*This is a sponsored post on behalf of the International Gem & Jewelry Show*
If you’ve heard of the International Gem and Jewelry Show I’m going to speculate and say you probably fall into one of three categories.
One, you are some sort of wealthy gem and jewelry collector who frequents these things to collect items you cherish or sale to others.
Two, your grandma is one of the people described in one above.
Or, three, you are like me and you once saw some car sales-y infomercial-like commercial come on one weekday when you were sick at home and for some reason had the TV tuned to the channel Judge Judy comes on while Judge Judy was actually on. You either muted the commercial, or watched it and judged it for being over the top and totally not your jam because you buy all of your jewelry from Target, from where all good things come.
Here, let me show you…
Most of you reading this blog are probably going to be like me and fall smack dab into the middle of category three. Because, before I got hired to come out and host a few Facebook live events at the International Gem and Jewelry Show in Chantilly, Virginia, my knowledge of what they were was super skewed and largely incorrect.
First, I blame the commercial –it does not do them justice.
It made me imagine them to be one of those huge trade shows featuring gaudy, overpriced jewelry only my grandmother would wear. I pictured countless blue haired women clutching oversized handbags ambling through the aisles, clamoring to get their hands on vintage, gold encrusted, feather adorned brooches no non-royal under 70 would ever be caught dead in.
And, to be fair, those blue haired ladies were there, but they weren’t alone and they weren’t even the primary shopper!
Here’s what I actually saw…
If you’re thinking about going to a gem and jewelry show, let me give you a quick tour.
5 Things to Know About the InterGem Jewelry Show
There are tons of custom, one of a kind pieces.
Many of the jewelers I spoke to shared that they custom design their pieces. That means you can get beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces at the show that you’re not going to see all over town. And they are on trend. I found so many pieces I would wear in my day-to-day life, pieces similar to the ones I would purchase at Target, but a higher quality, and sometimes, lower price.
There is a wide range of pricing options.
Yes, you can get a quarter of a million dollar diamond ring at the show, but you can also get a pair of super cute $9 earrings. There are offerings for every price range and style. You and your grandma can both find appropriate, adorable, fun, funky accessories in the same location. I saw tons of mom and daughter shoppers on the sales floor when I visited, in fact, I took my mom with me!
They also have jewelry making supply vendors.
For those who make their own jewelry, the International Gem and Jewelry Show is like a paradise. They have vendors who sell everything you need to DIY your own pieces. From precious gems and stones to tiny clasps and connectors, you can purchase what you need to create your own fun, unique pieces for yourself or to sale.
They have a wholesale section.
It’s primarily for business owners who buy, sale, and make jewelry, but it is open to the public and general clients can shop there too. Think of the savings you can get from shopping the wholesale section!
It’s fun and educational too.
You can take beading classes, jewelry making classes, and learn about choosing fine jewelry while you’re at the show. They have educational lectures, book signings, and opportunities to engage with designers and more. I spoke to the amber vendor and I learned so much about the amber and how it is harvested and made into beautiful jewelry designs. I also spoke to a jewelry designer and a diamond collector who both had interesting stories and tons of information about the process that you wouldn’t hear on the sales floor at the mall. It truly helped me understand more about jewelry and why it is so meaningful and special to many people, beyond just how it looks.
It’s not just a women’s jewelry show.
They also have men’s jewelry, stones, jackets, handbags, belts and other leather goods, scarves, gloves, and more for sale. The show is primarily jewelry and much of what I saw was aimed at women, but we did see several vendors who sold custom men’s jewelry and watches are a big item as well.
Want to visit one in your town? Check out the list of upcoming shows and find one near you: InterGem Shows.