Mid-March 2018

Early 2018 Bead Fairs & Why Buy Beads 

17th March 2018

See us today or tomorrow at Brighton Racecourse, 17th & 18th March at Brighton Gem ‘n’ Bead Fair.

Or in Exeter Racecourse the following weekend. Both venues are easy to find with free parking and are open 10am to 5pm Saturday and 10am to 4pm Sunday. Lots of refreshments!

For London or the Home Counties, see us either Saturday 7th April at Luton Bead Show – or Sunday 8th April in Highgate Bead Show, London.

Details of all our bead shows booked so far for this year: 2018 Bead Fairs.  

Dramatic New Beads
Free Shipping
Early Bead Fair Report
Buying beads by material
Ten Reasons To Buy beads
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Dramatic New Beads

This will be the first time our very-latest beads will be available.

Bead BuyingNew StockNew Beads




Part of a 600 km shipment of 30 boxes just arrived in the UK. Many large chunky beads and matte agates. Limited quantity of the most-dramatic beads – get your hands on them before they go!

New BeadsThe MrBead van at container port. Waiting for a fork-lift with your beads: a small fish! It’ll take a while to open all the boxes (feels like Christmas!), but a fair share will be at our next few bead fairs.

Over the next few months, some of these new beads will appear online – see at New Beads.

Free Shipping

Free shipping for all! To save on post & packing charges in the UK, key BUYING in the box at checkout. No minimum order, but can only be used MrBead.co.uk for UK delivery and not with any other discount.

Use now – as expires on Thursday 22nd March. Overseas customers can use the same code at MrBead.com, but with a minimum order of  US$25.

Plus customers can use the code FREEPOST anytime on UK orders over £30 for free shipping at MrBead.co.uk.

Early bead fair report – First Two Bead Fairs of 2018

Our early shows of the year felt hard work. Hundreds of miles drive followed by half-a-tonne of humping on the Fridays’, only to be reversed on dark Sunday evenings. Selling in between was easy!

Harrogate Gem ‘n Bead Fair – 24th-25th February
Harrogate Gem n Bead Fair Feb 2018Harrogate Gem n Bead Fair Feb 2018An easy, but boring 4-hours drive + 1/2-hour breakfast stop on the A1, brought us to Great Yorkshire Showground early at around noon Friday. Bitterly cold unloading, but a nice position at a beautiful venue.

Then around 6pm after setup, a traditional Yorkshire fish & chip supper with a pot of strong tea (we turned down the complimentary bread & butter) – followed by nightmare parking the hotel at Premier Inn.

The hotel’s multi-story car park roof was too low for the van, so we used a town centre open park located on Parkapedia. However, in the dark with many bags we got lost walking back to the hotel, only to be rescued by iPhone satnav which just about worked on a low battery.

Very busy show, both days: our best at Harrogate. Lots of visitors and two long standing customers.

Picture is Micheal & Sarah from Bead Buyer, MiMi, and our good customers Rod & Katherine from Berwick-Upon-Tweed. At an evening meal in Harrogate after the show.

Kempton Park Gem ‘n’ Bead Fair – 3rd-4th March

Kempton Park Gem n Bead Fair March 2018Kempton Park Gem n Bead March 2018 This was the week of heavy snow. All the media said “if you go out, you’ll die”, so it wasn’t surprising we got from Norwich to West London in record time.

The M25 was deserted. I think most main roads were clear by Friday setup. One stand made it from Scotland, but a few exhibitors couldn’t leave their villages. However, the free spaces in the hall were eagerly taken by expanding displays.

Buying Beads By Material

Semi-precious stone beads should be studied before buying. Search online or check a book on semi-precious stones – well worth the investment. If you know what you’re doing, save time purchasing online.

If you’re very particular, go to a bead fair, so you can examine before buying. Beads can be compared as to treatment. Some treatments are perfectly acceptable such as heating the stone to enhance its colour.

Beads have been dyed for thousands of years. The colour usually don’t come off and this makes the beads look better and more uniform. Dying of pearls, coral and jade is usual. Turquoise can vary dramatically in price depending on it’s treatment. Most will be dyed.

Pearl BeadsPearls are usually freshwater cultured, unless they cost over £50 a string. Except for plastic and faux pearls of course. Cultured means they are 100% natural, but are “farmed” with the help of man, rather than growing in the sea.

pearl beadsExpect to find irregular sizes, shapes, and grooving in these pearls. Otherwise they won’t be genuine, unless very expensive. Size quoted by the seller is the largest in the strand – this means that only a few in the strand will be that size. See our huge range of  pearl beads.

Spacer BeadsMetal beads come in all shapes and sizes – silver, gold, copper, round, square, etc. Metal beads include the Balinese Beads, which are made in Bali and are usually of sterling silver, gold or gold plated sterling.

Also popular are the “liquid silver” and “liquid gold” beads: tiny tubes made of metal, usually strung together which drape beautifully.

The cheaper metal spacers are Tibetan silver, but better quality are Thai silver beads, see our range here. Also see all our findings and Tibetan silver spacer silver beads.

Lampwork BeadsLampwork beads are crafted with a torch or in a kiln – painstakingly developed and executed by glassmaking professional. Judge the price of lampwork according to the complexity of the finished bead. See all our lampwork beads.

Like everything in life: “you only get what you pay for”. However if you buy beads to make jewellery to sell, you need to take into account your market. If your customers’ are price sensitive, then buy cheaper beads and use expensive-strands sparingly.

See our bead by semi-precious stone:  http://www.mrbead.co.uk/strings.htm

  Ten Reasons To Buy Beads

Buying BeadsBuying Beads1. Beady eyes keep a happy mind – it’s a great hobby. Cheaper than drugs and more fun than psychiatric care!
2. Buying beads is not immoral, illegal or fattening. It calms the nerves, gratifies the soul and makes us feel good.
3. To make money or investment.
4. A bead keeps without refrigeration. You don’t have to cook it to enjoy it, and it never needs feeding, changing, or walking.
5. Buying beads keeps our economy going. It is our patriotic duty to support bead stores.
6. Beads are a proven aphrodisiac.
7. Beads don’t argue or get crabby.  Like women and wine: beads get better with age.
8. Bags and tubes of beads tightly packed make an excellent insulation for the home.
9. At any moment the employees of a bead factory might go on strike and limit the availability.
10. We are participating in a contest. The one with the most beads wins.

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