|A review of What You Will Find at the Gem Faire in Costa Mesa|
If you are looking for a great selection of Czech Fire Polished Glass Beads or natural stone beads, then you will enjoy a visit to the Gem Faire. Personally, I love it when the Gem Faire comes to town because it gives me a chance to view a really large selection of beads and compare the quality from a variety of vendors. Additionally, this particular show has an interesting variety of booths. You can purchase anything from raw stones to finished high-quality jewelry at an amazing price. The first thing you need to do before you go to the show is to visit the official Gemfaire website and sign up for a discount ticket. The price for parking at the different Gemfaire locations can vary so having a discount coupon to enter the show can offset the parking fees. I attended the Gem Faire show in Costa Mesa, California which was held at the OC Fair site this weekend, where I had to pay $8 to park. I personally think that was a rather high fee since the average person is only at this particular show for two or fewer hours. I had a coupon for a discounted pass to attend the show so it worked out well.
This is a smaller show that only utilizes one of the buildings and only part of the patio area. However, they do seem to pack in a lot of booths in that small space. There are booths that sell pearls, unfinished stones, crystals, findings, finished jewelry and so much more. I am really happy that they also have a few booths that sell imported items like scarves, purses, and other odd items. This year there was a really cool booth that sold tongue drums. The prices were a bit higher than you could get them on eBay but the quality was really good. When it comes to musical instruments, I prefer to purchase an item in person so that I know I will like the sound quality. They had them in a large variety of sizes and styles. I did make a purchase at this booth but it was not a drum. They were also selling all types of cosplay, Renaissance costume, and other accessories.
Including this really cute hip pouch. We use these a lot at the Renaissance Faire because you can not carry a purse while on stage with the public. These are a convenient way to carry personal items with us and they tend to blend into the costume better than a purse would. The handy zippers are great for keeping items secure and in their place.
They are also easily adjustable with these well-placed fasteners. At the Renaissance Faire, these tend to sell for $45 and up. I was able to purchase this pouch at the Gem Show for $20.
One of the booths also had the 8mm elastic in red and pink that I was trying to find to use in my Travelers Notebook. The red 8mm elastic cord is sold on Amazon but the shipping was the deal breaker for me because I needed it right away. So it was wonderful to find both the red and pink 8mm elastic cord at this show for a reasonable price.
From this booth I also purchased the following (and the two 8mm elastic cords spools) for under $30:
- Dark Green
- Light Blue
- Purple AB
- Turquoise with Gold
- Dark Metallic Blue
- silver metallic
- gold metallic
- bronze metallic
- peacock purple metallic
- two heart shaped beads with crystal accents embedded into the clay ($1 each).
- Dusty Rose
- Iris Purple
- Clear Vitral AB
- Light Blue
- Green Metallic
The other booth that caught my eye was selling some wonderful Pashima Style Scarfs in turquoise with gold thread pattern accents. The fabric is really soft and the color is beautiful (the photo really does not do the scarf justice).
I was also searching for some lava stone beads to repair a lava stone bracelet I have that broke. I was able to find a strand for $8 that worked perfectly. I will have a lot of extra beads that I can use to make a necklace to match my favorite bracelet.
I also saw a booth that was selling handmade and hand painted cowboy boots. They were very colorful and priced accordingly. I think a person could get easily carried away at one of these shows. You should also know that some of the vendors are from other countries so that can affect the use of credit cards. The charges will be foreign charges subject to fees. So check in advance with your bank to make sure you won't be charged. I personally control my spending by carrying only the amount of cash that I have budgeted for. Since I am taking college courses and working part time, my budget is pretty small but I can get quite a lot for it at this show. Paying with cash also ensures that I won't have to pay any weird credit card charges or foreign transaction fees.
The show does have signs that ask you not to photograph or record any booth or jewelry display without the express permission of each vendor. So if you go, remember to check with each vendor before you start to take pictures. Personally, I think it is easier to just photograph what I purchased rather than some of the booths. It can get pretty crowded at the show and difficult to get a good picture.
Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. I am not in any way associated with the GemFaire. Also, I paid for my purchases, ticket, and parking with my own money. P.S. I really feel that $5 to $6 for parking is far more reasonable than the $8 to $12 dollars that the Orange County Fair Grounds site charges for events held at their location.
Check out some of my other event reviews on this site like shopping at the Renaissance Faire, Labyrinth of Jareth, Art Supply Warehouse Art Event and more.