Bead Fairs, Ruby Zoisite & Quartz Beads

To go to the HTML version with a bright new format and colour photos click

Visit us for a free gift: our 2016 UK Bead Fairs. Next 17th April at Norwich.

MrBead UK Spring Bead Fairs
Buying at Bead Fairs
Ruby Zoisite Beads For Love!
Diamond - April's Gemstone
Cubic Zirconia
Quartz Crystal - April's Alternate Gemstone
Discount Coupon - 15% off anything from MrBead
Newsletter Archive

Tweet a link to this newsletter to all your followers - just click here
Follow us on Twitter at MrBead@UKMrBead and Nigel at Nigel@NigelMckay
Follow Nigel at his new site at and comment at his blog here

15% Off Anything from MrBead

Sample our beads with a discount on any order at or

Key code CRYSTALBEADS in the box at checkout to receive 15% off anything in our bead shop. Not valid with any other coupon, discount or eBay.

Use NOW as offer ends Friday 1st April 2016.

MrBead Spring UK Bead Fairs

Visit us in the UK this spring, say you're a MrBead Newsletter reader and receive a free gift and a gold & black MrBead bag!

Sunday 17th April: Norwich MrBead Bead Show, The George Hotel, Arlington Lane, Newmarket Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR2 2DA - 11am to 4pm.
Sunday 24th April: Beads Up North! Haydock Race Course, Newton-le-Willows WA12 0HQ - 10am to 4.30pm.
Saturday 7th May: Kentish Town MrBead Bead Show, Kentish Town Community Centre Main Hall, 17 Busby Place, London NW5 2SP - 11m to 4pm.
Sat & Sun 14th & 15th May: Bath & West gem 'n' Bead Fair, Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 6QN - 10am to 5pm & 10am to 4pm Sun.
Sunday 22nd May: Whetherby Beady Fair, Bramham Hall, Wetherby Racecourse, York Road, Wetherby LS22 5EJ - 10am to 4pm.
Sunday 5th June: Cheshire Bead Fair, Nantwich Civic Hall, Market Street, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 5DG - 10am to 4pm.
Sunday 12th June: Norwich MrBead Bead Show, The George Hotel, Arlington Lane, Newmarket Road, Norwich, Norfolk - NR2 2DA 11am to 4pm.

Full list of: our 2016 UK Bead Fairs
See a video of some of our past bead fairs

Buying at Bead Fairs

There’s no business like show business - bead shows are a blast! But they can also be treacherous territory for first timers, compulsive shoppers, and anyone who hasn’t been working out at the gym.

In the UK, wholesale and retail bead fairs are combined, so anyone can buy wholesale. In the US, there are two kinds of bead shows: wholesale and retail. You will need the right credentials to get into the wholesale shows, where really big bead vendors and importers exhibit. In the States, make sure you bring photo ID and at least one copy of your resale license so you can register for wholesale.

UK and American retail shows are made up of mostly smaller exhibitors, typically very varied. Selling loose and strand beads, one-of-a-kind readymade jewellery, antique, and other specialty items like bead books, storage boxes, and accessories. Most shows will charge a small entrance fee, usually reduced or free for toddlers.

If you haven’t been to the gym lately, have a good sleep the day before. You’ll need a lot of energy to walk the entire floor! Take some sort of trolley bag so you don’t get tired huffing bags of heavy beads around all day. You’ll also need a pen and paper for notes. Grab a map or list of exhibiters before you go in, you will need this to organize the best places to buy from. Some buyers like to bring some of their own beads to match colours and shapes. It's easy to imagine a design if you can get the colours right, and you may even get a few new ideas to use.

Take Time
When you enter the show you’ll see rows and rows of bead vendors, all sitting next to one another in little booths or behind tables. Some of the larger exhibitors rent many booths making a huge presence - but don’t miss out on the little sellers, they often feature handmade items you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll probably be overwhelmed at the variety of things to buy. So walk the entire show before you get anything.

