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Sparkle and Shine: Discover the Magic of Moonstone Beads - The Bead Traders

Sparkle and Shine: Discover the Magic of Moonstone Beads

There's something extremely enchanting about the night sky. Looking around you on a clearly lit night, with your surroundings basking in ethereal moonlight - provides a sense of wonder and imagination. This same mystery and wonder make moonstones so precious, taking the same magical feeling from the universe and condensing it into a beautiful piece of jewelry.

Moonstones have captivated the attention of many different cultures for centuries and are used for ornate designs, traditions, jewelry, and customs. Their connection to passive lunar energy is believed to hold mystical properties.

Today, moonstones are still a wonder that enthralls the senses. If you want to create more stunning pieces to add to your collection or provide for your loving clients, moonstone beads are waiting for you.

The Unique Beauty of The Moonstone

Every gem and stone is precious, and moonstones are no different. Moonstones have the absolute pleasure of taking part in adularescence, which optically creates a warm glow within the stone itself.

This means that when light hits the stone, the light refracts and scatters, giving that unique, mesmerizing play of color that resembles a moonlit sky or even moonlight shimmering on the surface of the water.

Moonstones come in a variety of colors. The most iconic colors you may have seen are white, gray, peach, and a shade of beige or yellow. There are also rarer types of moonstones, such as rainbow moonstones, which have a vibrant number of colors that display many different hues - purple, green, blue, and even a combination of all colors.

The play of light gives moonstones both its depth and intrigue. Gemstones usually offer a flat color, which can be used often when a simple design is necessary. Moonstones represent the colors of the universe, so the color changes depending on the angle of the view.

When purchasing moonstone beads for your collection, it's not uncommon that each piece will be a useful conversation starter.

Using Moonstone Beads For Your Creations

The beauty of moonstone beads lies not just in their aesthetics but also in their versatility.

Moonstone beads come in a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing you to unleash your creativity and design jewelry that reflects your unique style.

Here are some ways to incorporate moonstone beads into your creations:

  • Elegance and Simplicity: For a timeless look, string delicate moonstone beads on a fine chain to create a minimalist necklace or bracelet. The subtle shimmer of the stones will add a touch of sophistication to any outfit.
  • Boho Chic: Channel your inner bohemian spirit by combining moonstone beads with other natural elements like wood, leather, or feathers. Larger moonstone beads can be used as statement pieces in necklaces or chunky bracelets.
  • Modern Flair: Embrace a contemporary aesthetic by pairing moonstone beads with geometric shapes or metallic accents. This unexpected combination creates a striking and modern look.
  • Layered Look: Don't forget about layering! Combine moonstone necklaces of varying lengths or pair a moonstone bracelet with a complementary gemstone like amethyst or labradorite. Layering adds depth and allows you to tell a more complex story with your jewelry.

The possibilities with moonstone beads are truly endless. Their versatility allows you to create pieces that are both elegant and playful, classic and modern.

Crafting With Moonstone Beads

Now that you understand the symbolism and beauty behind moonstone beads, you may be ready to craft with the beads. Before you embark on this journey, make sure you are considering the project ahead.

Determine the size, shape, color, and opulence the beads must have for your intended creation or project. The size determines the weight, while the cut and color will determine the brilliance of the adornment.

Silk is a popular choice for delicate pieces when stringing together your beads, while metal wires are very useful for heavier projects. Make sure to take into consideration how wiring can affect the overall aesthetic appeal of the piece.

Don't be afraid to experiment! Continue to explore for the best results, and take inspiration from all sources. You never know what you may find.

The Symbolism Behind Moonstones

Moonstones are not only a timeless classic that adds a flair of elegance and variety to your pieces; they also have some traditional symbolism behind them, carrying with them the wonders and mysteries of the universe.

Moonstones are our connection to lunar energy, which is believed to enhance intuitive perception and promote more emotional balance and well-being. This, in turn, is said to bring good fortune.

Wearing moonstone jewelry is a way to connect with these ancient beliefs and tap into their transformative power.

Here are the top three symbolic associations:

Intuition and Inner Wisdom

Moonstones are believed to enhance intuition and psychic abilities, which allow you to create and sense the deeper connection with your inner self.

Emotional Balance

The calming energy of the moonstone is said to promote emotional balance and stability, helping to alleviate common issues such as stress, anxiety, periodic depression, and bad moods.

Love and New Beginnings

The moonstone is associated with love and new beginnings. It's often given as a gift to symbolize strong new relationships, fresh starts, and a deep emotional connection with someone or a cause.

The Bead Traders: Quality Moonstones for Every Occasion

Moonstone beads are a wonderful addition to any collection, and can be used for a variety of purposes. Moonstone beads need to be sourced from ethical places, sustainably collected and should only be of the highest quality.

At The Bead Traders, we pride ourselves on our commitment to our suppliers and customers. We use sustainable and ethical practices to source only the finest gems and moonstones.

Whether you're looking to make complex and ornate displays or simple pieces or want to browse the collection, The Bead Traders is your one-stop shop for all things beads and gemstones.

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From Earth's Treasures to Dazzling Adornments: Exploring Gemstone Jewelry - The Bead Traders

From Earth's Treasures to Dazzling Adornments: Exploring Gemstone Jewelry

The right piece of jewelry is so much more than just something to wear. It’s a way to express your unique personal style, boost your self-esteem, and tell others a little bit about who you are. Jewelry can carry incredible sentimental value when gifted or passed down through generations, and just wearing it is often empowering.

Learning to make your own jewelry as a hobby or a potential side hustle can be extremely rewarding, as well. Here we’ll take a closer look at what every emerging gemstone lover and jewelry maker should know about different gemstones, including how to choose the right beads and suppliers.

Why Go with Gemstone Jewelry?

The wide, wonderful world of gemstones goes well beyond the diamonds, sapphires, and rubies most people are familiar with. In fact, there are actually over 300 different types of discovered gemstones out there, just waiting to be explored.

So, whether you choose to do that by making jewelry yourself or simply collecting and wearing it, you’re in for a real treat. The following are just a few of the biggest reasons people find themselves falling head over heels in love with gemstones.

Unparalleled uniqueness

Not only does every type of gemstone bring its own signature charm to the table, but individual gemstones are also all unique. Each one features one-of-a-kind visual quirks. Each has its own clarity and cut. Colors can also vary slightly from one stone to the next, with some stones actually changing color over time.

Every gemstone is a little piece of the earth you call home, and each brings a story to the table. In other words, gemstones are a lot like people – every example unique and unlike any other.

Investment value

As with precious metals like gold or silver, many gemstones are quite valuable. However, their value doesn’t fluctuate as much over time. For that reason, well-crafted gemstone jewelry made with high-value stones can be an excellent way to safeguard financial value and invest in the future.

Beautiful jewelry often represents sentimental value, as well. This is especially the case when pieces are created or gifted to commemorate memorable occasions and passed down from one generation to the next.

Symbolic meanings

Gemstones come attached to a long cultural history. Over the years, different varieties have acquired symbolic meaning, become associated with certain health benefits, and so forth. For example, citrine is strongly associated with healing, emeralds represent intuition, and rose quartz symbolizes love.

As for the health benefits, some people swear by gemstones as a way to support balance, confidence, inner healing, and a strong ongoing connection to the earth.

What Are Some Essential Gemstones to Know?

Discovering and getting to know the many types of stones out there is part of the fun of getting into gemstones as a hobby. The following stones are a few examples most people have heard of, worn, or wished they knew more about.

  • Diamond: Considered by many to be the quintessential gemstone, a diamond represents status, strength, and wealth. Diamonds also come in many different colors, including yellow, pink, blue, and purple.
  • Pearl: Pearls have long been associated with concepts like purity, elegance, and wisdom. They also come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, colors, and types, including baroque pearls that are ideal for jewelry-making.
  • Sapphire: A sapphire carries connections to nobility and higher enlightenment. And although classic sapphires are famous for being deep blue, they also come in shades like pink, yellow, white, and even green.
  • Topaz: Healing and spiritual protection are just two timeless concepts people associate with topazes. And although golden or amber topazes are the best known, pink, orange, or blue topaz options can be equally stunning.
  • Opal: With their signature iridescent finishes and longstanding connections to the mysterious, opals represent luck, good fortune, and wisdom for many people. They’ve also been rising in popularity for many years.
  • Garnet: A garnet’s signature pomegranate tone makes it a popular choice for people who love elegant jewelry that makes a statement. Many people associate garnets with truth, substance, and destiny.
  • Moonstone: Fertility, true love, and infinite wisdom are just a few of the potential meanings you could attach to moonstone. Although classic white moonstones are the most popular, they also come in orange, blue, and other beautiful colors.

What Are the Benefits of Making Your Own Jewelry?

Spend much time studying gemstones and learning about their various benefits, and it’s only a matter of time before you wind up bitten by the jewelry-making bug, as well. The following are just a few great reasons to go ahead and give jewelry-making a try.

It’s relaxing

You don’t have to be a born artist to benefit from having a creative outlet in your life. All people have the ability to be creative, and jewelry-making is a fun, approachable way to explore yours. Plus, taking regular time to indulge your creativity, entertain new ideas, and go through the process of making something is relaxing and a great way to manage stress.

