world of gems. The selection at JCK Tucson, however, challenges those expectations.

The show, which runs Jan. 31–Feb. 3 at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa, specializes in finished jewelry from the industry’s most respected designers, including Alishan, Adel Chefridi, Alex Šepkus, Elizabeth Garvin, and Suzy Landa, as well as vendors fresh on the scene, such as London-based The Rock Hound and goldsmith Baiyang Qiu.

“The DNA of JCK Tucson is so unique and distinct from the other JCK properties—LUXURY and JCK Las Vegas—and it’s really different from the other Arizona shows,” says Katie Dominesey, industry vice president at JCK Events, the show organizer. “It’s a very relaxed environment, upscale but not stuffy, and we crafted it based on what retailers wanted.”

The show opens each morning with a retailer roundtable event designed to allow participants—many of whom represent retail stores that carry fashion and accessories in addition to fine ­jewelry—“to share in an honest space and really learn from one another,” Dominesey says.

The intimate, convivial atmosphere extends to lunch on the patio, where attendees will have an opportunity to network, and culminates on the evening of Thursday, Feb. 1, at “Gems After Dark,” a networking party cohosted by Gen-Next Jewelers and the Women’s Jewelry Association.

All of the buying and socializing takes place against the backdrop of the Starr Pass resort, a AAA Four Diamond property tucked amid the hills bordering Saguaro National Park. The lush high-desert environment lends the show its casual yet refined vibe, which organizers build upon with events steeped in the same laid-back spirit.

“We’ll have a bar in each ballroom and tea tasting like we had at last year’s LUXURY,” Dominesey adds. “The show is designed to be more sensory, experiential, and a really fun environment.”

Chromanteq geode, spinel, and peridot earrings in recycled 18k yellow gold with nanoceramic; £9,360 ($12,550); The Rock Hound;;

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