|What do you think of the new Chinese crystal beads?
With the news about products coming out of China the last
couple of years, I had serious doubts about the quality of the Chinese crystal
beads that have been flooding the bead shops and shows. Sure, they look pretty,
but what's the quality like? And what about the other issues regarding buying
Chinese-made goods today?
During my recent bead buying trip to New York City, I
stopped in at City Beads and purchased several strands of Chinese crystals to
add to my collection. I'd already purchased a few strands from The Hole Bead
Shop a few weeks earlier, and I was eager to see what the other shapes and
colors were like.
The prices of the strands were considerably less than the
per-piece price of the Swarovski beads and even less than the Czech crystal
that I've sampled as well. The colors were deep and intense, almost to the
point where they were overwhelming. You really had to lift each strand up to
look at it on its own before making a buying decision.
The shapes of the Chinese crystal were the same as the
Swarovski and the sizes the same as the Swarovski beads.
Maybe it was my imagination, but the Chinese beads felt
lighter in my hand than the Swarovski. It could be because of the lead content
- Swarovski crystal beads have a higher amount of lead in them than other types
of crystal beads, which gives them that very distinct sparkle. And lead, as a
chemical element, is heavy, thereby resulting in a heavier, denser bead.
I've started working up a few projects using these Chinese
crystal beads, and so far, they work beautifully with the seed beads. I'm not
certain about the durability of these Chinese crystal beads. I suspect that
they may not wear as well as the genuine Swarovski crystal beads, or even as
well as the Czech crystal beads, but only time will tell. For now, I'll stitch
up a few more projects and wear them around to see how they fare.
Meanwhile, what are your thoughts about these Chinese
crystal beads? Have you used them yet? What do you think about the quality of
them? Do you have reservations about buying inexpensive products that were
manufactured in China? Share your thoughts and ask your questions here!