How to Open a CreditCard Merchant Account, Easter Beads, & Diamonds - April's Stone

This month is how to open a credit card merchant account, Easter beads, and April's birthstone diamond. Scroll down, or click a link on the html version.

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To go to the bead store click or Please allow for a slight delay over Easter

How to Open a CreditCard Merchant Account
What's the Difference between a Merchant Account & Paypal?
Easter Beads
Diamonds - April's Gemstone
Man-made Diamonds
Cubic Zirconia
See Us in the UK for a Free Gift!
Special Offer

How to Open a Credit Card Merchant Account

If you don’t accept credit cards directly, you’re losing a lot of sales – fix this problem today!

For sure convenience, nothing beats a credit card merchant account.

Customers spend more with plastic, but sellers are put off because they think it’s too difficult arranging the facility.

If you want to accept cards while you’re selling your jewelry at fairs, then the best place to open a merchant account is with your local bank. They’ll give you the lowest fees and treat your card payments from customers as cash. However, you may not want to approach your bank because you don’t have a business account, your credit rating is low, or you only sell online.

I’ve been accepting cards as payments for over 30-years - but when I started selling online ten years ago, I signed up with MultiCards, see at, because of their ease. I’ve since switched to RBS WorldPay - but MultiCards is good if you think it will be difficult to get a merchant account, especially if you’re selling online. Almost any business is accepted as they protect themselves from chargebacks by retaining a reserve of your cash.

If you have an internet store, these companies will configure your checkout to accept their payment process for you if you can’t do it yourself. As long as your host provides you with a secure server (https), there’s no problem. You can then automatically accept credit cards in real time, in different currencies, 24-7 from anywhere in the world.

However, you can decide whether you need real time processing or you want the software to collect the card holder’s details so you can process the card at a later date (a few hours or a day after the actual order). Real time saves you the extra work and looks professional, but sometimes on a website or online store, you could be losing orders if the card doesn’t authorize immediately. I use both methods on different stores.

Your own merchant account will cost you less than Paypal for larger transactions – ranging from under 1.5% to 5%, depending whether you sell on or off line. If you sell only offline you should rent an electronic terminal (like a large cell phone) that will authorize credit cards in real time and print a customer’s receipt.

To reduce chargebacks, where the customer requests a refund from their bank at your expense, make it clear to the buyer what details will appear on their credit card statement. Often customers forget your name and question the transaction on their card statement which can be up to two-months later. If you’re selling online you may want to refuse credit card orders from certain countries, or if their billing address is different to the mailing address – as these can also lead to chargebacks, from scammers.

What’s the difference between my own merchant account & Paypal?
Paypal is the best system if you think it’s not worthwhile opening a merchant account. It’s easy to join, global, and has hundreds-of-millions of members – see at


Own Merchant Account

Easter Beads

Flower beads are great for the spring - so millefiori is ideal. Choose pastel colors and mix them to make a bright, light, design. Pearls are also very suitable this time of year, along with all types of crystal and jade. These all produce a bright, high-key look. White, yellows, greens and pinks look good, giving a spring-like feel. Colorful seed beads can be used to cover eggs and other objects to give an Easter look. Why not give a loved one a pearl necklace for an Easter present - she will look so good wearing it on Easter Day. Plus, flower bead bracelets and earrings are so easy to make too. Happy Easter!

See all our Flower 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 can’t 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

MrBead's April Bead Fairs

See us in the UK during April at two great bead fairs:

Saturday 17th April 2010 - The Big Bead Show, Sandown Park, Surrey, KT10 9AJ
Sunday 18th April 2010 - Towcester Bead Fair , Towcester Racecourse, Northamptonshire, NN12 6LB

For full details of these and our other UK fairs this year click here. Mention you're a MrBead Newsletter reader, and we'll give you a free gift!

Special $10 or £6 Offer !

Sample our beads with $10 or £6 off any order from our MrBead bead store, just key in "fairs" at the checkout (without the inverted commas) and click "Redeem Coupon".

Offer valid until Friday 2nd April 2010 only - so act now! Only for use in our store at the checkout and not valid with any other offers - or

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