Old News and Updates

  Posted 3/17/03
After a very busy January and February, we have finally had a little time to catch up here at the office. The Tucson show turned out very well for us this year. We thanks all of our customers who made it the best ever. The Benitoite was very well received and sales surpassed our goal. We noticed that the crowds seem about the same as 2002, the Inn Suites location in lobby gives us a good vantage point to judge traffic. Reports from other dealers ranged from slow to the best ever. That means it was a typical Tucson event.


Posted 3/03/03


We are sad to announce that Jerry Manning of MCM Gems in Middletown, Ohio passed away this week. Jerry was both a very close friend and a supplier to our company for many years. A Memorial will take place at Breitenbach McCoy-Leffler Funeral Home in Middletown on March 1st at 6:00PM. I'm sure Peggy would love to hear from any of you out there who were friends with them. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations to be made in the name of Gerald Manning to:


The Hospice of Cincinnati
4310 Cooper Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45242
Thank you to all of the friends of Jerry and Peggy who showed up at the Memorial and for "Jerry's Celebration of Life" gathering afterward. You made a difference.




2002 News Below

Posted October 3, 2002

The summer was a blur, we always find ways to fill our "non-show" months. The new location at the Franklin Show in July was well attended, all things considered. Most dealers including us will be back next summer. We have decided however, there will be no May show for now.

The Springfield, MA show was a very good event again, attendance was close to a record. The show has about reached it's capacity now for dealers, nearly 200 attended this year.

The Denver show brought mixed reviews. For us, it was the best ever. Having a main floor selling space is likely largely to credit. But, sales were very good for the newly declared STATE MINERAL OF COLORADO - RHODOCHROSITE ! Also, sales of the STATE GEM OF CALIFORNIA - BENITOITE were very strong, especially those pieces set into 14kt gold and platinum. We will be adding lots more to this line soon.

Sorry about the lack of updates on the site, we are so busy with shows and office sales that the website has not been updated (or for that matter finished) the way I envisioned. Thanks for your patience.


Posted May 10, 2002

Those of you who are really observant and have known us for a long time will wonder why am I updating the website instead of being at the Franklin, North Carolina show. Well, the answer is that the hotel where I set up was sold, and the new owner decided not to agree to the agreement he had with my promoter. Now of course, I would never want to imply that some other show promoter had anything to do with that, so I will simply say we are sitting this one out and contemplating our options for this venue. We may choose to drop Franklin, North Carolina altogether. For now, we will be there this July.

The Benitoite project is in full swing. We now have stones from .015 cts up to almost 4 carats in stock. We are adding material daily to our inventory, I believe we now have the largest inventory the world has ever seen for cut benitoite. A recent addition was a pair of matching 7mm round with superb color. Look for photos of the new stuff in your trade magazines real soon.

We are still having supply problems at the Sweet Home Mine getting facet grade rough. Our reserves are at an all time low (since 1991) and we are hoping for a good find this year. Good Luck Bryan.

Our spring season for shows ids now over. On average, the shows were even par with last year. The attendance is hard to compare year to year at the weekend shows because the weather can play havoc with spring shows. We are pleased with the results and look forward to the summer and fall shows later this year.



Posted March 18, 2002

Tucson is finally behind us, we have finally finished the mountain of paperwork associated with being gone for one month. The show was better than many expected, including myself. Although I would say that overall traffic seemed lighter, sales were better than last year. The Inn Suites location continues to be the place where our inventory seems to sell best. We will be in the same location next year. More to follow...



Posted December 17,2001

The Benitoite project continues to be the major project in the works. It is also responsible for the long delays in updates on the website. We have had little time to get the site the way I want it. Now that Benitoite production is coming in on a steady basis, we will have more time to update the site.

After the 9/11 tragedy in New York City, the Wall Street Journal ran an interesting article that implied that money from Tanzanite sales was being directed to the Al Queda network. Whether this is true or not, some major companies have decided to drop Tanzanite from their lines. As the supply of Tanzanite has been rather weak lately (and prices have been high) this doesn't have the same impact as if they would have dropped Tanzanite during its heydays. Nevertheless, it is an interesting development.

