Monthly Archives: June 2012

Things to Know About Swarovski Beads

You have probably heard about Swarovski beads. Well, this type of bead is basically one of the hottest crystals beads available on the market. It has crystal components and is designed and shaped with the use of a machine cutter. The beads are also polished to obtain the best appearance, and it’s worth knowing that today, the Swarovski beads are noted as the highest quality crystal beads.

Being so popular, the Swarovski crystal beads are often imitated. The imitations came out as a result of the ever growing number of people demanding for luxury items. It is sad to know though that with the rise of such demands, more and more imitators are emerging to provide the public replicas of Swarovski. And, since they are now everywhere, finding authentic Swarovski beads can be a bit puzzling.

Although that said, there’s no need for you to lose hope. There are ways to identify the right Swarovski beads. And, the best move to take is none other than to know exactly the basics of Swarovski.

The Swarovski beads are created by Swarovski Company itself in a unique and special process. They particularly use a special compound that imitators of this brand cannot duplicate. It is this special compound naturally that molds and allows the exceptional qualities of the Swarovski beads to emerge. Aside from that, the real Swarovski crystal beads feature a color palette that is beyond compare.

While those qualities are basics to Swarovski beads, they are not at all helpful for identifying the authentic pieces. So while knowing those things, it is important to note in mind that the real Swarovski beads when sold are not strung together. They rather come in package with different sizes and they are packed in well-branded wrapper. Sometimes, the Swarovski beads come wrapped in sealed envelopes. Today, there are some authentic beads made by Swarovski that are sealed with a genuine silver toned hologram carrying the name “CRYSTALIZED”.

The Swarovski beads are created in perfectly uniform shape. They are cut through a machine and they are uniform for the fact that they are cut with the same width, height, and even the slope dimension. It is this character actually that sets the authentic Swarovski crystal beads from the handmade replica beads.

Speaking of cut, the Swarovski crystal beads are cut into multiple facets that are all identical. The facets are considered to allow the beads to produce excellent light reflections. The reflected lights, however, are first calculated and tested by computer prior to the beads’ release. In addition to that, the authentic beads created by Swarovski have a facet juncture that points up. Simply put, all of the junctures meet up at exactly the same angle. And, unlike the imitations, an authentic Swarovski bead features no bubble inside the pieces. There are no scratches and other forms of imperfections on its surface.

You can find all of these things only at the reputable suppliers of Swarovski crystal beads. So when you purchase a package, go directly to them.

Swarovski crystal beads

When Daniel Swarovski invented an automatic cutting machine in 1892, he not only changed the process of cutting Crystal Jewelry Stones, but also raised it to a level of precision. From 1895 until today, Swarovski crystal beads continue its legacy of perfection and timeless pieces.

A brief glimpse of the Swarovski legacy From the day the company was erected, Daniel Swarovski and his family worked on the most dazzling crystals in Austria. In 1931, “Trimmings”, which are bands and borders laid with crystal jewelry stones, were registered for patent.

The year 1956, Swarovski introduced to the world the Aurora Borealis effect, by experimenting on coating the Swarovski crystal beads with wafer thin metal particles to intensify their sparkle. They were able to manufacture the material by steaming it in a vacuum. Working closely with Christian Dior, Manfred Swarovski fabricated the “Aurora Borealis”, which gives off the shimmering colors of a rainbow on every facet.

As the years moved on, Swarovski crystal beads began to take worldwide notice. By 1977, the first line of jewelry was introduced called the Swarovski Jeweler’s Collection, composed of the most dazzling earrings, rings, necklaces and bracelets. Towards the end of the 1980′s, a limited edition of innovative and contemporary line was released designed by leading Italian designers and architects: Ettore Scottsass, Alessandro Mendini, and Stafano Ricci. This collection was among the objects Daniel Swarovski considered Accessories – jewels, belts, and handbags. The launching in 1989 was directed by Rosamarie Le Gallais.