Each exhibitor has name or a number which you can write down so you can revisit. Use a pen to circle those vendors you know you don’t want to miss and later beeline to them first. If you're with a friend, it’s a good idea to walk the show solo so you don’t waste time lingering at booths you’re not interested with – you can meet up for a drink later, compare the bargains found, and scope out items you may have missed. Keep moving to stay focused and get through the show faster. After seeing all the stalls, sit down and go through your list. Get yourself some lunch and a drink.

If you’re a compulsive shopper, make a list of things you need before you go. This prevents getting home to find you’ve spent good money on something you already have. Bring cash, as many exhibitors won’t take credit cards and you are less likely to get carried away with “real money”! Especially at some UK venues where the phone network is bad - taking a lot longer to process a card. Give yourself a budget and withdraw small notes, as many vendors run out of change. Stop spending when you run out.

If you intend to buy a lot of beads at a fair, it’s a good idea to call your credit card companies to let them know, especially if you are going to a show in another country. This saves the inconvenience of having payments declined. When there are charges on your card from many different cities and/or countries in a short amount of time it looks like fraud. If you are going to another country, make sure you bring a calculator to convert prices to the currency you understand best.

Talk to the vendors to educate yourself. It will help you make better choices, curbing your natural tendency to buy on impulse. Some sellers with online stores may offer discount codes to use on their website within a few days of the show - these are always worthwhile making a note, plus you can choose leisurely when you get home. Keep exhibiters business cards and leaflets together in one bag so they don't get lost - or if you buy, keep in the bag with the purchase.

Many shows offer beading classes. These workshops are a great way to learn techniques and projects you might not encounter in your home town. Bead fairs are also a great place to stock up on bead books, threads, boxes, and other bead accessories which are hard to find elsewhere. You can find where the shows are by Googling in your area - key “bead fair” or bead shows” + your location over say 100-miles. However, be prepared to travel, as the best shows are likely to be miles away. Especially in Britain where there is a shortage of bead shows, although more are being organized every year. If you can't find a bead-only show, then go to a craft fair with bead exhibiters.

Keep receipts in the same bag as the beads you buy, so you know how much they cost when you get home. It’s also a good idea to take a large felt-tip pen to write the price directly on the bag yourself – this is especially useful if you are in a country where you don’t understand the writing. If you are flying home and are worried about being overweight, bring a lot as hand luggage. Wholesale beads will be very heavy, but not bulky: carry-on bags don’t get weighed at some airport!

In the US
If you are buying wholesale in the States, get your resale number printed on business cards with all your contact information to leave with merchants so you don’t have to wait while they copying everything down. To make sure you always have a copy of your resale license, shrink a copy down to a size that can fit in your wallet, and have it laminated.

Best Shows The largest bead show in the world is in Tucson, Arizona, every February. In the UK the largest bead show is The Big Bead Show at Sandown Park, West London. For the best list of British bead fairs click UK Bead Shows. One of the largest craft shows with bead merchants in the UK is in London every October: Knitting & Stiching Show - MrBead will be there over the five-days.

See Us In the UK For a Free Gift!

  After being shut away in a little office answering e-mails, we love to see customers!

Visit us in the UK and say you're a MrBead Newsletter reader, and we'll give you a MrBead bag & a free gift! Our 2016 UK Bead Fairs Ruby Zoisite is a creative stone, its energy coming from the red and green colors. In the chakra system red relates to creativity and sexuality, and green is associated with healing, balancing, and abundance.

By itself, ruby is associated with passion. It can bring anger to the surface, and will amplify any emotion. Zoisite provides a natural medium for softening ruby's qualities. Its green cools and stabilizes. This is very valuable when passion seems overwhelming, and ruby in zoisite is excellent for healing a broken heart and reducing obsessive feelings about another person.

