I’ve been hearing about the annual AGTA GemFair in Tuscon, Arizona for years. It’s become mythical in my imagination: I picture it as a vibrant desert oasis piled to the clouds with rainbows of precious stones and heaps of colored gemstone jewelry.
I have to imagine what it’s like because I’ve never seen it firsthand. But that’s about to change: I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be attending the 2017 AGTA GemFair as one of the AGTA’s very first official Gembassadors.
What is a Gembassador?
Hannah Becker of DiamonDoodles and I are partnering up with AGTA to help bring the 2017 GemFair to you!
It’s our honor to serve as your Gembassadors, charged with the all-important mission of giving the outside world a window into the AGTA’s legendary industry-only events.
Hannah and I will be walking the floor of the AGTA GemFair, digging through the mounds of treasures on display and sharing them with you on our individual Instagram accounts and through takeovers of the AGTA’s Instagram account. We’ll also be covering the prestigious Spectrum Awards, both exploring the masterpieces submitted for the awards and chronicling our glamorous adventures at the Spectrum Gala on the night of the ceremony, February 5th.
So basically: colored gemstones everywhere, all the time. I am SO EXCITED.
Let’s lay down some background so that we’re all ready to embrace the fabulousness next week:
What is the AGTA?
The AGTA is the American Gemstone Trade Association. They represent the colored stone and cultured pearl industries in the US and Canada.
AGTA GemFair 101
The AGTA GemFair has been held yearly since 1982. Since its inception, it has grown into what is now considered the world’s most important annual marketplace for natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls. The wide array of carefully-selected vendors also includes designers offering finished colored stone and cultured pearl jewelry, as well as some antique and vintage jewelry dealers.
In addition, there’s a pavilion dedicated to jewelry tools and technologies, educational seminars, a CAD design studio, book signings, exhibits from the Cultured Pearl Association, The Smithsonian Institution, MJSA, the Gübelin Gem Lab, and more.
As your AGTA GemFair Gembassadors, Hannah and I will divide and conquer to bring you the best of all treasures on display! I’ll be hunting down the finest in finished jewelry to share with you, while Hannah, as a Gemologist, will focus more on the gemstones themselves.
The spectacular Spectrum awards!
I’ve had the pleasure of attending the Spectrum awards press preview in NYC a couple of times, but I’ve never been to the actual Spectrum Awards gala before.
From agate to zircon, the Spectrum Awards challenge the jewelry industry’s greatest talents to surpass their abilities in jewelry design for colored gems and cultured pearls, throwing down the gauntlet for higher and higher achievement.
But it’s not just jewelry: in 1991, Spectrum expanded to include the Cutting Edge Awards, to honor creativity in lapidary arts, including faceted gems and pearls, carvings, and objects of art. I’ve seen pieces at the Spectrum Awards that I never dreamed were possible, and I’m sure this coming year’s submissions will open my mind yet again.
While I’ve been to the Spectrum Awards press events, I’ve never before seen any of the actual Spectrum Gala, the night that the awards are presented. But this coming February 4th, I’ll be right there in the middle of things with my fellow Gembassador, sharing it all with you.
I can’t even tell you how delighted I am about all of this. And not only do I get to attend the AGTA events I’ve been dreaming of for years, I’m working with the AGTA directly to share it all with you.
How to make sure you don’t miss anything!
Follow Diamonds in the Library, DiamonDoodles, and the AGTA on Instagram. You can also use the individual event hashtags (#AGTAGemFair17, #Gembassadors, #AGTASpectrum16) to makes sure you see everyone’s posts – or to contribute posts of your own, if you’re going to be there too!
I’ll also be writing a big, juicy blog post once I’m home, detailing my adventures with many, many pictures. So if Instagram’s not your cup of tea, just hold tight and I’ll bring everything to you just a little bit later.
Now I have a very important question for you all: what do YOU want to see from the AGTA GemFair??? Give me requests, so that I can go out and take pictures of your favorite gemstones for you!