Every February, beaders, jewelry-makers, and stone-lovers of all stripes descend upon Tucson, Arizona, for the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, a citywide showcase of rocks, minerals, and much, much more. Actually an assortment of more than 40 shows in dozens of locations, this is the place to go early every year to see new products and learn about upcoming trends. Which of these trends will you incorporate into your beading this year?
Rough-cut stones have been gaining in popularity for the past few years, and this year, the trend continues. Single- and double-terminated quartz points, both un-drilled and drilled, were especially prominent. Many gemstones were electroplated, usually in gold, for extra panache. Druzies also continue to be popular, both in beads and in cabochon-style cuts. And while natural cuts were dominant, a heavy focus on coatings, like titanium and pyrite, was also evident, giving many stones an iridescent and/or metallic shimmer. Finally, arrowheads were a popular theme, whether plain, electroplated, or wire-wrapped.