June 2018

Sell Wedding Jewellery, Camping & Pearl Beads

27th May 2018

See us in London next weekend, 2nd-3rd June at Kempton Park Gem ‘n’ Bead Fair – full details here. Kempton is the largest Gem ‘n’ Bead fair with many bead sellers’ exhibiting – so not to be missed! Easy parking and own train station.

Then the following weekend, 9th-10th June in Cambridgeshire at Wood Green Animal Sanctuary Gem ‘n’ Bead Fair at Kings’ Bush Farm, London Road, Godmanchester PE29 2NH. Interesting venue and a beautiful traditional village by the river.

We have many new beads on show from a 30-box 600 kg shipment just arrived in the UK.

Say your a MrBead Newsletter reader for a free gift!   We’re at over 30 shows this year, all with a bigger display: All our 2018 Bead Fairs.


Data Protection Policy
Sell Wedding Jewellery
MrBead Camping
The Secrets Of Pearls
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Data Protection Policy

Sorry to take your mind from beading. I know you’re overwhelmed with emails to opt in, opt out, shake it all about! This is all for a new EU regulation taking effect on 25th May. The tyrants at Brussels force all businesses to inform customers’ their data protection policy.

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Sell Hand-Crafted Jewellery To The Wedding Market

Harry & Meghan’s wedding is estimated to have cost around £2-million from the Royal Purse. Only security was paid by the State.  However, benefit to UK businesses are thought to be almost £1-billion. Airbnb are reported to have made £12-million alone over the weekend.

Jewellery makers can cash in on weddings too – bride’s will lash out on original designs!

Massive Market
Every bride wants to look her best, irrespective of cost. I know, I used to photograph thousands of weddings. The bridal market is huge, with the average wedding costing over £30,000, not including a honeymoon or the rings. Don’t miss out – get in now!

What Brides Expect
No one skimps on their wedding. Packages are out. Couples want individualism to represent them on their special day. A unique design to last a lifetime. Most prefer traditional style, but some like a modern, completely different look. Get to know the couple – ask what they like.

Stuck For Ideas?
For inspiration, look in wedding magazines and blogs. Search Google Images for ‘handmade wedding jewellery’.

Make It In Advance


If you would like to exploit the bridal market more, create wedding sets to promote to possible couples. Bridesmaids and the other-in-law will want jewellery as well. Plus, the maid of honour would love matching jewellery to the bride. Make your pictures and designs stand out from other wedding designers – use dramatic styles or pictures. Match your beads to the colour of the dress.

Market yourself as a wedding jewellery designer. On Twitter, Facebook, and design a bridal website. Sell cheap wedding jewellery on eBay, then try to get buyers to spend more on individual designs.

What to Make
White is the obvious colour, but pinks and other pale colours can work too.

  • Bracelets
  • Necklaces
  • Earrings
  • Tiaras
  • Hair bands, pins & combs
  • Sew tiny pearls or crystal beads onto the bride and bridesmaid gowns
  • Jewellery sets in a beautiful box – ideal for gifts to the mothers
  • Tiny matching designs for the flower girls
  • Cuff links & cravat tie pins – for the bridegroom and gifts for the best man and usher.


  • Pearl beads
  • Crystal beads
  • Heart beads
  • Silver thread and beads
  • White and pink flower beads
  • Light amethyst beads
  • Small AB and sparking beads
  • Gold thread & beads
  • Flower, star or icicle beads
  • White feathers

For our pearl beads go to MrBead.co.uk or MrBead.com
Our crystal beads: MrBead.co.uk or MrBead.com
Flower beads: MrBead.co.uk or MrBead.com
Heart beads: MrBead.co.uk or MrBead.com
Icicle beads: MrBead.co.uk or MrBead.com
Our ready-made bracelets: MrBead.co.uk

MrBead Camping

Devon Camping May 2018We had a great time between Bath & West Gem n Bead Fair and the Devon Bead Fair – 5-days off in the sun. Rather than drive over 300-miles back, we stayed west. A few days airbnb, the rest under canvas. I love it in the open air – BBQ & cider.

First in Torbay to ride the Paignton to Kingswear steamtrain, ferry across the Dart, and a boat to Totnes. Using a ‘Round Robin’ ticket starting with an open-top bus from Totnes. Fantastic views, fantastic weather!

Then we visited three National Trust properties in Devon – saving over £75 in just 2-days from the £110 annual membership!

After the Devon Bead Fair at Exeter Castle, we joined Sarah& Micheal from Bead Buyer with Mark by the beach at the Ship Inn and the Crab Shack for dinner.

Amazing atmosphere at sunset. As good as it gets in the UK. The seafood platter looks spectacular, but lacks taste – not as fresh as in Asia.

The Secrets of Pearls

Pearl Jewellery Sells!
Pearl BeadsIf 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?
Lare Pearl Beads
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.

Blister PearlsThe 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.

Black PearlsChina 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.

Gold PearlsFreshwater pearls are popular for their colours: white, silvery-white, pink, red, copper, brown, lavender, purple, green, blue, and yellow. 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 good light – the best pearls will reflect the pen the most. 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.


What is Mother-of-Pearl?
The shining, playful, reflected light of mother-of-pearl has attracted attention since ancient times.

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

Glass Pearls
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
Magenta Biwa Stick Pearls
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 the amount of wear and exposure to hair spray, perfume, body oils, lotions, moisture, and perspiration they receive. These elements can weaken the silk and cause a potential break point for the strand.

There are a few ways to knot a beaded necklace, but I’ll only tell you the easiest for beginners. First, you’ll need to choose a type of cord to use. There are two types that are usually used 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

Pearl Necklace

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.

Professional Testing
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.

Close Inspection
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.

Pearl Holes
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.

Other Clues
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
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.

Pearl Care
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.

We have really a lot of pearls in stock – click either MrBead.co.uk or  MrBead.com

Spring Bead Fairs

  • Sat & Sun 2nd-3rd June – Kempton Park Gem ‘n’ Bead Fair, Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, London TW16 5AQ – Details here.
  • Sat & Sun 9th-10th June – Gem ‘n’ Bead Fair in Cambridgeshire at Wood Green Animal Sanctuary, King’s Bush Farm, London Road, Godmanchester PE29 2NH – Details here.
  • Sun 17th June – Cornish MrBead Show, Probus Village Hall, 2 Barn Court, The Bank, Probus TR2 4JU – Details here.
  • Sun 1st July – Norwich Bead Show, Best Western George Hotel, Arlington Lane, Newmarket Road, Norwich NR2 2DA – Details here.

Rest of bead fairs and full 2018 Bead Fair List

Exhibit at a MrBead Show
We have limited space available for crafters at some of our own bead shows:
At Berwick Upon Tweed on 18th August. Details at http://www.mrbead.co.uk/berwickupontweedbeadfair.htm
In Cornwall on 17th June & 2nd September at June Cornish Bead Fair or  September Cornish Bead Fair.
In Scotland at Perth on 19th August at http://www.mrbead.co.uk/scottishbeadfair.htm. 
We also need help at this one, if you’re interested email Nigel – payment for the day in cash or £150 worth of beads.
Or our Essex Bead Show on Sunday 24th September at http://mrbead.co.uk/essexbeadfair.htm

We market for beaders making  jewellery, rather than selling ready-made jewellery – so to attract your customers, you may need to market yourself. If interested, email Nigel at nigel@MrBead.com

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