Sapphire, Quartz, Coral, & Measuring Beads

You have received this newsletter because you opted after a past purchase, but should you wish to be taken off the mailing list, just click the link at the bottom. This month is Sapphire, plus we cover the magical stone of quartz, coral, and measuring beads. Scroll down, or click one of the links below on the html version to go to a certain section. If you have any suggestions for the future, please e-mail me at

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Sapphire: September's Gemstone
A Truly Magical Stone - Quartz
Coral - A Living Gemstone
Buying Beads by Size
Measuring Beads
Measuring Rings
Beads Used to be Money!
15% off our Quart & Coral

Sapphire: September's Gemstone
Sapphire is the birthstone for September, and is chemically and structurally the same as ruby, an aluminum oxide. However, where rubies are only red, sapphires come in every color but red: blue, golden yellow, reddish-orange, or violet. The most valuable sapphires have a vivid royal blue color. Some sapphires do change their colors between blue and violet depending on the light.

Sapphires are extremely durable, only diamonds are harder. Sapphires are generally cut into cushions, rounded rectangle or oval shapes. However, fancy sapphires may be triangles, squares, marquises, pear shapes, cabochon cut, or smooth domes. Sapphire is the anniversary stone for the 5th and 45th years of marriage.

Dark blue and lilac sapphire is said to enhance ones creativity while guarding against distraction. It is also good for sexual relationships because it tends create deep bonding between people and brings loyalty.
Light blue sapphire is the inspiration stone. It helps to bring new thoughts and makes one feel excited and full.
Light blue sapphire is the inspiration stone. It helps to bring new thoughts and makes one feel excited and full.
Orange works on a totally different level by not allowing you to deceive yourself. It makes you look at things in their basic form without distorting it to conform to what you want it to be. Brings true knowledge - a good stone for students, teachers, writers and researchers.
Pink sapphire allows one to surrender to another for the good of the all.
White sapphire helps you take care of yourself and to tend to your personal needs. Yellow sapphire connects you to the total you with all of your inner knowledge. It also helps you to see what you do not know so you can look for an answer, rather than believing you already know the answer.

A Truly Magical Stone - Quartz
Quartz is the most common mineral on the Earth's crust and is a component of almost every rock type. Yet quartz has more colors and forms than any other stone because of this very abundance. Crystals can be as big as 20-feet in circumference, weighing 50-70 tons. And the powerful atomic structure of this pyramid-shaped crystal gives it magical powers that are as apparent in today's computers as they are in new age belief and folklore. The word quartz comes from the Greek word krustallos meaning 'ice' & since the Greeks and Romans thought that quartz was created by the Gods because it was ice that never melted.

All quartz varieties share the same chemical makeup of silicon dioxide. Quartz is one of the main sources of pure silicon. Silica is used in concrete, glass, prisms, and optical lenses - and because of its high melting temperature, it's depended upon for semiconductors, fiber-optic cables, and wire insulation. Quartz vibrates at a steady rate in reaction to an electrical charge, useful for clocks. Quartz also gains an electrical charge when pressure is applied to it or when it is heated.

Some of the gemstones that fall into the quartz category are: agate, amethyst, carnelian, chalcedony, jasper, onyx, and sardonyx. Pure rock crystal is clear, but usually quart comes in a variety of opacity. The presence of inclusions of other chemicals is what gives these stones their different appearances and properties. Milky quartz is cloudy because of microscopic inclusions of fluid embodied in the crystal at the start of its life, creating a ghostly effect of a crystal within a crystal. Smoky Quartz is caused by natural radiation from nearby granite rocks, and rutilated quartz has small needles of the mineral rutile entering one side of the crystal and exiting the opposite side. Smoky quartz is one of the primary stones to use for manifesting one's dreams, and when it is rutilated its energy multiplies.

The Mayans, Druids, and Tibetan monks all knew the spiritual power of crystal. The ancients used it to strengthen the sun's rays to bring heat, and feng-shui still teaches that arranging crystals around the home retains positive energy. Crystals became important to these people because of the belief in their capacity to store and amplify any power source fed into them - physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Today's crystal therapists say that the stones' ability to work as a conductor allows energy to be focused via a person's thoughts to stimulate healing. Newagers use crystal to focus attention on what they want. With a little imagination, you too can use crystal's energy to access a higher level of consciousness and turn a desire into reality! All types of crystal have this magical power, but individual color crystal is believed to have other uses too. Rose quartz, the stone of unconditional love, is great for emotional healing. Red, yellow, and orange stones are said to produce energy; clear and aquamarine stones are healers; and lavenders calm. Finally, powdered quartz used to be swallowed as an elixir to dispel toxins from the body and to treat digestive disorders - today, silicon dioxide is used in gastrointestinal drugs.

Coral - A Living Gemstone
The most common flaked stone is goldstone. A manmade material first created by alchemists trying to make gold. Other variations are bluestone, lemon stone, and peach stone. Each are a type of glass mixed with metals to form a glittery appearance.

