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jewelry and stones

For years Paul and I have heard about the Tucson gem shows and have really wanted to go.  This year we decided to just do it and in June we got airfare and a hotel for the first week of February.  In the meantime we researched what we could to make sure we would see everything.  As it turns out that is impossible!!  There are 45 different gem shows going on at once and each show has 100+ booths and vendors to see.  There are entire hotels rented out with people selling stones in each room.  We knew it would be overwhelming and like nothing else we have been to, but it was even cooler than I could have imagined.  There was a little bit of everything.  There were amazing displays of minerals, fossils and rocks.

semi precious stones and minerals


gem grade minerals

agate slab

There was so much to see!  I am so in awe of the beauty that occurs in nature and can be dug out of the ground.  We were definitely there to look and explore but mostly we were there to buy stones to come home and make jewelry with!  Each booth has a staggering variety of gorgeous gemstones, it's so hard to narrow down what to choose.  Here is Paul selecting some stones from one vendor. 

shopping for rose cut gemstones

Here is a tray of stones we selected from a different booth:

semi precious stones

We spent entire days looking for treasures and picking stones.

gem show

Each day we would wake up early and be at a show as soon as it opened.  We would try to walk the show as quickly as possible and grab the best stones we could find and then move onto the next show.  As if the gem shows weren't enough to do in a day, one evening we were able to attend the open house of a machine shop that makes some of the tools we use.  It was awesome!  We were able to watch them custom make some tools and take them home with us.  

jewelry tools

Our time in Tucson went by so fast.  It really was exhausting and overwhelming but I didn't want it to end, it's a good thing it did though, the money goes fast lol.  It was so amazing to be surrounded by such a huge selection of stones.  Every time I would turn around I would see another "must have" or "coolest thing I had seen yet".  Buying stones is one of my favorite parts of what we do.  I never really have anything in mind when I select a stone I just buy what I like.  Paul picks what he likes and we end up with a great variety.   As the sun set in Tucson on our last night, we were so ready to come home and look through everything we had gotten. 

tucson arizona

We had a bunch of stones in little baggies and decided it would be really cool to put them all onto cards like they were when we were picking from the vendors at the shows.  Kind of like a gem show at home.  So we spent an entire day with a label maker, glue dots and card stock creating little displays for all of the stones we got.

stones for making jewelry

It took over 12 hours!  We got A LOT lol.  

handmade jewelry

This is what our dining room table looked like when we finished, it's like we have our own personal gem show of stones we love! 

semi precious stone for jewelry

Now we have everything all laid out so we can see it at a glance.  I wish we had thought of this before it's so inspiring to look at everything!  Here is a peek at some of our cards.

agates and tourmalated quartz

sapphire and agate


sierra madre agate and botswana agate

I can't wait to start creating with all of these amazing stones.  We just finished making all of the orders that came in while we were away which means tomorrow we are back on track to create new stuff.  Stay tuned for lots of stuff, the inspiration I feel right now is almost overwhelming and there is a big snow storm heading our way.  This means lots of jewelry will be made in the studio this week and we can't wait to share it with you :)