Gemstones

Since ancient times, gemstones have been prized for their colors and for their perceived healing abilities. The first humans who discovered colorful gemstones in the gravels of a riverbed or embedded in an otherwise ordinary rock must have been struck with awe and wonder. It is not surprising that gemstones were seen as magical protection, a source of various kinds of healing, and an earthly treasure from the gods. Today, gemstones can be used to make stunning beaded gemstone jewelry and are available in an amazing range of colors, shapes and sizes. Gemstones are adaptable for any style of jewelry-making project, whether you prefer large, chunky and organic looking nuggets or the delicate, carefully faceted briolettes. By adding a few or many semiprecious gemstones to our own beaded jewelry designs, we can shape the look and feel of a beaded necklace or bracelet.


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  • A note from Jennifer: There are two kinds of beading pattern designers in this world: those who can create gorgeous flat peyote patterns and those who can't. Carol Dean Sharpe, owner of Sand Fibers , is definitely one of those who can. Carole's
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  • I have just as many drawers full of stringing wire, beading pliers, findings, and beading thread as I do drawers full of beads! Some days, it seems like every beading project that I make requires its own set of beading tools and jewelry-making supplies
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  • How easy is this? Make a small piece of peyote stitch beadwork. Make sure the ends mesh with each other and then zip it up. You have just created what might be the most versatile piece of beadwork known to humankind: the peyote stitch beaded bead. You
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  • Human beings have prized gemstones for hundreds of years. In addition to their natural beauty, gemstones have also been coveted for their perceived mystic powers. Gemstones are believed to help heal, bring good luck and fortune, and enhance the abilities
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  • One of the reasons why I love beads and beadweaving and bead stitching and bead stringing (I'll quit while I'm ahead) is the long history behind beads and beadweaving. Beads are endlessly fascinating, and the stories behind the beads themselves
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  • Perhaps it's my inner ADD child, or maybe it's just part of being a creative person, but I get sidetracked very easily. For example, I was tech editing Lynn Davy's project for the October/November 2011 issue of Beadwork magazine last week
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  • So, the first thing that you should know about me is that I'm a total cabochon freak. I love beading with cabochons. One of the things that I always find to be a fun challenge when I'm stitching up a beaded cabochon necklace is what kind of fringe
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  • When I inherited my mom's jewelry after she passed away, a necklace in her collection caught my eye. It was obviously very old (Mom loved vintage jewelry, just like me!) and made from some sort of plastic, either Lucite or Bakelite. A short length
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  • Ever since Carole Cypher returned from her adventures in Japan last year, I've been hearing about these amazing new beading needles that she brought back with her. Tulip needles were reputed to be stronger, more flexible, and less likely to bend and
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  • I'm the first to admit that when it comes to my beading projects, I suffer from a severe case of B.A.D.D. (Beader's Attention Deficit Disorder). I start a new project and then something pretty catches my eye - a little pack of Czech fire-polished
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  • Even though I don't do it too often, I love knotting strands of pearls and gemstone beads. There's nothing quite as iconic as a single strand of knotted pearls: I'm thinking of June Cleaver or Jackie O. Pearls add instance elegance and class
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  • Learn how to add fiber to bead loom projects
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  • Q&A with Tammy Jones I don't know about you, but I love knowing what makes people tick. What inspires a designer/writer/artist, and where did they come from? Knowing this background information gives me a deeper connection and understanding of
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  • When you think of metal jewelry-making mavens, Helen Driggs, Senior Editor of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist comes to mind. I took a moment to chat a bit about the magazine and I'd love to share with all you beady peeps! Helen had a lot to say when
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  • It's always fun to look back on the past year, and see what was shaking! Beading Daily is no exception! I've gathered Beading Daily posts with the most comments and most popular (views) from 2010. It's been interesting learning about all you
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  • Kristal Wick is the editor of Beading Daily OK gang, who received beads for gifts over the holidays? Even if you bought them for yourself, they are the greatest of gifts, right? Beads are always the perfect gift in so many ways. Your entire family and
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  • Kristal Wick is the editor of Beading Daily Lexi Erickson is no stranger to soldering, melting metals, and burned bangs, but then everybody has to start somewhere! Lexi has been teaching high school and college metals for over twenty-three years and currently
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  • Kristal Wick is the editor of Beading Daily As a teacher in the creative field, one of my greatest delights is taking classes from other teachers. I'm just like you, I pore over the show catalogs, bending the corners of the pages to mark which classes
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  • One of my fave pleasures of being a designer is sharing my creations with jewelry makers like YOU! I really enjoy having so many venues for show-and-tell: books, classes, Beading Daily , and particularly TV shows. It's always fun and exciting (and
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  • One of my ongoing burning questions has NEVER been “to bead or not to bead” but rather “WHAT to bead or not to bead.” That is a serious question, is it not? A bead explosion in my closet Seed beading, wireworking, gemstone beading
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  • Beads, baubles and steampunk jewelry By now most of you have at least heard the term “steampunk.” Coined in the 1980’s, steampunk refers to a genre of fantasy and science fiction featuring steam-powered machinery and Victorian-style
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  • Working with cabochons I used to have something called a worry stone. It was a small polished stone with a smooth indentation, offering a tactile path to serenity, like a kid who rubs the satin on a comfort blankie. I have the same sense of “ahhhh”
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  • What is the Tucson Bead Show? Tucson during the bead shows is impossible to describe. It is not “a bead show,” not even “bead shows.” It’s a universe of about 50 independently produced venues of beads, gems, jewelry, minerals
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  • Cold connections top the list for 2010 hot jewelry-making techniques Please welcome Helen Driggs, managing editor of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist and author of the Flashcard eNewsletter. Today she's bringing us her forecast that cold connections
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  • What's in a name ? I live near this kid named Christian. Nice boy, a little shy, but very polite. "Hi, Christian!" I yell from the porch when he walks to the bus. "Hi, Mrs. Campbell." "Hey, Christian! How's your sister
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  • Ask anyone in the jewelry trade what makes a good gem and the standard answer is "rarity, beauty, and durability." The problem is that many people take these ideas to mythic proportions and believe that all gems have to be all three of these things. Here's why they do not.
