Happy 2018, my darlings!! It’s late January, and you know what that means: time to get pumped for AGTA GemFair!
Why I can’t wait for AGTA GemFair 2018
From January 30th – February 4th, many of the US and Canada’s finest colored gemstone and pearl dealers will gather at the AGTA’s 2018 GemFair to offer their glimmering, shimmering, lustrous wares. The event is only open to members of the jewelry industry…but I’m going to share it all with you!
Here’s why that’s so exciting:
The delectable jewelry.
My primary mission at the AGTA GemFair 2018 will be simple: to track down the best colored gemstone and pearl jewelry in a room filled with the crème de la crème and share all that gemmy goodness with you!
Instagram lets you follow hashtags now, so you can follow along with the whole GemFair on both the AGTA Instagram account and the #AGTAGemFair18 hashtag to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
I’ll be doing a takeover of the AGTA IG account for two days, so you can find my fabulous finds there or on my own Instagram page, as well as nonstop coverage in my Instastories!
The GEMBASSADORS are now a triple threat!
Last year, Hannah Becker and I had the pleasure of serving as AGTA GemFair’s inaugural Gembassadors. It was an honor and a genuine thrill to bring you an insider’s view of this legendary event.
This year, we’re going to give you even more access by expanding the Gembassador team! For the AGTA GemFair 2018, Hannah and I will be joined by Instagram superstar and beloved jewelry industry personality, Benjamin Guttery of Third Coast Gems.
Each Gembassador will be focusing on slightly different aspects of AGTA GemFair 2018, so be sure to follow all three of us, the AGTA Instagram account, and the #AGTAGemFair18 hashtag to make sure you don’t miss anything!
Ethical sourcing everywhere.
Every exhibitor at the AGTA GemFair 2018 is an AGTA Member, which means that their business practices satisfy the organization’s rigorous code of ethics. In this day and age, with sustainability and ethical sourcing in the forefront of our industry’s concerns, it’s vital to know that every dealer in the AGTA GemFair has been evaluated and approved.
One of my favorite moments of the 2017 GemFair was talking to Columbia Gem House about their commitment to Fair Trade practices and how they not only hold themselves accountable, but actively participate in charity efforts to enrich the communities who mine the gems they sell.
The gemstones and pearls.
Many designers will be at the AGTA GemFair to source world class stones that will become world class jewels by this summer’s Jewelry Market Week. It’s incredible to get behind the scenes of another section of the fascinating pipeline of discovery and design that keeps the jewelry industry running.
My fellow Gembassadors, Hannah and Ben, are both Graduate Gemologists, so they’re going to take the lead on showcasing the unset goods of GemFair while I focus on finished pieces.
The AGTA Spectrum Gala.
What’s better than a room full of jewelry people? A room full of jewelry people dressed to the nines, celebrating each other’s accomplishments! The Gembassadors will be live on the red carpet on Feburary 4th to cover the 2018 Spectrum Gala, greeting attendees as they arrive and sharing everyone’s glorious Spectrum Sparkle with you on social media.
My gown is at the tailor’s being hemmed (#shortpeopleproblems), I just have to figure out how I’m going to accessorize it. I’ll be sure to post my #SpectrumSparkle once I make a decision!
If you’re going to the gala too, post a photo of your #SpectrumSparkle on Instagram so that we can all enjoy it! If you want to participate from home, use the #SpectrumSparkle hashtag to show us what you would be wearing on the red carpet.
The food trucks.
If you’ve ever been to anything in a convention center, you’ll understand how very exciting it is that AGTA invites Tucson’s finest food trucks to set up in a designated area behind the AGTA GemFair.
My normal trade show meals tend to be smashed granola bars out of my purse or soggy turkey wraps, scarfed down whiles standing in corners between appointments. In other words, I’m very excited about the prospect of eating genuinely good food during a trade show without even needing to leave the site.
Lots to learn.
The AGTA GemFair isn’t just a marketplace: it’s a center of learning. With so many of the gem and pearl industry’s most prestigious professionals in one place, it would be a crime not to take advantage of the opportunity to soak up some of that assembled knowledge.
While you’re in Tucson for the AGTA GemFair, definitely leave yourself some time to check out the seminars on site. Hear the industry’s leading luminaries speak about supply chain transparency, industry legal issues, tips on social media and marketing, and much more – there is a seminar for everyone!
I haven’t been to a jewelry show since VicenzaOro in September. It’s been wonderful getting some down time over the winter, but I miss my jewelry people! AGTA GemFair is a major event, so I’m looking forward to getting to catch up with many of my favorite industry people from all over the country.
The extra special exhibits.
One of the first things I saw when I walked out onto the floor of the 2017 AGTA GemFair was Dr. Jeffrey Post, Curator of the National Gem Collection, standing in front of a selection of treasures from the Smithsonian’s Janet Anneberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems & Minerals.
The Smithsonian is just one of the special exhibitors who will be setting up booths at the 2018 AGTA GemFair. You can also visit the Cultured Pearl Association of America’s display of notable pearl jewelry, book an appointment at the AGTA CAD Studio, or peruse the showcase of selected AGTA Spectrum Awards winners.
February in the DC area is cold and grey. I’m coming for you, blue skies and cacti!
The AGTA GemFair is a benchmark event in terms of trendspotting. We’ll get to see which gems are selling, which cuts are popular, which materials designers are snapping up, and – if we’re lucky – which gems are coming into the market for the first time.
The flow of supply and demand at each year’s AGTA GemFair can give us early clues about what we can expect to see in jewelry for the rest of the year. There’s no substitute for actually being on the ground, seeing firsthand what buyers are gravitating towards.
The new discoveries.
Every time I go to an AGTA event, be it the Spectrum awards or GemFair, I discover something I’ve never seen before. I don’t know what it’ll be this time, but I can’t wait to find out!
Don’t miss a thing!
Have I convinced you to go to AGTA GemFair 2018 yet?? It starts January 30th, so there’s still time to buy plane tickets. Whether or not you’ll be there in person, here’s who you should follow on Instagram to get the full experience:
@AGTA_Gems and #AGTAGemFair18: The AGTA’s very own account! Constant coverage and takeovers by all three Gembassadors. Follow #AGTAGemFair18 too and you’ll be able to see what EVERYONE is posting from GemFair. Don’t forget to follow #SpectrumSparkle too – and use it to show us your gala jewels!
@DiamondsInTheLibrary: That’s me!! I’ll be on the hunt for the best colored gemstone and pearl jewelry that the AGTA GemFair has to offer.
@DiamonDoodles & @ThirdCoastGems: My fellow Gembassdors are both Graduate Gemologists, so they’ll be bringing you their inside scoop on the magical raw and un-set gemstones and pearls at GemFair.
Find more quick facts about AGTA GemFair 2018 here, or the full scoop in detail on AGTA’s website. And if you’re not on the ‘gram, don’t worry: I’ll be doing a blog post reacap after I get home, too!
This sponsored post is brought to you by AGTA. Jewelry images by me, other images c/o AGTA.
Patt smith says
Dream for me to attend,
Not possiable.But I must say Llyn strong is still my favorite designer and I love her new work with opals.
Llyn Strong’s work is incredible! I love her work too.