Semi Precious Gemstone Beads

These beads come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are usually polished and faceted, donut-shaped, rough-cut or chips. They can be very expensive depending on the stone or the size, and yet chips are ready drilled and inexpensive. There are different qualities of semi precious gemstones and color can vary enormously. They are generally heavy beads and need to be threaded with a strong thread.

Turquoise Beads are made from a semi precious gemstone, Turquoise, which has captivated man's imagination for centuries. It's color ranges from sky blue to green and is a vibrant light blue stone often seen in southwestern jewelry. It is reasonably priced and ethnically Middle Eastern.

Amethyst Beads are made from purple, lilac and mauve quartz. The highest quality is transparent. Amethyst is an affordable purple gemstone.

Agate Beads are made from Agate stone. Agate is a distinctly banded variety of Chalcedony, which is a variety of Quartz gemstones composed of layers of quartz, sometimes of different colors. When it is concentrically banded (often in rather wild patterns) it is called by the subvaritey name "agate." When it is in flat layers/bands it is called by the subvariety name "onyx." It comes in most colors and there are several types of Agate. Common ones are: blue lace agate, moss agate, tree agate and petrified wood.

Malachite Beads are a beautiful green earth color with black bands.

Quartz (Rock Crystal) Beads are made from the the most common gem variety of quartz crystal. Like all quartz, it is formed from the two most abundant elements in the earth's crust: silicon and oxygen. Quartz is colorless and transparent. It is also known as "Rock Crystal". Other colors of quartz have special names such as: Rose Quartz (pink or peach), Citrine (yellow or lemon), and Amethyst (purple or mauve). It is popular for its healing qualities.

Opal Beads are usually white, clear, pale red or black, and emit brilliant flashes of multi-colored light. Opal is related to its more commonly found but highly crystalline cousins quartz and agate, and is formed from amorphous "balls" or lumps" of silica rather that from ordered, naturally faceted crystals. The most striking quality of opal is its ability to refract and reflect specific wavelengths of light. In fact, the term "opalescence" was coined to describe this phenomenon. The interplay of these pure wavelengths of light gives opal its unique visual appeal, and makes it one of the most sought-after gemstone beads in the world.

Onyx Beads are made from a rich-looking, affordable black stone named Onyx, which also comes in brown, white and grey. Onyx is very similar to Agate: it has straight bands of brown, white or black whereas Agate has curved lines of many colors. It is often mixed with pearls to create elegant jewelry.

Jade Beads are chiefly valued by their color and freedom from cracks. Jade should have a 'greasy' appearance when it is polished. Colors will range from the many shades of green, to yellow, red, black, and white. Lavender Jade is the most highly valued, and also the most rare forms of the stone.

Tiger Eye Beads are black with iron oxide staining which gives them yellow and golden brown stripes. Tiger Eye stone is a type of chatoyant quartz. Generally, you will not find faceted tiger eye. This stone is often called "Tiger's Eye" or simply "Tiger Eye".

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