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The Beads We Use

Where do we get our semi-precious hematite beads?
Where do most glass beads we use come from?
Whatís the difference between the Czech Republic beads and Austrian beads?
History of Swarovski Crystal

Where do we get our semi-precious hematite beads?     to top of page

Most of the beads we get are from wholesale distributors in the United States who get their beads from overseas. Even though there are great deposits of hematite ore in the northern regions of the United States, it is made into the beads you see in our necklaces in the Far East.

Some of the unique beads we use we buy retail for we canít at this time find a wholesale distributor who carries them. Because they are unique and will add to the different designs we can offer you, we buy those particular items at retail prices.

Please see our page on The Healing Power of Hematite and Hematite Care/Info FAQ for more interesting information on this fascinating semi-precious stone.

Where do most glass beads we use come from?     to top of page

Most of the glass beads we use in our designs are either mass produced in the Czech Republic or Austria. Other beads are handmade through glassblowing or torch work. Torch work produces some of the most beautiful lampwork and dichroic beads. We also use Venetian glass beads.

Round glass beads that we use more than likely are produced in the Czech Republic. Faceted beads will come from the Czech Republic and Austria.

Whatís the difference between the Czech Republic beads and Austrian beads?     to top of page

The faceted beads from the Czech Republic can be either fire polished or machine cut.
       Firepolished:
Firepolishing uses heat to finish the beads and is less costly than the precision machine cut. The refractance of the bead is less for the edges are less sharp. It still produces a beautiful bead. Firepolished beads are produced in the Czech Republic.
       Machine-Cut:
In Wattens, a small town in Austria stands the Swarovski factory, which has been there for ages. Swarovski was the first to perfect the production of machine-cut faceted beads and stones. This gives the beads extremely sharp edges on each facet with exact calibration of measurements to give the facets the maximum sparkle and refractance of light. Czech factories, in recent years, have also produced machine-cut faceted beads. They are said to be identical.

One of the main differences between machine-cut faceted beads from the Czech Republic and the Swarovski crystal beads are the varied styles and colors produced in Austria. Because Swarovski controlled how many beads were released for sale at any given time, it gave rise to their "vintage" beads. Many of the faceted beads used in our necklaces are Swarovski styles or colors or both that are no longer produced and are hard to find, thus they are more expensive. Since we wonít know if we can find more of certain Swarovski crystal beads, we treat then as small quantities we canít replace.

History of Swarovski Crystal

Swarovski crystal, made in Austria, is the finest crystal in the world, made with at least 32% lead content. It is optically perfect, and has more clarity and radiance than any other form of glass. Its founder, Daniel Swarovski, came from Bohemia , where he was taught the fine art of crystal cutting at an early age by his father. He designed an automatic jewelry stone cutting machine in 1883, and with the help of his brother-in-law and a friend, began making jewelry stones of superior quality in a small factory in the Tyrolean Alps in Austria. During both World Wars I and II, they manufactured optics, binoculars and telescopes which were considered the best in the world.

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