It’s great for your health

Hobbies that engage the mind and encourage you to refine your motor skills carry tremendous mental and physical health benefits. Jewelry-making can help people improve their hand-eye coordination, memory, and mental acuity, as well as retain those functions as they get older.

It adds beauty to your life

A person’s choices as far as the jewelry they wear are already incredibly personal. But learning to make your own stunning gemstone jewelry is a rewarding way to take the concept of personal style to the next level. It’s also a terrific way to upgrade your gift-giving game by giving some of your creations to friends and loved ones.

How to Start Making Gemstone Jewelry

Ready to try your hand at making gemstone jewelry yourself? Keep the following tips and best practices in mind to ensure a rewarding, enjoyable experience.

Develop an understanding of different gemstones

While considering the appearance, value, and potential meaning behind a particular gemstone is certainly important, there are other practical factors to keep in mind, too. For example, many gemstones (like opals and pearls) are gorgeous but may not resist changes related to chemicals and other physical phenomena as well as certain alternatives (like jade).

Some gems are also tougher, harder, and less prone to chipping or breakage than others. Consider the needs, preferences, and lifestyle of the person who’ll be wearing the jewelry. 

Educate yourself on the process

If you like learning with other people, signing up for a jewelry class or workshop is always an option. But there are also plenty of resources online that can help you learn the basics and get started. Compile a list of basic resources and tools you’ll need – like pliers, ring clamps, etc. – as well as a way to organize them.

Find a trustworthy gemstone source

It’s not just what you buy that matters when it comes to the gemstones you choose. Where you buy gemstone beads and other key supplies is just as important. Choose a trusted supplier with a longstanding reputation for excellence and reliable customer service. Their catalog and selection should be varied and comprehensive, as well.

The right gemstone bead supplier should be a resource you can turn to for creative inspiration and new ideas, in addition to basics like refreshment supplies. Explore one of the best selections of fine gemstone beads available anywhere when you shop The Bead Traders today!

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The Allure of Baroque Pearls: Imperfectly Perfect Gems - The Bead Traders

The Allure of Baroque Pearls: Imperfectly Perfect Gems

Most people have very specific imagery in mind when they think of pearls. They typically picture perfectly round, white gems with an otherworldly luster to them. They might even think back to the elegant string-style necklaces their mothers and grandmothers wore for special occasions and holidays.

However, while classic pearls are undoubtedly iconic, the collective world of pearls is actually a lot more expansive than that. Pearls come in a wide range of different shapes, sizes, colors, and styles. They can be oblong or seed-like, asymmetrical or teardrop-shaped. Some have smooth surfaces, while others may be rippled or irregular.

Natural, non-spherical pearls like the ones described above are called baroque pearls. They offer gem lovers a chance to experience pearls on a different level, and they can be every bit as lovely as traditional alternatives. Here’s a closer look at the wonderful world of baroque pearls, including the benefits of choosing them over traditional pearls and tips on how you can find the right options for you.

What Are Baroque Pearls?

Most cultured freshwater pearls display various irregularities because they’re mantle-nucleated, as opposed to bead-nucleated like the classic round varieties. These irregularly shaped pearls are called baroque pearls.

Baroque freshwater pearls can come in just about any shape you can imagine, including oval, teardrop-shaped, lumpy, rippled, and cylindrical. They also come in a wide range of sizes from just a few millimeters to multiple centimeters in diameter, as well as an entire rainbow of different colors.

Baroque pearls lend themselves well to many different purposes, as well. Naturally, you can buy readymade jewelry that features them, but they’re also very popular among beaded jewelry makers for all sorts of DIY projects and custom pieces.

What Are the Benefits of Choosing Baroque Pearls?

Opting for baroque pearls over standard alternatives is a highly beneficial choice for several reasons, especially if you enjoy making your own gemstone jewelry and have a soft spot in your heart for pearls. Here are a few examples to consider.

They’re stunningly unique

If you’re concerned that “imperfect” baroque pearls aren’t as desirable as their picture-perfect cousins, it’s officially time to think again. The freeform, organic look of a naturally beautiful irregular pearl puts it in a class by itself, as no two are exactly alike. Jewelry pieces that feature baroque pearls have a distinctively unique look to them that’s truly unlike anything else.

They’re cost-effective

Round, classic pearls cost a pretty penny, so the tab can add up quickly for jewelry makers and hobbyists. However, baroque pearls bring the same elegant, exceptional beauty to the table at a fraction of the cost. You can enjoy the timeless elegance of real pearl jewelry without breaking the bank.

Baroque pearls come attached to multiple pricing tiers, as well. Rarer options, like dark-colored baroque pearls, will naturally cost more because of their scarcity. Different culturing options and origin locations may also affect the final price of a particular type of pearl. For instance, world-famous Ayoka pearls will likely set you back a little more than average.

They’re wonderfully versatile

The vast range of choices you enjoy with baroque pearls gives you plenty of room for your creativity to run wild. Depending on the individual gems you choose, you can achieve just about any look or style, from bold statement pieces to delicately elegant items. Baroque pearls pair well with many other materials, as well, so the sky’s truly the limit when it comes to your creative options.

You can truly make them your own

Baroque pearls are the ideal choice for unique personalities, free spirits, and one-of-a-kind individuals of all types. The fact that they’re pearls lends a classic elegance to finished pieces, while the unusual look and feel of the individual gems ensure every piece is unlike anything else out there. For those reasons, baroque pearls make it easier than ever to express yourself with real gemstone jewelry.

Are Baroque Pearls Valuable?

Don’t let the fact that individual baroque pearls and beads are affordable fool you. The word “baroque” actually originates from the Portuguese word for “imperfect,” with baroque pearls experiencing multiple spikes in popularity and acclaim throughout history.

For example, they were extremely popular throughout the Renaissance era, as jewelry makers and gem experts alike greatly valued options that were unique and organic. In addition to being worn as jewelry, baroque pearls were also frequently incorporated into small sculptures, figurines, and other items – especially humanoid statues, as the freeform shapes of the pearls made excellent stand-ins for body parts.

It's also worth noting that the famous pearl earring in Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with the Pearl Earring” was a teardrop-shaped baroque pearl. Baroque pearls feature in some of the world’s most famous jewelry pieces, as well. For example, La Peregrina was once owned by Napoleon himself and is currently part of a necklace worth 11.8 million dollars.

What to Consider When Shopping for Baroque Pearls

Once you start exploring the world of natural baroque pearls for yourself, you’ll quickly see that your options are wide open, especially if you’re a bead lover who enjoys making your own unique jewelry. Here are some factors to consider when considering your pearl choices to ensure future pieces you’ll be happy with.

Shape and symmetry

Baroque pearls truly do come in just about any shape you can imagine. Each option lends its own unique vibe to your jewelry. Teardrop, oblong, or potato-shaped pearls are wonderful ways to add elegance to a piece. Rice-like or seed-shaped options are fantastic for quirkier pieces. And, of course, you can always mix and match different shapes to create uniquely eclectic looks.

Color and luster

Not all pearls are white or even light-colored, as you’ll see, so it’s easy to create baroque pearl jewelry to suit different moods, personalities, and sophistication levels. If you like the traditional coloring of classic pearls, go for cream, champagne, off-white, or eggshell. However, baroque pearls also come in darker colors like black, grey, olive green, and deep purple.

There are multiple different luster options to explore, as well. Some baroque pearls feature a similar sheen to classic options, while others display an almost mirror-like shine.

Surface and texturing

The uneven surface texture is part of the natural beauty of baroque pearls, so don’t be afraid to embrace it and incorporate it fully into your pieces and creative process. Possibilities run the gamut from gently rippled, to heavily lumpy, to delightfully bumpy. An organic grittiness coupled with a nice weight are other desirable characteristics of real baroque pearls.

Choice of vendors

Where you decide to buy your gemstone beads is just as important as the gemstones you opt for in the first place. Always choose a trustworthy bead vendor with a reputation for quality, affordability, and selection. Their approach to customer care should be second to none, as well. Think fast shipping, data security, and helpful customer service!

If you’re in the market for some of the most beautiful, unique baroque pearl beads available anywhere, we’ve got you covered at The Bead Traders. Shop our extensive selection of unique options today, and prepare to fall madly in love at first sight!

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The Beauty and Richness of Ethiopian Jewelry: The World's Best Kept Secret - The Bead Traders

The Beauty and Richness of Ethiopian Jewelry: The World's Best Kept Secret

Imagine yourself walking through a diverse marketplace. The air vibrates with the rhythmic clanging of hammers shaping metal, and colorful beads shimmer in the sunlight. You're surrounded by a vibrant culture and a land with a rich history stretching back millennia, and it's all reflected in the exquisite jewelry on display.

This is the power of Ethiopian jewelry.

Ethiopian jewelry is a vibrant expression of someone's identity, craft, skill, faith, and place in society. Each piece is attentively crafted with techniques passed down through generations, whispering a story waiting to be heard.

We'll explore the stunning array of pieces traditionally worn, the symbolic meanings woven into them, their role in Ethiopian life, and the time-honored techniques that bring them to life - as well as the tools you need to make your very own!

What Types of Adornments Are Traditional for Ethiopian Jewelry?

