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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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swarovski 1Since the early 20th century, Swarovski crystal beads have played a key role in designer jewelry and accessories based on complex yet flawless faceting that refracts light and sparkles like no other crystal on the market. In fact, many jewelry makers will only use Austrian crystal beads, pearls and components in their designs. You will not find any bead with more sparkle, light and beautiful shine (except, of course, diamond beads*!), in our humble opinion.

It was in another century, indeed another world, in which a young man from Bohemia, Daniel Swarovski (1862-1956), invented and patented a machine, enabling him to cut crystals with the outmost precision.

To be able to power his grinding machine with hydro-electric power, Daniel Swarovski moved to Wattens in Tyrol with his family, and with this he laid the foundation for the realization of his crystalline vision.

Today there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of choices for precision cut leaded crystal beads crafted in Austria, considered the finest of their kind made anywhere. You can go straight to the Swarovski web site for images, inspiration, artists working with Swarovski beads, and to buy. There are other great online vendors, such as ArtBeads and Fire Mountain Gems. And many traditional bead shops have nice selections as well. 

swarovski 3Here are a few images of our favorite Etsy colleagues who work with these beautiful beads:

Sharon Edelman

David Lloyd Stewart

Perihan Tufan

swarovski 4










We have yet to make our forray into the beaded world of Swarovski -- if for no other reason -- it can be extremely expensive! But you can also buy affordable simple strands of small Swarovski beads that make gorgeous sparkling necklaces with nothing more than an added clasp. So it IS possible.

Soon we will talk about *diamond beads, another of our regular bead fantasies -- but, that's a story for another day.

Until next time,























0 # Ellen W Gonchar 2014-04-28 20:07
I love Swarovski! Took me a long time to say it correctly lol!
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+1 # SOM 2014-04-28 21:57
Thank you!!!
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0 # Outlet strore 2014-07-16 01:19
Really really like, thanks for sharing! Sterling Silve
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0 # SORTEGO 2014-07-17 01:49
Thank you so much, 'Sterling Silver'! :-)
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