Arizona has gone and went.

Hiya again from the high desert outside of Denio, NV.

They forecast snow and more snow tomorrow.  Probably just evaporate, but not always. The weather was nice in Quartzsite, AZ this year.  No ice, no horrible winds, even though we did get dusted badly and will have to completely reclean all the cases. This is the real reason deals are had at the end of the show; the prospect of cleaning everything so it can be taken inside somewhere, is daunting.

I did get to go walk around the show as I was again lucky and had great neighbors by my booth. Everything is in motion for next year again, lots won’t be coming back to sell or could not afford the space rent up front, and it is 20% higher for next year, town jacked the tax rate over 10% now too.  I shuffled my space down the west side right next to Bill Carmona and out of under the power pole. I lose my sign posts but gain 45 feet to the dog walk and outhouses. There was more than one friend watching this years show from some hole in the ground somewhere. Most were able to get out and come if they had so desired, (I think they stayed home to catch some rockhound highgraders during this time of year) but a few were back filled and missed dearly.

In other news. I didn’t make enough cash to go invest it in future sales prospects in Tuscon. I wish the dealers there luck, but I heard their crowd was from the same being milked by the rulers economy ours was. Lot of competition from overseas and fewer buyers compared to tourists. Our neighbors at Sunstone Ridge got their stock of Faceted sunstones, beads, and rough, stolen from between shows. Know your sellers. I hate to be protectionist as I do business around the world and they are my friends too, but…this whole industry is fraught with scam artists and unscrupulous sellers who prey on the uniformed. If you are at an established venue, dealing with a mine outlet of distinct material or any artisans, who use the same materials, you should be assured of genuine articles and truthful information. This is where knowing your seller becomes the ethical way to support folks more than make an extra nickle. In this business it is cash and carry, so try to give the cash to those that carry the expenses. My cutters have more than one UGLY American that never paid them for their work.

Walking around I did see higher prices on the “new” no longer new Ethiopian opals, but there was some higher qualities available for that. I actually ran across Mr Massey (Shewa Opals; for the locals back during development.) looking at the display cases early on the morning I signed up again and got to say hello. I didn’t sell a single “close out” parcel to the few buyers i entertained. I do have faith folks will realize that gemstones are much better hard assets after food and home than money and start investing in Colored stones and jewelry that is NOT poised to collapse like the housing market. i.e. NO colored gem is stockpiled like diamonds. I’m putting rarer things away than diamonds because the chance they will ever appreciate is almost guaranteed by their scarcity. Not that I have any money outside of my holes in the ground, so I’m limited to the collection I find and create. LOL. Enough talk, here’s what I found for me this year. I have simple tastes if refined.


“Art Shark”