Activity Drop at World's Largest Gem Fair Signals Steep Online Jewelry Discounts, but Less Selection

Houston, Texas (PressExposure) February 24, 2009 -- Sluggish activity levels at the annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show – the world’s largest gem fair -- likely indicate the current decline in worldwide gem and jewelry markets is sufficiently severe that jewelry purchasers can anticipate steep discounts and unprecedented values across the market for at least the next 12 months, jewelry designer and distributor Fleury Sommers, owner of handmade gemstone jewelry site Top Drawer Choice ([]), said in a press release accompanying a video released today. The video is hosted at

“Although official reports of sales and attendance at the Tucson show have not yet been released, all evidence points to a sluggish show with fewer attendees and discouraging sales,” said the 20-year Tucson show attendee. “My purchases and price observations sampled from the more than forty gem and colored stone vendors in Tucson indicated wholesale price reductions of 30% or more compared with comparable or better values in previous years.”

“Consumers in the market for handmade gemstone jewelry can anticipate steep discounts reflecting those available at the 55th annual Tucson show,” she said.

In addition, Sommers identified several other indicators that substantiate a market decline trend: • Parking, always a problem at the world’s largest gem show, was readily available—even on opening day for the biggest and best attended shows; • Another key index—lines for restrooms were short or nonexistent; and • The Associated Press quoted one dealer as estimating sales were off by eighty percent.

For dealers, the trends, even if only anecdotal, are sobering. Many retailers and manufacturers come to the Tucson show to stockpile inventory for an entire year. Non-attendance or reduced purchases by this group reflects their outlook for the year, the financial pressures they are facing, and the probability they will forced to deplete current inventories at reduced prices.

For serious buyers, the opportunity to see and perhaps purchase newly discovered finds and materials is an important way of keeping up with industry developments and evaluating newly sourced material, according to Sommers. That this key group stayed away in droves is a harbinger of what the industry can expect in the coming months. The only hopeful note is that should retail sales pick up, buyers will be in touch with their usual suppliers.

“Those buyers who did attend were looking for their favorite standbys, gemstones readily recognizable by clients. Gone was the excitement and buzz accompanying big new finds such as that which accompanied the Madagascar sapphires a few years ago. New finds need promotional and educational dollars for market acceptance,” she added.

Finally, for those planning—or hoping—to return to Tucson next year…stay tuned. The Associated Press also reported indications of a growing rift between Tucson officials and show organizers who believe the city is not doing enough to support the gem fair which brings an estimated $100 million to the city annually.

Sommers can be reached for additional information by email at or 713-385-5443.

About Top Drawer Choice

TopDrawerChoice is a fine art and craft gallery presenting studio jewelry, including pearls and gemstones, fine art, art photography and woodturning, spotlighting some of the best work in these areas. The website also contains articles about pearls, gemstones, fine art, art photography and woodturning.

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Press Release Submitted On: February 24, 2009 at 3:35 pm
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