Winter Beads, Italian Jewellery, Christmas & Turquoise

To see the web version of this newsletter with photos click

With no more bead fairs this year, beaders must order supplies online. I know many jewellery makers like to feel and view their beads, but the internet is very convenient.

MrBead offers a no question refund policy on all returns – so you have nothing to loose! See our new online shop at:


Winter Beads
Italian Jewellery & Bead Shops
Christmas Jewellery
Turquoise – December’s Gemstone
New MrBead Shop
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Try the new shop with 15% off all orders over £20. Shipping is free too on orders over £30 – under this UK P&P is just £2.50. International shipping from £5.

Can only be used at the NEW shop & not with any other coupon. To get the discount Key WINTER at checkout now, as offer ends Friday 27th November 2020. Use at


All UK orders over £30 are always free post. For free worldwide shipping with minimum £30 international – about US$40 (saving you £5). Enter TURQUOISE in the box at checkout and click “Redeem Coupon”. Use NOW – as expires Friday 27th November 2020.

Only at and not with any other discount.


Winter is a magical time: fairytale white trees and cozy log-fires. A season of presents, snow and long evenings, give a sense of contentment and happiness.

Jewellery designs trend towards the beauty of nature: hanging icicles, sunny frozen lakes, torrential rain, and of course snowflakes. Think back in time, think outside.

Darker colour beads are suitable. Like garnet, that’s the gem for January – and amethyst, which is the stone for February. Pearl and mother-of-pearl can also be used this time of year.

Our Pearl Beads, Garnet Beads and Amethyst Beads


Italian Design
Italian Style is more than a nostalgic myth. From the cradle of the Renaissance in 14th-Century Florence – to Venetian trade beads expanding to huge production on Murano Island in the 16th century.

However, it wasn’t until the 1950’s that Italian design become internationally popular – with people like Giovanni Battista Giorgini, who saw the opportunity of intentional marketing for his clothes.

Italians have always been stylish. It’s nothing to do with money. Even today you can see old people in the poorest villages, beautifully dressed – something that is now lost in most countries.

Italian men are masters of prezzatura. This is the art of making difficult things look easy. To appear uncalculated. Like an Italian gent looking as if he’s thrown his jacket casually on, after hours of rearranging in the mirror.

This art is what makes Italian products look so stylish. Italian designers apply prezzatura to everything. Like mixing contrasting textures in a shirt and blazer. Murano glass beads ooze prezzatura.

You too can learn from this style in your jewellery designs. Like Italian food, keep things simple. Don’t overcomplicate your arrangements. Customer’s love bold ‘clean’ jewellery that portrays an uncomplicated effortless design.

Italy oozes style. MiMi and I spent a week in Sicily last month, there are bead shops everywhere. However, lots display ‘simple’ beads, with few semi precious.

Italian Letter-Bead Bracelets
This guy in Sicily (click above link to see picture on the web version), was making name bracelets while-you-wait. These are inexpensive and very easy for anyone to craft.

Click To See Our Letter Beads

Simple Chip Necklace
Another easy-to-make project, especially for new beaders, is the Chip Necklace. Simple and cheap to create, but looks stunning.

However, you need to re-string our chip beads, re-arrange, and add a catch. As they’re supplied on a temporary string – which is not really strong enough for a necklace.

Click for our Chip Beads


Beaded jewellery makes great presents. Small and light, simple to mail or tucked in a stocking. It’s also personal and easy to remember who the gift came from. You can even hang jewellery on the Christmas tree!

Boxed necklaces with matching earring sets make great presents and easy to wrap. Offer your customers free gift wrapping and mailing.

For personal gifts buy ready-made jewellery online, requesting your supplier to mail direct with no invoice and a happy Christmas note.

December is the peak retail season, when many stores take one-third of their entire year’s sales. After the lockdown is will be mad. So ensure you make lots of quality necklaces and bracelets well in advance. Give away as presents if they don’t all sell.

Turquoise is the gemstone for December, but pearls make ideal Christmas presents too – try combining the two or mixing pearls with silver. All give an air of sophisticated quality.

To read about pearls and how to make a pearl necklace click here
Save time making, buy our ready-made necklaces, bracelets or rings as presents - click Ready-Made Jewellery


Turquoise: Colour of Summer In the Gem For December

For selling, turquoise is similar to jade and pearl for the same reasons. Everyone appreciates them, and the gem always looks good however it’s used. Turquoise is the birthstone for December.

What is turquoise?
Turquoise is a soft, opaque gemstone, formed by volcanic rock reacting to copper deposits brought by water. Colour ranges from blue-green, to yellow-green with grey, black or brown veining.

Reconstituted Turquoise
Most non-green turquoise these days is dyed. Don’t believe otherwise! It’s easy to tell if turquoise is 100% natural: it will cost over £30 a string.

Therefore, unless you sell your jewellery upmarket, you’ll be using reconstituted turquoise. This is usual, crafted from real turquoise chips fused with other stones to make affordable. Another cost-cutter is to use howlite.

Howlite Beads
Howlite, named after the Nova Scotia geologist, Henry How, is formed in nodules with veins of black web-like streaks. It’s always white or grey, but commonly dyed blue.

Howlite’s main fame is to imitate turquoise. This is nothing wrong, because it makes an affordable substitute. It accepts a nice polish with attractive lustre, and has similar benefits to turquoise. A simple and gentle stone that aids sleep.

Turquoise has been found in 5,000-year-old Egyptian tombs and the Tibetans used to use it as currency. Most turquoise today originates from Burma and is carved in China. Turquoise didn’t reach Europe until the crusades when the name originated, meaning “Turkish stone”.

Ancient doctors thought turquoise prevented injury and ground it into a powder to cure stomach disorders and internal bleeding!

Turquoise has always been used to protect the wearer from danger, attract wealth, and warn as a talisman or good luck charm.

Some believe it will fade when danger or illness is near, or a lover is unfaithful. It’s also said to protect against pollution and strengthen the body.

Looking After
Turquoise is porous, so protect from liquids, oils, and perspiration. This is why it’s often impregnated with plastic, colourless oil or wax, to improve colour and durability. Take turquoise jewellery off before washing. Untreated turquoise will eventually turn green.

MrBead has a lot of turquoise, see at Turquoise Beads


If you haven't visited our new bead shop yet, go to

Simplified Shipping
Everyone hates paying shipping! So the new shop has a flat rate of £2.50 for UK orders under £30, then FREE. No need for any code. International shipping from £4.99 – click for details here.

New Order Facilities

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Try the new shop with 15% off all orders over £20. Shipping is free too on orders over £30 – under this UK P&P is just £2.50. International shipping from £5.

Can only be used at the NEW shop & not with any other coupon. To get the discount Key WINTER at checkout now, as offer ends Friday 27th November 2020.


To see all old newsletters click here