Composition of Swarovski Crystal Beads The crystal beads from Swarovski are looked up as the finest, full-lead crystal among today’s generation. The Swarovski crystal beads contain at least 32% Lead to visually clear and pure. The crystals are then cut to bring out extremely precise facets and create prisms. These crystals are treated or coated with different colors to fabricate stones, beads, pendants, in hundreds of shapes and sizes.

You, too, can make your unique Swarovski necklace using this design and by following these steps. First, prepare these Swarovski materials: 14 pieces Swarovski Crystal Beads in Pearl in light blue (sizes 8mm, 10mm, 12mm), 1 silk cord (#06/Turquoise), 2 Sterling Silver Clamshell Bead Tip, 6 Sterling Silver Split Rings (6mm), 1 Sterling Silver Double Clasp Moonstone, and 1 Glue Bond. These tools will help you complete your Swarovski necklace: split ring pliers, side cutters, round nose pliers, and tweezers.

Begin by attaching one Sterling Silvre Split Rings to all connector holes of the Moonstone using split ring pliers. String one Clamshell onto the silk cord together with seven 8mm Swarovski crystal pearls, seven 10mm Swarovski crystal beads (pearls), five 12mm Swarovski crystal beads (pearls), followed by seven 10mm crystal pearls, and the remaining seven 8mm crystal pearls. Next, string the other clamshell bead tip, and push all crystals that follow the first knot up to the needle end of the cord. Close the silk cord by stringing two overhand knots on the end where there’s no needle.

Lock these in the clamshell of the last clamshell bead tip but don’t close it yet. Drop a small amount of glue on the knots then let dry, then cut any excess cord. Do an overhand knot on the other side of the clamshell bead tip, at the same time do the technique for pearl knotting. Finally, attach 6mm sterling split rings to the split rings on Double Clasp Moontone, and repeat on the other side. Estimated total cost of this project is $19.43, excluding the tools.

Sterling Silver Beads

Even in antiquity, this mineral has been widely employed however, in the quest of obtaining more deposits, people in the past learned that there were more mines in the western hemisphere. In the last stages of the 1700′s, the stone was not only widely used but even abundantly excavated. The metal was a raw material in various jewelries such as sterling silver beads that until this juncture, are highly appreciated by thousands of people.

Terminology The name sterling silver beads have a historical root. In the twelfth century, there were five districts in the east of Germany that united to establish the Hanseatic League, a body engaged in important business exchange in England. As a means of payment, the entity employed “Easterlings”, its own currency generated out of the mineral that has been combined with other natural ingredients. Later on, the locals discovered how extremely dependable the stone was.

General Idea A soft mineral in genuine form, sterling silver beads have already been formulated with other alloys for the purpose of functionality and stability. Since the stone is very ductile, where even if little force is applied, will result to breakage, is popular for the mixture and not for the authentic kind. If you are scouting for a jewelry that contains the purest state of metal, you are just wasting your money because it will not spell longevity. In just a matter of days, you will see the damage right before your eyes which is definitely, not your interest.

In the United States of America, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) specifies that there can be no ornamentations distributed around the country which is labeled as “solid” not unless, the piece constitutes 92.5 percent of the mineral’s purest variety. You might be asking how to qualify. There is not much of a problem when the product is comprised of a minimum of 925 parts per thousand of the unadulterated sterling silver beads.

Cleaning In taking care of your sterling silver beads, all you have to do is get hold of a detergent that is free of phosphate. If you desire to get rid of the light tarnish, choose a product that is low abrasive such as the one manufactured by 3M. As for a low- cost saving measure, there are other people who utilize toothpaste. However, this is not highly suggested by experts since they find it overly rough for a precious piece. Not to mention, there were also findings of dull scratches.

The next time you visit the stores, do not be surprised why there are jewelries labeled as sterling silver beads.

Sterling Alphabet Beads

The Bronze Age was a milestone of discovery for the world’s largest archipelagic state because narrative accounts had it that the period was the beginning of the art of sterling alphabet beads in Indonesia. As early as fifth century BC, there were items found all throughout the country. The most massive were the bronze drums called the Moon of Pejeng which has been adorned with gems made of carnelian, glass, gold and shell as well as with other metals.