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  • Recently, I chatted with Dale "Cougar" Armstrong about her new book, Wirework: An Illustrated Guide to the Art of Wire Wrapping. It's packed with step-by-step photos and solid, classroom-tested techniques for making custom wire jewelry with faceted stones, cabochons, and beads. Dale's
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  • Many thanks to everyone for sending in just under 100 exciting entries to our Semiprecious Beads Design contest. It was not easy to choose just three winners, but ultimately Leslie Rogalski of Step by Step Beads and I both agreed wholeheartedly on why we selected the ones we did. Every winning piece
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  • I met a well-known bead designer last year who confessed that she sometimes enjoyed mixing high- and low-end components together--beads from her local craft store with some high-end silver or handcrafted art beads or findings. I admitted to her that I did this, too. Looking back, it's funny how we
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  • Of course you can! The real challenge is to design something for that amount that looks like it came from a pricey boutique--or Stringing magazine. Danielle Fox, Elizabeth Murray, and I all took the challenge for the Spring 2009 issue. I had so much fun, I decided to make a second "under $25"
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  • When you're starting out, it's easiest to string one or two types of beads together. Combining three or more can be tricky. You'll need to juggle multiple colors and possibly different shapes and sizes. Because of the design skill involved, I thought it would make a great Beading Daily reader
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  • 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! Rules • You must be a member of Beading Daily
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  • Admit it. You’re interested in the healing properties of semiprecious stones. You may think the notion is a known fact or a bunch of garbage, but when someone mentions it, you either *** your ears or raise your hackles.
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  • I like experimenting wtih non-seed beads for beadweaving, so I was intrigued--and a little frustrated--when I saw the photo for this week's free project, Net Full of Gems by Linda Richmond. As you can see, the white necklace with seed beads and white gemstone chips is on a white background, making
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  • A few weeks ago, we taped thirteen segments for the 2009 spring season of the PBS-TV show Beads, Baubles & Jewels, which airs in June. Our theme this time was “Taking your jewelry-making to the next level,” and all our final projects and step-outs were completed immediately following the holiday
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  • Here's a confession guaranteed to fill up my inbox with reader mail: My favorite beaded watch is made with pretty Kazuri ceramic beads in various shades of blue, silver beads, and a silver watch face. Very simple to make and easy to wear. So what's the big deal?
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  • When I first started working with gemstone beads I went online and ordered some stones listed as “Sleeping Beauty turquoise” howlite. I know, I know. I was young and mercurial and didn’t really know what I was reading in that description—I just saw the Sleeping Beauty turquoise
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  • If beads are so small, how could I be running out of storage space? For the last year or so, I've been buying random containers for beads and creating a bead tower in my basement. Sounds cool, but it's actually a little scary! When I was working on submissions for Stringing a few weeks ago, I
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  • I recently redesigned a pair of earrings using a different gemstone colorway. I found out pretty quickly that the new stones I was using had very small holes. So, with my stash’s head pin box before me, I started trying…22-gauge? Nope. 24-gauge? Nope. (I was starting to feel like a toddler with a shape
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  • Whether you’re a stitcher or a stringer, chances are you run across beads with too-small holes. You have choices: 1) jam your needle or wire through the bead, often resulting in frustration and a broken bead; 2) throw the bead over your shoulder (like with salt, it’s considered good luck); or 3) use
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  • A quick chain maille necklace is like a quickie meal at an exclusive 5-star restaurant. It just isn't possible!
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  • One of the best things about being able to design jewelry is to be able to create a personalized, unique gift especially for a specific person. When a good friend of mine adopted her second child from China, I created a pair of earrings for her that combined mahogany obsidian from Colorado and jade from
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  • Healing Beads After experiencing a frustrating year of health concerns, doctors, and hospitals in 2007, I started seeing a naturopath. I'd never been to a natural healer and can't claim I welcomed Diane into my life without a big dose of skepticism
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  • What would you do with $1,500? If you had a $1,500 gift certificate to spend at a huge online bead store, what would you buy? Every kind of gemstone available? Enough seed beads or toggle clasps to last a lifetime? A top-of-the-line set of beading tools
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  • I never used to wear jewelry to the grocery store, but after reading about all the sales that Beading Daily readers have had standing in the checkout line (" Your First Sale "), I'm rethinking that business strategy! Here are a dozen more
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  • It's easy to get in a color rut in beading. Sometimes we don't even realize it! This past Christmas I wanted to make some pink earrings for someone who loves pink. I discovered I had no pink beads at all in my collection. Instead, I had probably
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