Had to Make a Jewelry Showpiece

by Duane W Aldrich.
(United States)

Had to Make a Jewelry Showpiece by Duane W Aldrich

I’ve been told before that I should have a showpiece on display in my show stall to show.

I’m told this ends up being a conversation starter and attracts attention.

Well, I’ve put it off for a while but recently, my wife & I were scheduled to be at a gem and jewelry conference banquet, so I found another reason to make that statement piece.

Here it is, it’s 23.25ctw of Chrome Diopside and 5.25ctw of Champagne Strontium Titanate in Sterling.

It was worth all the work just to see her wearing it and getting showered with attention.

Now my question, does anybody else put a showpiece out at shows or maybe do you wear an over the top item at shows?

Wondering if it helps or hinders.

Duane W Aldrich
Aldrich Custom Crafts
Aldrich Custom Crafts – Etsy

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  • Thank you for posting this! I really would like to know if anybody puts a showpiece in their stand? I’ve heard it can be used much like a storefront window to draw people in and start a conversation. What’s everybody’s thoughts?

  • daisy says:

    Seems like a good idea if it draws attention to your stall!!

  • I sell unusual beads, carvings, old stock, antiques, fetishes, Fair Trade, handmade, skull beads, etc. I do NOT pretend to be a very good jewellery-maker/designer; I’m more fascinated by beads and techniques. But most shows I make the effort and try to have one statement piece prominently displayed incorporating the beads I sell.

    Five or six years ago there was a lady who’d come early on the Sunday morning, third day of the show. She stopped dead in her tracks in front of my showpiece. She stared and stared at it. She told me she’d slooooowly walked the entire show, that I was the last booth she looked at, that she herself was a jewellery-maker, but her purpose that morning was to find something to buy for herself that was already made. (I thought I was the only person who doesn’t wear their own jewellery!) Didn’t even ask the price, just said, “That’s it. That’s the best thing I’ve seen. I’ll take it.”

    The funny thing is, on the previous Wednesday night while packing beads, I suddenly had several unrelated strands in my hand that leapt out at me and yelled, “Make me! Make me!” So I did. Stopped packing. Unpacked my tools and stringing stuff. The piece practically made itself.

    Taught me a lesson: the advice about having a statement piece, no matter what it costs, is crucial. Also to have some earrings or minor pieces in the same style, so that people can buy the flavour of the statement piece at a lower price point.


  • Rena Klingenberg says:

    I agree with Daisy and Barbara – the showpiece strategy has worked well for me. In fact, I mention it in my Ultimate Guide to Your Profitable Jewelry Booth Ebook .

    Looking forward to hearing how your gorgeous showpiece works for you!

  • Becky Buchanan says:

    That necklace is downright gorgeous!!!!! That to me is a showstopper to stop all shows. Well done.

    I do display special pieces at shows, just one or two. Learning the concept of less is more.

  • Special pieces have worked for me too. People do stop to look at them. Never sold one yet but people admire and then often buy something else.

  • Karen Cooper says:

    Im so interested in this conversation. I make different styles of jewelry but what sells the best ( and also fascinates me in the making ) is Steam Punk . I have several almost outrageous pieces on display at any booth or show I go to .. I dont really expect to sell any of those any time soon BUT they do stop people who then also look at my ” every day ” Steam Punk style pieces.. I’m so glad to hear that many of us seem to do this ..and enjoy the attention it pulls !!

  • Thank you! It was fun to design that one.

  • Rita says:

    I can’t comment on the “show” part of this thread because jewelry making is my hobby. I can share that last fall I made some simple pendants of medium sized shells and mounted a wire wrapped, beaded cross in the center and hung them from decorative chain. The women in my bible study class went nuts and I got a small commission to make several for Christmas gifts, which I did with great joy. I love this show stopper piece you’ve made, and thank you for sharing. I believe this concept really works for simple and complex pieces. The audience is a factor. Best of everything with your jewelry.

  • Rita, what a lovely idea for your Bible study friends!

  • Linda Lohraff says:

    I love the necklace you made for your statement! I do have a statement piece that starts conversations. In fact I have 2. It absolutely starts people talking. Just saying”hello” starts people talking too.
    Beautiful necklace and a wonderful statement!

  • gloria m. lewis says:

    I have never displayed a showpiece, but it is another idea to seriously consider! Thanks for sharing.

  • Mary Dawn says:


  • Thank you! Your pendents sound nice. Be careful… that’s how a hobby becomes a business. lol

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