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Pack Your Bags, It’s Tucson Time!

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Here's a quick guide to visiting AGTA GemFair 2018

One of the jewelry industry’s longest standing traditions is the pilgrimage to Tucson each February. Buyers come from all over in search of the latest in colored gemstones and cultured pearl trends. By this time next week, many colors in many forms will light up the desert landscape. So whether you are walking the aisles of the AGTA GemFair 2018 or out and about exploring JCK Tucson and the multitude of tents all over town, you are sure to discover something new.

First Thing’s First

The forecast looks perfect! With high temps reaching 80 degrees and lows hovering right above the fifties, your desert getaway calls for light apparel complete with your most suave pair of sunglasses.

Buying Opportunities

Colored gemstones and pearls offer the opportunity for jewelers to capitalize on larger margins while maintaining a diverse merchandising mix. And with color at the forefront of accessorizing trends, AGTA GemFair 2018 provides endless options to meet customer demand. Tucson affords the best market for sourcing special gemstone requests. For example, if you are looking for a Kashmir Sapphire or Colombian Emerald for one of your clients, take advantage of Tucson’s expansive gemstone selection. Before you leave for the show — or while you’re stuck in the airport — reach out to your clients and ask if they have any special requests so you’ll have specific product in mind when you arrive at the show.

As you roam about, open your mind to developing color and style trends to incorporate back into your business. You can then take this heightened sense of style back to your clients, advising them on the latest trends. And according to National Jeweler, superior gemstones in cool colors and clashing shades will be all the rage. Plus, heads up! Expect buyers to be well-informed about what they’re looking for as they inquire about topics like ethical sourcing and precision-grade cut and quality.

AGTA GemFair 2018 gemstone buying

Sit In On Seminars

The AGTA free seminar program boasts upwards of 30 sessions for learning new and innovative ways to enhance your business. Be sure to soak up as much business acumen as you can. Here are our recommendations for the most impactful sessions that will inspire you and provide interesting possibilities.


Tuesday, January 30

Achieving Shop Excellence: Training Strategies for Apprentices & New Hires

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM • Grand Ballroom

Learn effective managerial insight to help you identify and train new hires for success.


Get SMART: Customizing Workforce Training

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM  • Grand Ballroom

Learn the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound) strategy to create and achieve your organizational goals.


Wednesday, January 31

Sourcing & Appraising American Gemstones

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM • Mohave Room

Learn how to source material effectively and properly value your stones.


Thursday, February 1

Modifying Hand Tools for Fun and Profit

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM  • Grand Ballroom

Expand your tools’ capabilities to allow them to work for you.


Friday, February 2

Custom Confidential: Getting Personal with Customers

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM • Grand Ballroom

Understand how to work with customers to create personalized jewelry designs that make a statement.


Saturday, February 3

Black Gem Challenges

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM • Mohave Room

With black diamonds emerging as top trends, learn how to identify and distinguish black gems.

Find the complete AGTA GemFair 2018 seminar schedule here

Make New Friends

Along with the buying opportunities, AGTA GemFair 2018 hosts a comfortable environment to network with peers, either on the show floor or at special events each night. And for our Jewelers Helping Jewelers crew, seek out Jen Hollywood-Showell for exclusive JHJ stickers to add to your badges. Take the opportunity to mingle with your favorite online personalities in person and expand your web of contacts. After all, AGTA GemFair 2018 centers as much on buying stones as it does about sharpening your expertise.

Since we’ll be in the neighborhood, don’t forget to stop by Stuller’s booth (#2000) at AGTA GemFair 2018 at the Tucson Convention Center. We’re all about tools this year, so we’re sending our top tool technicians to answer all of your burning questions. Our experts Andy Kroungold, Shawn Albert, and more will be demonstrating the latest in tool technologies, from laser welding to 3D printing. We’ll also have a few GemCams on site along with synthetic diamond screeners. That’s right, you can bring your newly purchased stones to our booth for a quick screening AND glamor shots.

AGTA GemFair 2018 Seminars Education

Get Social!

Follow the official @AGTA_Gems account and don’t forget to use #AGTAGemFair18 in all your posts. Then, follow these industry Gembassadors to stay current with all the show has to offer:

Hannah Becker •  @DiamonDoodles 

Becky Stone • @DiamondsInTheLibrary

Benjamin Guttery • @ThirdCoastGems

If nothing else, a trip to Tucson in February is a great escape from the dreary winter weather this time of year. We wish you all the best as you combine business and pleasure to enjoy one the industry’s most interesting market experiences. Happy gem hunting!


Here’s a floorplan of the AGTA GemFair 2018, courtesy of


Mandy LeBlanc

I've been with Stuller since 1999 • My life is a musical, I sometimes blurt out song lyrics that relate to conversations • Mom of toddler (terrible three’s- the struggle is real y’all) • Not sure how I’ll cope if my daughter doesn’t grow to love Disney cartoons • Firm believer of- when life gives you lemons, break out Pinterest • I’m a big fan of witty humor- I love making people laugh for laughter is contagious.