The yearly Intergalactic Bead Show is Sept. 7th and 8th 2013 at the Omar Shrine Center at Patriots Point in Mt. Pleasant, just across the bridge from downtown Charleston, SC. The exact location is at 176 Patriots Drive, 29464. It is near the first stop light in Mt. Pleasant coming from downtown Charleston. There is plenty of free parking.
This show should more properly be called the Gem and Semi-Precious Stone and Jewelry Show. This show is not just for hobbyists who like making jewelry. It is a place for antique collectors to find quality parts for their damaged necklaces, earrings, bracelets and mens necklaces and pendants especially. Pieces can be remade completely from antique parts you may have. You buy the parts. You have the ideas and a local bead shop can put it together.
Much of what they sell at this show you cannot get anywhere else. They have the most beautiful semi precious gemstone beads anywhere. The only thing that makes them different from what you see in rings is that they have a hole through them so they can be strung or attached to bracelets, etc. Some are round stones, some are in a natural state, but most are faceted in complicated and beautiful ways.
Their print ads suggest people visit the website: www.BeadShows.com. However, the show is sponsored by Beads of Cambay and you can get a good idea of what kind of things you will find in this show by going to their website: www.BeadsofCambay.com. If you visit their website, you will go to the show. The cost is only five dollars on Saturday and four dollars on Sunday. The hours are 10am-5pm both days.
The prices are very affordable, far, far less than fine jewelry stores charge for simple stringed gems. Some of the gems that will be there are: amethyst, aquamarine, black spinel, citrine, diopisde, jasper, peridot, chrome tourmaline and opal. Amber is also part of the show, along with glass and wooden beads. It is a real educational experience.
Many of the exhibitors have online shops, but it is so much better to see in person what things look like. At least you feel more comfortable doing business online once you have met the owners and see the quality of what they sell. Color is everything, as well, of course, as old fashioned customer service and price.