About us.


Welcome to a world where color takes precedence. If you are looking for diamonds, you have come to the wrong place.

Welcome to Tucson Todd’s Gems. We believe life should be celebrated with color. Color to express how you feel, to share your inner emotions, to express your creativity and bold self, to stand apart and be different, to be unique. Or maybe to simply mark an occasion, a delightful birthday, a monumental anniversary, or just to plain treat yourself to something different. At Tucson Todd’s Gems, our mission is to bring you ethically sourced, gracefully cut, magnificent gems. We also carry many one-of-a-kind, exceptional and out-of-this-world gems.

Tucson Todd's Gems is a collaboration between two very passionate and creative people. They love to travel the globe in search of beautiful, ethically-sourced, extraordinary gems. When you know the owners, you know where your gems come from. They love to spread their passion of gems and jewels at the shows they do across the country.

Take a look around our site and come visit us at an upcoming show. We are constantly adding to our vibrant inventory. Please contact us to discuss your gemstone desires. We look forward to working with you no matter your need, from in-stock, ready to go inventory, to custom faceting and design. Thanks for visiting!

Welcome to the end of the rainbow.



Todd Wacks, aka "Tucson Todd"

The Crystal Machinist

G.J.G., A.J.A., G.P., A.J.P. (GIA)

Todd Wacks looks at gemology as life. He enjoys sharing his love of gems, hunting down exotic rough, and “machining” these rough crystals into stunning faceted gems. Todd was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. He is a fourth generation jeweler, growing up in his family's jewelry store working his way up from floor sweeper to goldsmith.

In 2011, he went to GIA for further training in gemology. This is when his love for gemstones sparked. Todd was intrigued by the thought of rough crystals being studied and then shaped into these eye-catching faceted gems he was learning about. He just had to learn how to do it himself. Seeking out an experienced teacher, Todd finally found the perfect fit, a So-Cal cutter pretty famous for her work.

Todd started to facet and acquire more and more gems. Now what to do with them all? Put them into his family store? Try something new and diversify? That's when he and his friend from GIA, Mary van der Aa, started Tucson Todd's Gems. From humble beginnings, they have worked hard to bring you all of the classics, as well as the latest discoveries of exceptional gems from around the world. Todd is currently only taking selective commission work but loves chatting about ideas and possibilities.

Mary van der Aa

G.J.G., A.J.A., G.P., A.J.P. (GIA)

Resident fabricator, designer, sales connoisseur, aspiring crystal machinist, charming wit and all around pretty fun person.  

Mary van der Aa looks very passionately at jewelry as art. Abstract. Modern. Jewelry Art. Mary grew up in the industry, moving from Michigan to California to pursue an education with the world-famous Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Upon graduation, she was hired by GIA to work in Jewelry Manufacturing Arts, assisting new program development, as well as getting to teach and work with students to help them produce and create their own jewelry pieces.

Mary is always creating something new as she explores inspirations from nature, art, culture and ideas. These days, she is fascinated by the possibilities of abstraction with an emotional impact. She likes to create structural, geometric, “out there” pieces. And she likes using unusual gems, striking colors, and interesting patterns. That’s what makes her and Todd such a great team. They both love to create beautiful things and be immersed in the world of nature’s art. 

Mary creates a range of work, from inexpensive fashion jewelry to pricier, one-of-a-kind sculptured pieces. Mary is intrigued by modern pearl jewelry and classic looks with an edge. She recently launched her first two designer jewelry collections, Architect and Architect SANS. Currently, she’s only up for selective commission work, but loves to discuss design ideas to help you create the perfect piece. 




Journal of Gemology, Gem-A
Article about our stunning 11.13ct yellow dravite tourmaline from Tanzania.


Journal of Gemology, Gem-A, April 2017
Cutting featured in article about a new deposit of Congo tourmaline


Journal of Gemology, Gem-A, mid 2016
Cutting featured in article about new deposit of garnet found in Mahenge, Tanzania.


Vanadium and Chromium-Bearing “Color-Change” Pyrope Garnet (Gems & Gemology, Winter 2015, Vol. 51, No. 4)
Cutting featured in an article about a new variety of pyrope garnet. 


Color- Change Garnet from Tanzania (Gems & Gemology, Spring 2015, Vol. 51, No. 1)
Cutting featured in an article about a new variety of pyrope garnet.


The Interview
Interview with Todd Wacks about a new variety of pyrope garnet, color change.



Photo Dec 06, 1 51 20 PM.jpg