This year was my very first time visiting the famous Tucson gem shows and I went straight to the top: to the crème de la crème of the colored gemstone and cultured pearl market at the legendary AGTA GemFair. I came into it expecting to have my mind blown, and even my high expectations were blown out of the water.
The AGTA GemFair is a closed show, open only to gem dealers, store owners, designers and others in the jewelry industry, so the beauties that you’re about to see are from a show that the general public usually doesn’t get to experience at all – at least until the jewels displayed there turn up on celebrities or socialites or go back to the museums they came from.
Enough chit chat. The reason I did my pre-AGTA GemFair post was so that I could dive right into the pretties in my recap without needing to take time for background. Let’s get to it!
The majority of photos I took at the AGTA GemFair were of finished colored gemstone jewelry, but I couldn’t do the GemFair justice if I didn’t play with some loose stones as well.
This particular stone looks to me like some kind of ethereal fairy dewdrop, rather than a rock from the ground – but it’s completely natural. This is a rare Mexican play of color fire opal, displaying an unusual effect called “rain” (video here).
Even better: this miracle comes from Columbia Gem House, a mine-to-market company who is leading the industry in responsible gemstone sourcing and fair trade practices. If you care about ethical sourcing, Columbia Gem House is a brand you should know.
Here’s something wonderfully unusual: The Queen of Tiye fire opal bracelet from Paula Crevoshay.
This masterpiece features five truly spectacular Mexican fire opals set among blue zicons and tsavorite garnets. The vibrancy of the stones, color contrast of the juxtaposition, and organic feel of the entire piece creates a dreamlike mix of organic lines and pure luxury that is emblematic of the famed Crevoshay’s unforgettable designs. This particular piece is named after the Queen of Tiye, the Queen of Sheba’s sister.
Look, I’m wearing a tiara!! I love when I get to wear a tiara.
This particular tiara – as well as the earrings and the necklace – are by Dallas Prince designs. I’d seen a Dallas Prince piece or two in past AGTA Spectrum Awards press previews, but I had no idea how utterly fantastic Dallas herself is until we spent at least an hour playing with her designs at the AGTA GemFair. We’re lucky I remembered to take pictures at all, I was having so much fun. (Also a sincere thank you to Mr. Dallas Prince, for assisting us so cheerfully).
These gorgeous things are by Dallas Prince as well!
The best news is that while many of Dallas’ designs feature fine gemstones, she has an affordable line too. This cuff in particular is from her chrome marcasite collection; which offers pieces that have a million dollar look at a price point with waaay fewer digits.