Stone bead source

On behalf of one of my students, does anyone have a source for stone
beads (citrine, peridot, amethyst or something like that-- or even
black onyx) with large holes-- like 1mm or even a bit more? I am not
very knowledgable about beads, but catalogs don’t necessarily give
hole size, that I’ve seen. Thanks!



I don’t think you are going to find a source that will consistently
have a certain drill hole size for beads. Even in a single strand
you can find different size drill holes on some lower end beads.

Have your student buy a Needle or Flame Point shape Diamond Burr. If
you can’t find one small enough from a Jewelers Supply house you may
also try a Dental Supply House.

Have them dip the bead in water and then drill out the holes. Make
sure they keep dipping the bead in water and work from both sides of
the hole.

Good Luck
Greg DeMark
Custom, Handmade & Antique Jewelry

P J Minerals (in the UK) has a limited range of beads specifically
described as ‘large hole’.

Website or Google for “P J Minerals”. You
can order online and they give volume discounts.

No connection, except as an occasional customer.


Hi Noel, One supplier I use is JBC International. They have a pretty
good selection of rounds and shaped beads in a variety of stones,
jaspers, onyx, te, aventurines, etc. Nice people, decent prices, good
quality beads and one of the better ‘big hole’ selection of beads
that I know of. Min order is $100, and they will need a resale
license. Volume discounts available. Usual disclaimers, but I have
worked with them for years, and been happy. Here is the numbers for
the MN showroom, Elizabeth will give you the number for the IL
showroom, which does the mail orders. Susan runs IL, and is very

JBC Beads & Crystal
tn 651-306-0014
fax 651-306-0015 


Noel, the Rio Grande catalog usually gives the diameter of bead
holes, which is really helpful.

Judy Bjorkman


As an online source, I have always been fond of They
have quality stone beads and are quick and responsive. You didn’t
mention what the outside diameter of the stone bead needed to
be…in a small or tiny bead you will never find that large of an
opening, but you could talk to the folks at Earthstone and see what
they have in rondells. Another question for them might be, what stone
beads could be easily enlarged with a drill press and what equipment
would you need? Another source would be a rip to your local Intergem
show, if they come to your area.

Best of luck,
Nan Kroupa