Bead Info: stories and meanings behind the beads
For my bespoke handmade jewellery I make sure the quality of the beads, crystals and pearls are of the highest standard. My suppliers obtain their beads from all over the world, and in turn, I individually hand pick the best beads and findings from their selections. Most of the beads I work with are freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystals and gemstones. I also use beads made of glass, shell and wood. Due to the individual nature of many of my beads, there may be some slight variations from those shown in the photos on the website.
Want to find out a bit more about the stories behind the beads in your jewellery? Or what the different gemstones mean? Then read on…
The very beautiful and ever popular freshwater pearl is steeped in historical lore and tradition. Cultured freshwater pearls are created using live shells, into which a nucleus is inserted and the mollusc secretes layers of a coating over & over, which over time forms the pearl.
The Ancient Greeks believed that pearls were dew from the moon that oysters collected at night as they opened themselves and floated on the surface of the seas.
And according to Hindu legend, the god Krishna discovered the pearl when he fished it from the sea as a gift for his daughter on her wedding day.
Over the years it has come to symbolise such virtues as purity, wisdom and fidelity. For centuries the pearl has been the official birthstone of the month of June, as well as the symbol for 30 year wedding anniversaries.
A diamond ring is usually chosen for the modern engagement, however, throughout the 19th century, a pearl ring was the most popular choice. Pearl jewellery as well as pearl decoration on gowns, veils, tiaras, and more continues to be a hallmark of the formal wedding.
Swarovski crystal pearls
Swarovski pearls are the perfect imitation of genuine pearls. They have a crystal core with an innovative pearl coating to simulate the look and feel of the real article. The pearls have a similar weight and lustre in a perfect shape only available in the very best natural pearls.
The Swarovski name is simply synonymous with quality and beauty. The way the precision-cut crystals are created is a close-guarded secret at the company based in Wattens, Austria. Crystals captivate us with their gem-like sparkle, and adorn countless gowns, handbags, shoes and other accessories. They are therefore a very popular choice for wedding and occasion jewellery; they radiate a magical brilliance, and make an outfit look very special indeed.
Gemstones are made of minerals and rock, which are cut and polished to create beautiful beads of many different shapes and sizes. It is widely believed that gemstones have different properties and many are considered birthstones for different months. A selection of the stones that we use in our jewellery is listed below.
Amazonite – provides the powers of truth, honour, love, confidence & sincerity.
Amber – is in fact fossilised tree sap, not a stone; powers include luck, healing, strength, protection and love.
Aventurine – is worn to strengthen the eyes, stimulate creativity and enhance intelligence.
Carnelian – promotes peace and harmony, and dispels depression.
Crystal Quartz – provides the powers of healing, wisdom and harmony.
Flourite – is said to absorb and neutralize negative vibrations.
Green Moss Agate - is believed to bring the wearer health, friends and riches.
Jade – is a love-attracting stone that has been used since ancient times. Powers include fertility, balance and wisdom.
Jasper – promotes healing; other powers include protection, health, relaxation, solace and beauty.
Lapis Lazuli - The ancient Egyptians used Lapis Lazuli as a symbol of truth.
Onyx – protects, strengthens and energises.
Rose Quartz – attracts love, promotes peace, happiness and fidelity.
Snowflake Obsidian - is a stone of purity. It balances mind body and spirit.
Tiger’s Eye – may bring good luck and protection to the wearer. It is also known to bring clear thinking and insight.
Turquoise – powers include protection, courage, peace, healing and luck.
Glass rocaille & seed beads
These are small, round, coloured glass beads that are most commonly 2-2.5mm in diameter. They are often used as spacers between other beads to provide more texture to a piece of jewellery, and to contrast with or complement the colours, shapes and textures of the more prominent beads.
Findings are the practical parts of the piece of jewellery, for example, clasps, wires, crimps, jump rings and earring hooks. At Beads To Buy For we only use sterling silver or 14k gold-filled findings, to ensure a high quality finish every time.