Design Challenge: Designing Jewelry with Semiprecious Beads

Feb 20, 2009

Designing Jewelry with Semiprecious Beads Design Challenge

To celebrate the publication of the new book Designing Jewelry with Semiprecious Beads by Kim Gover, Beading Daily is hosting a design challenge!


• You must be a member of Beading Daily to participate.  (It's free to sign up.)

• Design an original bracelet or necklace using 3 or more different semiprecious gemstones.  This means three different stones (for example, turquoise, garnet, amethyst), not three different shapes of the same stone.  Your design may include any other types of beads or findings in addition to the gemstones.  

• Techniques are limited to the ones described in the book:  stringing, simple overhand knots, simple wire loops, wrapped loops, simple wirewrapped beads, and wire spirals.  You may combine multiple techniques if you like. 

• Here are the semiprecious beads listed in the book: agate, amazonite, amber, amethyst, ametrine, apatite, aquamarine, aragonite, aventurine, azurite, blackstone, bloodstone, bronzite, carnelian, charoite, chrysoberyl, chrysocolla, chrysoprase, citrine, coral, dumortierite, fluorite, garnet, goldstone, hematite, howlite, iolite, jade, jasper, jet, kyanite, labradorite, lapis lazuli, larimar, lava stone, lepidolite, malachite, moonstone, mother-of-pearl, obsidian, onyx, opal, pearls, peridot, pyrite, quartz, rhodochrosite, rhodonite, rhyolite, serpentine, sodalite, tanzanite, tiger's eye, tourmaline, turquoise, unakite, zoisite. You are not limited to the gemstones listed here.  You may use any gemstones you like, whether they are in this list or not.

• One entry per person.

• No purchase required.

Judging and Prizes

• The Step by Step Beads and Beading Daily editors will select the top three entries which will be showcased (along with a brief profile of the winners) on Beading Daily by April 17, 2009.  Judging criteria will include good use of materials and strong sense of design. 

•  In addition to being showcased on Beading Daily, the top three entries will also be considered for publication in Step by Step Beads.  If your design is selected for publication in Step by Step Beads, you will be required to write clear and complete step-by-step instructions for your project in order to be paid the standard design fee.  Winning the contest does not guarantee publication in Step by Step Beads.  The editors reserve the right to not make any offer of publication if the projects submitted do not meet the current needs of the magazine.  The decision of the editors is final.


• Entries are due March 31, 2009 by midnight Mountain Time.

In your email entry, please include:

• Name

• Email address

• A maximum of 2 high-quality JPG images (1 full and 1 close-up of your project).  If you need photography advice, check out these free articles:  3 Steps to Better Beadwork Photos, Jazzing Up Your Beadwork Photos, and Photograph Your Jewelry with a Do-It-Yourself Light Box

• Name of your project

• List the gemstones used in your piece

• Indicate whether it is a bracelet or necklace

• List the techniques(s) used

• Write a paragraph 50 words or less on the unique features of your piece.  What makes it special?  Why does the design "work"?

• Use the subject line:  "Semiprecious Beads Challenge" and email your entry to 

Good luck!

Be sure to check out our contests page for lots of other opportunities to win!