Ethiopian jewelry contains diverse ornaments, each with a unique purpose and a powerful aesthetic. Here's a glimpse into some of the most prominent pieces that you can wear or make today:

  1. Beautiful Necklaces: From delicate chains adorned with intricate filigree work to bold statement pieces featuring Coptic crosses or the popular Lion of Judah pendant, necklaces hold immense cultural significance. They can signify social status and religious affiliation or even serve as protective amulets and ward off bad vibes and energies.
  2. Stunning Earrings: Ethiopian earrings come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with hoops embellished with colorful beads. Intricate dangle earrings are trendy. Did you know that Ethiopian men and women traditionally wear earrings, with the number and style reflecting cultural background and tribal affiliation?
  3. Esoteric Headpieces: Another piece worn by both men and women, Ethiopian headpieces are more than just decorative. Elaborate tiaras, intricately entwined crowns, and distinguishable headbands adorned with feathers or shells hold spiritual importance and are often worn and displayed for special occasions like weddings and religious ceremonies.
  4. Cuffs and Bracelets: These can range from simple silver bangles to ornately engraved cuffs. These adornments beautify the wrists and arms, making them more delicate or powerful as needed. They can be crafted from various metals, trimmed with gemstones, or elaborated with intricate beadwork, which reflects the wearer's wealth and social standing.
  5. Body Ornaments: Ethiopian jewelry takes what you would consider more typical accessories a step beyond. Anklets with tinkling bells, meticulously designed nose rings, and even delicately elaborate hairpins add a touch of elegance and cultural significance. These adornments often hold symbolic meaning or serve as protective charms, in addition to being pure aesthetic.

Symbolism

To illustrate, let's say you are getting ready for a wedding in Ethiopia. You slip on a dazzling gold jewelry set, the intricate beadwork catching and refracting the golden light. On this day, It's more than just beautiful; it's a symbol of your heritage, your wealth, and the joy of this momentous occasion.

Fast-forward a few weeks, and you're attending a lively religious festival. This time, a Coptic cross decorates your neck, a silent expression of your faith as you celebrate with the community without seeming too boisterous. It reflects your thoughts and prayers during celebrations or difficult times.

On a typical day, a simple silver bangle adds a touch of elegance as you go about your life.

Although jewelry is often worn to express beauty or to signal status, Ethiopian Jewelry holds profound significance based on the venue, event, occasion, or time of the year.

Craft skills

The creation of Ethiopian jewelry is a true testament to the skill and artistry of generations of artisans. Traditional techniques, passed down through families for centuries, ensure the continued production of these exquisite pieces.

Metalwork

Ethiopians are highly skilled at working with gold, silver, and brass. They employ techniques like hammering, filigree (creating delicate lace-like patterns), and granulation (attaching tiny metal balls to create a textured surface).

Enameling

The vibrant colors in some Ethiopian jewelry come from the art of enameling, where powdered glass is fused onto metal to create stunning decorative effects that refract light into the correct position to amplify the resonance of the color.

Beadwork

The art of beadwork is a cornerstone of Ethiopian jewelry making. Skilled artisans string together colorful glass beads, creating intricate geometric patterns and symbolic motifs. Beads are an exciting and affordable way to spruce up any collection.

Allure Endures

Despite the rich traditions, the world of Ethiopian jewelry is not static and changes with time, as adaptable as the techniques used in crafting timeless jewelry. Modern Ethiopian artisans are finding innovative ways to keep this cultural art form alive.

Designers incorporate modern aesthetics, such as beadwork and filigree, while staying true to traditional techniques. This results in jewelry that appeals to a wider audience while preserving its cultural essence - making it both culturally conducive and more accessible to distribute globally.

Many ethical brands are working directly with Ethiopian artisans, guaranteeing fair wages and supporting the preservation of this ancient craft.

Ethiopian jewelry is gaining worldwide recognition for its beauty, symbolism, and craft skills. This exposure is creating new markets and opportunities for Ethiopian artisans.

The enduring allure of Ethiopian jewelry lies in its ability to bridge the gap between tradition and modernity. It's a captivating blend of history, symbolism, and artistic expression. This is a testament to the fact that preserving your heritage does not necessarily mean being stuck in your ways, but adapting in a new way to meet the realities of the modern world.

Cultural Legacy

Ethiopian jewelry transcends mere decoration. It serves as a tangible link to the country's vibrant culture and rich history. Each piece tells a story, reflecting the wearer's identity, beliefs, and social standing. There are three main ways that Ethiopian Jewelry is traditionally made and worn:

  • Cultural Preservation: Jewelry-making techniques and symbolic motifs are passed down through generations, ensuring the preservation of cultural heritage.

  • Expression of Identity: By adorning themselves with these unique pieces, Ethiopians celebrate their individuality and connect with their cultural roots.

  • Economic Empowerment: The jewelry trade provides a livelihood for many Ethiopian artisans, contributing to the country's economic development.

Famous Wearers

Ethiopian jewelry's vibrant colors, rich symbolism, and exquisite craft skills have captured the attention of celebrities and fashion icons worldwide. Here are a few examples:

  • Beyoncé: Queen Bey has been spotted wearing stunning Ethiopian gold earrings and headpieces, incorporating them into her signature bold and culturally-inspired looks.
  • Rihanna: Rhi-Rhi is an adaptable fashion trendsetter who has donned elaborate Ethiopian cross necklaces and statement cuffs, showcasing the versatility of these pieces for modern interpretations.
  • Lupita Nyong'o: The Kenyan actress, with her Ethiopian heritage, has proudly embraced her roots by wearing Ethiopian jewelry on red carpets and at award ceremonies. Her choices often highlight intricate beadwork and bold geometric patterns.

These are just a few examples of the growing appreciation for Ethiopian jewelry (and clothing!).

Caring For Ethiopian Jewelry

The proper care for Ethiopian jewelry depends on the materials used. Here are some popular examples:

Silver

Regularly polish your silver jewelry with a soft polishing cloth to maintain its shine. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners.

Gold

Gold jewelry can be cleaned with a mild solution of warm water and a gentle dish soap. Dry thoroughly with a soft cloth. Gold is easily malleable, so remember to be gentle!

Beadwork

Avoid getting beaded jewelry excessively wet, as it can weaken the thread. Store it flat or hang it to prevent tangling. 

General Tips

Store all Ethiopian jewelry in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Remove your jewelry before showering, swimming, or exercising to avoid damage from chemicals or moisture.

High-Quality Ethiopian Opal Beads

Following the simple tips above will help your Ethiopian jewelry retain its brilliance and cultural significance. But let's not forget the foundation – the very beads that bring these stories to life.

High-quality beads, like the stunning Ethiopian opal beads at The Bead Traders, ensure your creations not only capture the essence of Ethiopian tradition but also possess the strength and beauty to be cherished for generations - while enabling you to add your modern twist to each collection.

Head over to The Bead Traders today and discover the magic of Ethiopian jewelry. We carry an expertly curated inventory of wholesale beads and jewelry supplies that reflects attention to quality, trends, and style.

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Timeless Beauty: How To Make Freshwater Pearl Necklaces - The Bead Traders

Timeless Beauty: How To Make Freshwater Pearl Necklaces

Pearl jewelry has been synonymous with sophistication, elegance, and beauty for centuries. Pearls have graced the neck of the Queen of England and have been popular accessories for celebrities and even presidents’ wives, such as Audrey Hepburn and the beautiful Jackie O. Their presence also communicates a measure of power and wealth due to their costly price tag. Thankfully, you can create many of these same iconic looks along with trendy new options with freshwater pearls and save a great deal of money doing so, allowing you to embrace the look of pearls without having to invest a great deal of money. The following will tell you everything you need to know about making a freshwater pearl necklace, so you can achieve this look anytime you so desire: 

How to Make a Freshwater Pearl Necklace

For this example, we will look at how to construct a simple strand of pearls, which is one of the most beloved and iconic looks. The following instructions will walk you step-by-step through the process and by the end, you will have a lovely piece of jewelry to wear to virtually any event: 

Choose Your Necklace Length and Material

The first step when constructing a necklace is to determine what length you want the necklace to be. This will vary, of course, based on if you want a full pearl necklace or just want to create a focal piece with a few pearls in a specific design. While you can use many types of materials to create your pearl look, for the sake of instruction, let’s assume you are going to stick with silk line. Keep in mind that silk does stretch, so pull the thread taut to pre-stretch it before you measure out your length. This is a standard choice for stringed pearl necklaces like we are constructing. Of course, leather, ribbon, and more can be used as well for different looks, such as when using large-holed freshwater pearls.

  • 12-13 inches: This is what is known as the collar-length necklace. It will generally lay around the middle of your neck and not have too much loose line.  
  • 14-16 inches: Known as the choker length, this is also a classic style that sits at the neck and encircles it comfortably.
  • 17-19 inches: Considered the princess length, this is one of the most common lengths for a complete pearl strand. It is ideally worn with plunging necklines.
  • 26-36 inches: This opera length hangs low around your sternum and can be stacked with other shorter lengths of pearls or worn on its own.

Keep in mind that if you want to double your line for strength (more on this below), you will need to take that into consideration when cutting your length. 

Treat Your Silk Line

As the second step after choosing your necklace length, make sure that you treat your silk line after you have measured it out and cut it off the roll to prevent deterioration. Over time, as you wear your necklace, the residue from soap and the oil from your skin will cause the silk line to weaken, which of course is not what you want. Therefore, it’s a good idea to try to prevent this by applying beeswax (small amount) on the entire length of your silk thread line that you will use to construct your necklace. Apply once, stretch the thread out, and apply a bit more. 

