Going to gem faires is certainly a learning experience for me. I try to discover new stones every time, meet new vendors and try to not buy every single strand I fall in love with. But, honestly, I just don't have much will power. Along with the pearls and crystals, I also picked up some wonderful African brass beads in different shapes and sizes. Mixing glitz and rustic elements to my jewelry intriques me.
My big splurge this trip was a strand of Dogon Donut Trading Beads from Africa. The young man selling these beads was very informative and educated me on these beads. This particular strand is from the 1800's and originally made from an assortment of glass by the Dutch. They were in turn traded in Africa. I was told that families and tribes in Africa have held on to these trading beads for over 100 years. But now know the value of them and what they can bring on the market so are parting with their heirlooms. The color, texture (some frosted, some not) really excites me. I also purchased a strand of Herkimer Diamond Quartz....the strand of rough cut nuggets laying across the Donut Beads. Strands of pyrite, tourmaline, all kinds of pearls, sterling silver charms and various chains also found their way into my shopping bags. It was a great day!