It’s time for me to make my bi-annual treck to the Tucson Gem Shows! I love this trip and looking forward to seeing the latest industry trends and reconnecting with friends that make the trip with me. As always I’m most excited to see what I can find for my jewelry designs!

As I have the last few years I’ve attended the Tucson Shows, I have been prepping with a list of items that I need in my stash, and also a list of the different materials I would like to have for future designs. As I have with the past shows I’ve attended, I wanted to create a list of items I’m excited to see this year. In no particular order, here’s what I hope to find at the 2020 Tucson Shows.

Beads I hope to find

Beads are still the backbone of many of my designs. Typically when I attend the Tucson shows, I grab anything that catches my eye. My goal is to think critically about my bead purchases this year and find the right ones to not only fit my upcoming collection themes but also that can be used to create designs I can restock.

Accent stones: Past purchases that fall in this category include the amethyst slabs in 2018, and some beautiful rutilated quartz in 2015. When I find these beads I tend to impulsively buy, but if I do some on the spot designing and sourcing, I can create stunning designs that are fan favorites. My Amethyst gemstone necklaces are one example of successful splurge spending.

This year I hope to find some similar accent gemstones. I have no underlying assumptions of what this will be. It’s going to be very spontaneous.

Amazonite beads: Amazonite remains one of my most favorite stones, and my buyers who discover it in my designs love it too. I’d love to find some more shapes of this versatile stone to continue creating beautiful designs.

Quartz: Pink has been a favorite color to design with the last year. I’d love to restock my rose quartz and see what other varieties of this stone I can find.

Druzy: I’ve had a blast working with the different druzy stones I have in my stash. I’ll have my eyes open for these stones and any natural hues that catch my eyes.

Stones for Metalsmithing

I’ve purchased a few stones at the shows in the past to test and see how long they sit in my stash. Now that I’m more regularly creating metalsmithing pieces, I’m excited to expand the number of stones I’ll be buying for these designs.

Dendritic Opals: I LOVE these stones and they’ve been very among my buyers. I’d love to find several different sizes and shapes to incorporate in future collections and designs. While I have a few specific gemstones I’m looking to buy this year, shopping for these stones may be one of the things I’m looking most forward to.

Small gemstones: I want to create more rings this year, and adding smaller stones to my stash is key. I’ll be looking for stones in all hues to add to my stash so I can add rights to the upcoming collections I’ll be offering.

Rectangle Stones: I recently reconsidered a previous design that I created and rethought how I could construct it. Now that I have the idea in my head, I want to find a few rectangular (or long) stones to craft the design in my head.

Other hopeful finds

I added a day to my trip this year so I have a day planned to attend a few shows I don’t usually attend. At these shows, I do have a few other items I’ll be looking for.

Chain: In addition to the standard metals, I’d love to add some rose gold chain to my stash. I’ve needed it on multiple occasions.

Filigree accents: I love using pre-made filigree in my designs. I’ll be looking for some of these to add back into the stash this year, especially in gold and bronze metals.

Tools: I’d love to find an extra set of plyers and some flex shaft accessories this year. I’ll be keeping an eye out on any handy adds that can help me with my metalsmithing process.

Tucson 2020 shopping list

This is only a fraction of what I have on my list for my shopping trip. I’ll be sure to post my favorite finds from the shows in the coming weeks but I would love to hear what you have on your list if you’re attending the shows. Share your list below in the comments.

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