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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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Lapis Lazuli Gemstone BeadsAmplicate ( is a web site that helps you find out about what people are saying about the things they love and hate. Currently, 96% of responders (8,076 people, and counting) say they love beads! Why do we love beads so much? Here’s my amateur analysis:

1) ‘Store-bought’ jewelry is often too expensive or too ‘cheap’ (or cheap-looking). The availability of beautiful beads (especially semiprecious gemstone beads, such as the ones pictured here from our Etsy site) makes it easy for people to design exactly what they want using fine quality materials and their own creative ideas.

2) Many beads are composed of natural materials, and when we look at them, they remind us to appreciate the beauty of our earth and its treasures.

3) Those with artistic sensibilities may love the act of arranging beautiful beads into unique adornments, whether they be earrings, necklaces, belts, hair clips, or even – as in the case of one of my most-admired artisans, jewelry for horses and other animals!

4) Some of us were caught by surprise by beads; we were searching for just the right hobby, and someone (a friend, acquaintance, sibling, or in my case – our child) introduced us to the love of beading.

5) Here’s one – I have to say it – how can you not love beads? If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing and holding even a small sampling of the gorgeous things out there – natural stones, pearl beads, exquisite lampworked beads, exotic trade beads, precious metal, and on and on…), then you know what I’m talking about!

6) For the love of history is another one; the fact is that since antiquity, humans have used beads for adornment, decoration, currency, trade, clothing, ritual, healing, and more! Just learning more about the rich history of beads is a worthy and enjoyable endeavor.

7) For the love of commerce and small business. Bead stores, jewelry design, and related activities can be incredibly lucrative.

8) For the love of art and craft. Just the tangential subject of how artisans craft a universe of glass/lampworked, clay, bone, wood, shell (and more) beads is a complex and rich arena for exploration. 9) For how they help save lives. (I say more about this in a previous blog post: ‘Bead Stories from Around the World')

10) For their healing and spiritual properties. This is another study in itself. Not only are natural stones and gemstones thought to have incredible powers for self-improvement and healing, but many metal substances are thought to – or have proven to be – healing for various conditions.

Whatever your reason for loving beads, welcome to a large community of common interest. And for those of you already out there creating beautiful things with them, carry on, and please share what you do with us here on The Bead Collection’s blog. (And if you haven’t already signed up to receive our regular newsletters, please do so at this site!)

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