In Brief Since the birth of Christ, it was said that the natives who were living in the islands of Java and Sumatra were already practicing the cultivation of rice. Irrigation was abundantly developed together with the buffalo- drawn plows that were employed by the farmers in the fields. Due to their livelihood, the inhabitants were able to accumulate a great amount of wealth which ushered to their want of refinement especially in the area of jewelry. By 1000AD, the art of silver alphabet beads flourished in the world’s largest archipelagic state.

Ruling Dynasty By the fourteenth century, the Majapahit Empire began to exercise their authoritative powers in the region of Bali. The kingdom enforced a caste system with themselves taking the highest position and the settlers on the lowest standing. In then entry of the sixteenth century, the district turned out to be the headquarters for the Hindus that were compelled to leave Java that has been wholly transformed to Islam. Not long after, the so- called conquerors were out of the picture and noblemen stepped into the shores who were responsible in presenting the art of the sterling alphabet beads.

Contemporary Era The sterling alphabet beads of Indonesia are manufactured in a rural community identified as Celuk. The place has been living out a tradition that has withstood through the evolution of time considering that the country has already experienced a number of devastating calamities. The skills of the artisans have been handed down to them by their fathers. You can just imagine how old the craft is as you can trace the roots from age- old generations.

Look Back Before the present customers that have been captivated by the charms of sterling alphabet beads, there were individuals who went ahead of them. They were the aristocrats coming from the nearby town of Gianyar. Owners of the highly- esteemed houses in Ubud and Sukawati were also their regular clients. Not to mention, a foreigner in the person of Arnoudt Lintgens, a Dutch sea captain, was very much impressed with the extravagant display of fine ornamentations that included daggers, parasol fittings and lances.

The people behind the art of the sterling alphabet beads may be of poor status but they are wealthy in knowledge that can never be taken away from them.

Silver Beads

Primarily used as a precious metal, silver beads have been one of the favorite accessories of both men and women at these contemporary times. The kind of stone used for jewelries is very pliable which is even a little harder than gold. Due to its brilliant white gleam, a high level of polish is required. If you notice, this mineral rampantly fashioned for ornamentations perfectly blends with various types of wardrobe, be it for casual gimmicks or formal cocktails.

Special Class Have you ever wondered what is the significance of “sterling” in silver beads? The distinguished type actually creates the premium balance between “beautiful” and “practical.” For example, the necklace you are wearing constitutes 99.9% pure of the precious metal. In just a matter of days, the chain would possibly break as you actively engage yourself in a dance party as you made all those groovy moves. You might be asking yourself what is the connection. Well, it is simple as saying that the kind of stone used is very soft. In fact, more reinforcement is needed for functionality’s sake.

Instead of employing the genuine mineral, the composition of silver beads is combined with other alloys that will put in strength such as platinum, zinc and germanium. Most of the time, copper is the precious metal used. There are additives that are not usually utilized though, in order to reduce the capacity to tarnish immediately. Now, all of those mentioned are the basis in branding jewelries as a “sterling” standard. Normally, there is 92.5% of the kind of stone present while the rest are completed with others.

Business Venture In a lot of countries, before commercially selling silver beads that have “sterling” standard must be sealed by an Assay Office after the level of purity has been examined. The procedure is also applied to other precious metals created into jewelries. In the United Kingdom, the law entitled “Hallmarking Act of 1973″ was the reason why there is no legitimacy in labeling anything generated out of gold or platinum, for example, unless the stamp from the authorized department can be seen.

When you head to the shopping malls, you will discover that there are other assortments of silver beads such as those that originated from Mexico that is 95% authentic. Today, this North American republic is the only nation that remains to employ the precious metal in the production of their coins. Albeit, the 95% authentic is set aside for fashioning ornamentations as well as in sculpting pieces while the “sterling” standard kind of stone is for generating money.

