Lexi at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show – Part 2

I’ve shared my thoughts of the first few days of the Denver Gem Show, but the show that opens on the Thursday of the show week is the only one that many people know about. So many jewelers don’t know about the other shows and only attend the International Gem and Jewelry Show at the Merchandise Mart. It is a “wholesale” show, meaning you must show your Tax ID to be admitted, but truthfully, much of the merchandise inside the show is regularly priced, or retail. But there are some great stone dealers in there, some of my favorites, along with a large variety of finished jewelry, fabulous faceted stones of every size shape and color, and more cabs!

Of course my first stop is always Gary B. Wilson’s booth. Each time I see Gary he has new stones which tempt me…and I feel like I have a pretty good selection of his things, but I always find more goodies. The turquoise colored Leland blue will work well with the sandstone colored Barite, and will work well for my clients wanting the Southwestern style and colors. That made me really step out of my comfort zone, color-wise, because, as you know, I’m color blind. But I had a couple of Wubbers U teachers with me, and they said it looked luscious. What do you think?

I splurged and purchased a piece of Corvette-ite. It’s full of color, and is like Fordite, but from the GM plant and the paint booth where they painted the Corvettes. (I swear, Gary will just about cut anything!) What I love about Gary’s Fordite and Corvette-ite is the super shimmery silvers, and I just love shiny stuff. They just seem to glow, and I can’t help but love it. Yes, I know it’s not a natural stone but that doesn’t seem to bother me nor my clients.

I don’t usually get many beads, just ’cause I already have tons of them, (and I did go bead shopping with Patti several times—WARNING! don’t do it!) but I fell in love with the snakeskin agate beads, so had to add those to my tab, and some Lady Bug Jasper, confetti jasper and, of course, 2 moonstones cabs, which are cut very deep.


Cobalt Calcite

Another great dealer is Joe Jelks from Horizon Mineral Company. He always has a nice selection of unusual choices. This year he had spectacular rough face lapis and cobalt calcite. Also his turquoise from the Fox mine, one of my favorite mines, was spectacular…so ka-ching. Another stone that I am returning to is one I used many years ago, amber, and Joe had some fabulous amber, and some that was a red/gold mixture which had some great patterning.

I have one major tip for all of you shopping for stones….If you always buy stones you fall in love with, you will never part with them. (And how would I know that?) So this year I made a concerted effort to purchase stones that were beautiful, but not necessarily ones I just “had” to have. Also, don’t forget to purchase smaller accent stones. I seem to always forget to pick up a handful of small round black onyx or small 3-4 mm faceted stones and then suddenly at 2 in the morning I can’t finish a piece because I need the small accent piece!

But you see my purchases, an I hope they somehow inspire you. Happy creating and may your bezels never melt!

Creatively yours–

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Posted in Lexi Erickson

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