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How to select Gems and Pearls for Jewelry Making

Selecting the gems, pearls and beads to use in jewelry designs is one of the most fun and exciting part of being a jewelry designer! While the internet abounds with online gem and bead shops, I do not suggest buying gems online. Instead, I strongly suggest purchasing gems and beads from wholesale gem shows.

Trade shows and wholesale gem and lapidary shows offer the opportunity to network, learn, socialize, and most importantly, touch, feel, and closely examine each gem and stone before purchase.

When selecting baubles, beads or stones, always keep in mind how you intend to use each. This simple act creates results that are visibly noticeable in the quality of the finished piece

For the art of hand knotting, selecting stones and pearls with the proper hole size and finish is of the utmost importance. The holes have to be examined closely; the size and condition of the holes in each stone must be suitable for hand knotting., as everything is knotted in silk.

Always be on the lookout for unusual and interesting stones available in different sizes, shapes and many colors. For my work, I am always on the lookout for naturally dyed wool, dupioni silk, antique fabric, lambskin, antique ribbons and suede that I incorporate into many of my designs

When attending a trade show, always bring tax identification. Many shows  that are open to the public will let you in for free with a Tax ID, while others charge an entry fee.

There are numerous trade and wholesale gems shows, many of which travel around the country. However, when traveling abroad, always be on the lookout for international shows!

Here are a few of the best and most popular shows located within the United States:

Gem and Lapidary Wholesalers – Traveling show with many locations around the U.S.
International Gem & Jewelry Show–  Traveling show with many locations around the U.S.
Tucson Gem and Mineral Show
– The only and only, famous popular annual show held in Arizona!

Have fun and enjoy discovering beautiful gems, pearls, and unique baubles at these shows. I’ll see you there!

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