What You Need to Know About Buying Quality Handcrafted Beaded Jewelry

If you are a fan of handmade jewelry, you are aware of the difference between mass-produced and manufactured costume jewelry , as well as handmade jewelry designed by skilled craftsmen.

Another distinction is made between the handcrafted, fabricated jewelry and hand-crafted jewellery made of beaded beads. Handcrafted, hand-crafted jewelry is produced by goldsmiths and silversmiths who have usually had formal training and received an award from an art college or apprenticed with masters. However the artisans who make handmade jewelry made of beaded beads may be untrained or have no formal education. Instead of making the silver or gold used for their jewellery, the craftsmen purchase the materials.

Apart from buying metals, beaded jewelry artisans also require gemstones crystals, crystals, glass, or other components. It is the grade of these items along with the expertise, skills and imagination of the craftsman will ultimately determine the look and long-lasting quality of their jewellery. What’s most important for you, the buyer is to understand the quality of the product you’re purchasing. This article will assist you make educated choices regarding purchasing beaded jewelry that is hand-crafted.


When purchasing jewelry, there are many choices of metal. Most of the time, silver and/or gold is employed by artisans working on fabricated jewelry. However, jewelry makers who are beaded may and do make use of the same metals. Since it is currently the highest priced of metals currently and is even more expensive than platinum, jewelry designers are likely to use gold-filled metal as well as gold plated vermeil, as well as sterling silver fine silver or the argentium silver used in their jewelry. When you are looking for hand-crafted beaded jewelry, you must be aware of the different metals.

1. 1 “K” in Karat: It begins with the word “karat” since the karat is an ancient measure of the amount of gold in an alloy or gold-blend. One Karat is one percent pure gold, along with 23 components of the metal alloy, or 4% gold. Therefore 24K is 100% pure gold. 9K is 37 percent and 14K has 58%, and 18K is 75 percent. You’ll get the picture.

2. Gold-filled 2. To be referred to as “gold filled”, the amount of gold has to be at a minimum 1/20th weight of the product. It is also known by the names 14/20, 12/20 or even 10/20 or 14K, 12K , or 10K gold-filled. It is a fact that 14k gold-filled metal is the most valuable of the gold filled ones. It has 100x more gold gold-filled metal than gold plates. Gold-filled metal is also known as rolled-gold. A large amount of gold, which is 5 percent or one-fifth of the weight is mechanically attached to the base metal, typically copper or brass. This is called gold-filled metal. It’s durable and is not prone to peeling or flaking and is expected to last longer than 14K gold, if properly taken care of.

3. Gold plate: In relation to gold plating or brass is immersed in an electroplating solution and an uncooked lump of gold. When an electric current is appliedto the metal, an extremely thin layer of gold is applied to the metal. The process is known as electroplating. Because the plating is thin, the plating and consequently the color will fade rather quickly. The result is a dull peeling and flaking of this extremely tiny layer of silver.

4. Gold Vermeil Sterling Silver is selected for the basis metal for gold vermeil. It is then plated using layers of either 18K, or 24K gold. The distinction between gold filled and gold vermeil lies in the quality of the gold and the thickness of the gold as well as that of the metal used as the base. This is the reason why it is costlier to buy gold vermeil than gold-filled metal. This is also the reason that’s why 24-K Gold is considered to be the ideal option when it comes to choosing vermeil.

5. Sterling Silver The word “Sterling” is a combination of pure silver and other metals, typically copper. The resultant alloy provides silver’s the strength it needs. The minimum requirement is 92.5 recycled silver. This is why you see the.925 stamp that you find in some silver objects. Although sterling silver is susceptible to tarnish, the more utilized and the more it’s polished, the better. Of course , sterling needs to be well-maintained to keep its appearance at its top So, wearing your sterling and taking maintenance of your silver will bring the smile in your eyes.

