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Beads of Cambay and local Gems shows at the North Charleston SC Arts Festival

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African beads, including antique beads, were the highlight of the Beads of Cambay’s Intergalactic Bead Show, a part of North Charleston’s Arts Festival, May 3-4, 2014. Barasa Gumaneh of Gamafro Originals had some very nice African antique beads there, including some very old authentic trade beads. Like most of the participants, he only does shows. The sponsor, Beads of Cambay, had a huge exhibit with all kinds of fabulous gemstone beads that you would have to see to believe. It is ironic that they call it a “bead show”, when it has more gemstones of the best quality than the “gem show” next door. You cannot even find this quality gems in so-called jewelry stores today.

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Most people do not know that gems, like amethyst, jade, turquoise, opal, tourmaline, emerald, peridot, etc…, with a hole in them are called beads and that “beading” is the new term for necklaces made of gems, many of which are of the finest quality. Beads of Cambay’s website is: They have two shows in Charleston, SC a year, actually in Mt. Pleasant, SC, as a rule.

At the same time, almost next door, in North Charleston, SC’s Charleston Area Convention Center was the annual Lowcountry Gem and Mineral Society’s Gem, Jewelry, Mineral & Fossil Show & Sale. They are a local group that meets on a regular basis. They had beads of all kinds, loose gemstones, finished gemstone jewelry and collector minerals and fossils. Fossils are always a big part of this show. Many bargains can be found for those willing to take the time to see it all. Some of the exhibits belong to members of the group, but most are from out of state. You cannot find things like they have except at their shows, and that is only once a year. Their website is: They meet once a month and encourage guest to attend.

One of the best exhibitors there was Gary Fasano of Diamond Banc, from Atlanta, GA. He had some exceptional things, including a handmade silver cross from the American South West. He was at the show for the first time and seemed very busy. Raehn & Wendy Davis of Darklyn Beads & Beyond were there with a large selection of things, including ancient Roman beads. It was a large show and heavily attended. This show has a huge following.

Due to the increase in International shipping and the Internet, there is a huge variety of gems/beads of the best quality at affordable prices than ever before. For people who do not know how to string beads for themselves, there are local bead companies, like Beaded Venus in Mt. Pleasant, who can do it for you at a very reasonable price and you will have something unique and affordable.