Last weekend with Ken we went to one of the International Gem and Jewelry Shows, the one held at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia. This time we went as shoppers, although next time we plan to go already as vendors :). It has always been our strategy to shop the show first, before applying to it. The show is organized by the Intergem, Inc. company. They have them all around the U.S., so the chances are, there might be one in your area :).
1) The show included traditional jewelry and jewelry-making supplies (beads, tools, adhesives, findings) vendors. Jewelry sold was all kinds – costume, bridge, and fine. A lot of sterling silver. Some gold and platinum. Some vendors also sold clothes and purses.
2) Shoppers were of all ages [and genders :)] Children under 8 were not permitted. We saw quite a few resellers and wholesale buyers. A lot of shoppers, as well as vendors were of Indian and Asian origin.
4) Bathrooms were terrible, very bad smell. On the back, next to the bathrooms, was a food stand and a few round tables with chairs. Note to myself: bring my own food and don’t drink too much :).
5) There wasn’t a lot of show personnel on the show floor [or they managed to disguise themselves very skillfully :)]; most of them were at the door. Admission to the show was $8, on the website you could get a coupon for $2 off admission fee. Military people were allowed for free.
Pictures you could see above were ones of the show, from their website. I didn’t want to take my own pictures, as not to distress vendors and shoppers.We also met a few good pearls and minerals sellers, from whom we plan to buy in the future.
And now about the shopping! 🙂 – you could buy anything. I did :). I bet any “normal” girl would buy a bunch of blingy beads sold there, but I bought two natural rocks (see the pictures). One, quartz druse inside a banded agate geode, was a present for our Dad, who was visiting us at the time of the show. Another, a slab of Madagascar labradorite, I bought for myself. I think he has ears and a mouth and he’s looking at me! 🙂 I love him. I love rocks.
To conclude, I think the show was pretty good. There was certainly a lot to see (and to buy). So, if my story has convinced you to visit one nearby you or even apply to it, just let me know how it went. I’d love to hear from you!