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Impressions of International Gem & Jewelry Show


#1

I’d like people’s impression of last weekend’s International Gem
& Jewelry Show, as well as shows in general. This was the first
I’ve been to, so I have nothing to compare it with. (I’m just a
wannabee, sniff…)

I was a bit disappointed. (I think that being on this list has
spoiled me.) Most of the jewelry I saw seemed . . . mass
produced. More than a few times I found myself thinking,
“hmm… that’s from the Rio catalog” or, “that’s from that
Taiwanese manufacturer I saw on the web.”

I should insert a cautionary note, before you-all think I’m
totally negative: I tended not to spend a great deal of time at
any one place. I didn’t want to seem rude by brushing people
off, but I didn’t want them to waste their time with me either,
because I was not about to buy anything. (The only thing I had
with me of any value was my Metro farecard.) So, it’s possible
that the hand-crafted one-of-a-kind masterpieces were there, and
I just missed them.

What do you think? Jennifer? Susan? Anybody else?

Tom


#2

If this is the same show that comes to Chicago, and I would guess
it is…I have attended them for years and have never seen
anything aproaching one-of-a-kind anythings. I have however seen,
Loretta Switt(bad jewelry!) Princess Di’s dress, tacky jewelry of
the rich and somewhat famous etc.

I go for the wholesale area, I visit my pearl guy, try to get a
good deal, and leave. As I become less involved with beads I have
less reason to even go.

Karen
@Karenworks


#3

We seem to have a consensus among Karens regarding the
International Gem and Jewelry Shows. I stop in, run to the
wholesale side, see my 2 favorite cutters and my pearl guy. I
shudder and have convulsions as I go past the purses, $5 watches,
neckties, and featherweight “gold and gemstone” jewelry offered
on the retail side.

Karen (the other one)


#4

I used to go to these shows but after going to JA show in New
York and the Tuscon show, I stopped going to the International
Gem & Jewelry show. My impression of the International Gem &
Jewelry show is the same as both the Karens.

Surbhi


#5

We seem to have a consensus among Karens regarding the
International Gem and Jewelry Shows.

The third Karen is thankful to have this as I have
been wondering if it was worth the trip to attend one. Now I
will just keep my legs crossed and wait for Quartzite and Tuscon.

Karen


#6

Tom, as many times as I’ve attended any of the commercial Gem
shows, I’ve yet to see any “hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind” anything
. . . I usually go for the stones, I don’t buy the expensive
faceted kind, I search for interesting cabs.

Perhaps, if you are searching for the “one of a kind” items, a
better choice of shows would be ACC (American Craft Council)
wholesale shows? (I’m just guessing, never been to one of those
. . .)


#7

Princess Di’s dress, tacky jewelry of
the rich and somewhat famous etc.

Yep.  That's the one.  No Loretta Switt (just her tacky "jewelry").

And that Princess Di dress display -- velvet theater ropes to keep 
the expected hordes away from the plexiglass case -- is that the 
most tasteless thing you've ever seen or what?  When I went, everybody 
seemed too embarassed to look at it.

UGH...

#8

I shudder and have convulsions as I go past the purses, $5 watches,
neckties, and featherweight “gold and gemstone” jewelry offered
on the retail side.

I saw some carved jade animals that I thought were cute (as a 
paper-weight, or a little nic-nac for my 7 year-old neice).  As 
I walked over to the display, the first thing I noticed was that 
there were a couple dozen identical copies (at least) of each one -- 
no doubt "carved" by a computer-controlled milling machine.  The next 
thing I noticed was that the "jade" appeared to be man-made.  It looked 
like the cultured-marble used for bathroom counter-tops (only green).

#9

I’ve been to one International Gem & Jewelry Show last Dec in
Chicago. I only saw the retail show (I’ll get to the wholesale
side this year). I found the commercial booths to be much less
interesting near the entrance. The Karens et al. have described
them pretty well. Also saw tons of amber looking material.

I found the last two rows of booths to be more interesting with
more local businesses and groups and also tool sellers with a
lot more tools and better prices than I find locally. One lady
from San Francisco had some terrific one of a kind peices. The
other booths in the cheap seats also were more willing to talk
to one with out high pressure sales.

I’m sure I’ll find the wholesale side more interesting.

Of course, I’m a newbie, but I found the experience worth while.
I wouldn’t avoid it altogether unless I’ve already seen a bunch
like it. If you ask the Karens (sorry for this lumping together)
how they met their favorite cutters and pearl guys, it might
have been by going to one of the shows.

The biggest problem I had was that there is almost no seating
available. Afew tables and chairs in a corner where some food
was sold were usually overloaded. No seating at all in the
extensive lobby area! I guess if you are sitting down, you’re
not buying, and if you’re not buying, you shouldn’t be there.

This year, I’ll be driving myself rather than being tied to a
bus full of other folks, so I’ll be able to leave when I’ve seen
what I want.

Chunk


#10
  I'd like people's impression of last weekend's
International Gem & Jewelry Show, as well as shows in general. 
This was the first