At this modern period, silver beads are esteemed with great value. Aside from that, the mineral is also symbolic such as in marriage where it signifies twenty- five blissful years of a couple together. For those who have tied the knots, do you want to attain the meaning of the precious metal? Surely, you do.

Shipwreck Beads

History of metallurgy would tell us that as early as the Bronze Age, people were already employing various kinds of minerals for mundane activities in their settlements. Aside from being exposed to the dangers present in the wildlife, individuals who existed way back in antiquity were also very much in touch with the mystery of the open seas. A proof to that are the shipwreck beads that were discovered respectively in the Uluburun Region and Orkney Islands.

Uluburun Region In the fourteenth century, a schooner cruised from Cyprus with a load of three hundred fifty copper ingots which little to the knowledge of the crew, would soon become shipwreck beads. At the Uluburn Region, strong winds forced it to dock. As a result, large rocks hit the cedar skin of the boat thus causing major damage. Soon after, the vessel sank towards the base of the ocean. The smashing incident was very hard to the extent that the craft crashed into a rocky and steep slope.

By 1982, a certain Mehmet Cakir went diving off to Turkey’s southern coast. During his underwater adventure, he was able to spot metal pieces that were scattered on the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. He readily reported what he saw to The Institute of Nautical Archaeology where two years after, the project director of INA, George Bass, started his own quest to provide veracity to the said shipwreck beads. True to what was relayed, he was able find objects that were made out of amber, ebony, ivory and glass, among the others.

Orkney Islands Excavated in 2005, the Orkney Islands is recognized to be a home of a primordial cemetery. Does the sound of it send goosebumps to your spine? Anyhow, the region is composed of a chain of seventy islets to the northern point of Scotland which is located fifteen miles to the south of Greenland. The referred graveyard is dubbed as Knowes O’ Trotty which constitutes huge piles of stones and sands that covered a lot of corpses. Aside from those, there were also different types of shipwreck beads seen.

Knowes O’ Trotty was initially dug in 1858 by Sheriff Clark and George Petrie. In the midst of the human bones, they were able to obtain twenty- seven shipwreck beads. A large “sun” disc reached 76mm with a hole on the middle was caught in sight. In the most recent quarry, there were triangular trinkets, rectangular saucer plates and gold fragments recovered. The charms discovered were said to have the same design and style noticed in Wessex, England.

Even in these contemporary times, do you believe that there are still shipwreck beads that are enigmatically remain hidden at the abyss?

Prayer beads

Many religions in the world have adopted prayer beads as a symbolic way to count the number of repetitions of prayers, chants, and meditations. Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, and Islam all use prayer beads designed according to their religions prayers.

World’s religions prayer beads

Buddhism For the Buddhists, prayer beads are known as “Japa Mala”, which are widely used in Mahayana Buddhism and with fewer beads consisting all in all of 108 beads. The prayer beads of Pure :Land Buddhism is made of 27 beads. The Chinese call their prayer beads “Shu-Zhu” which means, “counting beads” while it is “Juzu” in Japan.

There are shorter rosaries used in Buddhism as well, called “prostration rosaries”, which are handy when reciting prostrations repetitions. For those who’ve seen a statue of Buddha, you might notice Him wearing prayer beads on his neck. Buddha stayed in Tibet until his death and the Tibetan Buddhists use an imitation of Buddha’s prayer beads, which consists of 108 beads divided into three segments. Original Buddhist beads materials come from the wood of the Bodhi, a holy tree that stands to where Buddha was enlightened.

Christianity In the 4th century, the Desert Fathers made use of rope knots to count prayers whereby the Jesus Prayer was most often recited. The invention of the “prayer rope” can be credited to St. Anthony or his associate priest St. Pachomius. For Catholics, prayer beads mean the “Rosary” that marks the five mysteries each having ten beads called a “decade”.

A complete rosary consists of twenty decades (as per instruction of the late Pope John Paul II). The loop of one rosary is divided by a hanging cross which signifies an end of the 150 prayers.

