Getting Ready for Tu­­cson with Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist Magazine's 2013 Gemstone Price Index

If you're in the gem and jewelry industry, it's time to start getting ready for Tucson. In just a little over a month, tens of thousands of folks involved in all aspects of the jewelry industry–including beaders, jewelry artists and professional jewelry designers, jewelry and gemstone dealers, jewelry tool and supply dealers, collectors of gems and jewelry, and various other related folks–will descend on Tucson in a frenzy. I admit, I've already started making my "to buy" list, and you know, as always, pearls are on it!


If colored gems (transparent , translucent, and opaque; fa­­­­­ceted, cabochons, even gem rough for those of you lucky enough to know how to cut your own) are on your Tucson (or any) shopping list, Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist's 2013 Gemstone Price Index is a handy tool you won't want to miss. Download it, save it, print it, and take it with you to all the gem shows this year–and you'll be better informed when it comes time to buy.

"The Gemstone Price Index is limited to gem rough available to amateurs and semi-professional cutters at shows, on the Internet, and from wholesalers," writes Sharon Elaine Thompson, GG, FGA, who compiled the list. "For this reason it does not include rough such as emerald, ruby, exceptional quality blue sapphire, or Imperial topaz, materials that are not readily available except to professionals."

The Gemstone Price Index does include dozens of transparent faceted gems and faceting rough from almandine garnet to tsavorite and many in between, as well as gems from aventurine to variscite in translucent to opaque cabochons and cabbing/carving rough (all in commercial and gem grades).

"You can use this annual guide to get an idea of gem prices generally, and if you're new to buying stones, it gives you somewhere to start. But you can also compare it to past indexes (here's our 2011 Gemstone Price Index) to look at trends and to see what's available or not," says Merle White, editor in chief of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist and editorial director for Interweave's jewelry group. "But the guy who put this idea in my head originally was a faceter; he wanted to get an idea of what cut stones were selling for when he bought rough: If he bought this piece at this price and if he judged the rough well, about what size/clarity/color stone would it cut? Would he be able to sell his cut stone at a profit? Would he break even? Would he lose? He was a hobby faceter, but like so many in this field, he sold some cut stones.  He didn't have to make money on them, but he wanted to know what the odds were–or big the loss might be, etc."

Mixed Metal Clay Earrings
by Arlene Mornick

Once you've got your stash of gemstones nicely stocked, you'll be ready for some fresh new jewelry-making projects to use them in. You're in luck! We've just published some new gem, metal, and wire eProjects in the Jewelry Making Daily Shop, designed by the Lapidary Journal and Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry magazine experts. Don't forget to share your gemstone and other jewelry creations in our member gallery on JMD, too. We love to see your creativity.

And Merry Christmas, everyone!

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