6. Silver Filled: Silver-filled chains and findings are accessible to craftsmen. Since the cost of silver has been very high certain manufacturers have created silver-filled products with a lower cost as sterling silver. Silver-filled metal is 1/20 or 1/10 bonded with the base metal, such as steel, zinc or brass. Similar to gold-plated jewelry, silver plating is comparatively inexpensive when compared with sterling silver. While a 1/20 silver-coated coating might be more appealing than one/10 but the quality is less durable and won’t hold well over time.

7. Hill Tribe Silver: Hill Tribe Silver is composed of.999 Pure silver. It is also referred to as high-quality silver. There are many ethnic groups of hill tribes but the chains, beads and findings made created by Karen Hill Tribe artisans are amazing and could be the most desirable available. Certain beading craftsmen are attracted to Hill Tribe Silver because of the quality and uniqueness of the products. They are created by the villagers who live in the mountains that cover northwest Thailand. The largest of hill tribes, with over 400,000 tribal members live in this region , with an ancient history that dates from the 13th century. The amazing craftsmen continue to craft Hill Tribe Silver with ancient tools exactly as their forefathers used to. There is no alternative to Hill Tribe Silver, and it’s expensive.

8. Bali Sterling Silver Bali Sterling Silver is very popular among beading craftsmen. It is produced by the people that is Bali in Indonesia located in the Indian Ocean. The Balinese are skilled goldsmiths and silversmiths. They are recognized for their granulation techniques and wirework decorations. Sterling silver is composed of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. The Balinese also create Bali 24K vermeil gold beads, spacersand toggles and other jewelry-related findings. They, along with their sterling silver counterparts, are exquisite costly and prized by artisans working in beading. Always ask the artisan whether the Bali findings are the genuine authentic. Some artisans who make “Bali Style” findings. They are cheap imitations.

9. Argentium Sterling Silver: The highest quality argentium sterling silver can be produced in 935 and 935 percent grades. Argentium is required to be at or above 92.5 percent amount that sterling silver has. Argentium Sterling silver has been highly sought-after by both beading and silversmith artisans. The metal is very bright. It actually is more brilliant than white gold, platinum as well as sterling silver. Although silversmiths usually utilize the grade 960, beading craftsmen employ the argentium produced by manufacturers. The assurance is the fact that argentium sterling silver has the highest amount of scraped silver that sterling. So you can be sure that you’re getting more than 92.5 percent sterling silver argentium. One of the major advantages of silver argentium is that it is extremely low maintenance, simple to take care of and beautiful.

Jewelry Findings & Components

It is important to understand what metal is used to make what’s commonly referred to as the jewelry “findings”. Findings and components are among the various and diverse elements that used by beading artists to create their jewelry. Certain of these materials are easily visible, while some aren’t. It is acceptable to mix 14K gold-filled metal with gold vermeil, or even gold metal with gold-filled or sterling silver. Some jewelers even mix 14K filled gold and 14K gold. But, don’t buy jewellery if the findings are plated and used in conjunction with high-quality metals as the plated material is likely to peel, break, twist, bend and eventually ruin the piece. It’s rare for beading artists to mix metals in this manner However, it’s acceptable to inquire as to what sort of metal findings the artist makes use of. You are entitled to be aware.


There’s plenty to learn regarding colored stones! The world of colored gemstones is incredibly complicated. To help you with this article we will use this website, the International Colored Gemstone Association, is a great online resource, among many others. Apart from studying gemstones, looking the stones, touching them, as well as asking questions are an excellent way to educate yourself on the quality of natural stones that make up the jewelry you select.

The industry of diamonds is highly controlled and set standard prices and guidelines for different grades of stones. The industry of colored gemstones is a different matter. There’s no standard classification system for cut, color and clarity that is utilized by every jeweler. As a result, pricing is often random.

You’ve probably heard or read about craftsmen refer to categories in their descriptions of gemstones colored using letters like “A” repeated three or four times. Although popular the letter type isn’t uniformly used. Some dealers may use a specific gemstone that has 4 “A’s”, meaning the best quality that is possible, while another dealer might use the same gemstone only with an “A”. The only thing can be concluded is that there are a myriad of opinions regarding the identical gemstone.

