Gemporia’s Purchasing Director Jake Thompson-Bennett is at the annual Tucson Gem Fair with our resident gemstone expert David Troth. Over the next few days they will fill us in on their trip. Here Jake tells us why it’s important for us to go to the Tucson Gem Fair as well as the much larger Hong Kong show.
Hong Kong is the go to Gem Show for the jewelry world and their bi-annual event contained over 12 halls. These halls host thousands of gemstone dealers, seeing the exchange of millions of dollars every day, and thousands of gemstone parcels are acquired by the world’s finest jewelers. It is the beating heart of the gem world, pumping cash back to miners to invest in operations, and supplying gemstones to designers who craft the jewelry that will define legacies. In just 7 days the jewelry world is supplied by this vast event for 6 months. With such a strong heart supplying us, in addition to our network of hundreds of relationships with miners, the capillaries of this system, the question is: why would Gemporia need to go to Tucson?
The answer is simple: if Hong Kong is the heart of the jewelry industry, then Tucson is the brain, specifically the part in which we dream. Infused with the spirit of the Wild West, Tucson is everything Hong Kong is not. The efficiency of Hong Kong is mirrored in the inefficiency of Tucson. Rather than a confined and catalogued colosseum, Tucson is a sprawling souk across the town. The planned meetings and rehearsed routines of Hong Kong give way to chance encounters and spontaneous introductions. Hong Kong is the destination of itineraries, where deals that have been in negotiation for months can be closed. It is laden with expectation. Tucson is liberated from all of that. Amongst the pioneers, prospectors and chancers who frequent Tucson, discoveries are made, not with the suits seen in Hong Kong. Who knows what we will find there, and therein lies its beauty and necessity. In Tucson I expect to find nothing - except the unexpected.