Benitoite sales continue to grow for us. This season's production was very good, it looks like we will cut at least 25 stones over one carat, at least five of them will be over two carats. We are finally picking up some steady wholesaler buyers, still looking for a major manufacturer to come on board. We now have the supply of rough necessary to accommodate such a manufacturer.

The Sweet Home Mine continues to sporadically produce gem grade rhodochrosite rough. A few large pockets of intergrown crystals could have been the best source of rhodochrosite rough for us in years. But, unfortunately, mother earth decided to have some shifting that caused some very large crystals to become carving and cabbing rough. This year is the first year since 1992 that we have been unable to cut a single faceted rhodochrosite over 12 carats.


Posted June 14, 2001

We are just getting word of a rather lackluster show in Las Vegas at the annual GLDA show just held last week. As more news comes in, we'll pass it on.

In the meantime we are kicking off our Benitoite section of the web site. We will have more Benitoite inventory than anyone in world very shortly. There are already a few hundred stones in stock, mostly under .75 carats. However, we do anticipate having at least ten stones over 1 carat and few two to three carat stones regularly. Look for updates, the material is coming in daily.


Posted March 24, 2001

I finally got a little time to post some news here. The Tucson show turned out to be a very good show for us once again. The Inn Suites has once again proven itself to be an excellent location for us. For that reason, we have decided to drop our Holidome location for both the February and September shows at Tucson. This was not an easy decision to make, we have been there for 14 years. But, having two booths and splitting the inventory makes things difficult for my staff as well as our customers. So, from now on, the transition is over. We have only one Tucson location, the Heidel Room at the Inn Suites hotel. Terry Glockner will continue to have our old room at the Holidome and we will help him there as he requests, he did us a big favor by helping out at that location. thanks Terry for a job well done.

The new project is now official. Iteco,Inc. is now the main distributor for the new owner of the famous Benitoite Mine in California. Bryan Lees purchased the mine recently and we have agreed to sell the cut stones and jewelry from that mine in the same manner as we are selling the Sweet Home Mine Rhodochrosite production. Look for lots more details shortly, and a special section on the web site. We have cut stones in stock now, jewelry will follow soon.

I'll be photographing our new line of "Rhodo Rhomb" jewelry shortly. We introduced this line at the Denver Show last year, finally we have enough production to actually have inventory! These wirewrapped polished crystal have been very popular. Keep you eyes open for the next update in a couple weeks.


Posted December 12, 2000

All the shows are over, all the orders I promised for Christmas are shipped. Sales finished up for the year from last year so all is well. The Sweet Home Mine is closed for season, specimen production was better than faceted rough production. We continue to have difficulties obtaining the rough that yields the top stones. Modern Jeweler ran an article and an edited version of my letter to the editor. Both dealt with Sweet Home Mine faceted Rhodochrosite. Hope you saw them.

New for 2001 we will be adding another American Gemstone to our line. This one is quite a bit harder than rhodochrosite and should be ready for distribution sometime over the summer. More later.....

Another new addition for 2001 is I've hired someone to help me out at the office. I've been buried with work for the last couple years and this should help free up more time for production and hopefully the website. So, if you call and Kelli answers, don't hang up. You dialed the right number.

Posted September 30,2000

We are done doing shows for a few weeks, just one left this year. Denver was once again a successful show, we haven't received the final numbers yet on attendance though. It was good to see some old friends I hadn't seen in a while, we missed a lot of you who decided not to attend. We introduced a new jewelry line of polished rhodochrosite rhombs at the show. We sold out almost immediately and will be ramping up production on this line through the fall. Look for pictures to be posted on the rhodochrosite inventory pages later next month.

The new project mentioned below has cleared another hurdle. One last detail before we can announce it, look for more news in October.