Double Your String

One easy way to strengthen your necklace and protect your string of freshwater pearls is to double your string. Do this by folding the thread in half and tying a knot to connect the loose ends together. If this doesn’t work for you, you can use a bead clamp to safely fasten the ends together. Of course, if you plan on doing this, you should take this into consideration when choosing your necklace length, as you will have to allow for the doubling process.

Gather Your Pearls, Prepare Your Work Area

Now comes the fun part: readying your beautiful freshwater pearls for the job at hand. Prepare for this step well, as scattered pearls throughout your house really aren’t that much fun to track down. Before starting, count your pearls in case any go missing. Then, lay a towel down in your work area to serve as a catch-all. A towel works, but if you plan on doing this again or want to be as efficient as possible, you can instead use a beading tray or mat to help keep all your tools and pearls in one area. 

Thread Your Pearls Using a Needle

Using a thin wire needle, string your pearls on your thread. Ideally, you want to choose a thread and needle that will easily fit through the pearls themselves. Before getting too far into the project, make sure and test the thickness of your thread. If the needle can’t easily pass through the hole of a pearl, then you probably will need a smaller size. Also, you don’t want it to be too small either, as then the pearls can slip over knots. If you are making a simple strand, you don’t have to be very mindful of order in terms of pearls. However, if you are trying to create a pattern or plan on using different pearls or even adding pedants, remember that you are stringing in reverse, so make sure that you keep up your pattern (and plan it out ahead of time) to ensure the placement of these focal points.

Apply a Clamshell Tip

To hold the necklace closed, and before you begin stringing your pearls, you will need to apply a clamshell tip. To do this, thread the needle through one side of the tip all the way to your knot. Dab a bit of glue on the tip to properly close off that side of the necklace line. Tie a knot (overhand knot) to separate the first pearl from the metal clamshell tip. You will want to do this because, over time, the pearl rubbing against this metal surface can deteriorate it. Therefore, by tying a knot between the first pearl and the tip, you can extend the pearls’ life.

String Your Pearls

Now that you have done all the prep work, the next step should be rewarding and fun. You can string your pearls one after another if you prefer. However, one way to help your pearls stay looking great and prevent unnecessary wear is to space them out slightly using the overhead knot. To do this, place one pearl on the silk line and then tie an overhand knot and then place the next one. If you do use the knot system to space out your pearls slightly, make sure that you tie the line tightly before moving on to the next pearl. Sometimes, tweezers can come in handy when working this precisely.

Check It, Throughout

As you construct your beautiful strand of freshwater pearls, routinely check the length and look on your neck. While you can measure it beforehand and lay it out on a table, it will look different and lay differently on your actual neck. So, before completing your necklace, be sure to check it several times throughout the process.

Attach The Other Clamshell Tip

When you are finished with your necklace, to complete your piece, attach the other side of the clamshell tip to the opposite side of the necklace. Knot the line securely and then tuck it inside the clamshell tip, if possible, to hide. Then, make sure to add some glue to ensure that the knot holds, and you do not lose your pearls.

Finish it Off With Clasps and Jump Rings

Last but not least, bend your clamshell tips open with pliers, so you can easily link in your clasps, such as lobster clasps, and the other, into a jump ring. Once you have your clasp and jump ring in place, bend the clamshell tips to close them in, then apply glue to where the tip ends and bends back into itself. This prevents your necklace from working itself loose over time.

You Did it!

If you have followed the steps to this point, you should have a beautiful freshwater pearls necklace to enjoy. Congrats, you did it!

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How to Make Bracelets with Beads - The Bead Traders

How to Make Bracelets with Beads

Naturally, you can always buy cute beaded jewelry readymade for yourself or a loved one. But there’s just something about a piece you planned and created with your very own hands.

Making your own beaded jewelry is a terrific way to add a touch of personal flair to your accessory collection or spend a Sunday afternoon doing something creative. As a hobby, it’s affordable, fun, and relaxing. And truly beautiful beaded jewelry is easier than you think to make, even for beginners.

Beaded bracelets are terrific items to start with for lots of reasons. They’re approachable, easy to wear, and versatile. Here’s a closer look at how to make a bracelet with beads that you’re sure to love, as well as how to get the absolute most out of your new hobby.

What Types of Bracelets Can You Make with Beads?

Don’t assume that if you’ve seen one beaded bracelet, you’ve seen them all. There are lots of different kinds to consider, each with its own unique vibe and style. The following are just a few popular options to consider.

Stretch bracelets

If you’re a beginner looking for an approachable way to get started with beaded bracelets, stretch bracelets are a great option. There’s no need to worry about clasps or wiring, as you simply stack the beads onto a stretch cord that expands to fit your wrist.

Friendship bracelets

Although there are many different ways to approach friendship bracelets, most combine simple knots with beautiful beads to create beautifully unique patterns. Friendship bracelets are perfect for gifting or trading with friends, family members, children, etc.

Wire-wrapped bracelets

If you’re looking to achieve a more elegant, refined look to your bracelets, wire-wrapped options are a great choice. Wire wrapping involves using thin jewelry wire to create patterns that include gemstones, crystals, beads, focal items, and more.

Beaded cuff bracelets

Cuff-style bracelets allow for lots of elaborate beadwork, creative patterns, and different gemstones. A sturdy base makes all this possible, making it a favorite approach for jewelry makers who love to let their uniquely creative spirits run wild.

Charm bracelets

One way to add a quirky, fun touch of personality to a beaded bracelet is to turn it into a charm bracelet. The charms dangle freely from the bracelet and come in many different styles, making them a wonderful way to customize your work.

What Materials Do You Need to Start Making Beaded Bracelets?

Before you get to work on your first bracelet, you’ll want to gather all the materials you’ll need so everything’s on hand. Here’s a simple list of basics to get you started:

  • Beads: Naturally, the beads you choose will give your bracelet its spirit and style, so choose carefully. You can go with anything you like from inexpensive acrylic or glass options to beautiful gemstones and crystals.
  • Wire, cord, or string: You’ll need one or all of these, depending on what type of bracelets you’re making. Stretchy cord is better for easy wearability, while wire and other options are better for intricate, elegant designs.
  • Fasteners: Unless you’re sticking to stretch bracelets, you’ll need a way to fasten your bracelets once they’re complete. Check out classic options like claw clasps or toggle alternatives, along with jump rings and (if you’re making wire bracelets) crimp beads.
  • Jewelry tools: Essential beading tools and equipment, including wire cutters and jewelry pliers.

How to Make a Bracelet with Beads

Once you’ve chosen your beads and preferred options for threading and securing your creations, it’s time to get down to business. Here’s a simple step-by-step rundown to refer to as you dive into your new hobby.

Get organized

Although you can adopt a more organic approach to jewelry making if you wish, most jewelry makers prefer to plan ahead. Invest in a bead board or a dedicated bead tray for organizing and keeping track of your beads. Plan your design, as well, so you can create with purpose and direction.

Take some measurements

Always measure your wrist (or the wrist of the person who’ll be wearing your creation) before creating to ensure a comfortable fit. Add an extra inch or so to ensure the bracelet will fit comfortably, and cut your wire or cord accordingly.

Prepare to start stringing

If you’re making a wire bracelet, the first thing you’ll want to do is attach your clasp using a crimp bead. Run the wire through the crimp bead, add the clasp you’ve chosen, thread the wire back through the bead, and use your pliers to secure your work by flattening the bead.

If you’re using string or stretch cord, you can start your bracelet by simply folding a piece of tape over one end to keep the beads from slipping off during the creation process.

String your beads

Now comes the fun part. Start adding your beads to your wire, string, or cord in any pattern or configuration you like. Don’t be afraid to get creative! You can experiment with patterns, alternating bead sizes, spacer beads, or freeform configurations. Make your bracelet your own.

Check your work

As you get closer to finishing the stringing process, check your bracelet every once in a while against your wrist to ensure it will sit correctly and that the beads will fill the cord without becoming overcrowded. If you need to, add or remove some beads until things are just right.

Consider any additions

If you want your bracelet to include any charms or other accessories in addition to just the beads, now is the time to add them. Simply slide them onto your cord or wire and position them as needed or desired between the beads to add some visual interest and personality to your bracelet.

Finish your bracelet

Finish your bracelet by securing your string or cord. If you’re using wire, you’ll need to attach the connection point for your clasp the same way you attached the clasp at the beginning of this process.

If you’re using stretch cord or string, simply tie a nice, secure square knot to complete the process. Be sure to neatly trim any excess string or wire that may be present.

Test your bracelet

Before wearing or gifting your bracelet, give it a quick test first to make sure it fits well and that the clasp works properly (if you did use a clasp). Clasps should be easy to open, close securely, and keep your beads in place.

You’ll also want to look your bracelet over and make sure it looks as lovely and polished as you imagined. Are the beads well-secured? Is the spacing nice and even? Beaded bracelets look best when they’re flawless, so definitely take the time to correct any imperfections you find.

At The Bead Traders, you’ll find a beautiful, well-rounded collection of quality beads, including gemstone and metal options, as well as focal beads. We’re always adding to our catalog, as well, so there’s always something new to discover and add to your repertoire. Browse our selection today, and prepare to be amazed!

