Good quality stone beads

I was very excited when the first post for “good quality stones at a
good price” appeared, hoping for a rainstorm of useful responses.
However, I often forget that stones and beads are not synonymous for

Since relocating in August 2005, I am no longer centrally located to
take advantage of gem, lapidary and bead wholesale shows in NYC and
western MA, where I used to frequent them. And I long ago discovered
the difference between the prices at a real wholesale show and places
online that advertise Wholesale or (my favorite) “Wholesale to the
Public”… which, of course, is not wholesale at all. As I am no
longer within easy reach of these places, I’ve been reluctantly
surfing online for a place with good quality bead strands at real
wholesale prices… and have been mostly disappointed. I either
discover that pictures online in no way resemble what is ultimately
received, or that the best stuff is in Thailand or some similar
locale and shipping to the States eats into whatever good value I may
have discovered (and a couple of these places show no evidence of
their location until the $35 shipping cost shows up in a shopping

I really miss the out-of-the-ordinary stones, shapes and incredible
prices at the wholesale shows I used to attend… as well as the
ability to pick and choose the strands live and in person. But
barring the ability to do that (without having to travel five or six
hours to a good show), does anyone have a source (or three, or four…
or more!) for good quality precious and semi-precious stone bead
strands? One in central/south MA that I do use occasionally is
Stachura (though mostly for pearls)… but even their prices are a
bit higher than those at the shows I used to frequent.

I’m small, I’m starting over in an economically depressed area… I
cannot afford to fly to Tucson for the delights of beady sensory
overload. And so far, I’ve had to increase the prices of many of my
things because of the higher cost (and sometimes lower quality)
strands I’ve been forced to purchase. I’ve even resorted to EBay…
with similar results.

Any and all suggestions, ideas and unknown merchants will be
immediately bookmarked with glee!

Many thanks,

Hi Karan

Any and all suggestions, ideas and unknown merchants will be
immediately bookmarked with glee! 

Try I have never ordered from them directly, but I
shopped at Earthstone in NYC and can say that the quality of beads
pictured on the site is consistent with what I found in the
showroom. They are a tiny bit more expensive than other wholesalers,
but I cannot find some of the unusual shapes or varieties anywhere
else. I use a lot of agates mixed with semiprecious. I now shop at
Wondersources in the city but (as far as I
know) they don’t have a catalog that can be seen online or in
hardcopy. I guess you would have to request memo service…though I
have not done this (the train ride in to the showroom is a nice day
out for me). I believe Wondersources is an offshoot of Earthstone as
the people are the same people and the stones are the same
stones…just the location and name is different.

Good Luck
Kim Starbard