Hinduism The Hindus were among the first religions to use prayer beads, which are likewise called “Japa Mala”, consisting of 108 beads. The mala, a Sanskrit word that means “garland of flowers”, helps them count 32-108 prayers. Hindu malas come from seeds of the tree Rudraskha. Rudraskha when translated means “Shiva’s Eye” and also holds the meaning “Pleasing to the eye of Shiva”. The Hindus believe that Shiva sat in meditation with eyes open for 1,000 years. The first time he blinked after that, the first tear that fell from his eyes became Rudraskha seeds.

The divisors of a mala may be charms like bells or metal thunderbolt. The Hindu tradition in India is to rarely use the left hand in holding the mala. Another Indian Hindu custom is never to cross over the Guru Bead, the top bead, instead go backward and forward.

Islam Islamic prayer beads are called “tasbih” or “dhikr” made from clay and consists of 99 beads and one marker colored differently to specify the beginning and end of each cycle. Each cycle has 33 prayers for reciting subhan’Allah (meaning Glory be to God), alhamdou’LillAh (praise God), and Allahou akbar (God is Great). The 99 beads likewise symbolize the 99 different names of Allah. Praying serves as a unifying means between the Muslims and their God, Allah.

The use of prayer beads in Islam are said to be as old as the religion itself, when companions of the Islam Prophet Muhammad used pebbles to count the prayers. The history of attaching beads onto strings is not clear though.

How to Clean Your Pewter Beads

Cleaning your pewter beads can be one of the most exciting tasks you can consider in your free time. However, it is a task that requires know-how for the reason that just like the other precious stones on earth, pewter beads have their own properties that require a certain level of gentle touch and care.

Pewter beads are shaped and crafted from prized alloy. This alloy is produced from tin and is added with small amounts of antimony and copper to reach the desired strength and durability. The pewter has been deemed as the fourth most precious metals in the world, following platinum, gold and silver, and this recognition is what basically makes the pewter beads worth possessing and highly valuable.

Being the fourth most precious metals on earth, the pewter beads have properties and characteristics that are to some degree unique from the other precious stones. On the most basic, the beads are said to be too strong for it to withstand the test of time. They boast a notable brilliance that gives the pewter beads the great value they are enjoying right now. It is even more valuable as the beads are shaped into different sizes and styles. And, perhaps what’s nice to know about these metals is that although they come in different forms, they are easy to clean as they do not require amounts of polishing or any other special treatment just for it to retain its beauty and brilliance. Yes, the pewter beads are not susceptible to rusting and deterioration in any mode or way.

With such nature, the pewter beads are so easy to take care. It can be cleaned even periodically with a polish designed for pewters, or something that is all-purpose in nature. This periodic cleaning is necessary for the beads to stay shiny and brilliant. And, the good news is that finding the right all-purpose polish is so easy with lots of them available out there on most specialty craft stores, or hardware stores. When selecting the polish, avoid those that are designed for brass and silver beads for they can only ruin the finish of your pewter beads.

For ultimate result, clean your pewter beads by washing them first in warm and soapy water after use. Avoid using any types of bleach or any detergent that you think is harsh. This is important as the beads can be stained easily from certain substances or foods. Aside from that, never leave your pewter beads near the burning oven or a hot plate. Note that the pewter tends to melt when it is placed close to hot flames. As far as I know, the beads made of pewter can melt at 450 degrees of heat. And, when polishing the beads, always hand wash and use a non-abrasive cloth or something that is so soft to achieve great results.

If you think you are not capable of handling all the cleaning procedures needed by pewter beads, then it would be best if you’ll leave the task to a professional.

Perler bead designs

Involve your children in some artwork or make them discover the artist within by giving them fun-filled activities for any occasion like Perler Bead Designs. Perler beads are colorful plastic, fusible beads that can be created to serve for decorative purposes like refrigerator magnets, picture frames, fancy jewelry items, and even toys.

The endless Perler bead designs make them a great activity to do with your child. It’s also a bonding moment for both of you while enjoying crafting Perler bead designs. Perler beads and Perler bead designs will surely delight any child with all the wonderful crafts to be made. The best thing about Perler beads is they come in kits and are available in major department stores nationwide like Wal Mart, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Rag Shops, and Acmoore.