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A Dive into the World of Pearls: Freshwater vs. Saltwater - The Bead Traders

A Dive into the World of Pearls: Freshwater vs. Saltwater

When it comes to making an ideal gemstone choice you’ll cherish for years to come, it’s hard to go wrong with pearls. A pearl is a classic choice with the ability to flatter absolutely anyone. Pearls are durable and timeless with the potential to last a lifetime. They’re also strongly associated with concepts like affluence, beauty, elegance, and classic good taste.

However, you shouldn’t assume that all pearls are the same. They come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, colors, and styles. They can also be either freshwater or saltwater. In fact, that’s the first decision you want to make if you’re in the market for pearls – freshwater pearls vs saltwater pearls. Here’s a closer look at what you need to know to make a decision you’ll be happy with.

Freshwater Pearls vs Saltwater Pearls: What Are the Key Differences?

Contrary to what many people believe, oysters aren’t the only mollusks capable of producing pearls. Alternatives like conch, clams, mussels, and abalone can produce them, as well. In fact, you’ll notice that the inside of a mollusk shell often has a similar sheen and luster to an actual pearl.

This is because a mollusk deals with irritants (like sand, parasites, or pearl farmers’ beads) that invade its shell by coating them with layer after layer of calcium carbonate – the same substance that lines the shell itself. Over time, this process results in a substance known as nacre – mother-of-pearl.

Although many different mollusks can and do produce pearls, the most common two options are saltwater oysters and freshwater mussels. Here’s a closer look at some other differences to know.

Geographic origin

Collectively speaking, pearls can originate from many different areas of the world, including but not limited to Australia, the Philippines, Fiji, Mexico, China, Japan, and Thailand. However, most freshwater pearls on the market today come from either China or Japan’s iconic Biwa Lake.

Saltwater pearls, on the other hand, typically come from carefully protected lagoons, bays, and similarly warm bodies of water located throughout Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Australia, and French Polynesia.

Color

Although pearls are most commonly associated with the color white, they actually come in many different beautiful shades and hues. However, those colors can vary as far as freshwater pearls vs saltwater pearls.

Freshwater pearls tend to closely mirror the natural look and feel of the nacre lining the inside of a mollusk’s shell. Shell nacre can vary quite a bit, so the pearls do, as well. Light, traditional colors like white or cream are common, but so are alternatives like peach, lavender, or pink. In some cases, dye may be added to the pearl to punch up its natural color a bit.

Although saltwater pearls can be bleached to achieve the coveted white color so many people still prefer, they are often actually darker in color. Grey, blue, and similar tones are common, especially among Akoya pearls. However, saltwater pearls can also be black, green, or even deep purple, as with Tahitian pearls. Some options – like the signature pearls of the South Sea – can even be a rich silver or gold.

Luster

Saltwater pearls and freshwater pearls form via similar processes, but they also differ quite a bit due to certain variables.

For example, saltwater pearls usually form quite slowly around solid foundations like farmers’ beads or grains of sand. Meanwhile, freshwater options usually form around a biodegradable irritant that will eventually break down. In these cases, the nacre layers form quickly, making the pearl denser.

These formation differences result in differing lusters. Freshwater pearls have a soft, misty luster to them, while saltwater pearls are hyper-brilliant, sometimes even exhibiting a mirror-esque surface.

Shape

When pearls form around organic material, as with many freshwater pearls, it’s more common for the shape to be irregular and organic, as well. Alternatively, saltwater pearls usually form around round beads or similar objects, resulting in the smooth, symmetrical appearance many people associate with classic pearls.

Contrary to what some believe, the organic, unusual shape associated with many freshwater pearls is not proof that they’re naturally occurring (as opposed to cultured). Natural pearls do exist. However, they’re very rare, so most commercial pearls are the result of human intervention.

Overall value

As with other types of gemstones, scarcity has a lot to do with the value of each pearl type, and there are some pretty profound differences between freshwater and saltwater varieties.

Saltwater pearls usually originate from oysters that only produce a single pearl at a time. Many will also produce only one pearl over an entire lifetime. Naturally, these pearls are much harder to cultivate, significantly rarer, and more valuable, as a result. (Prices also reflect this.)

Meanwhile, the mussels and other mollusks responsible for freshwater pearls are usually capable of producing up to 120 pearls at one time. They’re also easier to farm, even in large quantities, so they tend to be more affordable.

There are fewer restrictions and regulations limiting the number of freshwater pearls a cultivator can produce, as well.

Freshwater Pearls vs Saltwater Pearls: Which Is a Better Choice for You?

Both saltwater and freshwater pearls are beautiful, elegant, and representative of a wonderful investment. Both make incredible gemstone choices that would flatter anyone. However, certain factors might definitely make one a better choice for a particular buyer than the other.

Here are some examples to consider when weighing your personal options:

  • Size: If you prefer bigger pearls, saltwater options might be more your speed. However, those who love the look and feel of smaller alternatives should take a closer look at freshwater.
  • Color: If you’re like most jewelry lovers, color matters when it comes to your choices. Both saltwater and freshwater options come in a variety of different tones. However, freshwater pearls tend to be lighter, while darker, more dramatic pearls are usually saltwater.
  • Shine: If you’re after a mirror-like gleam when it comes to your pearls, go for round, symmetrical saltwater pearls. However, if you love a softer, dewier glow, freshwater pearls are your choice.
  • Shape: Pearls with unusual, irregular shapes are trendier than ever right now, and you’re more likely to see those when shopping for freshwater pearls. However, if you prefer perfectly round, classic pearls, go for saltwater.
  • Budget: Price tag will naturally be a primary concern for anyone in the market for jewelry. Freshwater pearls are a much more wallet-friendly option in this regard, while saltwater pearls sometimes carry a prestige factor because of their cost.

How you plan on wearing your pearls may influence your decision, as well. Freshwater pearls make a solid option for dressing up work outfits or otherwise wearing for everyday purposes. But if you’re the type who prefers to break out the pearls only for special occasions, the flawless perfection of a saltwater pearl option may be a better choice.

Whichever option you choose as far as freshwater pearls vs saltwater pearls, one thing’s for sure. You’re making an excellent, tasteful choice you’re sure to treasure for the rest of your life. Explore your options today, and treat your style to the ultimate upgrade.

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Understanding the Pros and Cons of the 5 Main Types of Pearls - The Bead Traders

Understanding the Pros and Cons of the 5 Main Types of Pearls

Pearls are a fascination that has captured humans' minds, eyes, and hearts throughout many civilizations and generations. They are known for timeless elegance, beauty, divinity, and simplicity, which add to their grace. Royalty and other classes have been known to wear pearls in various ways, including beautiful necklaces and bracelets.

Discovering  Types of Pearls

With this in mind, choosing the right pearl can be a daunting experience. You'll want a pearl that genuinely speaks to you to create a stunning, beautiful, and meaningful design.

Join us as we explore the 5 main types of pearls and the benefits of each category.

The Significance of Pearls

Pearls are not just aesthetically pleasing; they hold profound symbolic significance for many cultures worldwide, historically and today. Pearls symbolize purity, rarity, divinity, grace, femininity, and other gentle vibrations and energy forms. Pearls also represent a longing for love, wisdom, and prosperity in numerous cultures. 

Pearls were initially found ashore by very early human civilizations, so they were a fundamental design that has been passed down throughout the centuries. As they have always done, pearls are trendy for heirloom pieces but are most known to adorn brides, primarily those who preserve their traditions and wish to complement a beautiful white dress.

The 5 Main Types of Pearls

Every pearl is beautiful in its own way and can be used to craft a wide range of jewelry. Below, we will explore the 5 most common types of pearls, where they can be found, and some advantages and drawbacks of selecting them.

Akoya Pearls

When you picture the classic white bead, you most likely associate pearls with the Akoya pearl. Akoya pearls are iconic and cultivated within some Asian countries, most notably Japan and China. Akoya pearls have a brilliant luster and a round shape, making them a prized possession and highly sought-after.

The pearls are smaller than other types, making them timelessly elegant and complementing the themes of grace, wisdom, and love, which can be used in contemporary designs and their more-traditional counterparts.

Pros:

  • Known for their high luster and round shape.
  • Generally smaller in size, ranging from 2mm to 10mm.

Cons:

  • Can be more expensive compared to freshwater pearls.
  • Limited color range, typically white or cream with subtle overtones.

Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater pearls are well-known for their affordability and availability and are one of the most abundant types of pearls on the market. They are found within freshwater mollusks that thrive in lakes and rivers. The pearl is formed by inserting a nucleus into a mussel or oyster (or waiting for it to happen naturally), then cultured into a pearl.

Due to their abundance and diverse nature, freshwater pearls come in different shapes, sizes, hues, and colors. Freshwater pearls are perhaps the most versatile for jewelry making, allowing you to pair them with all other types of gems and designs to make a unique collection.

Pros:

  • Wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes available.
  • Generally more affordable compared to saltwater pearls.
  • Cultivated in freshwater environments, making them more sustainable at a larger scale.
  • Versatile and suitable for a wide range of jewelry designs.

Cons:

  • Lower luster compared to saltwater pearls.
  • Less round and symmetrical shapes compared to some saltwater pearls.

Tahitian Pearls

Chances are, you may have already heard of Tahitian pearls, even if you have never dabbled in jewelry making before. These were coveted during the late 17th and 18th centuries among traders, aristocrats, and royalty; you may know them as "black pearls." 

