Bead Fairs, Autumn & Opal Beads

19th September 2020

See us in London today, Saturday 19th Sept, 11am to 4pm at Highgate Bead Fair close to Archway Tube Station & free parking.

Or tomorrow at Essex MrBead Bead Fair in Great Bromley Village Hall, near Colchester. Alongside us at the show will be a range of seed beads by Theresa Wakeman.

Free entry, refreshments & gifts – just ask! Many new semi-precious beads arrived April 2020 in a 700 kg shipment of 30 boxes. Social distancing & other measures will be in place for your protection. Free face masks!

The weekend after, 26th-27th Sept, we’re in Newark (confirmed on!) at Nottinghamshire Gem ‘n’ Bead Fair. Then Sunday 11th October we’re at Norwich Bead Fair.

For all confirmed shows click 2020 Bead Fairs. Bead fairs are going on and off like light bulbs, so check the site before travelling.

Cornish Bead Fair
Gem ‘n’ Bead Fairs
Autumn Beads
Opal For October
Autumn Bead Fairs
New MrBead Shop
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Cornish Bead Fair

Cornish Bead Show WadebridgeOur first show since lockdown. It’s always hard work after a long delay, and the steps to the hall didn’t help (our usual hall at the venue wasn’t available because of a floor problem).

However, all went surprisingly well, and takings were good, despite not many visitors. I guess this is the new ‘normal’ for a while!

Everyone arrived with a face mask and social distancing wasn’t a problem as so few people. We had free masks and sanatiser at the entrance, along with a sneeze guard at the till. Names and numbers were recorded for track and trace.

Pandora InnAs usual, we spent a few days extra in Cornwall. Camping, B&B, and meeting up with Micheal & Sarah from Bead Buyer at the 500-year-old Pandora Inn.

So much fun – arriving at the campsite, I felt 40-years younger! Pictures below: fishermen at Cadgwith Cove and Henry’s Campsite, Lizard.

Cadgwith CoveCornish Camping 2020

Gem ‘n’ Bead Fairs

Great news from Sam & Pete: shows are back on! All with social distancing and other measures for your protection. Fantastic that Harrogate and Kempton are back – better late than never. There’s not many other bead fairs this year, so get ya stock in while you can!

Our first Gen n Bead after lockdown will be at Newark on weekend 26th-27th September; then Kempton Park in London on 31st Oct-1st Nov; Harrogate 7th-8th Nov: Brighton 14th-15th Nov; and the last this year in Devon at Newton Abbott on 21st-22nd November.

Autumn Beads

To see any of these gemstones in our UK store, just click the picture.

Agate is the obvious stone for autumn jewellery. It forms by filling a cavity in its host rock, resulting in round nodules, with bands like the rings of a tree trunk, looking like eyes. Agate was highly valued as a talisman in ancient times and has been used as a traveler’s amulet for centuries.

It’s believed to bring fortune, health, wealth and long life. Some call its strange patterns ‘cosmic caterpillar tracks’. Others’ swear that wearing these beads can heighten the spiritual consciousness and balance the body’s physical and mental states.

See our stock at Agate Beads.

Another stone from the quartz family, usually bright orange to reddish orange. Carnelian is for confidence.  Carnelian is in tune with the energies of the Earth, making you feel anchored and comfortable with your environment.

A good stone for people starting new projects or who feel they are going nowhere. It motivates, allowing you to find the energy to make the most out of life. Said to help blood disorders and eliminate toxins from the body.

See our stock at Carnelian Beads

”Citrine” comes from the French word for lemon, and is any quartz crystal or cluster that’s yellow to orange. The darker, orange colours were traditionally the best, but today people prefer bright lemony shades to mix with pastel colours.

Sunny citrine brightens all jewellery, blending especially well with the yellow gleam of polished gold. The yellow colour is a natural reviver, and citrine focuses the mind bringing a feeling of self-esteem.

See our stock at Citrine Beads

Coral Beads

Coral was thought to be a strong talisman against evil spirits and hurricanes. It is also said to reduce blood flow. Naturally its colour ranges from white to red, but most red coral these days is dyed. It grows in branches that look like underwater trees.

