Okay this one is a shout out to my fellow gemology lovers. In Early April, I had the pleasure of being a first time attendee of the NY/NJ Mineral and Fossil Show. Being a long time veteran of many a craft show, I decided to try something new and see my beloved minerals in their most raw form. I must say I was pleasantly surprised.
Most craft shows feature booths that are set up like individualized miniature showrooms that are meant to invoke a particular mood that the artist wants you to feel. This often creates a feeling of disunity for the craft show as a whole since it feels like you're jumping from store to store. This is widely excepted since each booth needs to be radically different from the next to stand out making sure the artist has their voice heard. The mineral show however was surprisingly cohesive.
You were almost automatically guided through by very well labeled showcases. It almost felt like a pop up museum in how each different family of stone was sectioned off allowing you to compare and contrast it against it's brethren. I found myself giddy and love drunk over being able to take time to analyze these stones, how they were grown, where, how they attached to other minerals, and all other aspects of their creation. Of course my euphoria was contagious. I found myself conversing with other visitors that were equally as ecstatic as me to share the knowledge and wonderment of the spectacle sprawled out before us.
Now the gemstones themselves were the obvious showstoppers. From the gargantuan to the pocket sized and growing in every direction off of every mineral imaginable. The most successful portion of the show for me was the precious gemstone area. It was off to the side in it's own little room with the displays set up very much like the rest of the show. However, what made this part meaningful to me was the fact that the raw gemstones were put on display next to polished, cut, finished, and set into jewelry gemstones. Seeing where that stone came from and how it originally looked makes you appreciate all the work that stone cutters truly do. Jewelers often say the stone usually inspires the pieces they create. They build a work to showcase the stone, and this display in the precious gemstone area really exhibited that creation process well. You see the raw stone, which the cutter visualizes a cut stone. That stone gets cut and polished, then it's displayed in a piece of jewelry. Seeing that process broken down really created a new appreciation for gemstones for me. A lot of times you forget where they come from since we are used to seeing so many finished and accessible.
Something I would like to see, and have seen very little of, would be raw gemstones set as they are. They come in such unique and beautiful shapes before they're cut. Even the inclusions give them a unique essence, writing a story only that particular gemstone can sow because it was in the right place at the right time to be grown. I would love to see more jewelers share that side of the story. I do admit to seeing some contemporary pieces exhibiting raw diamonds, but I'd love to see more.
I could go on forever about this wondrous experience and definitely know I will be checking out it's sister shows in the fall.
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