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Bead of the Week

red agateJust perfect for your Halloween creations -- these Red Agate Evil Eye beads are of stone that was formed from layers of silica from volcanic cavities. Agate is named after the Achates River (now known as the Dirillo River) on the island of Sicily, Italy, whose upper waters were an ancient source of this gemstone. Each strand offered here has 16 round faceted beads, with colors ranging from red to amber, as shown. Each bead is approx. 10 mm. with an approx. 2 mm. hole. Each strand is $10, but for a limited time, take 10% off with the code HALLOWEEN at checkout.


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Shannon SchreiberShannon Schreiber


Welcome to The Bead Collection in Santa Fe

Here are our stories – we hope you enjoy!

We are a mother-daughter team, Sheila and Shannon -- just starting a new venture in our lives out of a mutual love for beads. We live and collect primarily in New Mexico, but make sure wherever we go in our travels, we seek out exceptional beads to share with bead-lovers and jewelry designers everywhere.

Shannon's Story

Ever since I was old enough to hold a bead, I was fascinated with them. When I was only two, I pried one off of a necklace of my mother's and put it up my nose! I think I imagined it was magic and would give me supernatural powers! Little did I know then how many people believe that stone beads, at least, have special influence and healing properties. The bead I had chosen at the age of two, interestingly, was turquoise – said to be a stone of 'wholeness and truth'. I don't think I could get much closer to two of the values I hold most dearly. As I grew up, I discovered a universe of more interesting beads, and learned more about their history and evolution. Whether made from shells, animal teeth, animal claws or seeds, historians believe the earliest beadwork was for religious purposes and was thought to protect the wearer from evil – or to attract good fortune. And since those times, all around the world, people have developed new materials for beads, from clay, brass, and paper to glass, stone, metal and wood. But no matter what they are made of, what moves me most is that individually crafted bead that can be the star attraction of any type of adornment. There are many bead artists who create true works of art in the forms of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, anklets, and more – with beads of various sizes. What I most hope for as we share our bead collection with you is that you find those beads that speak to you and inspire you. My commitment to this project is to search far and wide for those special, unique pieces – those 'one of a kind' beads – that will help you create something beautiful for yourself or others.

Sheila OrtegoSheila McLaughlin

Sheila's Story

I remember when Shannon put that bead up her nose! The incident was a bit more terrifying for me as a novice mom, as I fretted it would work its way into her brain and harm her somehow. Thankfully, her dad came home shortly after and tricked her into blowing it out, then handed it over to me to put someplace safer, i.e., out of her reach! But seriously, I had a true connection to that stone bead myself. The necklace had originally held a peridot bead. Peridots are known for providing an inner sense of warmth and well-being, and as an aid in attracting and creating our most important inner visions. That bead had been lost for some time, and Shannon's dad had glued the turquoise one in the necklace to replace it. I think somehow the entire incident, as well as the energy from the stones themselves, may have led us to the journey we are beginning with The Bead Collection. I too share a fascination (well, maybe an obsession) with beads, and over the years I have gone out of my way to find the most special bead wherever I am in the world. The collection seems to have developed a 'healing spirit' of its own, with each bead associated with my special memories or impressions of Malaysia, Africa, India, Australia, and more. We now want to share our treasure trove with you, so you can share the joy of 'signature beads' with us. I hope you find what you're looking for here, or fall in love with something you weren't looking for – a bead that 'finds you' – as so often seems to happen to us.

Our Home Base – Santa Fe

A year or two ago, Forbes magazine listed Santa Fe as one of "America's prettiest towns" and put our community on its list of "best small places for business and careers". We couldn't agree more. editors said they left the definition of "pretty" up to a group that included Greg Melville and Sarah Tuff Dunn, co-authors of 101 Best Outdoor Towns.

"Pueblo-style architecture and rugged surroundings make Santa Fe unique, homey and immensely inviting," Melville commented. The mountains and the local ski area, the many art galleries and its 2005 designation as the United Nation's first "Creative City," are all part of Santa Fe's charm. Some of the things we love most are the colors you will find in our bead collection: the clear blue of the sky, the soft earth tones of the plains, and the clear, silvery water of mountain streams. And the architecture is unparalleled, having been inspired by pueblo dwellings as well as influences from Spain and Mexico. We hope you will make the trek to visit us and peruse our beautiful city as well as our collection. There's nothing we enjoy more than sharing our stories and giving people our "insider's view" of this very special place.




+2 # Susannah Brin 2013-01-24 20:52
Love your site. Thanks for checking out my facebook page. Still can't figure out how to reply from facebook. LOL
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+1 # kochai 2013-11-11 16:43
Its wonderfull to know that there are people arround who have the same interests.

Im also collecting and dealing with different types of ancient beads. would love to share the experience and photos
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+1 # sortego 2013-11-11 18:55
Thank you for your note! I wish we knew more about ancient beads or even owned some -- we are just now beginning to study this as we have time. I would love to see your collection or learn more about what you're doing. In the meantime, we have a couple of blog posts that might be of interest to you -- I'll look and send links. Thanks again for commenting!
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+1 # sortego 2013-11-11 19:06
Check these out if you like, and please sign up to receive the free weekly blog posts if you're interested:

One on Egyptian beads:

& One on Venetian beads:

There was also a very popular one on Manhattan being sold for a handful of beads - let me know if you are looking and can't find it.
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0 # somclaughlin 2015-01-17 00:20
I'm not sure if you ever saw my previous response to this note you left, but can we connect via my e-mail? I would love to hear about your experiences with ancient beads, do a blog post on it, see your photos, etc.! Thank you for commenting!
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0 # Nyandia 2015-02-16 09:32
Hi. You have very interesting beads. As a jewelry maker myself, I appreciate their beauty. I was wondering whether you have ever used paper beads. These are made in Uganda and Kenya by women self help groups and also sold in craft markets.
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0 # sheilamclaughlin 2015-02-16 11:17
Hi Nyandia, thank you for commenting and for your kind remarks! Yes -- I love paper beads -- here are a couple of the posts I did that are related:
I would like to offer more paper beads in the shop -- I need to get to work on that! Let us know if you have suggestions. You can always reach us at Thanks again!
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