Tucson's Three R's

By By Deborah Yonick Posted: 03/01/10 00:01  

"Restock, reinvest and revive" was the mantra for vendors and retailers attending the Tucson gemstone shows. 

RAPAPORT... A purging of excess inventory in the past year readied jewelers to shop again at the annual gem and jewelry shows held in Tucson, Arizona, in early February. Caution kept buyers on a short leash, but the mood was more upbeat than in 2009 at the main trade venues - Centurion Jewelry Show, American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) GemFair, Gem & Jewelry Exchange (GJX) and Gem & Lapidary Dealers Association (GLDA). Optimism looms for an upswing in business by the second half of 2010.

Color Rules Diamonds

Tucson may not be the venue for white diamonds, but color diamonds are right at home. While many gem vendors carry color diamonds, this is the first year the AGTA GemFair created a special pavilion for the category, albeit with just five companies exhibiting. The exhibitors' reaction to business ranged from "a disaster" to "can't complain."

Nilesh Sheth, president of Nice Diamonds, New York City, said the reason the color diamond market is strong is because of big auction results. Pinks, browns and blues have shot up in price by 50 percent to 70 percent. Sheth sees an uptick in clients looking to invest in larger stones. "The way the dollar is devaluating, consumers want to hedge their investment in tangible assets, like gold and color diamonds."

Sheth said he had something for every taste and budget, from a 2.66-carat natural fancy blue-green diamond for $175,000 per carat to a treated version in the $4,000-to-$5,000-per-carat range.

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