Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Sacred & the Profane

In my world as a stone addict, there are 2 types of days: the sacred days, and the profane days.

The sacred days include: days shopping for gems.

The profane days: every other day.

However, this past weekend blurred those lines a bit. I went to the International Gem & Jewelry show at a newish location, the Gaylord Hotel & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. I was going directly to my opal vendor, S&S, because I've had customers wanting faceted opal rings and S&S has the best selection. Their faceted opals are the cleanest, clearest, and brightest I've found. So what did I find? They had recently sold their ENTIRE inventory of faceted opals to a 'guy who makes jewelry for TV'.

I. Was. Crushed.

Good for them; sucks for me. AND they won't have a selection of them in stock again for months, after Tucson in Jan/Feb. AND they are not guaranteed to be the same quality as their last stash.

To top things off, my second choice for faceted opals, Best in Gems, was not even PARTICIPATING in the National Harbor show.


Left very unsatisfied. To top it off, I ventured into the small wholesale section looking for chain for my friend Karen, and bought it from a new vendor, only to find my tried-and-true vendor there for the first time, at better prices! OMG I broke my own rule of walking around first before I purchase!

Okay, okay, onward and upward...

Then yesterday, I took my daughters to the yearly local Gem & Mineral show at George Mason University in Fairfax VA. I did score and bought some rough opals at 1/3 the cost they were several years ago from the same vendor. That was good. Just have to cut them. So I'm hoping they'll be beautiful and my customers will 'settle' for the cabochons I cut over the faceted option.

2 years ago I bought 2 gorgeous Williamsite cabochons from a vendor there, and was hoping he'd be back with more, but he wasn't even there. Chances are his stock has completely sold, anyway.... :(  We'll see if I see him at a larger gem & mineral show in March. I'll definitely see my opal guy in March- fingers crossed he has some nice stones with him!

Oh the agony!

To top it off, I got some repeat castings back- I asked for 10 of model #1, and 6 of model #2. Wanna guess what I got?? You guessed it! 6 of the first one and 10 of the second one!

Maybe I'll make some great things this week, as well as some sales, to get my spirits back up.

Lesson learned: buy as much as you can when you see it or you may be sorry later!

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