Coral is a natural water-related bead that will sex-up your summer jewelry. Many coral beads are quite rustic with the original shape of the coral branches. Perfect for creating jewelry that has a very ethnic style. But since they are also porous and soft, they can be color enhanced and carved into lovely shapes, allowing them to fit in nicely in higher-end designs too.

Coral is not a true gemstone, but a product of marine life. However, it's been used as a gem since prehistoric times. Coral has a religious history, like being one of the seven treasures in Buddhist scriptures - and has long been a strong talisman protecting against evil spirits and hurricanes. It is also said to reduce blood flow, help anemia, and is thought to give wisdom and prevent madness!

Coral is essentially the outer skeleton of sea polyps, made of calcium carbonate. Coral usually ranges from white to red, and it grows in branches that look like underwater trees. Red, pink, and white corals are usually dense, while sponge and blue corals have small air pockets and interesting spotted patterns. Most coral for jewelry comes from the Mediterranean or the China Sea off Japan and Taiwan. Coral reefs in the South Pacific like the Great Barrier Reef grow a different species.

The price of coral remains low only because of stockpiles from up to 30-years ago. However, due to over-harvesting and environmental damage, coral is becoming rarer, and natural red coral is very expensive. Most red coral sold today has been dyed. It's quite easy to tell this on bold red coral beads, but the pink and blue corals are often color enhanced as well.

Fossil coral, or agatized coral, is an alternative to coral if you like your beads to be more subtle. This is ancient coral that has been replaced by agate so slowly that the flower-like patterns of the original coral remained intact. Though it will not make a bold statement like the red corals, fossil corals have their own charm. They are mostly beige; but the grayish flower patterns may have subtle hints of pink, blue, and other colors.

Buying Beads by Size
Buying beads can be very difficult & with hundreds-of-thousands of different materials, sizes, shapes, colors, and prices.

Seed beads range from size 1mm to 3mm or 11/0. The most common seed beads are Chinese, Czech, and Japanese. Czech beads are very traditional, sold on hanks, are mostly round and can be uneven. Japanese seed beads are more uniform, come in many different colors and are usually sold loose in bags or tubes. Remember that 1,000 (or even 4,000) seed beads will come in only a small bag & don't expect them larger than they are! However, these tiny beads can be very tricky to make, so are only a little cheaper than bigger beads.

Larger beads are sold either loose or in strands. Buy strands if you want the best quality and uniformity of holes & they will hang better on a necklace. However, loose beads are great if you want a lot cheaply for a large project or for many different works. Invest in a bead measure, as the inexperienced can often overestimate bead sizes. If buying by the strand, just divide the length by the bead size to tell how many there will be. For example a (16-inch) 400mm strand will have about 50 beads of 8mm & 400 divided by 8. Beads over 14mm are considered large and can weigh a lot to post, so expect more shipping.

Measuring Beads
I often get letters telling me the 8mm beads we mailed are not 8mm. Some people say our 4mm beads look bigger on the picture. Others insist we've sent them the wrong size strand of pearls because most are smaller than we say. Size of beads can either be exact or approximate depending on the type of bead. Simple round bead sizes should be exact: 4mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm etc. But chip beads, being naturally all different sizes, will not be exactly the size quoted in the sale - some will be longer, but most will be shorter. Bead sellers usually quote the largest size in the strand, this is especially true with natural pearls. Under 25% of the pearls in a strand may be the full size quoted. Nuggets, again being natural, will all be different to an average size listed in the sale. Strands of beads are usually 16-inches (400mm) long. Although pearls are normally sold in 15-inch strands and chips in 32-inch strands. A Choker necklace is 16-inches long, a Princess necklace 18-inches, a Matinee necklace 24-inches, Opera necklace 32-inches, and a Mala necklace of 108-beads can be of any length! A bracelet is usually 7-inches and an anklet 9-inches.

Measuring Rings
How to measure your finger
1. Wrap a piece of string or paper strip around the base of your finger.
2. Mark the string or paper where it overlaps to form a complete circle.
3. Measure the length of the section of string or paper where it overlaps around the finger.
4. Compare your measurement with this chart to determine your ring size.
5. Please note: You need to take the knuckle into consideration when sizing. The base of your finger may be smaller then your knuckle. Also wider bands should be sized ½ -1 size larger.

To get your girlfriends ring size, ask to clean her rings the next time your in the mall together. Most jewelry stores will do it for free. Then you can secretly ask the sales person to check the size for you. Or you can slip her ring on your finger and mark the spot it fits. Then measure that spot with the directions above.

To measure a rings for its size, you need to purchase a ring measure like the below (on the HTML version). Just slip the ring over the measure and the size is the middle line.

Special 15% Offer off our Quartz & Coral!

Sample our quartz & coral beads with a 15% discount in our MrBead bead store, just key in "coral" at the checkout (without the inverted commas) and click "Redeem Coupon". Cannot be used with any other coupon.

Offer valid until 5th September only - so act now! Only for use in our store at the checkout and not valid with any other offers.

For all our quartz beads click here For our Coral beads click here For our Bead Measure click here

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