ONE-OF-A-KIND — Alana’s Unique Gifts, a vendor at GemStreet USA, is the exclusive distributor of William Berth’s glass-blown beads. The necklace on the far right is estimated to be worth five figures. Photos by Alicia Greco.
The Grange Building at The Fairgrounds glittered with jewels and crystals, during the GemStreet USA Show and Sale event held Nov. 15 – 17.
GemStreet USA is an Ohio-based traveling exposition, organized by Strieter Productions, that showcases various vendors who supply minerals, crafted jewelry, beads and fossils.
Jane Strieter Smith, the vice president of Strieter Productions, produced and orchestrated GemStreet USA, which is currently in its 15th year of operation.
Approximately 20 vendors who traveled from across the nation were in attendance; the products originated around the world, from Africa to India to Germany.
RINGS AND THINGS — New York City’s Amber America specializes in Baltic amber, Larimar and moonstone.
Attendees learned that druzies are a trend on the rise. A druzy, often developed into a pendant, is a flat surface of rock that has a coating of crystallized minerals.
Amber America, a New York City vendor, has been specializing in Baltic amber jewelry from Poland and Lithuania, since 2001. In addition to amber, the company also featured pendants and rings made with authentic Larimar from the Dominican Republic, and moonstone from India.
Alana’s Unique Gifts is the exclusive distributor of William Berth, a glassblower who creates specialty hand-crafted beads. Berth uses metal salts to develop the color of the beads and, since each is made individually, every bead is one-of-a-kind. He creates what is known as “aluster glass” which, according to Smith, is “similar to Tiffany & Co.® glass.” A necklace that the vendor had on display at the event had an estimated five-figure net worth.
Terry Hoeve, an assistant for Alan’s Unique Gifts, gave advice for aspiring jewelers.
“Think out of the box,” he said.
CRYSTALLIZED — There were minerals of many forms at the event. Pictured is a collection on display from Stuart’s Minerals.
Stuart’s Minerals sold an assortment of pieces. Among the natural and organic crystals and minerals was a bismuth mineral grown in a German laboratory; this rainbow-hued offering had a ridge-like structure. A few other vendors also sold this man-made mineral.
Bead company Small & Beautiful provides fair trade products, including Kazuri beads. The Swahili meaning behind “Kazuri” inspired the name of the company: “small and beautiful.” Kenyan women are taught how to make the beads and the fair trade aspect provides them ethical treatment and wages, according to the company representatives.
Saleem Minhas of Minhas Gems & Minerals, based out of Philadelphia, Pa., was introduced to the crystal trade from a friend in 1986 and has been involved, ever since. He explained the mystical history and the meaning behind crystals. In addition to rough cuts, offerings also included polished and clean pyramid forms or crystals in the style of a pendulum. One type of mineral, Lapis lazuli, he said, is known in ancient tradition as a strong channel for psychic powers.
Credit or debit cards were accepted by vendors for cashless customers.
Next year, GemStreet USA will run from June 13 –15 and Nov. 14 – 16 in the Grange Building at The Fairgrounds. Scouts in uniform will gain free admission and may earn badges. Parking will be free.
For more information, visit GemStreet USA’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/GemStreet-USA-Show-Sale/151478345015