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+ Add a comment


Kcrystina2 wrote
on Feb 20, 2009 10:21 AM
Awesome! Just the type of contest I was looking for :)
on Feb 20, 2009 10:59 AM
Several people have asked if pearls are accepted in the contest as semiprecious beads. Yes, they are!
LitaC2 wrote
on Feb 20, 2009 11:22 AM
Does "simple overhand knots" include knotting between beads?
on Feb 20, 2009 11:45 AM
Yes, you may knot in between beads. Pieces with complicated knotting (macrame) are not eligible.
PATG@31 wrote
on Feb 20, 2009 1:25 PM
Is jasper, with all its many variations, considered semi precious?
on Feb 20, 2009 2:20 PM
Yes, jasper counts!
on Feb 20, 2009 2:48 PM
Are people outside the US able to enter? Can jump rings be used?
MarilynP@26 wrote
on Feb 20, 2009 6:06 PM
I live in the Philippines, can I enter the contest? Thanks
on Feb 21, 2009 6:08 AM
The contest is open to everyone, no matter where you live, as long as you are a member of Beading Daily. (I will check and you'll be disqualified if you are not!) Simple use of jump rings are fine, but chain maille is not accepted for this contest.
thegoodearth wrote
on Feb 21, 2009 8:59 AM
Can the pendant be considered one of the semiprecious stones? Alayne Klenotic
kay@122 wrote
on Feb 21, 2009 1:22 PM
Can the project be crocheted wire as the beads need to be strung before they can be crocheted?
Spiritfoxy wrote
on Feb 22, 2009 6:03 AM
what a wonderful contest, thank you *smile*
on Feb 22, 2009 2:53 PM
I have a question on a technique allowed...Is a hook clasp ok since its basically a progression of the wrapped looped that is then flattened and curved? If not,I will just buy a hook clasp and attach with jump rings but I would rather not as it would break up the flow of my design. Thanks so much!
Polargirl wrote
on Feb 23, 2009 9:22 AM
Can we use peyote stitches with seed beads for this challenge?
catbird423 wrote
on Feb 23, 2009 11:43 AM
If I use two types of jasper (picture and ocean) does that count as one semi-precious stone or two?
on Feb 23, 2009 3:09 PM
Can chain be used in the design?
on Feb 25, 2009 4:39 AM
What about varying colors of the same type of stone (i.e., Tiger's Eye, Falcon's Eye, Hawk's Eye or golden, red and blue).
Cthings wrote
on Feb 25, 2009 1:18 PM
This sounds exciting! It will inspired me to do something!
toyotasmile wrote
on Feb 25, 2009 2:24 PM
Hello, I am from Europe, and I was wondering if I could participate in this design challenge? Thank you!
on Feb 25, 2009 6:20 PM
Yay! Something I can actually do. I am so excited.
mmello wrote
on Feb 27, 2009 6:10 AM
Can you submit a piece that you made for someone as a gift and no longer have in your collection? I do have good photos of it.
on Feb 28, 2009 8:57 AM
1. Three different colors of the same gemstone only counts as one gemstone. The gemstones need to be different types. 2. Any Beading Daily member, no matter where you live, can participate. 3. Yes, you can submit a piece you no longer own and still win. However, if you are selected for publication in the magazine, you need to send in the actual piece. (You can always turn down the offer of publication.)
on Mar 3, 2009 9:06 AM
Do you have to use a soft flex wire as the core I have something I am working on that is built off a chain but it is un seen and it is mostly constructed with the wrapped loop and segments of chain you can not see the chain anymore would they accept that? And the clasp is tribe hill with other tribe hill elements in the work
DanaD@12 wrote
on Mar 3, 2009 6:46 PM
I'm guessing I know the answer to this but...Does red coral count as a semiprecious stone? Thanks!
DanaD@12 wrote
on Mar 3, 2009 6:49 PM
I just found my answer to is coral accepted. Question 2 -- I have revised a design from I think Stringing and made it my own. Would this be accepted?
Blueangelite wrote
on Mar 5, 2009 5:58 PM
I would love to do this challenge. I'm just a little scared. But I'm always up for something new, so I think I will go for it.
Lise@14 wrote
on Mar 7, 2009 4:36 PM
Can the bracelet be crochet? I saw someone else asked the same question but didn't see the answer. Thanks.
Cath@17 wrote
on Mar 8, 2009 1:21 AM
In the process of sending my picture - I'm happy with what I came up with and quite excited about this challenge - one question rises: is it allowed to add a picture of what inspired us? I think it is sometimes nice to "explain" where a design has its roots (when possible). Thank you!
Rosiew1 wrote
on Mar 10, 2009 12:25 PM
I have a necklace using 2 semiprecious stones and then there is a hanging micro-macrame piece which includes 2 other types in small quantities. The hanging part is removeable and the plain necklace can be wore separately. Will this work for the contest? I do many pieces like this featuring one of a kind glass beads. Rosalie Weiss Please advise.
PiecesofD wrote
on Mar 13, 2009 6:51 PM
I'm considering entering a challenge in another magazine as well, but the folcus is on the clasp. Could I enter the same piece in both challenges? (Probably not, huh?) Regardless, I have another design to enter, but it uses chain, gemstone pendant and strung beads. Is chain allowed? Also, the pendant is something called purple fire agate. I'd never heard of it... Is it allowed? Thanks! This is going to be fun!
JoS@24 wrote
on Mar 16, 2009 12:09 PM
This is the first contest I've entered and am excited to see what everyone has done. I sent in my contest information for the semi precious beads contest last Friday. Will you be sending me an e-mail or some sort of notice that you have received my information and pictures? Thanks.
Leana@3 wrote
on Mar 20, 2009 7:49 AM
