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Home > Beads > Gemstone Beads
Gemstone Beads
There are some 130 types of stones, minerals and crystals that can be considered semi precious gemstones. Nearly all have been fashioned into beads or pendants for making beaded gemstone jewelry. Examples include amethyst, carnelian, rose quartz, topaz, agate, tiger's eye, jasper, jade, malachite, obsidian, and turquoise. Most stones used in jewelry making are hard, but a few softer minerals are used because of other attractive properties, such as luster. Enjoy our gemstone beads, and look for matching stones in our Gemstone Pendants Collection.
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Gemstone Beads, Various
Gemstone Beads,


About Gemstone Beads

We get a lot of questions about gemstones, but the questions we get are not quite what you would think they would be. People don't ask, for example, where turquoise is mined or what the difference is between howlite and magnesite (although the answers to those questions are very interesting). What we do get asked is how gemstones are handled during the manufacturing process. Are they dyed? Are they heat treated? Are they stabilized? Are they natural? Here are some explanations of what those terms mean and why, if the answer is yes to one or more of the above questions, it may be a good thing.
  • Dyed Gemstones: When gemstones are dyed, they are placed in vats of dye and soaked for a period of time that lasts from days to weeks. The longer a gemstone soaks in a dye, the more the dye will penetrate the stone and provide a truer, deeper overall color. They dye will also have time to seep in and become a more permanent part of the stone. A lot of people have aversions to gemstones that are dyed. They believe that dyed gemstones will bleed or fade. They are also worried that gemstones that have been dyed may chip, causing the true color of the stone to show through in places. Of course, these things do happen from time to time, but there are reasons gemstones are dyed and there are ways to tell whether or not stones have been dyed. Semiprecious gemstones are often dyed to enhance color that is not quite right or not quite vibrant enough or to represent colors not necessarily found in the realm of the geological world. Hot pink magnesite, for example, is not something that is mined; the magnesite is dyed so that it will be that vibrant pink. Besides unnatural colors, you can also tell if a stone is dyed because the dye will seep into pits and fractures within the stones and make those areas appear darker. The stones that are most commonly dyed are: agate, jasper, quartz and howlite.
  • Stabilized Gemstones: Stabilized - sometimes called composite - stones are those that have been injected with resin. The resin helps solidify a stone that may be soft or weak. Resin can also help improve clarity and enhance color. There are many people who believe that stabilized gemstones are not "real" stones, but that is simply not the case. We have composite turquoise, for example, that is comprised of natural turquoise that has been mixed with resin to create a stone that has vivid, groovy colors and a hardness you wouldn't find in a natural stone in and of itself. It's almost as though stabilizing a stone with resin brings out the best in the stone and makes it more resilient.
  • Heat Treated Gemstones: The process of heat treating gemstones has been around for centuries and is believed to be the safest, most natural way to enhance gemstones. When a stone is heat treated, not only is its color enhanced, but the inclusions (areas where impurities and minerals have deposited in the stone) are more visible. Heat treating is commonly done on precious stones like rubies and sapphires, but it is also done on semiprecious stones like amethyst and varieties of quartz, such as agate, jasper and onyx.

Very few semi-precious gemstones used in jewelry making come to you in a natural state. Many are simply tumbled or polished, many more are color enhanced either through a dyeing process or through the injection of resin. Just remember that most of the treatments done on gemstones are done to beautify and strengthen the stones.

Coordinating Gemstone Pendants

Want more gemstones? Be sure to check out our awesome selection of gemstone pendants. Here you will also find great information on how and where gemstones are formed. Prepare to learn things you never knew you wanted to know!

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Turquoise Pendants
Jasper Pendants
Agate Pendants
Onyx Pendants

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