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As any jewelry enthusiast knows, gemstones are a lot more than just little bits of mineral that have been cut, shaped, and polished. Each option out there lends its own unique vibe to your finished product. Each individual bead comes along with its own one-of-a-kind color and pattern, as well.
Making one choice over another can have a profound effect on what your piece ultimately becomes, so it’s important to know what to look at when shopping for the perfect beads for your project. Here we’ll take a closer look at what to consider during the process.
There are over 200 different recognized gemstones to choose from on today’s market. However, some are naturally going to be a lot more popular and widely sought after than others. Ask yourself a few questions about your goals, in regards to your piece.
What are you looking to accomplish by making it? Are you a jewelry seller looking to appeal to a wide range of potential customers? Are you looking to make something unique for yourself or another individual with specific tastes?
You’ll also want to consider the unique qualities attached to each stone. Some of the options you have at your disposal might be much better fits for your item or recipient than others. Consider the following, for example:
Ruby: The brilliant red hue associated with rubies makes them a popular choice for those looking to create distinctive, attractive jewelry. However, they are also widely prized for their strength. In fact, rubies are second only to diamonds when it comes to durability.
Jade: Those that love jade often prize it for its cool, smooth, soothing feel. Natural jade comes in a variety of different colors ranging from pale green, to pink, to blue, to purple. However, jewelry makers also sometimes choose to dye jade in order to obtain just the right hue.
Jasper: Jasper gemstones come in a wide range of different varieties. Jewelry makers choose them when they need stones that are not only unusually opaque, but hard and durable as well.
You’ll also need to be able to assess the overall value of your gemstone beads, so you’ll most certainly want an understanding of clarity and cut. Both are incredibly important when it comes to assessing a given bead’s value.
Cut: Many high quality gemstones feature well-proportioned facets. Such facets lend the stone brilliance and light reflecting ability. They greatly enhance the color of the stone, as well. The better the facets, the more valuable the gemstone will be.
Clarity: The term “clarity” speaks to a stone’s degree of perfection. The fewer flaws, inclusions, blemishes, or other undesirable marks the stone has, the higher the clarity and the greater the value.
Stones with brighter, truer colors that are free of any cloudiness are also often considered more valuable or desirable. Rarity is another factor that raises the value of a given stone.
Not all beads are created equally. While most gemstone beads can be used for just about any purpose, some are at their best when applied to specific purposes. The following are some of the varieties you’re most likely to run into when exploring what bead vendors have to offer.
Regular Beads: These are the beads that comprise the main body of beaded jewelry. Large beads can be used as standalone accents (as with rings or earrings), but smaller ones are just as likely to be used as spacers in elaborate pieces.
Seed Beads: These are smaller, spherically shaped beads often used as accents in jewelry pieces. Larger varieties can be used in the main body, while smaller ones are usually glued on.
Charm Beads: These are beads meant to be the focal point of pieces such as necklaces and pendants. Charm beads made from gemstones are often carved. Many vendors will also sell charm beads made of metal or wood.
As is the case with any other product, it absolutely matters where you buy your beads, especially when you’re looking for gemstone beads. Quality gemstone beads that are worthy of being used in your finest creations come from established vendors with stellar reputations and lots of experience when it comes to choosing specimens their customers will find useful.
You’ll also want to prioritize vendors that feature a wide variety of different options to increase your chances of finding exactly what you’re looking for. The best vendors may even offer custom items. Last, but definitely not least, make sure a proper emphasis is placed on customer service. You’re sure to be glad you did.