Whilst the title of this post is very much “tongue-in-cheek” as obviously the mighty Tucson Gem Show is under no threat from this fledgling show in Africa, we feel that it is the beginning of something that could develop into something great. On April 26th to 29th 2012, the Tanzanian government sponsored a reincarnation of the Gem & Jewelry Show which was first attempted almost a decade ago. Unlike its predecessor however, it was a success. As one of the world’s largest producers of colored gemstones, Tanzania is aiming to secure its place as one of the world’s premier destinations for fine gem dealers. This event went a long way to cementing that process.
Lapigems was well represented by Sheelagh Zagoritis, our jewelery designer and one of our directors. Sheelagh’s experience in the trade stretches back over 30 years and the show was a great place for her to re-establish and continue long held relationships with influential players in the gem industry from the USA, Germany, Thailand and India.
The show was well attended and well represented with the World ICA (International Colored Gemstone Association) President, Mr Wilson Yuen and AGTA(American Gem Trade Association) CEO Mr Douglas K. Hucker making keynote addresses.
There was a great deal of material on show from various dealers from Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique and Congo. The majority of the material was not of the quality we search out but we did pick up some special pieces like this wonderful Merelani Mint Green Garnet fresh from the tanzanite mines and some wonderful Aquamarine.
The show was generally considered a success, despite the usual teething problems associated with new events. It will be interesting to see how it continues to develop over coming years.
Lapigems Gem Company