4 Things Seen and Heard at the 2022 HardRock Summit

EditorsSep 22, 2022

4 Things Seen and Heard at the 2022 HardRock Summit

Gemstones Editor Brecken Branstrator dishes on the latest color to trend, the show floor buzz, and more from Denver.

The colored gemstone community recently gathered in Denver for the second HardRock Summit, where buyers were restocking ahead of the holiday season. (Photo credit: HardRock Summit by PhotographyG.com)
I think anyone who went to this year’s HardRock Summit would agree—the event was a great one.

For the first time, the fine gems, jewelry, minerals, and specimens were all under one roof at the Colorado Convention Center and it created the perfect amount of synergy and excitement.

People seemed thrilled to be back or happy to be trying it out for the first time, and the timing was great for jewelers looking to restock for the holiday season.

I spent two days walking around the show floor, chatting with exhibitors about the show and the market in general. Here are some takeaways from those conversations.

1. The colored stone crowd wants Tucson and Denver.

Feedback about the strength of buying activity at the show was mixed depending on who you talked to, as can be the case with any show.

Even so, there was a strong overall positive feel about the HardRock Summit.

While some of the days were quieter for a few exhibitors, it seemed like everyone I spoke with was invested in the summit in the long term and helping build it into an important buying event for the market.

Some said they could see it eventually replacing—or that it had already replaced—the Las Vegas shows in their annual trade show lineups, while others noted it likely will become the third important U.S. show for them every year (in addition to Vegas and Tucson, of course).

After all, who doesn’t want to be in Denver in September?

The timing is also great for restocking for the holidays.

I think all of this is evidenced by the fact that the show had many more exhibitors and attendees this year.

There were 25 countries represented between sellers and buyers at the shows, according to show organizers.

I saw several members of the international trade there to check it out, and one dealer even mentioned that some of his buyers from Asia, whom he usually sees in Tucson, came to Denver to see what he had.

It seems like the word is out, and I only expect the HardRock Summit to continue to grow.

A selection of stones seen at the Choice Gems booth (Photo credit: HardRock Summit by PhotographyG.com)
A selection of stones seen at the Choice Gems booth (Photo credit: HardRock Summit by PhotographyG.com)

2. Get ready for greens.

Here’s something I started hearing around the time we were at the Las Vegas trade shows that has been repeated several times since then: demand for green gems is picking up.

After so many years talking about pinks/purples and especially teals (side note: teal is still very hot) it’s nice to have a change of pace.

The increase in demand for greens was mentioned not only in reference to green sapphires, including those from Nigeria, but also gemstones like mint and other green garnets and even peridot.

In tandem with the mint garnet conversation, there have been a few mentions in the last few months that pastels are starting to see a comeback.

Lately we’ve been talking about the vivid pops of color we’re seeing in jewelry lately, especially in Las Vegas, but I wonder if this pivot to lighter tones will pick up steam and how long it might be before we start really noticing it in finished goods.

3. Buyers want bi-color.

I also heard many people in Denver talk about interest in their bi-color stones, whether that’s sapphires, tourmalines, or other stones.

I think this aligns with an overarching trend that I’ve been hearing for the past few years: people, especially now, are looking for gems that are unique and interesting, whether that’s through their story, their color(s), or unusual and different cuts.

4. There’s still optimism about the holiday season.

Amid stubborn inflation and rising interest rates ahead of the holiday season, it’s easy to wonder how the industry will fare.

Some predictions have started trickling for retail in general, but it seems even this year the industry has had a strong performance up to now overall—as we know, affluent consumers have not felt the squeeze as much. 

In colored stones, people are generally buying across the board and pricing is firm. 

For most of those I spoke with in Denver, they weren’t expecting much to change, predicting a fair to good holiday season still for 2022. 

Tucson will really be the first tell of how they holidays went as it will be a gauge of how much buyers need to replenish after the season. 

Let’s see how that turns out. 

 Related stories will be right here …
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

The Latest

AuctionsSep 30, 2022
Red Diamond Earns $1.8M at Auction

The final hammer price blew the pre-sale estimate out of the water.

Policies & IssuesSep 30, 2022
Voting Is Open for the Fairmined 100 Challenge’s Best Collection

The winners, picked by a group of judges and voted as the public’s favorite, will be announced in a webinar on Oct. 11.

CollectionsSep 30, 2022
Piece of the Week: Fewer Finer’s ‘Family Bracelet’

The engravable piece is a perfect family heirloom.