Tahitian pearls are cultivated in French Polynesia and are most abundantly collected from the water around the islands of Tahiti. Although they are referred to as "black pearls," there is an assortment of shades that range from dark charcoal black to even deep purple, blues, and greens. Collectors are very fond of Tahitian pearls for their luster and large size.

Pros:

  • Exotic and distinctive colors, ranging from charcoal gray to peacock green.
  • Large sizes are available, with some pearls exceeding 15mm in diameter.
  • High luster and natural iridescence.
  • Rare and beautiful

Cons:

  • Higher price point compared to freshwater pearls.
  • Limited availability due to the specific cultivation region.
  • Some products may have surface imperfections or irregular shapes.
  • Large size makes them a valued collector's item, but they do not fit various jewelry designs.

South Sea Pearls

South Sea pearls are beautiful, powerful, and valuable. They are perhaps the largest pearls that are available on the market. Depending on the region, the pearl can have different types of luster, sometimes presenting a satin appearance. The colors of South Sea pearls range from a silver-gray shade to creamy white and even a golden or sunshine-gold yellow.

  • Exquisite luster and satiny appearance.
  • Large sizes are available, with some pearls exceeding 20mm in diameter.
  • Highly valued for their rarity and luxurious appeal.

Cons:

  • Higher price point compared to other types of pearls.
  • Limited availability due to the specific cultivation regions.

White South Sea

As a subsection of South Sea Pearls, white South Sea pearls are primarily found in the waters around Australia and some parts of Indonesia. They have a classic beauty that matches the traditional "white" elegance that ranges from creamy white to clear and radiant lusters.

Golden South Sea

Many fine jewelers and collectors frequently purchase from the waters of The Philippines and Indonesia, which hold a large assortment of yellow and gold hues.

Sea of Cortez Pearls

Sea of Cortez Pearls are unique and primarily found off the coast of Mexico. Unlike other pearls, they have a wide range of colors not typically known for traditional pearl arrangements and collections. Some pearls found within the Sea of Cortez include shades of pink, light blue, purple, and green.

These types of pearls are rare, and collectors and jewelers opt to purchase them both for display and for ornate jewelry.

  • Stunning array of natural colors, including pink, purple, blue, and green.
  • Exceptional luster and unique beauty.
  • Prized for their rarity and individuality.

Cons:

  • Extremely rare
  • Not very versatile

Why are Keshi Pearls Different?

Keshi pearls are one-of-a-kind and highly sought-after pearls that are formed accidentally during the culturing process. Unlike traditional pearls, which are cultivated by intentionally inserting a nucleus into an oyster or mussel, Keshi pearls are formed as a byproduct of the culturing process when the implanted nucleus is rejected or expelled by the mollusk.

Keshi pearls are also known as "poppy-seed" pearls, which is the meaning of the Japanese word Keshi. Keshi pearls result from saltwater or freshwater pearls, most of which come from saltwater sources.

At The Bead Traders, we hold the highest quality fresh-water Keshi pearls that are unique and well-priced. We deliver only the most exquisite pearls with unmatched attention to detail and ethically sourced products.

The Bead Traders: Exquisite Pearls for Exquisite Designs

Pearls are a timeless classic that still continues to stun and amaze us. They give the wearer the confidence they need to move forward to grace, passion, and love. You must consider the best cut, shape, quality, color, and texture when selecting your pearls

At The Bead Traders, we offer a wide selection of high-quality pearls worldwide, allowing you to create exquisite jewelry pieces that stand the test of time. We only offer the best pearls that are suitable for all ranges of collections so that you can be on-time, on-trend, and on-brand.  Explore our collection today and elevate your jewelry designs with the timeless beauty of pearls.

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Where to Find Wholesale Gemstone Beads for Exquisite Jewelry Making - The Bead Traders

Where to Find Wholesale Gemstone Beads for Exquisite Jewelry Making

The art and science of jewelry-making is an age-old tradition with many different applications and can be done for many other reasons. Perhaps you'd like to try crafting beautiful jewelry for display, to sell to others, or simply as a hobby for you and your family.

Regardless of the reason, even the most seasoned jewelry maker understands the advantage of getting the best deal out of their pricing negotiations for wholesale gemstone beads.

Join us at The Bead Traders as we explore the best place to find wholesale gemstone beads. We'll discuss the most essential qualities to look for when distinguishing your purchase and how to find the best deals on the market.

History of Wholesale Gemstone Beads

Jewelry making is an art form that has existed since the dawn of human time, estimated to have started as long as 2.5 million years ago. Jewelry was used to demonstrate power and authority within a group as it showed they had extra time from their fundamental practices to collect beautiful shells, rocks, and gems.

Gemstone beads have a rich history that spans civilizations and cultures, most notably from Medieval Europe to Ancient Egypt. Gemstones are beautiful and have some perceived metaphysical properties. Throughout the ages, they have been used as currency, trade items, displays of wealth, and adorned royalty to display their significance to their subjects.

Today, we still use gemstone beads as a time-honored tradition for many different purposes. Here are some common gemstones and their significance:

Amethyst

Amethyst is well-known and prized for its astonishing purple shades and hues and is often associated with spirituality and enlightenment. It was believed (and still is) to ward off negative energy and promote peace and clarity of mind. Today, it remains a popular choice for meditation aids and spiritual jewelry, making it a great gift.

Turquoise

Cultures around the world have been in awe of the Turquoise gemstone for centuries. It is well-known for representing protection, wisdom, and healing. Perhaps most notably, In Native American traditions, turquoise is considered a sacred stone with the power to connect the earth and sky due to its colors and properties.

Rose Quartz

Sometimes, this gemstone is known as the "stone of love." Rose quartz has a delicate pink tint and represents compassion, self-love, and emotional healing. It is often used in jewelry to promote harmony and balance in relationships. Adding this gemstone to your arrangement is an excellent gift for those wishing to rekindle their connections.

Lapis Lazuli

Lapis lazuli is a beautiful gemstone with a rich history dating back to ancient civilizations, namely Egypt and Mesopotamia. It is most known for its deep violet-blue/royal blue color, which can range into greenish hues. Some Lapis stones even have golden flecks of pyrite. Lapis lazuli provides the wearer with truth, wisdom, and inner peace.

Jade

Jade holds great cultural significance in many Asian cultures, particularly China and Japan. It is adored for its vibrant green colors, hues, and shades. Jade is believed to symbolize purity, harmony, and prosperity to the wearer and families that have jade in their household. Jade jewelry is often passed down through generations as a symbol of familial bonds and good fortune.

Citrine

Citrine is known as the "merchant's stone" and is paired with abundance, prosperity, and success. Its sunny yellow color is believed to energize and invigorate the wearer, promoting optimism and creativity. This stone is often used to bestow affirmations of wealth and abundance on the wearer.

Onyx

Onyx is a powerful protective stone known for its sleek black appearance. Much like the sun's rays, the dark cool absorbs and transforms negative energy into positivity, providing stability and grounding for those who wear it. Onyx jewelry is often worn as a talisman for strength and resilience.

Pearl

Pearls are timeless symbols of elegance and femininity, dating back to the earliest civilizations. Associated with purity and beauty, pearls have been coveted by both royalty and the aristocracy throughout history but were popular among most classes. In many cultures, pearls are also associated with wisdom and spiritual transformation.

Agate

Agate is a versatile gemstone known for its beautiful banded patterns and wide range of colors, making it a great assortment and pairing with other stones. Agate is one of harmony, balance, and protection. Agate jewelry is often used as a talisman for stability and inner strength.

Garnet

Garnet is a deep red gemstone associated with passion, vitality, and regeneration. In some cultures, it is believed to stimulate the root chakra and promote feelings of security and abundance. Adding Garnet jewelry will empower the wearer with vitality and power.

 

How to Search for Quality Gemstone Beads

At The Bead Traders, we understand that searching for a great price only makes sense if you find a great selection of beads and gemstones you love. Here are 5 qualities to look out for:

Color and Clarity

The color and clarity of a gemstone bead are two of the most important indicators of its quality. You'll want to be on the lookout for beads with vibrant, consistent coloration and minimal inclusions or blemishes. High-quality gemstones will display a depth of color and clarity that adds to their overall beauty. A gem should truly speak to you before you purchase it.

Cut and Shape

The cut and shape of a gemstone bead can significantly impact its appearance and usability in jewelry making. Choose well-cut and uniform beads, meaning they should show a smooth and polished finish. Beads with quirky and irregular shapes or uneven cuts may detract from the overall aesthetic of your designs, so you'll want to be careful during your selection.

Size and Uniformity

The size of the bead will be critical, especially if you are playing with different patterns or creating other pieces as part of a collection. You'll want to opt for consistent beads for easy pairing and stringing. Keep the sizing consistent and uniform (usually) so that your pieces have a polished look.

Durability and Hardness

Depending on your selection, gemstone beads range in hardness and durability, with some being more prone to scratching or chipping than others. Before making your pieces, you'll want to think about their function. Rubies are a tough gemstone, making it great for building pieces for everyday wear, while apatite is a more moderately tough gemstone that should be used in pieces for select events.

