If you’re a gem geek like me, you know that there is a place for every color of every gem somewhere in the colors of the rainbow ... hence the name of this brilliant educational project. Somewhere In The Rainbow (SITR) is an Arizona-based, privately owned collection of museum-quality works celebrating today’s finest lapidary artists, designers, and jewelers. Their website, somewhereintherainbow.com, begins on its home page with a description and the mission of SITR. It reads:
SITR speaks to gallery owners, museum curators, gemologists, modern jewelry designers, and the collector of rare and fine gems from around the world. We are a boutique style service for industry professional designers, educational instructors and private collectors. Our expertise is in the finest color gems and modern jewelry designs.
To bring hands-on education and enjoyment of fine colored gems to museums, galleries, gemologists and facilities dedicated to preserving the rarity, history, and beauty of fine gems and articles of jewelry.
When I first met Shelly Sergent, curator, and manager of the SITR collection, I have to admit I was jealous! Your job, should you decide to accept it, is to purchase the finest, the rarest and most unusual in the gem and jewelry industries and then take the collection to museums and galleries and give educational talks about the pieces and techniques. Oh, no selling, it’s a permanent collection! Can you imagine?
This multi-faceted exhibit was first introduced at the University of Arizona’s Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium in February 2017 during the Tucson Showcase. Following a “star-studded” grand opening, visitors were invited to see the ingenious displays that Sergent put together. Each continent is built out, with the representative gems and jewelry in place. About the exhibition, Sergent has said, “We are thrilled for this collaboration of educational forces in the mineral, gemstone, and jewelry world to be experienced and enjoyed. This will be the first time that the Somewhere In The Rainbow collection will be available to this extent as an educational exhibition and we are honored to share it with U of A and all who visit.”
Last Year’s 2017 SITR Tucson Exhibition
The 2017 exhibition featured impressive works from twenty lapidary artists and designers, all winners of the coveted Spectrum Award from the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), including a display of historical gemological tools that were used to identify and study gemstones through the ages from the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (known as Gem-A).
Among the many amazing specimens, the sapphire named Buddha Blue dazzled visitors and became the central point of a faceting Challenge. Faceted in 1400-1500 AD, this gemstone inspired SITR to showcase eleven of today’s top gem cutters. Each of them brought their own style of gem cutting, and the glittering examples illustrate the evolution of cutting styles. "Inspired by our Buddha Blue Ceylon sapphire,” commented Sergent, “we want to showcase the lapidary skills and how this art has evolved, changed and become very personal to the cutters. Each artist is asked to use their unique style with a piece of synthetic blue corundum and ‘tell their story’ through the gem.”
This Year’s SITR ‘Modern Gem & Jewelry Collection’ Exhibit
The 2018 ‘Modern Gem & Jewelry Collection’ will be available to view from January 31 through February 15 at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Museum, located inside Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium at the University of Arizona.
SITR will unveil twenty new AGTA Spectrum Award winning designs and twelve amazing new lapidary artisans’ pieces, but for 2018 the Challenge pieces will be cut from Ruby boule. The Ruby project is a collection of lapidary artists who are in the spotlight, like last year’s cutters, but they are producing some the most creative techniques and designs in the cutting world today. From Thailand to Singapore to the USA, the ruby pieces are sure to blow the minds of visitors! Crazy mad skills and the rich red is luscious. All of the Ruby boule was donated by Bernd Stephan of Germany.
With more than 475 specimens of the world’s finest gems, minerals, and designer jewelry pieces, you will want to carve out an hour or two of your Tucson show-going schedule to see this exhibition. Never before has SITR showcased this extensive display of world-class gems and artisan works of jewelry. Don’t miss it!
SITR Website: http://somewhereintherainbow.com
SITR Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SIRGEMS/