The annual Tucson gem and mineral series of shows are now their final stages, with all of the major shows ending on Feburary 7th. We have spent the past several days walking the exhibition halls and talking with vendors. Overall the general opinion is that business is somewhat better than last year, although still not as as robust as in the lofty sales of several years back.
Tanzanite seems to have dropped in price and was readily available in nicer qualities. Mozambique ruby was being shown by many vendors, and, at least for the near future, it appear it will likely fill the void left by ban on importing ruby from Berma. A few bright, deep red rubies from the early Madagascar production were still being shown, but the fine material from that region seems to be nearing its end.
There were several new sapphire dealers making the trip to Tucson from Sri Lanka to exhibit than in past years, and finer Ceylon material was available at prices similar to last year. It seems as if the U.s. dollar may be strengthening against the Thai and Sri Lankan currencies, ans if so, the cost increases we have experieinced due to unfavorable currency exchange rates will disipate.