Sources and Ethical Practices

The source of your gemstone beads and the ethical practices employed in their extraction and production should be important considerations in your purchasing decision. Look for suppliers who prioritize sustainability, fair labor practices, and responsible sourcing. With The Bead Traders, you can feel confident knowing that your creations are not only beautiful but ethically and responsibly sourced.

The Bead Traders: Your Complete Bead Market

Finding quality gemstone beads for your jewelry-making is a journey that requires extensive research, due diligence, and careful consideration. At The Bead Traders, we understand this is a time-consuming process and have created an easy-to-use wholesale account system that guarantees you are getting the best price on thousands of high-quality beads.

We have the expertise required to provide you with great market prices for bulk purchases while being open and flexible with terms and limitations.

Shop our wholesale bead collection today to bring your creative vision to life. Our beads are great for crafting intricate necklaces, earrings that make a statement, delicate bracelets, and fine enough for even the thinnest anklet.

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TYPES OF GEMSTONE BEADS AND THEIR USES - The Bead Traders

TYPES OF GEMSTONE BEADS AND THEIR USES

Gemstones: Versatile and Intricate

Gemstone beads have been prevalent throughout history and worldwide. For jewelry makers and enthusiasts, gemstone beads are a versatile and essential jewelry item. Whether you want to add a splash of color to an outfit with a strand of beads or incorporate multiple strands to create a more intricate look, gemstone beads for jewelry making are an excellent choice. Depending on the types of gemstone beads you choose, can use them as pendants or combine them with other types of jewelry, like rings and necklaces, to suit any style or occasion.

Gemstones come in various forms like ruby, sapphire, quartz, and tourmaline, as well as opal, moonstone, turquoise, and lapis lazuli. These beads are a great choice for anyone looking to embellish their wardrobe. It has a long history of use in fashion and jewelry design, as you can create something casual and understated or dazzling and high-end with gemstone beads. There are also several benefits of wearing gemstones that are shared around the world. Whatever your budget may be, there is bound to be a variety of beads that will fit your needs.

Gemstone Varieties

gemstone beads for jewelry making

Minerals vs. Non-Mineral or Organic Gemstones

Gemstones are prized for their beauty and durability. Although most gemstones can be classified as mineral, certain gemstones are non-minerals. Minerals are inorganic substances that occur naturally within the earth's crust. They have specific chemical compositions and crystalline structures, which give them distinctive characteristics such as color, crystal form, hardness, specific gravity, luster, fracture, and tenacity. The rare and magnificent minerals are often termed gemstones, such as diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, garnets, amethysts, and topaz. Mineral beads add excitement and are sought after for their beauty.

Organic gems like pearl, coral, amber, ivory, and jet are classified under non-mineral gemstones. These gemstones are derived from living organisms transformed by natural processes such as fossilization or petrification. While they may vary widely in appearance compared to mineral beads, one thing in common is their enduring beauty. 

No matter what types of gemstone beads you select, gemstone varieties are welcome additions to any piece.

Precious vs. Semi-Precious Gemstones

One significant distinction in classifying gemstones is whether they are precious or semi-precious stones. For a gemstone to be precious, it must have all three characteristics: beauty, durability, and rarity. Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires are all considered precious gems, given their extreme rarity and incredible beauty.

In contrast, semi-precious gemstones have only one or two of these qualities. These gemstone beads are valuable in their own right and are frequently used in jewelry and other adornments. Gemstone beads made from semi-precious stones such as onyx, jasper, amethyst, or aquamarine add a unique flair to any piece of jewelry.


Natural vs. Synthetic Gemstones

Gemstones are some of the most beautiful and sought-after materials in the world. Natural gems, such as rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, are mined from the earth and crafted into beads for jewelry making and other decorative items. However, these precious stones may undergo heat treatment or chemical processes for improved color or clarity. These treatments affect the stone’s value, with intensive processes having a greater impact on its price.

Not all gemstones are naturally occurring, and many gemstone beads are created artificially in laboratories using machines and precise chemical processes. Due to their relatively common origins, synthetic gems are often less valuable than those found in nature. But they are very frequently used in creating stunning pieces of jewelry.

Simulant Gemstones

Simulant or imitation gemstones are items that resemble natural gemstones but lack the same physical characteristics or chemical composition. Most simulant stones are made from glass or plastic materials and can be easily identified by a jeweler due to their texture, color, and reflectivity. Regardless of the material used to produce these imitation gems, they are a popular choice for jewelry makers who want to create beautiful jewelry without spending a fortune on rare and precious stones.

Health Benefits of Gemstones

Amber: It is a unique and beautiful gem formed from the hardened resin of ancient trees. This organic gem has been valued for its medicinal and spiritual uses for centuries. Known for its distinctive yellow, brown, or red color, Amber is believed to help alleviate pain and promote healing by drawing out illness from the body. The benefits of wearing gemstones in amber are believed throughout the world. In addition, amber is also used to relieve headaches and reduce stress, making it an ideal stone for releasing negative energy. 

Amethyst: It is a stunning purple gemstone that has long been associated with strength, courage, and peace. Many believe that these qualities make the amethyst an excellent choice for promoting healing and aiding recovery from various mental health conditions and addictions. With its tranquil qualities, the amethyst is also a great stone for anyone seeking to tap into their creative potential or to find relief from stress and anxiety.

Aquamarine: It is among the largest cut gemstones, making Aquamarine an ideal choice for jewelry lovers looking to make a statement. Beyond its striking appearance, aquamarine is also believed to have numerous healing properties and the ability to solve digestive issues, improve eyesight and dental health, and even serve as a positive force that helps its wearers cope with grief.

Citrine: It is a vibrant and dazzling gemstone, making it a perfect choice for all kinds of jewelry, from earrings and necklaces to bracelets. This unique gemstone has long been associated with positive energy and emotional well-being. People looking to boost their mood or manage common health problems like poor digestion, sleep issues, hearing difficulties, pain, and inflammation, should wear a Citrine.

Garnet: These are a genuinely remarkable type of gemstone, known for their stunning variety of colors and incredible healing properties.  Garnets are believed to be great for boosting overall health, revitalizing both mind and spirit, and enhancing one's sense of confidence and emotional well-being.

Moonstone: Throughout history, white or clear moonstone has been treasured as a powerful and protective gemstone. This versatile gemstone is said to have calming effects, making it an excellent remedy for anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It is also a popular choice among artists and other creative people for its assumed ability to enhance creativity and intuition.

Pearl: Known for its calming and rejuvenating qualities, the pearl is often touted as a "stone of happy and positive energy." It had a special place in traditional Asian medicinal systems and was used for treating various health issues, from digestive disorders to heart problems. Today, pearl powder is often added to skincare products, such as makeup and facial scrubs, to achieve a glowing complexion and treat various skin disorders like rosacea.

Rose Quartz: Rose-hued quartz is one of the most popular gemstones for jewelry and is often recommended for those going through difficult emotional situations or heartbreak. This beautiful gemstone is believed to promote self-love and acceptance and help open the heart to new possibilities.

Shop Gemstone Beads For Jewelry Making

Gemstone beads for jewelry making are a great way to add natural beauty and uniqueness to your designs. No two gemstones are exactly alike, so you can be sure that your design will be one-of-a-kind. The Bead Traders offers a wide selection of high-quality gemstone beads for jewelry making in various shapes, colors, and patterns. Whether non-mineral gemstones or mineral beads, their beauty is unparalleled. So if you want to add a special touch to your next jewelry project, check out our selection at The Bead Traders! Allow your clients to enjoy the benefits of wearing gemstones.

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How to Clean Baroque Pearls Necklace - The Bead Traders

How to Clean Baroque Pearls Necklace

How to Clean Baroque Pearls Necklace?

Baroque pearls have always been prized for their unique and organic beauty. These amazing gemstones are created when an irritant enters the oyster but does not form a neatly spherical pearl. Instead, the pearl takes on various irregular shapes, from minor aberrations to distinctly ovoid or lumpy shapes. 

The vast majority of freshwater pearls, over 90 percent of them, are baroque pearls. This shows that the most common misshapen or imperfect shape of pearls makes round pearls more valuable. 

Freshwater pearls come in all shapes and sizes, but the most common are baroque. Despite their imperfections, baroque pearls can be stunningly beautiful. They come in various colors, from classic white to shades of pink, orange, and even black. And because each pearl is unique, they can make for very interesting and one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. 

While baroque pearls were once valued primarily for their use in creating small figures, today, they are appreciated for their unique look. No two baroque pearls are exactly alike, making them a truly special addition to any piece of jewelry. You may prefer the classic beauty in a single strand of pearls or the more eclectic look of a multi-strand necklace; baroque pearls are sure to add a touch of brilliance to any outfit.

Types of Baroque or Freshwater Pearls for Jewelry Making

Baroque pearls are versatile and are used to create jewelry designs with multiple gems or as statement gems. The different shapes of baroque pearls can be distinguished into 12 different categories, each of which is special in its own right.

Coin Pearls

As the term suggests, coin pearls are flat and round, just like a coin. The large flat surface area gives the coin pearls a beautiful luster and is commonly used in jewelry.

Baroque Pearls

The baroque term is used to define both irregularly shaped pearls and also a subtype. Baroque pearls are commonly elongated spherical pearls with dents and uneven surfaces.

Twin Pearls

Twin pearls are the outcome of two pearls fused together. They are a favorite among jewelry makers for creating stud earrings.

