If you are thinking about making a beautiful handmade accessory for a friend or a loved one, you are sure to want to find the perfect bead or gem to suit their taste. Before you start, you need to think about your friend’s tastes for there are two very different types of beads; one is a glamorous and feminine gem and the other, a classic and simple bead.
If your friend or loved one already has a lot of elegant jewelry such as diamond rings and silver necklaces, then why not surprise them with a one of a kind, handmade beaded bracelet? Once you have read my articles on how to make your own jewellery, now is the time to decide which beads you should use.
Lead Crystal Beads
Lead oxide is added to molten glass which gives these beads an amazing shine and shimmering effect. Surprisingly, these gems are quite soft, so great care must be taken to ensure you do not scratch the surface. Some of the most notable makers of lead crystal include Swarovski (Austria), Steuben Glass (USA) and Arc International (France).
If you want to make a simple and classic accessory, then you might like the sound of seed beads. They are delicate beads which range in style and size, from ovals to rectangles. They are often used as dividers between other beads but they are also striking by themselves.
Before World War II, there was a huge bead industry in eastern Europe where many factories made beads out of glass, metal, aluminum and steel. However, most of the factories were destroyed during the war. If you are lucky enough to find one of these rare, vintage beads, it will certainly add a striking feature to the bracelet, as well as being an interesting story to tell your friend.
Elegant or classic? The beads can make all the difference!