One of my friends once mentioned that her husband laughing calls her love of looking at pretty rocks 'Rock Porn' and I couldn't agree more! I was certainly happy and excited as I browsed the 80 or so dealer stalls.
There was everything there with one exception. I expected people to also have chain and sterling/copper/gold filled findings and there was none, not even in concert with stones. I was surprised by this seeing as everything else used to make jewelry was very evident.
But everything else...hoooo boy...SELECTION was the word of the day!
This show is hosted every year by the Montreal Gem & Mineral Club and the staff of Volunteers was super friendly...:) I have been hemming and hawing over joining because I wasn't sure of how active they were and I was pleasantly surprised to find both young and old rock hounds and to learn that the club is very much alive and kicking. For 20$ annually, I'm looking forward to joining and learning as I move forward on this journey my life has brought me to...:)
So, as I was saying...SELECTION!
I've been collecting found rocks ever since I was a little girl and I swear, I was in Heaven. Mineral specimens EVERYWHERE to feast my eyes one. Alas, I had no cash, but I know that I'll be ready next year to properly start my mineral collecting and what's fun is that once I'm part of the club, I'll be able to participate in the club's excursions and so maybe dig some of my own!
Aside from the minerals, there were also shops with strands and strands of BEAUTIFUL beads. There was one strand of rough citrine brios that was calling my name and it was quite literally painful to leave it there...:( At least I found a few Canadian-based stone bead shops, even if they are mainly in Ottawa. That's going to be fun to try to get to without any ability to just drive there...*lol*
I was surprised at the pricing. I did not find it much different than purchasing on Etsy...if fact, even with the exchange rate and shipping I felt Etsy is often LESS expensive. Mind you, the shops I'm talking about were actually knowledgeable and most of the strands didn't just have a number...they were actually named, unlike in Montreal where most shops are glass and crystal based shops and have no clue what stones they carry.
Also happy to say no 'White Buffalo Turquoise' in site, but plenty of 'Fire Agate'. At least they told me right away it was glass or stone composite!
There were plenty of Jewelry Artisans as well. This lady had STUNNING amber pieces. There was everything for everyone's tastes...:)
I am always surprised by just how nice some people are. I got to meet Mike, a rock hound who was President of the Montreal Club for quite some time. We ended up striking a conversation on some of the pieces he had because I'd never seen them before. Well, one particular slab struck my fancy and, as I said I had no cash, so I was ready to leave it and hope he still had some next year as he doesn't own a shop and doesn't sell other than through the Gem Shows. Well, I guess he knew I really wanted it because he gave it to me along with a lovely little piece of Labradorite he hounded for himself that has a lovely little bit of flash to it. I was so touched by the gesture and it bodes well for my stay with the Club. He even told me once I join that he'd be happy to teach me how to cab it...:)
So basically, I spent a couple of hours in rock heaven...:D I was all by myself and it didn't matter. I had a blast talking to people and seeing specimens I never knew existed. I also surprised myself with just how much I have learned thanks to my Lapidary friends because I was able to impress some of the rock hounds there with my ability to identify many of the pieces they were showing...:) I really wish I would have thought to take a shot of the GORGEOUS Marra Mamba slabs the Club had up for display! I think some of my friends would have enjoyed seeing them!
Off to admire my new finds and finish up some new pieces. I've got about 20 new pieces to shoot and list so you guys will be getting a lot of new posts from me soon on top of everything else I've got planned!
Today was such a GREAT day!