Earlier in the summer we exhibited at the July Franklin show. As many of you know by now, there will be a change of promoters at that show for next May and July. A dozen of us weather out the transition with mostly favorable results. Parking was a non-issue, the weather was perfect and many dealers provided free drinks and snacks. Look for this show to become a more laid back, enjoyable place to shop. We'll never get the huge crowds looking for the flea market environment, just quality dealers who have been providing the industry for years with their products.


Posted June 27,2000

The spring shows officially ended with the conclusion of the Las Vegas shows earlier this month. My sources at the show all gave a thumbs up to this years sales. Our Rep at the show once again sold out out of the inventory of Faceted Sweet home Mine Rhodochrosite. Way to go Kambiz!

As you may have read in on our show schedule page, G&LW, Inc. has decided to abandon the County Inn Motel show in Franklin, North Carolina in favor of an all tent show. We have chosen to stay at the Country Inn with a handful of other dealers. G&LW, Inc. will be in charge of this July's show, although they have made every effort possible to "clear the place out". Starting in may of 2001, a new promoter will take the show over. The show will have less dealers and MORE PARKING. Any complaints about that???

There may be a new project in the wings..............more later.


Posted March 4, 2000

The Tucson shows are over for another year. I've done a bit of talking with some of the other dealers and found that the sales trend is still down. Keep in mind though, that every year more and more new dealers set up at the shows and that show promoters add shows each year. Probably if there was some way to measure the actual dollars spent, sales would indeed be up. It's just the slice of pie, as they say, is getting a little smaller for each dealer.

There will be changes for next year's show too. The Congress Street expo has been moved from downtown to the ball parks . No one is quite sure how this will effect sales. The new location may help sales at The Holidome, which now will not be out all by itself in the southern end of Tucson. However, the parking situation at all of the shows continues to deteriorate. Thankfully our Inn Suites location has not been hampered by parking problems and the Inn Suite sales were very strong this year.

For the second year in a row, we sold out of faceted Sweet Home Mine Rhodochrosite. There was heavy demand this year from Asia and Europe. Last year domestic sales of material were higher, this year Asia alone outpaced domestic sales. However, the sales of finished jewelry from the Sweet Home Mine were much higher to US dealers. For this reason, we have decided to set up to 50% of the Rhodochrosite production at the Sweet Home Mine into finished jewelry. Of course, we will still bring a lot of unset goods to Tucson, but for the rest of our shows that sell mostly to domestic customers, we will try to offer more finished Rhodochrosite jewelry.


Posted October 2, 1999

We have one show left this year, and as you can tell, the Website is dragging behind. There's no time during the show season to get the site filled up.

Denver Show

The Denver Shows are now over. The overall impression of the show is that the crowds were down for the third straight year. It's hard to tell if this is caused by fewer customers or caused by more shows (now 9 shows running concurrently). The trend needs to be reversed for all to continue to exhibit at this venue. We talked to numerous dealers who will not be returning to Denver next year.

Tucson G&LW, Inc. Show

There's no sense wasting any space here for such insanity. The dealers are still blackmailed into doing this show, there are few customers willing to show up in the desert in the summer to buy stuff. Maybe if we gave stuff away for free, we could get the "real" attendance over a thousand people. (No offense to Tom's Exterminating and Gemstone Company. We know you're a qualified buyer.)


Posted August 2, 1999

The Franklin , North Carolina show sponsored by G & LW,Inc. is now in the books. There are some changes in store for that show. Although details are a little sketchy at this time, it appears that starting next May, there will be two shows held in conjunction with each other. There will be a "mega-tent" show held about ten minutes outside of Franklin, and the traditional "in room" show held at The Country/Inn-Town hotel. We will remain at the hotel where we have exhibited for about ten years now. Further updates will follow.

Posted 6/11/99

The news posted today is limited to The Iteco,Inc. website is now running on the new server. All news and updates will be posted on this page. For previous news posted here on the old site, visit here.

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