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Tucson 2017 trends

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.

Quartz crystal points, like these center-drilled double-terminated beads, were widely available in Tucson this February.
Titanium-coated stalactite slices reflect this year’s trends perfectly.


The big trend in glass beads this year seems to be saturated, vibrant color (but not neon, like we saw a few years ago) and metallics, again achieved with coatings. Examples include the Metalust SuperDuos, Miyuki’s new saturated Delicas, and Swarovski’s Lacquer Pro effect. A different slant on the emphasis on color: The Beadsmith’s two-tone Duets (in SuperDuos and Rullas) opens up a whole new world of design options.
Vibrant colors like those seen in Swarovski’s new Lacquer Pro effect stones allow you to make a splash this year.
Two-tone Duets offer intriguing design potential.


In the past few years, chevrons, arrows, and other basic geometric shapes have been prominent in jewelry and fashion. This year, those shapes are getting just a bit wilder, with distorted and asymmetrical shapes growing in popularity. But 2017 won’t be just a year of rough edges, as floral and botanical themes are coming back. And you don’t have to choose one or the other — mixed patterns continue to be all the rage, so go ahead and combine botanicals and geometrics. And as far as color goes, Greenery may be Pantone's 2017 Color of the Year, but pink is emerging as the go-to color for expressing girl (or woman) pride.

Dulce Vida, a new line of floral links, charms, and findings by TierraCast, perfectly captures the soft, botanical themes that are showing up in fashion.

Swarovski’s new tilted shapes by Chris Bangle are angular and emotional.

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