It can also be very helpful for creative energies. Often our ideas swirl around in our heads, never quite reaching realization. What is needed in such cases is some stabilizing energy, which zoisite provides. Ruby zoisite has become more popular. This may indication that more people are ready to have relationships which heal, not hurt, and to be more expressive of their innate creativity.

See our ruby zoisite beads at or

Diamond April's Gemstone

April's birthstone is the diamond. Diamonds are a wonder of nature. Their cold sparkling fire has held us spell-bound for centuries with myths of romance, power, greed, and magic. Ancient Hindus, finding diamonds washed out of the ground after thunderstorms, believed they were created by lightning bolts. Today, the diamond is a symbol of enduring love.

Diamonds are the rich cousins of graphite, both crystalline forms of pure carbon. The enormous difference in their properties is a result of the way that carbon atoms are bonded together. In graphite, carbon atoms are arranged in sheets that easily slide past each other, making them ideal as lubricants. Diamond crystals, are a tight-fisted network of carbon atoms securely held in four directions, making it the hardest naturally-occurring substance.

Man-made Diamonds

Up until a few years ago De Beers controlled all the worlds diamonds - by stockpiling tons at a time, they greatly increased the value of a relatively-common crystallized rock.

However, it is now possible to artificially grow diamonds, the same way they are formed over millions of years. Using high-pressure and high-temperature in crystal growth chambers, the size of a washing machine. Within each chamber, a tiny sliver of natural diamond is bathed in a molten solution of graphite and a metal-based catalyst at approximately 1,500 C. Slowly, carbon precipitates onto the diamond seed crystal. A gem-quality, 2.8-carat rough yellow diamond grows in just under three-and-a-half days. This can then be cut and polished to give a gem larger than 1.5 carats. (One-half carat is equal to 100 mg of diamond about the size of a kernel of corn.).

To say these cultured stones are not real diamond is false. Chemically they are identical to mined diamonds, but they do have different growth patterns and a lack of inclusions that would draw suspicions to a qualified a jeweler. However, those bits of minerals that are enclosed in a natural diamond as its forms are regarded as flaws; a lack of inclusions is actually a good thing. For a jeweler to tell for sure, De Beers has designed a machine for around $10,000.

Cubic Zirconia

A much cheaper way of making a stone that looks like diamond was created by Russian scientists. Cubic Zirconia is a dense clear material through which laser light can be reflected. When melted at high-temperature and an incredibly-high electrical current sent through it, the compound crystallizes, forming chunks similar to rough diamonds, which are then be cut and polished to exact specifications.

Using the naked eye, even a trained jeweler cant detect the difference between good cubic zirconia, genuine or cultured diamonds. And even diamond experts have been fooled between cubic zirconia and a five-million-dollar diamond - concluding that both were fakes! All are fully faceted, cut and polished the same.

To see our cubic zirconia rings click or

Quartz Crystal - April's Alternate Gemstone

Diamonds are too expensive for most to make jewellery, but a gemstone with similar charectristics for April is quartz crystal.

The Mayans, Druid priests, and Tibetan monks all knew the spiritual power of crystal. The ancients used it to strengthen the sun’s rays to bring heat, and the Chinese science of feng-shui 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. And many people 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 colour 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 lavender and blue-violet are calming stones.

Pure rock crystal is clear, but usually quart comes in a variety of opacity. Milky quartz is cloudy because of microscopic inclusions of fluid embodied in the crystal at the start of its life - creating an attractive effect of a crystal within a crystal, giving the interior a ghostly appearance. Smoky Quartz is caused by natural radiation from nearby granite rocks which have a small amount of radioactivity.

See our crystal beads at or
Our quartz beads at or

15% Off Anything from MrBead

Sample our beads with a discount on any order at or

Key code CRYSTALBEADS in the box at checkout to receive 15% off anything in our bead shop. Not valid with any other coupon, discount or eBay.

Use NOW as offer ends Friday 1st April 2016.

Old Newsletters - 11 Years of MrBead

2005 to 2016: Click for the Archive