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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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gold bead earringsGold is the favorite of many -- the shiny precious yellow metal we love to love.  Its malleability and low melting point allows it to be easily manipulated and shaped into beautiful jewelry.  Gold was developed as one of our earliest metals, coming only after iron and bronze and their 'cousins', copper and tin.  'Karats' are a measure of purity; 24 karat gold is the purest.  Gold jewelry can commonly be found in 22, 20, 18, 16 14, 10 and 9 karat forms.  This precious metal can be found all around the world, in nuggets or grains in rocks or geological deposits.  It can vary in color from yellow, also found in white, red, blue, black and even purple, depending on its primary metalic components, with yellow being the most common.  'Found' gold may even contain up to 8 - 10% silver.  Because it is easily scratched or dented, it is often combined with other metals for a stronger alloy; this is the case with what we call 'white gold' (gold with nickel, zinc, palladium or platinum), rose gold (gold with copper), and green gold (gold with silver).  We value gold as one of the earth's most preacious and rare substances, and for cernturies, gold has been used as currency -- often in coins -- and as a measure of value.  The photograph here is one of my favorite samples from the site featuring JuJuDesigns.

Garnet NecklaceGarnets are a type of mineral-based gemstone that are commonly red, but can come in a variety of colors, depending on the specific chemical makeup of the type.  They can be found in brownish-red tones, red with a hint of violet, orange to reddish brown, and even green, yellow and brown.  They generally have a deep, rich luster, and are associated with emotional healing and spirituality.  This piece from 5th Element Yoga shows just one of the many ways garnets can be used to create beautiful and meaningful pieces.  The garnet is the birthstone for January, and specifically for Aquarians.

fire-polish beadsHere's a photo of the lovely fire-polish bead necklace from 'Treasures by Leo' on


Fire-polish beads are one alternative to more expensive gemstone beads; they can provide sparkle and light to a creation that otherwise might be drab.  These beads are handmade in the Czech Republic through a process of molding, facet-cutting, and firing in a high-temperature furnace.  The process gives the bead a beautiful sheen and scratch-resistant surface.  The beads come in many shapes, sizes and colors, and there are endless uses for them in your jewelry creations.  See just one example of a fire-polish bead necklace from "Treasures by Leo" on Etsy:

A great source for all types of beads, including these, is Fire Mountain Gems:



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