See our stock at Coral Beads

Flake Stone
The most common flaked stone is goldstone: ideal for autumn jewellery. Man-made, first created by alchemists trying to create gold.

However, all material has properties, these are transmitter stones. Causing light to pass through you in order to convey or receive a medium. Revitalizing, energizing, and encouraging a positive attitude and individualism.

See our stock at Flaked Stone Beads

For 5,000 years Imperial China used the word “jade” as something precious.

Because jade is said to have all the attributes most valued in society. A symbol of purity and serenity, it is delicate, but will not break – is beautiful, but not impermanent, it can be flawed with lines, but still pleasing.

It’s believed to radiate divine unconditional love and balance the emotions. The most famous type of jade carved in China is from Burma, with shades of green, lavender, yellow, white and grey.

See our stock at Jade Beads

Jasper Beads

Jasper was highly valued in ancient times, not only for its beauty, but also for its magical and medicinal properties. Jasper is known as the “patron stone of counselors and healers”.

Red jasper is an intensely protective stone, stabilizing the aura and bringing contentment. Poppy jasper is dark red with black flecks. Picture jasper is pale brown with darker patterns – named from pictures formed by patterns caused by trapped fossilizes algae. Fancy jasper is creamy brown with lavender or green swirls.

See our stock at Jasper Beads

Lapis Beads

Lapis Lazuli
This gemstone is straight out of fairy tales of the Arabian Nights: deepest blue with golden shining Pyrite inclusions which twinkle like little stars. Through the ages, lapis has been associated with power, wisdom, and love.

The twinkling inclusions are not gold but pyrite, caused by iron. The blue colour comes from the sulfuric content of lazurite. For many people lapis is a stone of truth and friendship. A powerful gemstone that should not be worn by those who lack strength of character.

See our stock at Lapis Lazuli Beads

Large Exotic Fire-Red Rhodonite Rondelle Beads

Malachite & Rhodonite
Malachite is green with irregular black banding. Its stripes have the ability to soothe and bring rest – helping sleep, meditation, circulation and balancing emotions.

Copper content helps rheumatism. The magic of malachite is also thought to attract love and wealth. Some say malachite travels the world in search of energies to change.

Rhodonite is usually pink to red or orange, very popular in 18th-century Russia where it was used extensively to decorate the Russian court. Rhodonite has similar properties to malachite.

See our stock at Malachite & Rhodonite Beads

Pearl Beads

The least expensive cultured pearls today rival the most expensive natural pearls ever found.

Natural 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.

Freshwater pearls are popular for their colours: white, silvery-white, pink, red, copper, brown, lavender, purple, green, blue, and yellow. These are usually dyed these days.

See our stock at Pearl Beads

Tiger's Eye

Tiger Eye
Tiger’s-eye is polished to show its characteristic band of pearly luminescence, resulting from light reflecting off its thin parallel inclusions in the quartz.

Colours range from a rich golden yellow to dark brown. Tiger’s-Eye is good for those worried about health. It also builds will-power and inner-strength.

See our stock at Tiger Eye Beads

Opal For October



What Is Opal?
All of natures fury can be seen in fine opal. Like a Rembrandt: fire, lightning, all the colours of the rainbow and the shine of far seas.

Australia supplies about 95% of the worlds opal from the outback. Aborigines there believe their creator came down to Earth on a rainbow to bring the message of peace to all humans. And at the spot where his foot touched the ground, opal was born.

Opal Beads

The name Opal could have came from many places. In Greek Opallios translates as colour change, and to the ancient Romans Opalus was a stone from several elements. Pliny, a Roman author, wrote that opal combines the sparkle of Almandine, the shining purple of Amethyst, the golden yellow of Topaz, and the deep blue of Sapphire.

Opal Beads

Types of Opal
Fine opals shine and sparkle in a continually changing play of colours called Opalising. Depending on the rock and location they have names like Harlequin, Peacock, Mexican, and Fire Opal. Most opal has this play of colours except Common Opal, a name give to all others, like Pink Opal.

As demand outstrips supply, fine opalizing opal is very very expensive, so is sold in individual beads for hundreds of pounds each. Therefore, the type of opal common in necklaces is non-opalizing opal – usually pink opal from Peru (more below).