If it’s about colored gemstones, the sky is the limit to learning more about the complicated world of these semi-precious stones. But knowing a little concerning the four C’s, color, cut clarity and caratwill assist you in deciding the right jewelry for you.

1. Color A gemstone’s color specific gemstone can have the biggest impact on its worth. The color must be clear, vivid and even, as well as fully saturated and not be too dark light.

Because there are so many different the colors of gemstones, you’ll most likely be drawn by the color you are most drawn to. There is a sense that people have an inner color compass and are drawn to specific colors at different occasions in their lives for various reasons. It is the reason why selecting a piece of jewelry made from gemstones always a personal choice.

2. Cut: The cut of a gemstone affects how much brilliance the stone shines to the viewer. Gemstones with a well-cut cut will always increase the hue of stones when cut properly, while gems cut poorly appear dull, dead and uninteresting.

Do not be confused by with the appearance of a stone in it’s form. A gemstone’s shapeof gemstones can be oval, round and square. It can also be marquis, square or heart, pear, cube and many more. A gemstone’s cutof gemstones refers to the art and science behind cutting gemstones from pieces of rough.

A gem cutter picks up an uncut piece of stone and studies it, then comes up with a strategy to cut the stone. It’s an academic and creative process that progresses through many phases. Gemstone cutting is an interesting and time-consuming procedure.

3. Clarity: The most important thing to be aware of is that colored gemstones are, in accordance with the GIA The Gemological Institute’s Colored Stone Grading Workbook, roughly divided into three categories to help grade clarity. Of course, there’s a more intricate process involved in the overall evaluation of colored stones, but we’ll leave that to the experts in gemology.

The GIA defines these distinctions as follows:

A. Type I colored Stones (Often almost non-inclusion-free).

b.Type II colored stones (Usually Incorporated).

C. Typ III colored stones (Almost always).

“Inclusion “inclusion” is a naturally-occurring imperfection that occurs in gemstones such as crystals, feathers and clouds, needles and even pinpoints that can occasionally be observed by an eye. A jewelers loupe is able to magnify the structure of gems by 60 times or more, meaning that things that aren’t visible to the naked eye may be observed with the help of a loupe. A flawlessly colored gemstone is rare , and is often extremely small.

There are colored gems that have been heated, treated or enhanced in some other way. Mystic Topaz, for example is a natural topaz gem that has been colored by gluing it to an extremely thin layers of titanium particles through the process known as vacuum deposition. This produces a flashy array of colors on the face of the gem which is similar to the glowing light that is moving through the prism. The light shows the rainbow of colors, or specific colors based on the angle and depth that is fixed on the surface of the stone. Only the highest quality pure colorless topaz stones are utilized for this enhancement of color. This is a beneficial application of treatment. If a stone has been filled, dyed, heat treated, irradiated or improved, the purchaser should be informed that certain methods aren’t long-lasting. Beading artisans who design high-quality jewelry typically employ natural stones. If you’re interested in knowing the value of what you’re buying it is always a good idea to inquire.

There’s a lot to learn regarding clarity of gemstones, but to make this article, it is important to keep in mind that the 4C’s provide valuable information that will help you make informed decisions.

4. Carat A carat is an indicator of density and mass. Since the structure of diamonds are the same, regardless of size they are able to measure in carats. (The one exception would be the smallest diamond, which is measured in points in which each point is equal to 0.01 (or one-hundredth) of the carat).

It’s normal to talk of colored gemstones by carats, remember that colored gemstones with the similar weight don’t always have identical in identical dimensions. Since some stones have a higher density than others, they can pack more weight into less space. This is the reason why colored gemstones are measured in millimeters, or mm.

A Final Word About Colored Gemstones

Beading craftsmen don’t buy their stones from artisan cutters of gemstones because the price for the stone is too high for them.

Where do beading artists get their gemstones? Excellent stones can be found at trustworthy gemstone producers and exporters mostly coming from China or India. Certain of these companies might have suppliers from the United States. Since these companies sell wholesale to designers from all over the world They will require a resale license to show that the stone purchased are used to make or sell jewellery.