Potato Pearls

Potato pearls look similar to potatoes as they have a small and lumpy outlook.

Cross Pearls

Cross pearls are the ones that are naturally shaped as a cross and, therefore, rare and most often used in creating jewelry for religious purposes. 

Stick Pearls

Stick pearls are long, flat, and narrow, like a stick, and are also known as BIWA pearls since these freshwater pearls are found in Biwa pearl mussels. 

Rice Pearls

Rice pearls seem round at first, but if you look closely, they are not perfectly round and resemble the tiny grains of rice. 

Egg Pearls

These pearls have wide bottoms and narrow tops and resemble small eggs. 

Heart Pearls

If you are planning to make jewelry for a special one, heart pearls are the best choice for their resemblance to the shape of a heart. They are pretty similar to coin pearls.

Teardrop Pearls

Teardrop pearls are commonly used in earrings for their pear-shaped silhouette that looks like a teardrop. These pearls are highly sought after for their unique shape compared with other baroque pearls. 

Leaf Pearls

Leaf pearls are one of the most delicate and thinnest baroque-shaped pearls with an uneven surface. 

Keshi Pearls

These are the rarest type of baroque pearls that do not have a center particle and form when the mollusk rejects the seed but develops the pearl. They are elongated and extraordinarily lustrous and what makes them unique is that they are composed only of nacre.

 

How to Clean Baroque Pearls

Caring for your pearls doesn't have to be difficult. A few simple steps will help keep them looking beautiful for years to come. 

Wipe your pearls with a soft cloth every time you wear them to remove any oils or other substances that may have transferred from your skin. 

Clean with a damp cloth only when required. If you find any visible stains on your pearls, gently wipe them clean with a mixture of lukewarm water and mild dish soap. 

Ensure that your pearls are completely dry before storing them so as not to compromise the elasticity of the silk strand. 

And take them to your jeweler once a year for a professional cleaning. With just a little effort, you'll be able to enjoy your pearls for many years.

A Few Tips to Maintain Your Pearls

Pearls are a classic jewelry staple that can be found in the jewelry boxes of women around the world. These lustrous orbs have been associated with elegance and luxury for centuries, and their timeless beauty has made them a popular choice for special occasions. While pearls are often passed down as family heirlooms, they require care and maintenance to keep them looking their best. These simple tips will help your pearls look beautiful for generations to come. 

First, make sure to put your pearls on after you've applied makeup, perfume, and other products. 

Second, store your pearl necklaces flat to prevent them from stretching out of shape. 

Third, keep your pearls in a dedicated space, away from other jewelry that could scratch them. 

Finally, remember to wear your pearls often! Pearls thrive in moist environments, so wearing them often will help to keep them hydrated and to look their best. 

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your pearls will be treasured family heirlooms for years to come.

If you are looking for stunning baroque pearls to add to your collection, visit The Bead Traders and buy Baroque Freshwater Pearls that are especially popular among jewelry enthusiasts. They carry a wide selection of gemstone beads, beading supplies, and charms, all at incredibly affordable prices. You can order baroque pearls wholesale for a craft project or a few special beads to finish a piece of jewelry - The Bead Traders is the perfect place to shop.

FAQ’s:

What is meant by baroque pearls?

Baroque pearls are irregularly shaped, non-spherical pearls. You can find baroque pearls in various shapes ranging from ovoid, curved, pinched, or lumpy shapes. Most cultured freshwater pearls are baroque.

Are baroque pearls worth anything?

Baroque pearls are genuine pearls and are valuable for their one-of-a-kind appearance. Although less expensive than round pearls, their value depends significantly on their type since all baroque pearls differ.

How do you know if the baroque pearl is real?

The best way to differentiate a real one from a fake baroque pearl is to gently rub it along the surface of your tooth. A real baroque pearl will be gritty, while a fake one made of glass or plastic will be smooth. If you find a baroque pearl necklace with all the pearls the same size and shape, it is most likely a fake one since baroque pearls differ significantly in their forms and size. 

How do you value baroque pearls?

Factors like luster, size, pearl type, and color give baroque pearls their value. Luster means how shiny the pearl is, i.e., the ability to reflect light. In terms of color, lighter shades are considered less valuable than the rare, darker shades. When it comes to shapes, larger pearls, such as teardrops or pearls with symmetric shapes, are more valuable than small and misshapen pearls.

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How To Choose The Best Gold Chain For Jewelry Making? - The Bead Traders

How To Choose The Best Gold Chain For Jewelry Making?

Choosing chains to make jewelry is one of the most crucial steps in jewelry making. There are many options to choose from, but it all comes down to your personal preference and the design you want to achieve.

With the proper chain in hand, you can create and add a whole new dimension to your handmade pieces of jewelry. You can choose a simple chain to make the pendant or charm the star of the design, or you can opt for a beaded chain and create something sparkling and unique. While beaded chain options range from different gemstone beads to metal beads, the most preferred and common simple chain colors are gold and silver. Buying a gold chain is especially difficult owing to its color, quality, and design which can make a significant difference in the appearance of the finished product.

In this blog, we will discuss how to find the best gold chain for jewelry making to create a piece that represents your style and creativity. 

Plated vs. Solid Gold

It is safe to assume that if you make your own jewelry, you will likely choose gold-plated chains, not solid gold. While jewelry made of solid gold has only gold inside and out, gold-plated jewelry is made from another metal with a coating of genuine gold.  

The price also significantly differs, with plated chains costing considerably less than solid gold alternatives. Although the life of gold-plated jewelry is less than solid gold, modern plating techniques have made it possible for plated chains to hold their beautiful appearance and shine for a long time. When cared for properly, gold-plated chains can be one of your prized possessions. 

The Right Karat Matters

The karat indicates the purity of gold. While 24kt is the highest karat, meaning the gold is in its purest form, it is hard to work with and never found in gold-plated chains. The most common options in gold-plated chains are 14kt and 22kt. 

With solid gold, higher karat means the metal is soft and safest for people with nickel allergies or sensitivities. However, it is prone to scratches and other damages, making gold-plated chains the best choice for handmade jewelry if you are just starting or running a small business. 

Importance of Link Type

Depending on the type of jewelry you make, the links in the gold chains matter a lot. The link type decides the strength of the chain and, therefore, the durability of your jewelry. 

However, the choice also depends on your preference; for instance, men like to wear chains with heavier links while women prefer daintier ones. 

Some links come with inherent problems of twisting, kinking, and getting stuck on clothing like the omega, herringbone, and round snake chains. You can consider buying oval and twisted oval link chains that are versatile and work well in many designs and are strong enough to withstand daily use.

Choosing the Right Colored Gold Chain

At first, it may sound confusing, but gold-plated chains come in different shades and hues, not just in 'golden' color. So choosing the right color is crucial for your jewelry design to pop and look attractive.  

The choices may range from rose, yellow, to even black gold. If choosing only one seems too daunting, you can buy different shades of gold-plated chains by the foot and create your masterpiece. Always shop from a trusted vendor who ensures you get quality chains by the foot and maintain color consistency, too.  

Choosing the Right Length – Like Chains by the Foot

If you are looking to start your handmade jewelry business or even for your personal use, buying chains by the foot is advantageous as it gives you the liberty to use them the way you want while avoiding material waste. Chain by the foot is a jewelry-making essential, and it's also a lot of fun to play around with. You can make all sorts of pieces with chains, from necklaces and bracelets to earrings and anklets. And the best part is, you can buy chains by the foot, so you don't have to worry about purchasing too much or too little. 

What are the Tools Required for Jewelry Making?

The right tools for jewelry-making are like the oars that will help you propel your business forward. These tools allow you to put the different parts together, like putting beads onto the strings, attaching the clasps to the string, and more. A good set of jewelry tools is crucial for achieving remarkable results. 

Pliers – Jeweler's pliers are helpful when working with metals and wires as they help you grip, bend and work with small objects, just like a second pair of hands. 

Wire Cutters – As the name suggests, it is used to cut wires and work with pins and findings. 

Nylon-Tip Tweezers – It is extremely helpful when working with small and delicate gems and beads without causing any damage to the surface, like scratching the color. 

Needles – Beading needles are a must for putting beads onto the stringing material. These needles should be of high quality and different sizes to accommodate various bead openings. 

Now that you know the ways to choose the best gold chain and the ideal tools for your jewelry-making process to be a success, the next step is to find a trusted vendor. Once you find a vendor offering high-quality jewelry parts, buying wholesale chains by the foot is a smart move. You will often get discounts and offers and build a relationship with the vendor, ensuring that you will find quality products every time.

The Bead Traders is one such destination where you can get everything to kick start your jewelry-making business and give your dream the wings to fly. 

Why Buy at The Beads Traders? 

The Bead Traders has the ultimate collection of gold chains by the foot ranging from Rose gold-plated link chains and black gold-plated link chains to simple gold-plated chains and gold-plated link chains. You can find your preferred link types from the extensive collection that includes Figaro, Fancy, Divot Oval, Square link chains, and plenty more.

If you want to explore other designs, you can buy beaded chains by the foot or even freshwater pearl chains by the foot. The Bead Traders also have some of the most impressive hand-selected inventory of gemstone beads. 

So if you want the best quality jewelry parts at an affordable price and convenient and reliable shipping, The Bead Traders is your ideal store. 

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