acanthusleaf: (Default)
[personal profile] acanthusleaf
OMG, this time of year Tucson is amazing!

Ok, I'll learn how to do a cut real soon now, but here is a long rambling post.

People talk about going to "the gem show", but in reality there are over 30 different shows around the city. Some in gigantic tents, some in hotel ballrooms and parking lots. They range from free-wheeling semi-hippy celebrations of crystals and tie-die to tie-wearing diamond-dealing seriousness. I only got to be there for three days, but it was lovely! Right off the plane we went to the Kino Sports Complex show, one of the most free-wheeling of the bunch. There are a great many alternate vendors, with stuff like African rugs and imported purses, but this is an excellent place to find large chunks of rough stone, very large lapidary tools, and a few unusual cabochons.

Those of you who know Aurelia (Not costuming Aurelia, I'm talking about Poo Aurelia), will not be surprised to hear that she has long been interested in having polished coprolite for a baronial coronet and other jewelry. I didn't know where to find these in California or on the Internet, but if a stone doesn't exist in Tucson, it doesn't exist. Sure enough, the first major score I had was at this show, and it was rather pretty agatized dinosaur poop, or coprolites. I texted her right then and bought a bunch. She squeed. Success!

We finished out the afternoon at the Gem Mall and Holidome show. This is four enormous tents, also with some imported random gifty-poo things and lots of premanufactured jewelry and beads. Fortunately there are also some gem dealers. This was fun to look through, but we moved pretty fast. I bought a few square cabochons, but they really didn't have what I was looking for. Still, we got over 15,000 steps, which was pretty good for the afternoon.

The next day was the big show. Not the Biggest Baddest show, which I can't get into anymore, but a really big show nonetheless. Here were acres of astounding gemstones from all corners of the earth. This is where I spent most of my money, and all of Wednesday. Lots of high-quality rough stones, tons of the sparkliest faceted stones, and quite a number of lovely cabochons. There is an entire room of gems cut by the artists of Idar-Oberstein in Germany. A. MAZ. ING. I was, frankly, disappointed with the company I used to buy a whole lot of stones from, because they have cut way back on their rectangular and square cabochon stock. These are the stones closest to the cuts they used in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. They were very nice, and I bought some stones, but nowhere near what I was hoping they had. OTOH, there was a pearl merchant that had several lovely baroque pearls that I want to make into Renaissance pendants. This gigantic show exhausted us by the late afternoon, so we spent the rest of the day in a lovely little brewpub. Oh darn.

Thursday morning we went to three adjoining shows at motels on the freeway frontage road. These were more mineral-centric, with specimen stones that I have lost adjectives for. THere were quartz crystal that were over six feet tall and at least four feet across. Geodes with amethyst interiors that were just as tall. Many specimens that had custom-welded supports, and must have been brought in with a forklift. I found a few nice cab garnets, including the elusive pear-shape that goes into my Pelican rings. These shows had a greater variety of rough stones, and it is now all I can do to restrain myself from buying lapidary equipment. Seriously, though I might need to do this, because the next step in making my pieces more period is to have the right stones, and as I said, if they aren't in Tucson they don't exist. Wow, that was a long sentence. :-)

We discovered a very nice local Scottish Ale called Kilt Lifter, and it was on tap in the airport on the way home.

Friday night we went up to Napa for the annual Awards Dinner for his district. He got his 25-year service pin and a 25-year safety award. Decent catered food, but we were totally shattered and the drive home in the rain was exhausting.

But I have shinies! Hooray!

Date: 2017-02-09 02:36 am (UTC)
klwilliams: (Default)
From: [personal profile] klwilliams
It sounds like a great trip. Plus, coprolites!

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