Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Karen’s Jewelers will welcome an annual visitor bringing gems from Southeast Asia, Afghanistan, and Egypt for a three-day Smithsonian-style show in Oak Ridge.
Gary Bowersox will present rough gems and minerals, precision-cut gemstones and designer jewelry at Karen’s Jewelers in Oak Ridge from Wednesday through Friday, September 30-October 2. Bowersox has made Karen’s Jewelers a destination on his “Magnificent Gemstones of the World” event for nearly 20 years, according to proprietors Jonathan and Martha Hart.
More than 60,000 gems will be on display at the gem show and sale at Karen’s Jewelers, 1120 Oak Ridge Turnpike. The exhibit will be open from noon.-6 p.m. September 30, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. October 1 and 2.
Among gems in the show will be a rare padparadscha sapphire from Sri Lanka, among many sapphires from the region. The gem is described as a delicate mix of pink and orange. Also from Sri Lanka will be sphene, another rare and brilliant green, orange or brown gemstone, along with moonstone and special zircons.
From Afghanistan will be a range of gems, including emeralds, rubies, aquamarines, and tourmaline, along with gem mineral specimens. Bowersox is bringing spinels, including rare red spinel gems, from Burma. Also in the show will be jade, black opal, amethyst, citrine, topaz, morganite, and white quartz. Items range in cost from $2 to $102,000.
“We will be displaying a wide range of gems in their mother rock, just as they were discovered in the Hindu Kush Mountains,” Bowersox said.
In his nearly half-century of exploration, Bowersox has hiked through the Hindu Kush and ridden camels, mules, sheep trucks, and tanks to explore remote mines in Asia. This past year, he has traveled to Thailand, Hong Kong, and Egypt, as well as Sri Lanka, Burma, and Afghanistan in search of gemstones and gem specimens. An author and authority on gems, he will lecture later this month at the First World Emerald Symposium in Bogota, Colombia.
Bowersox, who has sought gemstones around the world for 48 years, will celebrate Karen’s Jewelers’ 40th anniversary and his 75th birthday by offering a 30 percent discount on silver jewelry in his show.
Karen’s Jewelers celebrates 40 years in business since its founding in 1975 by Jonathan Hart’s mother, Karen Hart, now retired. Karen’s Jewelers, a full-service jewelry store that has served customers longer than any other in Oak Ridge, offers exclusive lines of designer jewelry in its wide selection of jewelry and gifts. Custom design, restoration of heirloom jewelry, and repair of jewelry are among services the store provides customers.
Bowersox has lectured at the Smithsonian and The Explorers Club, carrying the club’s flag to Afghanistan. He has appeared on CNN, ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Fox News, National Public Radio, Voice of America, and many other radio and television programs.
The gem hunter received an award from the Kamehameha, Hawaii, Lions Club for directing humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan through the Lions International eyeglass program in 2009. He has also delivered school supplies to school children in remote mining villages there through contributions from his local Rotary Foundation.
For more information, call Karen’s Jewelers at (865) 483-6717, and see the web site at www.karensjewelers.com. A video on this year’s Bowersox explorations is at “Gem Show Info and Video” under the “News and Events” tab on the Karen’s Jewelers website.
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