Oh, my gosh fellow beaders!! Please read the rules. It specifically says: * "Design an original bracelet or necklace "* *"using 3 or more different semiprecious gemstones. This means three different stones (for example, turquoise, garnet, amethyst), not three different shapes of the same stone. Your design may include any other types of beads or findings in addition to the gemstones." Meaning varying colors of the same stone=1stone! Hooks, clasps, spacers, bead caps, crimp beads and crimp covers are findings, so yes they can be used! * " Techniques are limited to the ones described in the book: stringing, simple overhand knots, simple wire loops, wrapped loops, simple wirewrapped beads, and wire spirals. You may combine multiple techniques if you like." That means no crochet, no peyote, no macrame...and no bending the rules! Part of entering your design in a contest is your ability to follow the quidelines and creating a design that follows those quidelines. *There is also a list of semiprecious gemstones. Pearls, coral and agate are in that list! Most of the questions asked, have the answers right there in the quidelines. LOL...we beaders are a funny lot!! So anxious to get started on our projects and get busy creating we sometimes forget: READ the INSTRUCTIONS! I wish everyone good luck and happy beading!
PiecesofD wrote
on Mar 23, 2009 3:52 AM
Excuse me for adding this, but I feel it neccessary and I apologize to anyone that it might offend... This is my first beading challenge, as I'm sure it is for many others here, as such, I just wanted to make sure my piece was considered. The instructions do not mention chains and I questioned it (as did another potential contestant... it is a BEADING challenge after all). Again... this is my first challenge... and I do not feel like I deserved to be portrayed as someone that does not read directions (I read them many times so as to not miss anything) or am in some other way inept, especially from another contestant (as is the impression I got from the last post, while seeking an answer to my question(s) from STAFF). Again, I apologize if this offends anyone, but the last post is the first negative item I have encountered in this venue, and, frankly, made me reconsider my entering the challenge, as well as my membership (unsuccessfully, I might add). Thank you, fellow beaders, for allowing me to state my peace. D
Ruhammie wrote
on Mar 24, 2009 2:15 PM
I just finished my piece and was doing a little rsearch for my 50 words or less paragraph. I came across some info that is troubling me and I hope someone may be able to answer. I used opalite, however upon my research, I have found in several sources that it is a form of fluorite (which is still a gemstone, so okay). Other sources say that it is a manmade glass from China (which would not be a gemstone?) At all the websites for beading supplies, it is typically listed under gemstones. I'm concerned that I will not qualify because it is one of three semiprecious gemstones I used. Can someone answer whether it qualifies or not? I would appreciate any help.
margieKat wrote
on Mar 25, 2009 5:11 PM
I finished my piece and then became concerned that I had worked "outside" the rules. Does a simple wire design done on a wig jig break the rules? If it does, then I have another piece I can enter. Please try to answer this quickly as the time is running short and thank you for the help!
catdaddytn wrote
on Mar 26, 2009 12:28 PM
This is exciting. I'm new to beading, so I'm not so sure about my skills. I haven't decided to enter yet. Marble is not listed here and I realize that other semi-precious stones/beads may be eligible, but not listed. My bead lady said yes marble should be included. In my online search, marble is and is not listed with semi-precious stones. What do you think? One of my necklaces is not a copy, but I was inspired by an online project. Is this OK? Actually, I've read so many books and websites that I'm probably always inspired. thanks. Cynthia
Leana@3 wrote
on Mar 26, 2009 6:34 PM
Hey, RamieL! This is the definition in Wikipedia of opalite: "Opalite is a purple lavendar chalcedony type stone with either patches of darker or lighter mauve and/or white. Formed predominantly from dolomite and fluorite with traces of quartz and other mineral, resembling opal, commonly polished or used in jewellery." Opalite is also listed under many sites as a gemstone. This is just my opinion, but I think it's a safe bet to say: using opalite as one of your gemstones would NOT disqualify your piece. This is a very pretty stone! Hope this helps & good luck!! Leana
Leana@3 wrote
on Mar 27, 2009 7:45 PM
catdaddytn--->I was just on Fire Mnt Gems website trying to identify a stone of mine...and under gemstones was listed marble! There are actually several different types of marble that are considered semiprecious gemstones...and many of them are gorgeous stones...who knew??!! Leana
JerryR@4 wrote
on Mar 28, 2009 8:30 PM
Aloha- the beads that I have bought that are sold as opalite or sea opal are all glass, they are a milky, transparent glass with a blue sheen. I have also seen it sold as moonstone which it definitely is not. The natural form of opalite sounds really pretty, but I have never seen it that I am aware of. Mahalo Jerry
Ruhammie wrote
on Mar 28, 2009 8:34 PM
Leana...Thank you for that definition. I didn't even think of checking there, I feel silly now! Thanks again.
Leana@3 wrote
on Apr 1, 2009 11:14 AM
Ramie...don't feel silly...I thank you for introducing me to a new and very pretty stone... :) Leana
on Apr 17, 2009 5:48 AM
are they posting the results today and where to I look to find them?