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Topic: how to identify different types of beads?  (Read 2552 times)
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« on: November 25, 2008 09:11:39 AM »

So I recently aquired enough beads to make jewelry all day everyday for the rest of my life.  My aunt (who has been retired for quite awhile and is still young) decided that she wanted to take up jewelry making, went out and spents thousands of dollars on the supplies, and decided that she hated it.  Some of the beads that she sent are labeled, and some of them still have price tags on them and were quite exepnsive.  There are things like a flower charm that is marked 14.95, and a do-it-yourself kit that is marked $78.  There are even a few bags of freshwater pearls.  My trouble is that most of the beads are in cases, and I don't know what they are.  I like to label things I make with the types of stones, etc that it was made out of, but right now all I can say is "pink bead" or "heart charm."   Normally I would just assume that the beads were all glass or something, but considering the fact that there are pearls in there, and that I found packaging for some swarovski crystal beads, I know they aren't all glass.  Does anyone have any ideas on how to identify things?  There are some fake pearls there too, but I don't know how to tell the difference.  I would just rather not give away or sell something that is made of quality materials without knowing it.  Let me know if you have ideas.  Thanks so much.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008 10:25:07 AM by wx2dzug » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2008 05:23:07 AM »

Here are a few suggestions- ask her where she shopped and if they have a website, try looking the items up. If you have a local beadstore try a browse around to see if you can recognize anything. Some websites have good pictures - Earthstone has loads of stone/gem pics. Some shapes are specific to swarovski. The general shapes may be impossible to definitely attribute but lead crystal sparkles more than unleaded glass. Plastic and real pearls feel different if you tap them against your teeth.
Sounds like a treasure trove, that was very nice of your aunt.
Good luck, Laurie

« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2009 09:21:45 AM »

Thank you, those are some good tips.  My other aunt (who works at a jewelry store) did the thing on her teeth with the pearl beads and said that they are all real.  I can definitely tell the difference between plastic and glass beads, but I am still left with the more tricky ones.  Telling the difference between czech glass and swarovski crystal...any tips on this?  Also, I think there are some onyx beads, but I don't know anything about those at all.

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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2009 01:29:10 AM »

Try to sort them out based on material: glass, wood, stone, plastic. It will make it easier for you to search around for the types. Non-crystal glass needs little identification most of the time. Stone, on the other hand needs to be identified as precise as possible, especially if you plan on selling the jewellery or give it as a gift: some people pay attention to the stone's meaning. And indeed, browse some large bead sites: Fire Mountain Gems, Fusion Beads, and you will learn to distinguish the beads pretty fast.

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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2009 09:44:52 AM »

for swarovski crystals and czech crystals, you should get a magnifying glass and check out the cuts. Swarovski will be perfectly aligned, czech probably won't.

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