Freeport Gem, Mineral & Jewelry Show Celebrates First Post-Pandemic Event this October

The upcoming show represents the first one that has been held in over two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Promoter Kaleidoscope Gem Shows will be holding their Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show on Saturday, October 30 (10am to 5pm) and Sunday, October 31 (10am to 4:30pm) at the Freeport Recreation Center, located at 130 East Merrick Road. Catering to rock hounds, collectors, jewelry enthusiasts and more, the event boasts just about anything you could want of a sparkly nature, offered by some of the most well-established names in the field with decades of experience. 


Admission is just $5.50, but sure to mention at the door for a discount!


For a man running a popular and long-standing gem and mineral show, you’d probably be surprised to learn that promoter Ralph Gose of Melville himself has very little experience in the jewelry field. What he does have, however, is a background in Wall Street, where he honed his business acumen for many years before finally retiring in 2002.


“It’s not so much that I know what these people are selling, but I know how to promote a show,” he said. “It’s only a part-time job…about 90 percent of the work I do from my living room.”



Ralph’s wife, Evelyn, also helps with running the shows, and she said that taking it over was a natural fit for her, since she grew up attending many similar shows over the years.


“I grew up with parents who were collectors, so I’ve always come to mineral shows, and I eventually started my own business as a jewelry dealer,” she said. “My husband and I were originally vendors with a booth at the show, and the previous owner came to us and asked if we would like to take the show over, and we felt it would be a great thing to do.”


The show is slated to feature a number of excellent vendors offering fine wares including minerals and rocks, jewelry (both high and low end), fossils, beads and more.


Ralph notes that the shows are a long-standing tradition in the Freeport area, and every year he puts in plenty of work to make sure that they not only remain as such, but continue to grow and attract new patrons as well.


“Once I’ve scheduled the venue, I start polling the vendors to find out who is going to be available to do a given show,” he said. “Under normal circumstances, we do three shows a year. The April show is our oldest, at 46 years and running. The October Show is 25 years old, and August is 30. So we have been doing the shows for a long time, and we have a seniority list…the vendors at the top of the list get invited first. And we’re always full…if somebody can’t make it, it gives us the opportunity to invite exciting new vendors.”



“For me, running the show is an exciting opportunity to have it grow and be unique,” Evelyn added. “Ralph has really done a fantastic job of running the show and all of the vendors are very pleased with the way he’s doing it. He’s great at selecting which vendors we have, and under our watch the attendance of the shows has more than doubled.”


However, the upcoming October show represents the first that has been held in over two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


“Our last show was October of 2019,” Ralph said. “It’s a great feeling to be back, but it’s also exhausting! We spent the past two years not having the show, so we had to get used to all the work that goes into setting up the show all over again! And we’re also happy that many great vendors were ready to get back into it…we had to actually turn away some vendors due to social distancing concerns.”


Ralph notes that in order to keep all attendees and vendors safe and healthy, the show is adhering to all CDC-recommended sanitation, cleaning, and social distancing guidelines, and the venue itself strongly suggests – but does not require – the wearing of masks.



The frequency of future shows will depend on the conditions of the pandemic at that time, as well as the reception of this October’s return event, Ralph said, but hopes are high that it will be successful and that a normal, “pre-pandemic” show schedule will return sooner rather than later.


And Evelyn felt that it was important to note that while the Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show features high-quality vendors, there are plenty of affordable items for those on a budget as well.


“People come in and only have five dollars to spend, they’ll still be able to find something nice, even if it’s just a small rock or mineral,” she said. “However, if you come in with thousands of dollars, you’ll be able to find something as well.”



Over the years, Ralph said that he has grown very close with the vendors who attend his shows, and that the people at these events are no longer simply customers or co-workers, but a family. Each event is a reunion that always serves to remind him why he continues to work hard, instead of simply living the easy life of retirement. 


“There are hundreds of shows across the country, and some of our vendors do 40 or 50 shows a year,” he said. “When you do shows that often, you become good friends with the dealers – I’ve watched so many of their kids grow up – and the shows become so much more than just a business arrangement.”


Admission is just $5.50, but sure to mention at the door for a discount!

Katheleen Knopf

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