It’s all about the beads

Myth has it that European explorers bought New York off the Native Americans for $24 worth of beads, these historically significant little gems have been around since the start of civilisation. If you are new to beads though some of the terms may have you flumuxed, we hope to dispell any myths surrounding them for you.

Naturally gorgeous

 Agate natural GN

Beads are available in many materials, the following are available from Bead House; gemstone, pearl, glass, shell, wood. We specialise in gemstone and natural materials, but there are a few exceptions that have sneaked in.

Keeping it constant

Most round beads are calibrated, they are manufactured to a precise size, ensuring a uniform shape & size. Our round beads range from 4mm-20mm. Chips and nuggets will state an approximate size. Pearls will be approximate too, these are naturally formed so can never be measured precisely as a strand will be made up of similar sized beads.

What if it doesn't fit?

Large hole gemstone

The standard hole drill size for gemstones is 0.7-1.0mm. Pearls are smaller at 05.-0.7mm. Make sure you give this some consideration, a great idea may fall to bits when you realise that the beads won’t fit on your stringing material, sometimes this can be rescued by reaming out the hole to increase the hole size. We stock large hole gemstones and pearls especially for use on cords & leathers (see pic)

How to buy?

The majority of beads are sold by the strand, the product description will state the length, usually 40cm. But this can vary, sometimes we will split a strand if the cost of the strand is too high.

The drilling know how

Button pearls

This picture shows button pearls, they are all the same shape, really they are! The reason they dont look alike is that they have all been drilled differently. The first two strands (L-R) are centre drilled (CD), the next is top side drilled (TSD), then another centre drilled and the 5th strand is long drilled (LD), the last again is top side drilled. The way they are drilled create a very different look and work well for different styles of jewellery.