One of the advantages of being an old guy liike me is you know
the origins of all the “old mines"The International Gem Show"
originated in Wahington DC.It was put on once a year in
conjuction with Washington DC Gem and Mineral Society.It was a
very popular and spectacular event,well liked and respected.On
the par with the Federation Gem Shows.It was organized by
"Treasure of the Pirates”,the largest local retail “Rock” shop
in DC.They were the Duke family.Herb Duke,Betty Duke,Danny and
Arnold and Marsha Duke.There were dozens of rock shops around
Washington and the Lapidary hobby was at it’s height.And this
show really was the crown exibition of it all.The stress was less
on commercialism and more on public education and welcoming the
masses into the Gemcutting hobby.It was wonderful! It turned a
strary eyed me into "hooked’ life time rockaholic. Then the Dukes
got the idea to take the show on the road.They kicked out all the
free space for exhibiting artists and the clubs,wasted space.Then
they splashed them on twice a week and once on Sunday in every
major city in the U.S.Booth space astonomicly expensive,and
imagination gone by the wayside.The local Gemcutting shows could
not get a word in edgewise.The hobby deteriorated and all the
rock shops closed.None in Washington DC now.One in Northern
Virginia. About making the show circuit.It won’t bring you
riches.You will loose on 3 and make profit on one,at best.But if
you have a shop or are seeking walk in trade,all your local
events are the best advertisiing tool possible.And if you want to
make the leap into the big world.You must get on the road for 1-2
years.Hit every major show in the U.S.Tucson,Denver,Franklyn,NC
and even as many of the Duke shows as you can stand.Then when you
are ready,and depending on your field of interest,Hong Kong,JA
shows,the Nevada Jewelry show.,Antwerp and the once a year show
in Idar-Oberstein,Gemany(that is called International
Show,also).IBGM show in Belo Horizonte and Teflo Otoni,Brazil Help
out Dr.Aspler,by now there is an important event in Bangkok
too,I believe.Japan has an event also,and source country if it’s
rough that is our interest.Zambian Govt.I think puts on an
auction and a show?Now I am getting beyond my personal
experience.By the time you are ready to do major circuit,you will
know which ones are best for you.Good Luck.

Mark Liccini

Gemstone Rough Dealers Since 1970
http://www.LICCINI.com
mark@LICCINI.com


#11

Tom I enjoyed the gem show because I can shop to my heart’s
content guilt free.I think you were expecting to see more
jewelry? If you want to see fine jewelry and crafts go to one of
the ACC crafts show like in Baltimore or Philadelphia. I just go
to the gem show to stock up on stones, beads, interesting
materials. Also in Dc the Smithsonian has a really nice artshow
closer to the holidays…


#12

I just went to the gem show in Santa Monica, and I feel the same
as most of you do, with the following addition: I go into the
wholesale area to buy stones, pearls and beads, and then I buy
some chains and findings from someone in the retail
section–usually. this time, the findings guys were so busy with
people buying ones and twosies, that I finally gave up and went
to the wholesale area. It was the same there! When are the
dealers going to stop selling to personal shoppers, even when
they “have a resale license”? When I have a list of things to
buy, I can’t stand waiting for a dealer who is selling one stone
to someone who wants to know “where can I find a setting to pop
this into?” He then weighs out 13 stones for someone, who
settles on something for $3.00. Then when you get a dealer’s
attention, he keeps jumping away to sell to someone who is
clearly not a wholesale buyer. They might as well take down the
wholesale/retail curtains, and let everyone think the whole show
is wholesale. Prices can be clearly posted, with quantity
discounts. That’s another thing that bugs me. Tables of pearls
or beads without prices on them, so that you feel like the dealer
makes them up as he or she sizes YOU up! If you’re not a familiar
customer, you feel like you’re going to get taken, no matter
what. I’ve aired these concerns before. I don’t think there’s
an answer as long as the public is allowed in. Yet, when I
wanted to go to the JCK show in Vegas, I couldn’t get in because
I don’t have a retail store location.

Enough said. Ruth


#13

Dede, just got the latest issue of LJ. The White Plains, NY
show I mentioned earlier is a Jewelry, Gems and Minerals Show, on
OCtober 17-19. Call 914-782-SHOW for details. See you there.

Rita


#14

hi ruth,

you have named at least three of the top ten peeves i have when
doing any type of business.

couldn’t you ask a retailer (jeweler) that you do business with
to sign you up?

best regards,

geo fox


#15

Dede, there is a show coming up in the Westchester County Center
(an easy Metro North trip up from Manhattan, right near the train
station in White Plains). It’s a Gloria Rothstien organized
show, either in later October or early November. Check in
Lapidary Journal for exact dates and

Also, Dykra on West 48th has well priced cabachons of various
shapes.

Rita


#16
That's another thing that bugs me.  Tables of pearls or beads
without prices on them, so that you feel like the dealer makes
them up as he or she sizes YOU up!  

Hi Ruth,

This too has been my peeve. Unless the price seems fair and the
pearls, etc. fabulous, I would rather go to my vendors offices. I
so far haven’t seen fair or fab.

Linda
@Red1Eagle


#17

As much as I like my sculptural silver jewelry, the few pieces
that I make with stones sell much better so I need some more
stones resources.I like using unusually shaped cabs (kites,
freeform, shields…). I keep hearing people talk about gem
shows, is there anything coming up in the New York tristate area
soon (Jersey, Conn, New York).

Check the jewelry district in NYC. Somewhere in that area you
should be able to find anything you might be looking for.


#18

Check the jewelry district in NYC. Somewhere in that area you
should be able to find anything you might be looking for.

YOu would think so…But for really unique piece you need to find
unique sources- I found a couple of gem dealers to work but I
want to expand my resources and find out what else exists out
there…


#19

I’ll have to buy a better magnifier and check the stones for flaws.

You can get a 10x jeweler's loupe for as low as $2.  It won't 
have the optical precision of a fine triplet but you can afford 
to carry it around in your pocket and/or lose it.

I’m wondering, should I also buy a pocket scale???

Sure.  An honest dealer won't mind you checking his/her math.
(If you need a source, let me know.)

Tom

#20

DeDe said,

You would think so..But for really unique piece you need to
find unique sources- I found a couple of gem dealers to work
but I want to expand my resources and find out what else exists
out there... 

I’ve got a friend that makes tongues, bullets, cabs & other
unique shapes in singles & matching pairs. He also facets. I’ll
check with him when he gets back in town & post his address if he
OK’s it.

Dave