Brought to you by
6 Steps to Start a Dynamic Company Culture

Learn how to better serve your employees, customers and community by having a dynamic and supportive company culture.

GradingSep 30, 2022
GSI India Names Ramit Kapur Managing Director

Kapur has spent nearly two decades working in the gemological labs sector of the jewelry industry.

Weekly QuizSep 29, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
Supplier BulletinSep 29, 2022
How to Create an Engaging Experience and a Sparkling Reputation

Sponsored by Synchrony

SourcingSep 29, 2022
Q&A: Constantin Wild Celebrates 175 Years in the Colored Stone Business

The family business’ fourth-generation eponymous owner reflects on the milestone and the market today.

Brought to you by
Committing to an Ethical Diamond Business

While ethical mining is essential to a diamond business, they represent only a fraction of the responsibility bestowed on jewelers.

AuctionsSep 29, 2022
See the Top Lots in Christie’s Upcoming Rare Watch Sale

According to Christie’s, the auction is its most important single-owner watch collection ever.

CollectionsSep 29, 2022
Trove Has a New Proposal: Ring Boxes

The jewelry box brand is expanding with both single and double ring boxes in red, mint green, and white.

SourcingSep 29, 2022
AGTA Names Jennifer Heebner Editor-in-Chief of its Publications

The association has also hired a new marketing manager and announced two staff transitions.

Policies & IssuesSep 29, 2022
JA Members Return to Capitol Hill to Voice Jewelers’ Concerns

The topics up for discussion with lawmakers included inflation, rising interest rates, hiring challenges, and crime.

AuctionsSep 28, 2022
The 18-Carat ‘Fortune Pink’ Diamond Could Sell for $35M

The pear-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond will lead the Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction on Nov. 8.

SurveysSep 28, 2022
Consumer Confidence Rises in September

U.S. consumer confidence rose for the second consecutive month as gas prices fell.

MajorsSep 28, 2022
Artistry’s 2023 Catalog Is Out Now

The jewelry catalog features an updated layout and 160 pages of product.

MajorsSep 28, 2022
JFC’s 2022 ‘Hope for the Holidays’ Program Is an Adorable Menagerie

There are three designs to choose from this year, all featuring animals drawn by kids who have had wishes granted through Make-A-Wish.

AuctionsSep 27, 2022
In Betty White’s Blockbuster Estate Sale, Jewelry Held Its Own

Fine jewelry comprised three of the auction’s top 10 lots, though it could not top her director’s chair or scripts from “The Golden Girls.”

CrimeSep 27, 2022
3 Suspects in Beverly Hills Smash-and-Grab Robbery Arrested

A total of four suspects are now in custody with police still on the lookout for the remaining two.

ColumnistsSep 27, 2022
Creative Connecting: Fun Ideas for Holiday 2022 In-Store Events

From a “whodunnit” murder mystery to a permanent jewelry party, Duvall O’Steen and Jen Cullen Williams share a wealth of suggestions.

MajorsSep 27, 2022
Stuller Releases 2 Updated Catalogs Ahead of the Holiday Season

“Mountings 2023-2024” and “Diamonds & Gemstones 2023-2024” offer a vast selection of options to create custom pieces.

Events & AwardsSep 27, 2022
ICA’s 2023 Congress Will Be Held in Dubai

The event will be hosted by the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre from Feb. 15-17.

IndependentsSep 26, 2022
Roberson’s Fine Jewelry to Close After 42 Years

The store’s liquidation sale will showcase the mix of classic and unique jewels it’s known for stocking.

CollectionsSep 26, 2022
Go ‘Inside the Dream’ of Bulgari Via a New Documentary on Amazon Prime

It follows Creative Director Lucia Silvestri as she crafts the brand’s high jewelry collections.

Recorded WebinarsSep 26, 2022
Watch: What Jewelers Should Know About Insurance

From safeguarding showcases to appraisal liability, insurance experts Mark Devereaux and Andrew Chipman share insurance tips for jewelers.

TrendsSep 26, 2022
Vahan Collabs With Wolf on a Jewelry Box

It’s the first time in 50 years the brand has made something other than jewelry.

Events & AwardsSep 26, 2022
Texas Jewelers Association Rolls Out New Format for Design Competition

The competition takes place in tandem with TJA’s annual convention, known as the Texas Jewelers Roundup.

CollectionsSep 23, 2022
Pandora Reimagines Keith Haring’s Art in New Collection

The limited-run collection features figures from Haring’s iconic street art on charms, bracelets, rings, and more.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy