Advantages Of Wooden Beads, Pearl & Tiger’s Eye Beads
26th May 2019
See us next weekend, 1st-2nd June at Kempton Park Gem n Bead Fair, Kempton Park Racecourse, London – Full details here. The largest Gem n Bead Show – many exhibitors, own train station & easy parking.
A week latter, MiMi and I are taking a holiday in Corfu, so online orders between 9th June to 14th June will be delayed.
All our shows booked so far this new year click 2019 Bead Fairs.
Advantages Of Using Wooden Beads
The Secrets of Pearls
Knotting a Pearl Necklace
How To Tell Real From Fake Pearls
Tiger’s Eye For Health & Great Jewellery
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Advantages of Using Wooden Beads
Wood beads go back over 6,000 years, but have recently been ignored.
However, they are now becoming popular again, because in 2019 ethnical jewellery is in and everyone appreciates natural. Wooden beads are also very cost-effective and flexible – making your jewellery easier to sell.
Some like wood because the beads are lightweight or have larger holes – making it easy to thread different materials like wire or string. Customer’s are always asking me for large-hole beads, but most semi-precious beads will fall apart if they had a big hole.
Wood also allows larger beads for bulky designs that would be too heavy otherwise, especially for earrings.
Others are attracted to the wood’s grain, bright hand-painted designs, or the perfume of sandlewood for Buddhist Mala necklaces. Wooden beads are crafted from ironwood, walnut, olive, bamboo, ebony, pear, apple, and rose.
Obviously ideal for necklaces and bracelets, but and are also light enough to sew onto garments and bags – and cheap enough for children to experiment with jewellery making.
Wooden bracelets are designed for regular wear. Like in yoga classes to enrich meditation, and friendship bracelets. These were individually customized wooden beads on elastic cord, to create lasting bonds between mates.
Now there is a new trend for men to wear wooden, attracted by their naturalness and ease during sports.
They are also ideal for hair accessories, such as the beginning or end of braids. Other uses are at the end of the string of light pulls or ceiling fan switches.
We have many new brightly-painted and unusual shaped wooden beads in a container on its way to Felixstow that should arrive early-June.
However, until then, see our Wood Bead Category – and try for yourself with a special offer on our large-hole 6mm natural chocolate wooden beads: 300 for the price of 200 for £2.50 per pack.
Order 200 in the shop with the discount on this newsletter, and we’ll send you 300 – no limit on the number of packs with this deal.
THE SECRETS OF PEARLS
Pearl Jewellery Sells!
If you want to make quality, impressive jewellery that everyone appreciates, then go for pearls. If you want to make quality, impressive jewellery that everyone appreciates, then go for pearls. Pearl is the gemstone for June.
Pearls are expected to be expensive and in short supply
The reason is that people understand pearls are natural. However, since the 1950s, natural pearls have been cultivated by man – making them much cheaper to buy. This means that including them in jewellery, you will make you even more profit!
The pearl is the queen of gems and the gem of queens
What are Cultured Pearls?
The least expensive cultured pearls today rival the most expensive natural pearls ever found. Cultured freshwater pearls occur in mussels for the same reason saltwater pearls occur in oysters.
Foreign material inside a mussel can’t be expelled. To reduce irritation, the mollusk coats the intruder with the same secretion it uses for shell-building, nacre. To cultivate a pearl, farmers slit the mussel and insert small pieces of live tissue from another mussel.
The ancient Chinese practiced this technique, but the first real cultured freshwater pearls originated from Japan in the 1930’s.Japanese farmers by Lake Biwa achieved natural colours previously unseen in saltwater pearls. However, water pollution today has virtually destroyed pearl production there.
China now has the resources that Japan lacks: many large lakes, rivers, and a low-cost work force. China has now revolutionized pearling – shapes, lustre, and colours of Chinese pearls now surpass Biwa quality.
Copying the Japanese to improve off-white and mottling, China uses a mild bleach, bright lights, and heat. Natural freshwater pearls are usually odd shapes. So for more roundness, they reshape rejected pearls into spheres, and then nucleate mussels with them.
The most desirable are the pastel pinks, roses, lavenders, and purples. Natural colour comes from the mussel species and water quality – with pearls taking the colour of the shell in which they form. However, permanent dyes are used today for most saturated colours.
The Best Pearls
Good pearls have thick overlapping layers of nacre. This can be tested by viewing its “lustre”. Roll the pearl with a pen in bright light – the best pearls will reflect the pen more. A large pearl is only more valuable if it’s the same quality as a smaller one – the rounder the better. Being an organic gem, grooves, pits, or dents are expected.
