Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tucson Trip 2009, Part I: In Search of the Elusive "It Stone"

A delicious array of candy-colored gemstones from Germany

It's that time of year again... the time of year when jewelry designers and gemstone enthusiasts flock to Tucson, Arizona in search of the elusive "It Stone." Okay, so maybe not all of the designers go to the Annual Tucson Gem Show with that purpose in mind, but Pamela does. Pamela walks her favorite shows with her eyes open for the stone that will inspire her new creations. A couple of years ago, she became fascinated with Rough Grey Diamonds, loving the way they looked with her tri-color gold, and created beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces! As always, Pamela looked at beautiful Rutilated Quartz (one of her favorite stones!) and gorgeous Labradorite... but the stone that really caught her eye is White Opal! What she fell in love with is probably not what you imagine when you think "opal." This gem material is opaque and very clean-looking, with little or no "fire"; it goes by the names Cocolong, Kokolong, or Cacholong, depending on who you ask. It's funny, all the trend reports are shouting "color!", and Pamela is drawn to a virtually colorless stone. In my years working with her, I've seen time and time again that Pamela has an uncanny knack for being ahead of the trends... mark my words: Cocolong is the next "It Stone."

Here are a few of the reference pictures we took on the first day of the Show. Pamela would review these images, and any notes we took, before making a decision on what she absolutely had to have...

yummy Labradorite and Rose Quartz cabochons...

...cool mirror-cut Rutilated Quartz shapes from Brazil...

Pamela's favorites from the German assortment (shown above)
Left-to-Right: Black Onyx, Cocolong, Pink Opal,
Turquoise, Aquamarine, and Rose Quartz