This is a subject I’ve been thinking about for what seems like
years. I want to talk about the gemstone bead business, including
how those beads are made, how trends in bead shapes are determined,
and the creating of the mind-numbing varieties of so-called
"out there which just confuse the hell out of me.
First, it seems to me that gemstone beads just have to be made from
a grade of rough which simply isn’t good enough for faceted undrilled
stones. Does that seem right to you, or am I off-base? I mean, if the
rough is high enough quality, wouldn’t the supplier reserve it for a
better quality faceted cut? Why make it into beads? Is there such a
thing as “flawless” gemstone beads?
Second, I’ve been frustrated lately by the proliferation of gemstone
bead cuts which seem to come and go. About 3 years ago I bought
several carats of brilliant-cut, top-drilled aquamarine & tourmaline
beads. I loved that cut. But I can’t find it anywhere now. Everyone
seems to be producing polished briolettes or onion-shaped kisses or
what have you. If I want brilliant-cuts, I have to have them custom
made, which costs a fortune. Obviously the lesson here is to buy
multiple strand of whatever it is I like and stash it away. Do any
of you have similar experiences?
Last, can someone please comment on the staggering varieties of
quartz I’m now seeing? Beer quartz, whiskey quartz, cognac quartz,
lemon quartz… What IS that stuff? Is it glass? Is it quartz? And
what about moss aquamarine and moss amethyst? What is that?
I know I sound frustrated, and I don’t mean to be. I’m just thinking
a lot about all these issues and trying to find my way with good,
solid, high-quality materials. I see so many junky gemstone beads
out there, but I also know that there are some staggeringly
beautiful, high-quality ones too.
I’d love to hear what any of you have thought about this big topic.
Thanks so much!
Gemella Contemporary Jewelry