From then, different technology has turned mother-of-pearl into many uses, apart from jewellery. Today, it’s dyed every colour under the sun – creating attractive jewellery at affordable prices.
The mollusk forms mother-of-pearl as a protective shell. Like the pearl it’s a secretion of the mantle, composed of alternate layers of calcium carbonate and conchiolin. Among the chief sources are pearl oysters from the tropical seas.
See our Mother of Pearl Beads
As the name, these are coated glass to look like the best quality pearls possible. Any pearl that is a perfect round shape without any grooving, will either cost thousands of pounds or made of glass!
However, glass pearls are fantastic value for money and have a big place making affordable fashion jewellery. To see our colourful range of glass pearls at under £1 a string, click here.
Matching pearls isn’t easy, but is important when planning jewellery. It’s an art in itself, requiring a sharp eye, excellent judgment, and experience. Try to buy all the pearls for a project at the same time, as later batches may not match your original purchase. When balancing pearls for jewellery, you need to consider:
- How the pearls blend together in colour, shape, lustre, size and surface perfection.
- How smooth the size increase is of pearls in graduated strands.
- If a necklace is part of a set, all of its pearls on earrings, bracelets or whatever, must match. However, don’t put too much attention perfectly matching against other factors.
Knotting a Pearl Necklace
If you look closely, you’ll see tiny knots in between each pearl on a good necklace. This prevents the pearls rubbing against each other – and if the necklace breaks, beads won’t go flying. Knotting also makes the necklace drape nicely and adds length so you need less pearls.
Pearls should be restrung every few years, depending on wear and exposure to hair spray, perfume, body oils, lotions, moisture, and perspiration. This weakens the silk and cause a potential break point for the strand.
There are a few ways to knot a beaded necklace, but this is the easiest for beginners. First choose a type of cord to use. There are two types for knotting: silk and nylon. Silk is traditional, however many complain that it snags and frays. Nylon cord can also be used. Both come in a variety of colours.
They can be purchased on small cards with about 6 feet of cord and a needle attached – or for the serious knotter, larger spools can be purchased with separate needles. They also come in different sizes. The thicker cord is used for larger beads. For the beginner’s technique, two strands are put through each bead, so a thinner size is needed. For 6mm beads, use size 2 for this technique, and try to match the colour of the cord with the colour of the beads.
A popular way to start any beaded necklace is with bead tips. The only difference here is that two strands of the cord are inserted through the bead tip instead of one. Once the necklace is started, string on a bead, and make an over hand knot. Make the knot tight so it’s snug up against the bead. Continue to do this: string a bead, make an over hand knot, string a bead, make an over hand knot. Finish the necklace as you would any beaded necklace whether it’s knotted or not. This is easier than using one strand of cord, and the results look almost the same.
How to Tell Real from Fake Pearls
You can identify fake pearls by what they’re called: simulated, faux, glass, plastic, resin, artificial, manmade. Genuine pearls will be called natural, cultured, freshwater, or sea.
Real pearls may come from either freshwater or saltwater, and it’s very difficult to tell which – both form in a variety of molluscs (not just oysters). However, all grow the same way in baroque shapes as well as round. There are also shell pearls and genuine pearls which have been artificially coated or dyed. Before you deal in pearls, you need to know if they’re natural or not.
If you want to buy expensive pearls that are perfectly matched, a gemmologist certificate (from one of your choice) is essential. It costs about £100 to have pearls tested, as opposed to several-thousands for the type that warrant the test. An x-ray will show variations in density the inside of the pearl, a parasite that might have caused the formation of a natural pearl, and the characteristic shapes of drill holes.
The Tooth Test
Rub the surface of the pearl over your teeth – a real pearl feels gritty, while a faux pearl feels smooth. Real pearls are made up of layers of nacre that are deposited like sand on a beach. The slight waves in the nacre give a bumpy feeling against the teeth. However, if the pearls are dyed, the dye can fill in natural depressions.
Look at the pearls in bright light. Unless they’re very expensive, genuine pearl There will be slight variations in shape, size and colour – along with grooves in their nacre, bumps, ridges, or pits. Otherwise, or if any are a perfect sphere or have a grainy smoothness: they’re suspect.
Cutting a pearl open will reveal its true nature. Natural pearls are comprised of many layers of nacre. Cultured pearls have a mother-of-pearl shell core covered with a thin layer of nacre. Fake pearls have a core with one or more layers of coating which tends to flake away on cutting.