Artists may purchase colored gemstones from American suppliers, who can sell wholesale or retail. The companies purchase its colored gems through a range of foreign suppliers, with the same quality. The grade along with the price, can vary. Artists who purchase wholesale and not retail are required to submit a resale license. Artisans can expect prices to be higher as opposed to dealing with exporters and foreign manufacturers because, they are the middleman and the business can earn a greater profit margin.

There are a variety of suppliers of gems for jewelry designers. They offer a variety of quality items and prices vary significantly. In the end beading artisans must be able to determine the highest quality for the price they’re ready to afford.


Beading jewelry designers are able to choose from a wide selection of man-made crystal as well as handcrafted glass that they can select their jewelry. We’ll review of Swarovski crystal lampswork glass, Swarovski crystal Italian Venetian Murano hand blown glass as these are the commonly employed by beading artists.

1. Swarovski Crystal In 1892, Daniel Swarovski invented a revolutionary machine that could allow crystals to be cut with greater precision than hand. In the past 120 years, Swarovski has also made numerous improvements , and at the end of December 31st 2011 the company reported that their crystal business employs 26,140 and their boutiques run by owners and concessions number 1,218, their boutiques operated by partners total 1,000.

It’s not a secret that Swarovski is a huge business, and it’s also well-known in jewelry designs by beading artists. Swarovski beads are precisely cut, man-made crystals which reflect all the shades of the gemstone world and much more. They are also simple to work with. Beads that are cut using man-made holes are exactly the right size for beading , and you don’t need an electric drill like there often is on natural stones.

There is no doubt that when it comes to buying man-made crystals The color, quality sparkle, bling and glitz of Swarovski tops the list. If you’re looking for a bit or some glitz There are many beautiful artisanal jewelry made with Swarovski crystals.

2. Lampwork Glass: Lampwork glass has been in existence for a long period of. There is evidence of the beginnings for the manufacturing of glass hollow in glass fragments found in Mesopotamia during around 16th century BC.

The most popular types of lampwork glass is soda-lime glass which is a soft glass, as well as borosilicate, which is a hard glass. Lead crystal is one type of glass that has an extremely high reflection index than the other glass which results in a much higher “sparkle”. It is used for Italian Venetian Murano glass.

The art that lampwork glass artisans make with their torch or rods is abundant and rich. There are many stunning glass beads and pendants made by talented lampworkers. The only advice I have is to keep your eyes open. When you carefully look at glass beads and pendants both small and large you’ll be able to find yourself revolving towards what you love the most.

Every bead artist has their unique unique level of talent, skill and, sometimes, simply luck, or so they claim. The patterns, colors and designs are endless therefore you’ll be awed and amazed by the stunning designs you’ll see in the beading designs of artists.

3. Italian Murano Glass It is a stunning glass that has a fascinating history that is captivating. Although Venetian glass production dates as early as 982years ago, it wasn’t until the year 1291 that all glass furnaces of Venice were relocated into Murano Island. Island of Murano in order to safeguard Venice from the threat of fire. Therefore, Venetian glass and Murano glass are the same. It is believed that the Island of Murano remains active in making the desirable and exquisite glass beads that craftsmen use for their jewellery.

There aren’t assembly lines for making Murano glass beads. True Murano beads are created one bead at a. Each glass bead is made by hand using a copper wire afterward, the wire is removed by nitric acid. The hole in the bead is cleaned throughout. It is possible to find “imitation” Murano beads that are manufactured in factories such as China or India. They are produced when multiple beads are made on a mandrel of steel that is covered with liquid release agent. After the beads slide are taken off, the hole is coated with white powder that remains of the agent used to release them. It’s not the most attractive look!

Beading experts prefer Murano glass because of its richness of color, the sparkle , and the numerous techniques employed to make a variety of beads that are almost like magic. The quality, beauty and depth of Murano beads are abounding with an ancestry of tradition and people who are committed to the highest quality in their work.

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