Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sunken Treasure ~ Gem Show and Tell

We went on our yearly foray to the Tucson Gem and Mineral show this year, vowing to spend less than previous years which is quite a feat for my husband and myself seeing that we moved to Arizona to be closer to the show. Warmth is another reason after so many winters in Alaska although you wouldn't know that this week with our subfreezing temperatures and frozen pipes galore.

I've got quite a stash of beads and things from previous shows and I actually brought a list with me this time to avoid too many impulse buys but I do allow for some because what would the fun be in that?
I think if there's an unusual enough find I should jump on it.

I found a booth at the Grant Inn (we were informed that the show would be having it's last year there) 
They had an amazing strand of ancient Chinese coins dating from between the 1650's to 1800's.
The man said that they were found in a shipwreck by Indonesia.
When I was a little girl I had found some old Chinese coins in my grandfather's attic. I was so enchanted by them that I had even written a poem about them.
They've since disappeared so I just had to make a deal and buy up a lot of these coins for my work and resale. I hope to be putting them up in my online shop soon. I'll be selling them for $1 a piece. If you have any interest in them now, let me know.
( and I'll include some in my 200th post giveaway which is just around the corner so stay tuned!

Some of my other finds at the gem show were some lampwork supplies. I got a button mandrel to try out  along with some puffy mandrels for hollow beads. I picked up a dapping set at  the Beaducation booth along with a steel bench block.

I wanted to find some briolettes for making earrings and was happy to find some smaller strands so that I could get and assortment.
 Peruvian chalcedony briolettes

 Smoky quartz
Green onyx

I really was attracted to the pyrite strands I found, both faceted and teardrop shaped.

And I was happy to find these charms and components that were made up of brass copper and pewter which will go with the more shabby silk pieces I've been designing.

These will help on finishing off the ends of my silk ribbon pieces

 I thought these copper bails were attractive and affordable
 I'm wild about patina
 And copper... must be why I picked a copper mining town to live in.
These are end caps too with a flared hole at one end.

More drops, different shape

These beads are ceramic~ made by monks in Thailand ~with gold leaf added

I loved these okra shaped charms, they are hollow and measure almost 3 inches
(7 cm)


  1. What wonderful finds! Although, I thought briolettes must be little bits of French cheese, but shows what I know. I love the monks' beads... well, all of them have such beauty. I envy you the ability to make so much out of what you find in your travels and what you buy, as well. I kept looking for a new entry and this one did not disappoint. (I'm working on a couple of entries now about my travels on the Jersey shore... just fun, but it's taking time) I do love seeing what you're up to with your art. OH! I'm also working on a painting--BIG, collage, of course. Poseidon's garden. A dreamlike underwater coral reef. Welcome back to YOUR blog.

  2. Wow, what a stash you picked up. Didn't know what briolette's were either, but those chalcedony are gorgeous and the monk's beads too.
    Yummmmmmm. xox Corrine

  3. Oh, nothing here seems like an unnecessary impulse! I love those copper end caps & drops, wonderful stuff.

    Did I say how much I love your new header? & thanks for your kind comments ;)

  4. I love the ancient coins. I have some that are bigger and have been trying to figure a way to use them as closures. Off to the studio on this cold wintry day filled with blinding sunshine.

  5. How great you got to go, I was to go to several shows with friends for but I have been so sick that I had to back out.

    Love the old Chinese coins to me they are a great find.

    Bet you never thought you would have to worry about the unbelievable freezing weather we are having.
    At lest in Arizona it is only for a few days and them back to more normal temps !

    cheers, parsnip

  6. Kim! I LOVE those chinese coins! I found a few of them while visiting Seattle. I haven't used them yet, but will probably use them as some kind of embellishment on a fabric collage. So you like Patina huh? Me too! Of course that's kind of how I came up with my blog name, "love patina, and moons! I especially love copper that has patina...lovely! Beautiful purchases, can't wait to see what you do with them, or maybe I'll win your giveaway! LOL!

  7. wonderful pics. love the chinese coins. the beads and caps you got are lovely. have fun with it all!

  8. It looks like you had a fun day sourcing all those cool supplies. I have a few old Chinese coins around, I've only run across one in my recent organizing but there are more somewhere!

    Can't wait to see what you make with all your new goodies :-)

  9. salivating here.
    what terrific treasures.
    i've yet to allow myself
    to visit tucson in february.
    makes me feel like a gambler
    staying away from vegas:
    just too much temptation.
    thanks for letting me
    enjoy it fraom afar

  10. Oh, STOP me before I start spending the grocery money on your beautiful new offerings! I, too, go to the shows and buy everything my arms will carry. I daresay the difference between us is that you actually DO something with your finds and I mostly just rub them like magic icons. I love living my crating life vicariously through you! <3

  11. WOW nice..I can't wait to see what you come up with!

  12. oooh, all of those finds are just gorgeous beyond words but those coins! those are just stunning!!!! and the ceramic beads!! you are one lucky lady! can't wait to see how you put them to use.


  13. Love all the dimensions to your finds, but especially the okra-shaped charms.

  14. Great finds, Kim! Thank you so much for stopping by my booth at the Best Bead Show - it was great to finally meet you and associate your name with your wonderful face. :-)


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