Opals fantasy-like play of colour is caused by small spheres of silica creating interference and refraction manifestations. The spheres, which are arranged in compact structures, dissect light through the gemstone, turning it into the rainbow effect, always new and different.

Opal Beads

Opal Beads

Peruvian Opal
Peruvian Opal comes in faint pink, light blue and light mint-green tones. From the Andes Mountains near San Patricio, Peru, just like the name implies.

Although native South Americans have been using the stone for more than a thousand years, it only became widely available commercially within the last decade or so. It is usually translucent to opaque with no play of colour and often has lots of black and tan dendrites.

Opal Beads

Most Peruvian Opal beads are semi-opaque to opaque. Peruvian opals metaphysical properties are similar to other opals. Helping to intensify your traits and characteristics and deepening your personal understanding. Peruvian Opal in particular is used to activate the heart charka and to assist you during spiritual journeys.

Opal Necklace

How to Value Opal
The most important criterion for determining the price of fine opal is the play of colour, the colours themselves and their pattern. If red appears when looking through the stone, all the other colours will also.

Opal Necklace

Value also depends on colour, transparency, and original location. Colour can be black, dark or light, or coloured. Black Opal or a dark grey body has the most brilliant play of colour. Black Opal from Lightning Ridge or Mexican Fire Opal is the best.

Crystal opal, is the next best, and should be more transparent with a deep play of colour. White or milky opals show more diffuse colour and are the cheapest.

To best bring out the play of colour in a fine opal, the stones are cut and polished to round or oval cabochons, or other softly domed shape. Only the best qualities of Fire Opal are suited to faceting. The opal cutter removes any impurities using a diamond cutting wheel, before working out the rough basic shape, fine cutting, and finishing with sandpaper and polishing with a wet leather wheel.

How does Opal Effect You?
Opal is thought remove depression and to help find true love. Opals are supposed to enhance the positive characteristics for people born under the sign of Cancer. With Black Opal recommended to Scorpios and Boulder Opal for Aries.

The opalizing effect reflects changing emotions and moods. People prefer different opals for different moods. Opals are like human emotions: each type creates different feelings.

Looking after Opal
Due to 2 to 6% water, opals easily become brittle and if stored too dry or exposed to heat over a longer period of time, the play of colour will fade. Therefore, Opal jewellery should be worn as often as possible, for then the gemstone will receive the needed humidity from the air and from the skin of its wearer. In earlier days opals sensitive surface was oiled, but today they are sealed with clear resin.

To buy our Peruvian Opal Nugget Beads click Opal Beads

Autumn Bead Fairs

These shows are all confirmed on by the halls – but in these uncertain times, please check on our website before travelling: Bead Fairs 2020

  • Saturday 19th September – London Highgate Bead Fair – Holly Lodge Community Centre, 30 Makepeace Ave, London NW6 6HL. Close to Archway Tube Station.
  • Sunday 20th September – Essex MrBead Bead Fair, Great Bromley Village Hall, Great Bromley CO7 7JA.
  • Weekend 26th-27th Sept – Nottinghamshire Gem ‘n’ Bead Fair, Newark Showgrounds, NG24 2NY.
  • Sunday 11th October – Norwich Bead Fair, Best Western George Hotel, Arlington Lane, Off Newmarket Road, Norwich NR2 2DA.
  • The Big Bead Show at Sandown Park is cancelled until 2021.
  • Weekend 31st Oct-1st Nov – Kempton Park Gem n Bead Fair, Kempton Park Racecourse, London TW16 5AQ.
  • Weekend 7th-8th November – Harrogate Gem n Bead Fair, Pavillions Of Harrogate, HG2 8NZ.

New MrBead Shop

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New Order Facilities

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Use With Smartphone

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15% Off All From MrBead 

Try the new shop with 15% off all orders over £20. Shipping is free too on orders over £30 – under this UK P&P is just £2.50. International shipping from £5.

Can only be used at the NEW shop, & only once! To get the discount Key OPAL at checkout now, as offer ends Friday 25th September 2020. Use at https://mrbeadshop.com.

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