Best Card Dongles, Peridot & Carnelian Beads

To see the web version of this newsletter with photos click

See us next weekend 27th-28th July at Kempton Park Gem n Bead Fair, London. Lots of exhibitors, easy parking and own train station.

Many NEW beads just arrived in the UK in our 800 kg shipment of 37 boxes! Some already listed on our online shop, click New Beads.

The following weekend we’re in Cambridgeshire at Burges Hall Gem ‘n’ Bead Fair, One Leisure, Westwood Rd, St Ives PE27 6WU. Then 10th Aug we’re at Berwick-Upon-Tweed Bead Fair and the next day, 11th Aug in Perth at the Scottish Bead Fair.

For details of our shows booked so far this new year click 2019 Bead Fairs.

For our bead shop click or

Follow Us On Twitter

Tweet a link to this newsletter to all your followers - just click here
Join our 15,500 followers on Twitter!
Follow us on Twitter at MrBead@UKMrBead and follow Nigel at Nigel@NigelMckay

Follow Nigel on his personal site at

Bead Show Report – Early Summer
Best Card Dongles
Peridot – The Cooling Gemstone For August
Norwich Bead Group
Bead Fairs
Join Newsletter
Free Shipping


15% off all orders at the above stores - the more you spend, the more you save! Key CARNELIAN at checkout now, as offer ends Friday 26th July 2019.

No minimum order, but can only for used at or


Norwich Bead Fair – 12th May
Norwich is always busy, and this one didn’t disappoint – although quiet towards the end. We now have more beads on display than ever before, filling the entire hall with The Bead Queen.

Devon Bead Fair – 19th May
Despite moving from the beautiful Exeter Castle to an indoor shopping centre, this was our best Devon Bead Fair ever. Andrew done a great job, even arranging help for us to lug heavy boxes up the steps. We had a huge display with lots of customers and lots of sales!

As usual when we exhibit in the West Country, we stay a few days longer. This time we visited Agatha Chrisie’s home, Greenways – and spent an eveing with Micheal & Sarah from Bead Buyer at the Ship Inn, Teighnmouth.

Kempton Park Gem n Bead Fair – 1st-2nd June
A little disappointing – attendance and takings down. Perhaps four Kempton’s a year is too many? We had a great display that took hours to setup, pity there wasn’t more visitors. We’re back at Kempton this weekend, hope we do better – last July was good.

Cornish Probus Bead Fair – 23rd June
Our best Cornish show so far, and easy to do as we setup the day before this year. Lovely village hall in a beautiful Cornish village.

Takings were helped by two large sales, strangely from customers’ near Liverpool (one flew down)! However, a lot of our regular Cornish customers were too busy in their shops to visit.

We love it in Cornwall though, despite taking 9-hours each way to get there from Norwich. This time we stayed near Pedn Vounder Beach, voted the best in the UK by BBC Radio 2 DJs. Picture is St Michael’s Mount, Marazion. The tractor-boat has been replaced by a fleet these little boats to cross when the causeway is under water.


If you sell jewellery, accepting payments by card is a must. It’s going to take decades for the Government’s aim to eliminate cash, but plastic already accounts to over 60% of all sales. Plus customers’ are likely to spend more if they can’t see the notes!

I’ve become a bit of an expert on credit card dongles. I’ve tried them all – the cheap, pay-as-you-go ones that is. Most cost under £30 for the new customers, and transfer card payments to any bank account in just two-days.

All work very quickly – 3.5 seconds with PIN number or about 3-seconds contactlessly for payments under £30.

The best I now is from iZettle – because it’s so reliable. I take two to every bead fair, one as a backup. Because I once had a problem with the device not working, but only once in over 80 shows.

Sometimes I use another of my backup doungles, like SumUp. The German company offers a beautiful little device, along with exceptional customer service. However, if you insert a card into the reader wrong, it corrupts the device so it can’t read anymore and will only take contactless payments under £30.

