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5 Kinds of Semi-Precious Stone Beads

Originally carved out of what the makers believed were merely brightly colored, unusual stones, ancient beads were made of all types of stones considered precious and semi-precious today.

Although beads were, and still are, fashioned out of popular and widely-known precious and semi-precious stones, many lesser-known opaque or translucent semi-precious stones are still made into beads today. They are widely available in a wide array of shapes and sizes for use as accent, featured beads or to form the structure of a design.

A simple string of well-matched beads or one in gradient sizes, of any one of these semi-precious, opaque to translucent stones, affixed to a neckline of an otherwise plain blouse, can transform it into a glamorous, one-of-a-kind item.

Agate: Available in a wide variety of colors, some with striations and some with clouds of contrasting color, agates are a versatile stone used to create beads. It is easily carved and available in many shapes.

Amber: Ancient, fossilized pine resin, amber beads are not completely opaque, yet not completely translucent. They exude a warm glow and are said to always be warm to the touch. Amber is well-known for sometimes containing the fossilized remains of entire insects, including dragonflies.

Aventurine: A milky-like, opaque gemstone, aventurine comes in dark green, reddish-brown and golden brown. It has small inclusions of certain shiny minerals, causing it to glisten, an effect known as "aventurescence." The type of mineral determines the color of this phenomenon. Yellow or silver come from mica, red or gray come from goethite or hematite, and a green sheen is the result of fuschite.

Carnelian: Somewhat translucent, carnelian beads have been manufactured for thousands of years. They have been found in the tomb of a Sumerian queen who live over 5,000 years ago. They are usually carved into oval-shaped beads in colors ranging from red to orange to reddish-orange to reddish-brown to shades of yellowish-white. The raw stones are often heated to produce more brilliant colors. Carnelians are believed to promote happiness and confidence in whoever wears them.

Chalcedony: In the beading industry, chalcedony refers to a solid, usually translucent to opaque gemstone with a wax-like luster. The most popular color is bluish-gray, but other colors include white, yellow, orange, pink, purple or red. It was used in prehistoric times to make spear points, knives, tools and containers. Chalcedony is thought to banish depression from the user.



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Interesting Facts About Seed Beads

Seed beads are one of the common jewelry making beads that people use for crafting. Crafting with beads is done to make necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and anklets. You will also find people who use these items to decorate purses, bags, and clothing. Although these are frequently used and most bead crafters have some of them, they are not ordinary.

Through the years this type of bead has not had many changes to it. You have heard people say "why fix something that is not broken?" That statement applies heavily to these beads. They are beautiful, durable, and they fit into almost every style of jewelry creation.

Rhinestone seed beads were originally quartz stones that had been removed from the German Rhine River. All of the stones were spectacular shades of pink and blue.

Seed beads were used to do beadwork in the 13th century. The European jewelry made in the thirteenth century consisted largely of items made from glass beads, coral beads, and some pearls. The popularity of glass beads was heightened because of the European use of the items, and the royal necks that the strings of beads adorned.

In the 1840s seed beads were known to be used by the Plains Indians. The Plains Indians crafted necklaces, and other items of jewelry, as well as using the seed beads to decorate clothing. Many of the items that were crafted by these Indians were used as barter materials when they traded with white men, and with other Indian tribes for goods and services.

These jewelry making pieces come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and materials. They are the perfect solution for jewelry making supplies for a beginning jeweler, and for the experienced jeweler.

If you are new to jewelry design, or crafting with beads, then you will be glad to know that these are some of the most affordable types of beads. You can get them in such a wide assortment that you will have no trouble creating anything you want to create, without spending very much money.

These beads are used more frequently in clothing decoration than any other type of bead. The small design of the items allows them to be easily sewn onto articles of clothing using a large eyed needle and thread. You will also find these items placed on fringes of garments because they can easily be threaded.

You can use these small items to do a type of beading known as web beading. Many people think that web beading is done on a loom, but the truth is this beading is done using a special beading needle. Normal sewing needles are more tapered than the needle made for beading crafts. The beading needle allows the beads to slide completely through without snagging like they do on the more tapered sewing needles. Chokers are the most common jewelry item made with web beading.



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Beaded Jewelry Making Tools For Trendy Necklace Designs

Beaded jewelry making tools can help you make great necklaces for any occasion. Beaded necklaces are fun to design and can give you a unique edge when accessorizing outfits for the office or important events. If you are just getting started, this quick list of beading design tools will give you an idea of what is commonly used to create beaded jewelry.

You won't need all of this for every beading pattern so you may want to just get what you need pattern-by-pattern if purchasing it all upfront is too expensive.


There are many different types of pliers and they are used in forming your jewelry as well as other duties. The most commonly purchased options are crimping pliers and chain nose pliers. You may also find round nose pliers useful for working with loops in your patterns.

Cutting Tools

You will need a standard pair of crafting scissors to cut string as well as wire cutters or nippers for thicker wire. The higher quality wire you work with the more you will need wire cutters or nippers as scissors won't be very effective. Flush cutters will give you one flat side on the wire which is useful in some projects as well.


There are many different types of tweezers and just as many ways to use them. You may want to purchase some just to have on hand as you never know when they may come in handy.


A beading awl will be invaluable when you mess up and have to get rid of a knot.


These look sort of like springs and are used to hold the ends of your string so the beads slip down and don't fall off the string. They aren't essential, but they can speed up the beading process by avoiding beading slip-offs.

Beading Needles

Needles are used to help when stringing very small beads and once again there are different types to be used in different situations.


You need adhesives to hold beads and other elements of the jewelry in place as well as to cover knots so they do not slip open. You will need crafting glue known as E6000 as well as others that are very strong. Children may be able to use school glue or glue sticks, but that should not be trusted for jewelry that you are actually going to wear out of the house.


Note that there are a wide variety of wires available for beading and not all of them are equal. You can get low priced wire at craft stores but they shouldn't be trusted for jewelry you are going to wear out in public. You want to go online and purchase high quality, durable wire that is intended for jewelry that will be worn in real life, not just for show.

You may also need different types of wire for different types of jewelry, such as ear wires for earrings.


Of course! You will need crimp beads to seal off your jewelry as well as specific beads needed for each specific project. You will have a large collection growing soon enough, but for now take it one project at a time or just stock up on things you really like in stores or online. You will find a way to use them!


Find clasps that look good on the jewelry and which are easy to open and shut.
You will likely want to purchase some type of storage containers to organize all of these beading supplies so they are easy to find when needed.



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