Perler Bead Designs for beginners Perler Bead Bracelet is a design that features six flowers, another with four flowers, and pony beads serve as spacers between each flower. Secure these materials, and you’re ready to begin: Perler bead kit with circle board, thin elastic cord, iron, nail, thick needle, and sharp pencil.

To begin with, make as many flowers as desired to make the bracelet, pick a color from the center of the circle board then surround it with complementing colors. Follow the directions in the kit on how to iron the beads. While the beads are still warm, poke a hole through two of the circles opposite of the flower using a nail, needle, or pencil. If the beads have been left to cool, drill holes using a small drill bit. String the flower beads into the elastic cord. Finally, tie it up to form a loop. That should be a piece of cake.

Now let’s move on to more intricate Perler bead designs like the “heart-shaped box”. The pattern below may be followed religiously or use them as guides to make a special design. Along with a Perler bead kit, prepare these materials: small hear-shaped pegboard, matching thread or floss, and a thin ribbon.

Using the pegboard, outline the heart with Perler beads using the desired colors. Once the beads are ironed, lock the thread using an overhand knot and attach the four layers at the bottom to each other. Continue with this procedure until the heart shape is formed. Don’t forget to knot the thread after going through the last bead.

For the next step, attach the heart shape that will serve as the box top by threading a thin ribbon and lid, and then tie the ribbons in bows. If that seemed difficult without a diagram, this site http://www.perlerbeads.com/ideapages/ideaheartboxes/heartboxes.html can further help you out. The official site of Perler beads also offers Perler bead designs for free.

Perler bead designs help to get beginners get accustomed with the whole idea of beading. Being productive during past times is not hard. All it takes is a little imagination and the right kind of stuff.

Pearl Beaded Bracelet

If you are looking for an elegant ornamentation that will complement your evening cocktail dress, what better way than pair your wardrobe with a pearl beaded bracelet. When you to choose to don with the jewelry, you will never go wrong because it will match fantastically. Not to mention, more than a touch of sophistication is exhibited. If you happen to look for the piece, shopping just about anywhere will lead to what you are looking for.

Cultured Types Right before a pearl beaded bracelet is created, do you know what process it undertakes? Basically, when a tiny foreign element is introduced to the body of a mollusk or an oyster, the organism generates a soft covering of nacre or also known as, calcium carbonate. Afterwhich, the raw material slowly grows then harvested when reaching maturity. Since this natural method occurs rarely, cultivators inject microscopic substances into the aquatic specie for more production.

Fresh water is a cultured type of pearl beaded bracelet. Regarded as a cheap ornamentation, this comes from the rivers and lakes of China. Fresh water typically has an asymmetrical contour with a dimension between 0.7 mm to 3.5 mm. This jewelry has a sheen ranging from medium to high which mostly appears in white but you can also spot tints of red or pink.

Tahitian is a cultured type of pearl beaded bracelet. Boasting of a grayish- green shade, this is farmed on the seismic island of Tahiti which explains why it has the name. Tahitian is large that are either 11 mm or 13 mm. This jewelry can be normally spotted as round with a rich sparkle. Due to such characteristics, the rate of which on the market is higher compared to others.

Akoya is a cultured type of pearl beaded bracelet. Originating from the salty seas of Japan, this arrives in a symmetrical figure with some little flaws. Akoya measures 6 mm to 8.5 mm which has a plush shimmer. This jewelry falls into the average pricing with a cream to white tint that will not fail to capture your sight.

South sea is a cultured type of pearl beaded bracelet. Obtained in the regions of the Philippines, Australia and Indonesia, this is huge that can be raised up to 13 mm. South sea can be collected in either black or white. This jewelry will cost depending on the gleam it gives.

You can no longer wait to get hold of your very own pearl beaded bracelet? Before you head to the nearest store, remember that there are six factors to judge the quality of the ornamentation such as luster, thickness, texture, color, form and size.