The other popular dongle is the US Square. This is a little different as the reader doesn’t has a keyboard, so you need to hand a iPad or phone to the customer to enter their PIN number. Square is the only pay-as-you-go dongle company that allows receipt of payments without actually having the card present. However, I find it very troublesome getting the device to work, and it’s slow to cancel an amount entered wrong.

The only other dongle on the market is from PayPal. I’ve tried two of these a few years ago and they are totally useless. Everything went wrong, both with the device and the software. Although PayPal are fantastic for online payments, they have a lot of work to do with their card readers.


Just the name Peridot sounds summer cooling, and its vivid, shimmering aqua-green colour is the ideal gemstone to complement a light summertime outfit. Peridot goes so well with any light colour, blending subtly to add interest to a design.

Peridot (pronounced pair-a-doe) is the gem variety of olivine, a mineral formed under intense heat. Perhaps named from the French word Peridot, meaning unclear, due to its inclusions and cloudy nature.

Small crystals of peridot are often found in rocks by volcanoes and in meteors. Because the iron which creates the colour is an integral part of its structure, its colour is always green – ranging from transparent lime to olive green. One of the few gemstones of only in one colour.

Peridot has been mined as a gemstone for thousands of years, said to be the favourite gem of Cleopatra, and mentioned in the Bible. In ancient Egypt it was mined at night because legend tells that peridot was hard to see during the day.

Peridot has also been confused with emerald and many jewelers refer to it as “evening emerald”. Peridot was later used to decorate medieval churches, carried back to Europe by the Crusaders, like the huge stones of more than 200 carats in size at Cologne Cathedral.

The gemstone is actually known under three names: Peridot, Chrysolith (derived from the Greek word Goldstone and Olivin, because Peridot is the gemstone variety of the Olivin mineral. In the gemstone trade it is generally called Peridot, a name derived from the Greek Peridona, meaning something like giving plenty.

Peridot is recommended for insomnia, digestive problems and to stimulate the mind. Some say peridot has the power to drive away evil spirits, intensified when the stone is set in gold. And its also said to strengthen the power of any medicine drunk from peridot goblets. Peridot is for people with the star sign of Leo.

Peridot & Pearl Necklace

Peridot & pearl so so well together – teardrops of the moon goddess! This necklace is to inspire what can be done using a combination of different stones.

Blue pearls with vivid green peridot make a striking fresh combination to cool you from the summer heat. Clusters of pale-blue 7mm rice pearls are wrapped with 4mm peridot beads producing this 16″ -18″ long necklace with a lobster clasp.

To see all or peridot beads click or MrBead

Carnelian – another gemstone for August

This flesh-coloured stone comes from the quartz family, and is usually bright orange to reddish orange, translucent to clear. However, it can be other colours like green or yellow.

Carnelian has brought many ancient beliefs, like protection during travel after death and against evil. It is also believed to combat bad tempers. The name comes from the Latin word “Carnis” meaning flesh. The Roman thought that the darker Carnelian represented males and the lighter, females. Many believe that it creates a bond with man and nature.

Carnelian is for confidence. Said to help blood disorders and eliminate toxins from the body. Carnelian is in tune with the energies of the Earth, making you feel comfortable with your environment. Allowing you to pause and reflect, while feeling settled and more secure.

Carnelian stimulates the reproductive organs too; hence its long use as a fertility symbol. It is also said to help creativity and have a clearing effect, replacing negative energy with positive. Making it easier to find direction and feel in control of your life.

A good stone for people starting new projects or who feel they are going nowhere. It motivates, allowing you to find the energy to make the most out of life. Carnelian is best for people with the zodiac sign of Leo, and for those born on a Friday.

See Our Carnelian Beads at or


Everyone should join a beading group, especially if you’re starting out beading.

Covering East Anglia is a group of like minded women (not adverse to men joining the group, but to date have only had one!) who meet once a fortnight at the Methodist Church on Ipswich Road in Norwich, to do anything beady.

Some people enjoy beadweaving, some wirework and others bead embroidery. Some dabble in all three. It is a chance to get together and share ideas etc. For further details contact Karen Jarvis by email at

Bead Fairs