Examine drill holes to see the nacre layers and what lies beneath. Real pearls are usually drilled from both sides to meet in the middle – making the hole appear wider at the outside edge of the pearl. Holes of fake pearls are usually strait and are more likely to be larger all the way through. The nacre of fake pearls near the drill holes, flakes away easier than on a natural pearls. And cheap real pearls may not be drilled straight, making a necklace hang badly, unless it’s knotted.
Sometimes fakes are made to look irregular, and glass pearls often have flattened ends. Genuine pearls warm to the skin faster than glass pearls – while plastic pearls tend to feel warm right away.
Real pearls are heavier for their size than any fakes. Other signs are in the pearl’s surroundings. A genuine pearl necklace is more likely to be knotted and set in gold, silver, or platinum. You can examine clasps for stamps in the metal. The clasp should have a safety mechanism, like a fish hook. No one would use insecure clasps on good pearls.
Faux pearls, although manmade, are not necessarily a cheap substitute to the real thing. They have genuine beauty of their own, looking “almost” the same as natural pearls costing thousands of dollars. They’re created by coating the outside of glass or plastic beads with essence d’orient or pearl powder. This is then dipped into various solutions of pearl film to simulate the lustre of a natural pearl.
Pearl Folk Lore
There are an almost infinite number of myths and folk lore associated with pearls. Many pearl web sites included their own version of pearl myths. Here are a few that I found:
- Pearls have the powers of love, money, protection, and luck.
- Pearls were dedicated by the Romans to Isis and they were worn to obtain her favour.
- In early Chinese myths, pearls fell from the sky when dragons fought among the clouds.
Special care is needed for pearls. Since they are naturally porous, it’s important to make sure they do not absorb cologne, hair spray, lotions, or make up. Although oils from your skin help keep the pearls from drying out. Pearl jewellery is often purchased in a silk or felt pouch. You should keep the pearls in this to prevent scratches. To clean pearls, don’t use any jewellery cleaners – wipe gently with a damp cloth.
TIGER’S EYE FOR HEALTH & GREAT JEWELLERY!
What are tiger’s eye beads?
Tiger-eye is a type of rutile quartz that reflects light like a reel of silk. Tiger eye beads are polished to show their characteristic stripes of pearly luminescence. These are caused by light reflecting off thin parallel inclusions in the stone. Its name comes from the bands that resemble an eye of a tiger.
Benefits of tiger’s eye
Tiger-eye is good for those worried about health. It’s positive energy builds will-power and inner-strength. Traditionally it has been used to heal wounds, eyes, and the lower legs and feet – as well as for digestion and stomach problems. It’s also said to bring spiritual well-being and psychic protection, plus attract beauty and abundance.
Tiger-eye is thought to not only attract wealth, but helps you to keep money by allowing you to consider all factors, like reducing greed or wastefulness. It is also a good gemstone for those tired or under stress, as it relaxes and allows you to clarify thought.
Tiger eye has been used for centuries. Roman soldiers wore it for protection, as they thought the stone looked like it could see more than the human eye.
Similarity to the tiger!
Some say other benefits of tiger-eye, are associated to the tiger. Bringing focus, balance, strength, clear sight, determination, courage and determination. The ideal stone to concentrate on a goal in life. The gemstone can bring you the patience necessary, like a tiger waiting hours before pouncing, to look ahead and plan a project or a new way of life.
Cat’s-eye can be yellowish-brown to green with a white band, and is said to bring wealth and pleasure from your children.
Hawk’s-eye or falcon’s eye has a blue radiance. When a bright light source is directed at the side of the stone, one side of the eye will be milky white and the other remains coloured. When the stone is rotated, the colours switch. It is believed to be very soothing and cool overwhelming sexual passion.
Use in jewellery
These natural type of beads make exciting jewellery. Cat’s eye golden brown luminescent bands add mystique to designs made from it, creating a classical African effect. The gemstone is inexpensive and available in all shapes and sizes, faceted, loose beads, and by the strand. However, set in silver or mixed with silver findings, the final effect looks far from cheap.
Astrological sign: For those born under Capricorn, Pisces and Gemini.
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- Weekend 1st-2nd June: Kempton Park Gem n Bead Fair, Kempton Park Racecourse, London – Full details here.
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To see all the bead shows we have booked so far click Bead Fairs 2019 – many more yet to add!
April 2019 is the 14th full year of the MrBead newsletters, and I thank you all for such enthusiastic comments and appreciation. To see the past newsletters click here.
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