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How to Buy Beads

I recently found myself regretting my eagerness in buying beads- the reason being two of the plastic striped beads I bought were not pierced. I feel so bad each time I think of it..Sigh…I wish someone had told me to notice all these things, maybe then I would’ve spotted the flaws. I think it’s about time we stopped to consider before we buy beads. Here’s a list of points to consider before purchasing beads.

  1. Check the length of the beads for uniformity. See that they are not too heavy or too big (long) for stringing onto any eye pin or headpin if you want to make earrings with them.
  2. Carry a headpin or eye pin with you and ask the seller if you can place the bead on it to check the balance of the bead.
  3. When buying headpins or eye pins try and check to see that they are not bent or tarnished.
  4. When buying ear wires check to see that the end “eye” loop is present( In the packet that I bought there were three ear wires that didn’t have loops)
  5. The beads should be pierced and have sufficiently large holes or loops for stringing.
  6. The beads must have an even color and should not have any flaky bits.
  7. Check metallic beads for tarnished portions (unless you’re going for the antique look.)
  8. Check if the beads have sharp edges or cracks in the bead or near the holes for stringing. The beads should have rounded or ‘puckered’  ends (soft – not sharp).
  9. Textured beads should not have cracks in narrow areas or irregular bumps.
  10. Dots on round beads and other texture elements should be solidly attached. If you can flick the dot off the bead with your nail then the bead is not too sturdy .
  11. Powdery bead residue should not fall out of a bead when you tap it.
  12. Take a friend along to help you decide what to buy especially if you are color blind like me
  13. Study semi precious stone beads and pearls before you buy and always go to a reputed dealer.  A good book on minerals and semi-precious stones is worth the money you spend for it if you plan to buy a lot of them

Please feel free to add more points as comments.

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