On to the gems! I attended the MJSA show at the Hilton Hotel and after getting past the jewelry shop machinery, made it upstairs to the treasure trove of beads and cabochons. The colors! The textures! I am by no means an expert in anything, but am happy to report that after 2 years of study could identify almost every stone that I looked at.
It's really like a candy store for gem enthusiasts. the pretty amethysts and ammonites in the front couldn't be more different, and I truly regret not purchasing the brown and green chrysoprase cabochons just behind the amethysts. It was hard to keep focused on what to buy that people might want that I had the skills to work with vs. what I thought was pretty. My first gemstone purchased when I was starting out two years ago was an irregularly shaped golden beryl nugget that I am still not sure what to do with, or how to set!
This is John Bajoras, owner of The Village Silversmith, winner of the Most Enticing Booth at the show. They had the best spot, to the immediate right of the entrance to their ballroom. He is almost that pink-skinned in real life and is rugged in an Indiana Jones type way. John goes on gem hunt trips and knows exactly the provenance of each and every gem. He and his lovely wife set up, run and strike the booth - can you imagine packing all of this up? I can't.
Next to John is Hana, a friend and student at the JCC in NYC, a talented jewelry designer and maker. She is carefully choosing stones for her own amazing creations, which I can't wait to see!
Look at those huge labradorite cabochons just above. Plenty of blue flash in some of those. I bought some like these at another vendor and have a ring earmarked for myself; as if I need any more.
This way bankruptcy lies. The red carpet leads to more stunning stones.
John's wife Neyla adds up my purchases. Note the HUGE shocking pink gemstone that she is wearing. Only fitting. This was at the end of day two of three days of the show and she was calm and focused. That little-ish bag in front of her is full of my purchases.
Village Silversmith will be selling at the NY-NJ Mineral Show in Edison, New Jersey this weekend, April 11-13.
Aren't these aquamarines gorgeous? I wanted them all, but ended up buying none this time. Next time, when I start to work in gold!
I bought these pretties at Gangi Gems, picking through trays to find stones for a hot summer necklace. These are jaspers, turquoise, rhodonite and amazonite.
About a week after this show, I went to the NY Bead Show at the Metropolitan Pavilion. I was looking for hot colors, and found these lovelies in chrysoprase, chalcedony, jade, and carnelian.
More: amethyst nuggets and dyed mother of pearl beads for a special project:
Rutilated quartz in sexy black:
I capitulated and found these aquamarines, which only need to be strung and a clasp added to make a beautiful ocean-inspired necklace:
Here are the amethyst nuggets, looking a bit like the rock candy that my grandmother loved:
Here are the cool blues that I also felt compelled to buy, that will look fab this summer.
Chrysoprase daggers with coordinating rondelles. I can't wait to work on these.