Saturday, May 31, 2008

Jewelry Expo

On Friday morning I took advantage of my last chance to attend the once-monthly jewelry exhibition here in Moscow (we'll be in the USA, then I'll be working). I learned about it from a friend whose jewelry I often admired and went for the first time last fall--just in time to get some Christmas presents for people who were no longer eager to receive Russian-style souvenirs as presents any more... (After four years, five, really, if you count when I lived here in college, the appeal of matrioshkas, Gzhel pottery, lacquered boxes and pins, etc. starts to fade for our relatives in the USA...)

You can find just but anything there: loose stones and beads; traditional amber jewelry; very expensive and fancy jewelry with precious gems in gold or silver; lots of pearl jewelry; diamonds; watches; silver jewelry in range of prices; designs from Thailand and other countries; unique modern pieces done by local artisans.

The expo is held on the last Friday, Saturday and Sunday of every month in a building next to the New Tretyakov Gallery (the Central Artists' House/Dom Hudozhnikov) that's the ugly white box across from Gorky Park. This is what it looks like; next to it is the "Graveyard of Fallen Monuments" sculpture park that I wrote about last month.

Across the street is Gorky Park.

This is what the building where the expo is held. You go behind it to enter the exhibition.

This is the entrance. In this courtyard you also find shops that do museum-quality professional framing at unbelievably low prices.

The entrance to the exhibit takes you back to Soviet times... The interior--with the delapidated first few floors of the building, the outdated ticket kiosk and babushka entrance guards give quite a first impression. Then you enter the area where the jewelry is... And it's a bit overwhelming, spread out over three floors through winding hallways and staircases. This is the most modern area of the expo:

Here are some pictures of my favorite pieces from last fall. I wear this mother-of-pearl and topaz necklace a lot. It's so darn simple and pretty.

I also love this cheerful daisy. I can wear these pendants on either the silver necklace or black leather cord.

I wear this necklace all the time, too. I love the design. I couldn't find it in with my jewelry when I went to take these pictures and I searched for the last day--only to just discover that Natalia had taken it to school and it was at the bottom of her backpack... I'll certainly have to deal with that behavior...

This pendant is really fun, too. It's treated amber! Not quite sure how they do it, but it's so unique. I ended up liking the necklace so much that today I bought a ring to match.

Last fall I also picked up some amber hearts--now the girls can match their Kirsten doll. (Not bad for $5!)

I had fun picking out some new things for myself and others. The Director of the school where I taught this year had given me a rather unexpected extra bit of cash in with my pay for May and I decided to get myself a few pieces to spruce up my wardrobe for the new job next fall. (I pretty much wear solid knit tops all the time; a nice necklace suddenly pulls it all together in a comfortable, yet casual way). Since Mother's Day was completely forgotten in our house (well, not by me...) this year, I also did a little "Happy Mother's Day to Me" browsing...

Here's what I picked out. First off, a happy pink flower. I get so many compliments on my yellow one that I decided to get another.

Here's an amber set--rather unique, huh? It'll look great with a lot of things.

This coral set looks super with a white or black tee and jeans... I'm wearing it today.

These next pictures don't do these amethysts justice at all. The stones just SPARKLE shades of purple, blue and citrine. They'll go with so many of tops!

These earrings and pendant will go with everything--but now that I examine them closely, I don't think I'll wear them together. (The size of the design in the pendant is smaller than that in the earrings).

Last, but not least, I thought this simple wooden cross was really pretty, too.

I also got these for a friend. They've made me think of her ever since I saw them last fall.

If you're in Moscow, I highly recommend checking out the expo! The prices are super. You can bargain with most of the sellers; I got very good deals. Many of the sellers speak English; you can tell they're used to dealing with expat customers. Here's the schedule through November. You can also check out the sponsoring organization's web site for more info.


Annie said...

I am not quite sure about your friends and family members who do not want more and more gzel.... However, the jewelry is lovely. I especially like the piece that Natalia took to school! - and the other new pieces you purchased in the similar style (various colored jewels mingling together). What fun that must have been.

Tina in CT said...

Glad you treated yourself. Has Chris realized yet that he forgot Mother's Day?

I'd like an amber heart for myself and several to give as Xmas gifts if you ever see them again for such a good price like you got last fall.

You said that you won't be able to go again since you'll be teaching in the fall but you wrote that it's also there on Saturdays and Sundays so you can go then (w/o the girls).

garnet said...

Wow! I would love this. I'm crazy about gemstones and some of those pieces are so beautiful. And the amber hearts are adorable. Lucky you to have it so close. Hope you get to go again sometime at least.