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Intro to Beading: 5 Unique Gemstone Beads to Use - The Bead Traders

Intro to Beading: 5 Unique Gemstone Beads to Use

As a newbie to the world of beading, you are undoubtedly familiar with a lot of common stones. Everyone knows about gems like diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and many others, but there are some that are much more obscure. While there is nothing wrong with using the ones that everyone is familiar with, investing in some of the less common ones is a great way to ensure that the pieces you create are truly one of a kind. In addition, using unusual stones can be a great way to increase your profits if you plan on selling your creations. 

If you are looking for some unique gemstone beads to use in your next project, you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to discover some rare and unique stones. 

blue tanzanite


Once known as “blue zoisite,” tanzanite is named after a deposit of the mineral found in Tanzania. This stone is quite rare and was not found in commercial quantities until the 1960s. Upon its discovery, however, it quickly became a must-have gemstone because Tiffany & Co. began featuring it in its world-renowned jewelry pieces. 

Today, this unique blue stone is relatively well-known despite its rarity. In fact, it is second only to sapphire as the most popular blue gemstone. Tanzanite is also one of the birthstone options for the month of December. 

Black Opal

You are probably familiar with regular opal, but have you ever seen black opal? These incredibly unique stones have a dark and mysterious quality because they contain elements of iron oxide and carbon. The most valuable versions of this stone are those that have dark bodies and vibrant patterns and colors that create brilliant rainbows within the gem. 

Black opals are rare and unique stones that are not always easy to find. If you do come across some black opal beads, though, they would make an excellent addition to nearly any project! 



When it comes to unique and versatile gemstones, tourmaline is one of the best. Tourmaline beads are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, and they are well-known for their seemingly endless array of colors. Whether you are looking for stones that are black, colorless or any color in between, there is likely a type of tourmaline that meets your needs. 

In addition to colors like black, red and green, there are variations that exhibit more than a single color. Watermelon tourmaline, for example, is pink and green. Tourmaline is a unique gemstone to have on hand simply because it comes in so many different colors, hues and shades. 

Green Amethyst

When you think of amethyst, you probably imagine a beautiful purple stone, and you wouldn’t be incorrect. Did you know, though, that green amethyst also exists? Also known as prasiolite, natural green amethyst is incredibly rare and can only be found in Canada and Brazil. 

Green amethyst occurs when regular purple amethyst is subjected to extreme heat. For this reason, much of the green amethyst that is currently on the market has been manually heat-treated to give it its beautiful color. Whether it occurs naturally or as the result of intentional heat treating, though, green amethyst is a beautiful and unique gemstone that will surely draw people to your work. 



Alexandrite is a beautiful and rare member of the chrysoberyl family. It was first found in Russia and named after Czar Alexander II and has a chameleon-like quality that allows its colors to shift. It typically ranges from green to a beautiful purplish or brownish-red shade. The effect is so stunning that it is known as “the alexandrite effect.”


If you are new to the world of beading, working with unique stones is a great way to make a name for yourself or create truly one-of-a-kind pieces that you will love showing off or giving as gifts. There are hundreds of different gemstones in the world, so there is no reason to limit yourself to a few of the most common options. Spend some time researching the various types of gemstone beads that are available, and decide which ones appeal to you most. Shop for gemstone beads you love and then use them to create pieces in your own signature style. When you use unique stones, you are sure to turn heads with your creations!  

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