What did you buy at the AGTA GemFair, in Tucson, Ariz.?

“I purchased a lovely 40.00 ct. moonstone. I expect to display it for now and possibly make a custom pendant with it later. I purchased another 20 moonstones to be used as accent stones in finished jewelry. I also purchased some boulder opal doublets. I like the stone, and it’s always a good color value for the money. For custom jewelry work, I also purchased spinels in purple and violet colors. My store specializes in making our own spinel with diamond accents rings. Zircons in warm wheat and champagne colors were also on my list this year. I like to mix zircon and demantoid garnets in finished jewelry as they have a similar refractive index.”

Nancy Schuring, Devon Fine Jewelry, Wyckoff, N.J.

“In 2009 I wanted to purchase more spinel, but didn’t, so that’s my main buying mission this year. These stones are part of Jack Lewis originals, what we call the Premier Collection of custom-made colored-stone-set jewelry with diamond accents. I’m also back this year to purchase more tourmalines, including indicolite and peach tourmalines. Another goal for this year was to find display accessories to bring attention to our spinel-set and other custom color jewelry. I ended up buying a specimen of a facet-grade red spinel still in its host material.”

John Carter, Jack Lewis Fine Jewelry, Bloomington, Ill.

“For us, color is seasonal. I was stocking up on blue and green tourmalines from Africa as well as topaz and peridot for spring and early summer sales. As the warmer weather sets in, we shift to a warmer palette of colors, namely garnet varieties and citrine. In the fall we’re combining certain tourmaline colors with sapphires. I’m also looking for goods to complement the colored stones set in the store’s designer jewelry. And I’m buying colors that will go well with yellow gold. For me, I find that color looks better in a yellow gold setting versus a white gold setting.”

Matthew Rosenheim, Tiny Jewel Box, Washington, D.C.

“I usually buy expensive color [rubies, sapphires, and emeralds], but was replenishing goods at lower price points to create new jewelry designs in the $2,000 to $3,000 range. Colored stones that are selling well and need replenishing are tourmalines and garnets, and that’s what I was buying. In pearls, Tahitian goods have come down to more reasonable market prices, so I invested in these goods. Tanzanite prices have also softened. At one time tanzanite was selling at $400 to $500 per carat. At Tucson prices were hovering around $250 to $300, which is much more reasonable.”

Ronald Arends, Aires Jewelers, Morris Plains, N.J.

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