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Identifying crystal beads bracelet

Recently I came across a bracelet in a flea market marked “crystal
beads”. I wasn’t sure of the value, but I used a magnifying glass and
say STG stamped on the clasp. The “beads” were pale blue and the
bracelet looked to be 7 or 8 inches in length. I know without seeing
this bracelet it would be hard to offer an opinion, but I would like
your thoughts on it. It was a beautiful piece with no flaws as far as
I could see. I would appreciate it if you would email me at
@swministries with any helpful or if there is
someone else I could contact. I have just become interested in
"collectible" jewelry (personally) in the last little while and have
run across some Lisner and Coro pieces that were very interesting.
Thank you again for any help you can give me. Sharon L. Webb

I recently heard that one could distinguish real “rock crystal” beads
made of quartz from those made from leaded glass or other glass
materials frequently described as “rock crystal” by looking at the
hole piercing them. If you can see the thread or other material the
beads are strung on when looking through a bead, then its glass. All
my quartz beads pass this test, as one cannot see the thread, but
only the hole drilled through the bead. From the outside, it just
looks like a thick white line with slightly fuzzy looking edges.

Of course, if you examine the beads with a loupe, you are likely to
see many little imperfections that may be dark lines (like rutilated
quartz) or just dark specs in quartz, while tiny bubbles can sometimes
be detected in glass.

I’ve heard about another test, which consists of examining the point
on the bead where the hole is drilled. If the bead is faceted, the
plane through which the hole passes should be polished flat. All the
edges of the facets should be sharp and definite. I don’t think that
this holds true, as some Austrian crystal (which are glass with, I
think, a high lead content like the old-fashioned cut glass) passes
this test.

I hope this is the kind of you wanted. I’m posting it
rather than sending it off-list because I’d like to know if more
knowledgeable orchidists can add info.

Dian Deevey

Hi Dian, Two quick methods to distinguish between quartz and glass:

  1. Expose the beads to short wave ultra-violet light. Most glass will
    fluoresce green, blue, or yellow; while quartz will show no effects.

  2. Place your beads between two “crossed” Polaroids (Polaroid sun
    glasses will do). Glass will remain dark as the beads are rotated.
    Quartz will allow light to pass through in certain directions and will
    display a blinking effect. Look up “Polariscope” if you need more on
    this test. Hope this helps, Will Estavillo

dian - a late but quick method i use: drop the bead onto a solid
surface (like a laminated counter) from about 6" - 7" up, if the bead
bounces it’s probably glass, if it sort of dies when it hits, it’s
rock. of course, the night i knocked over the 42 drawer chest of
6000-8000 beads i didn’t pay any attention as to which were crystal &
which were rock. (no, i did not separate them, just scooped into bags
& started selling the lot by the pound.) ive

I can tell the difference between stone (like quartz) and glass by
touching it to my cheek. Stone is colder than glass and glass is
colder than plastic. Leave a stone and a glass on the dining room
table overnight along with the subject material you are testing.
Then, in the morning and without warming it up in your hand, touch
the stone to your cheek; then touch the glass to your cheek; then
touch the subject you are trying to identify to your cheek. You
should feel a definite difference in temperature between the rock and
the glass and you should be able to classify the subject material as
either one or the other.

On another note, you can tell amber from plastic because amber floats
in salt water and plastic will sink.

You can tell a diamond from white topaz or CZ or quartz etc because
you can’t read a newspaper through a diamond but you can clearly see
the newsprint through the other stones.

While we are at it, I always tell real pearls from imitation by
rubbing them against my teeth (it works with caps too).

Very low tech but they work.


Carol, your is very helpful especially to someone like
me, a newbee so to speak. i have heard to rub pearls against the teeth
in the past to see if they are real, but once yo do that what is it we
shold be feeling, looking for ect? Thank you in advance for any shared, Karen

Real pearls (cultured or freshwater) will feel gritty/grainy against
your teeth. Manmade pearls will feel smooth.

To me pearls when touched to the teeth, remind one of the feel
experienced when you touch the inside of a shell with your tongue. A
kind of cold, clean, almost salty taste. Faux pearls don’t taste.
Dian Deevey

If I remember correctly What you feel with pearls is a grittiness or
graininess to the surface vs. smoothness for many imitations.

To Dan and all that resopnded to my ? of the pearls and what I should
be feeling for. I thank you all. I went in and tested the ones I
bought at a garage sale ( really cheaply too) and they felt gritty,
but since I am soooo new at this I will have a friend check them out
for me before I start patting myself on the back for a good find.
Thanks again all, this is a great site and I love reading all the
threads even if I don’t quite understand everything being read. I
would like to find someone that would like to take an apprentice in
and learn EVERYTHING but if not I will continue with the Jr college and do the best I can. Karen