On any given weekend, there is sure to be a gem show somewhere near you. As designers that use rough gems, we could not live without these shows to grab gorgeous stones for our inventory. But there are also plenty of non jewelry making folks perusing the isles for meaningful stones or jewelry to buy. If you've been to one, you know how busy they can get, and also how overwhelming it can be to scour through to find just the right piece. If you've never stepped foot in a gem show - go! It will definitely be an interesting and fun experience, and we're positive you'll find something you'll love.
Here are a few tips that we live by when it comes to hunting for gems:
Watch out for synthetic stones There are a lot of manufactured stones out there. For some people, this isn't an issue, but for us it is very important to find natural stones made by mother earth. So, be aware and ask questions if the description on the gem packaging does not outright tell you. Sometimes you can tell the difference because the color is very even or highly saturated, or by the price it is being sold for. When in doubt, ask the seller.
Sifting through rough sapphires
Look for clarity, baby! It is extremely important to us to find rough gemstones with incredible clarity. It takes a bit of practice, and is also based on your personal taste, but we love to find stones that are super clean with little to no inclusions/imperfections. These stones are often called facet rough. This can be a challenge with raw stones, but it can be done. That's why they call it hunting ;)
This gorgeous mint garnet has amazing clarity and fire
Be bold and negotiate Don't shy away from negotiating for a better price. You will often find that sellers are open to negotiating a price or throw in a free stone or two, especially if you are buying multiple items. Of course, always do this with a smile and be kind.
We found this amazing aquamarine on a previous gem hunting trip. It's still a work in progress, so it is not up for sale yet. Interested in making it yours? Email us at email@example.com and we will help make it happen!
Hydrate, fuel up, and be comfy! You will be on your feet for many hours hunting for those gems. So, wear comfy shoes, keep yourself hydrated, and don't get hangry - bring snacks! Some of the venues offer snack bar food, but some do not. Don't get stuck like Steve and I did this past weekend with no food or water on us, buying a sad little pack of nuts from the vending machine.
If you find the gem of your dreams and want something custom made with it, let us know! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will start the custom order process with you.