New Beads in China, Findings & Thai Silver

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We bought lots of new beads in China. You’ll see some at Harrogate, Kempton and Norwich – but most won’t arrive for a few months. Especially as the virus may holdup our container.

See us weekend 22nd-23rd Feb at Harrogate Gem n Bead Fair , or the following weekend in London at Kempton Park Gem n Bead Fair. Then we’re at Norwich Bead Fair, Sunday 8th March.

Shows booked so far next year, click 2020 Bead Fairs. First of 2020: Harrogate Gem n Bead 22nd-23rd February.

For our bead shop click or

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New Beads in China
Findings Make the Jewellery!
Thai Hill Tribe Silver
2020 Monthly Bead Planner
Early 2020 Bead Fairs
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To get the discount off anything in our online stores, Key FINDINGS at checkout now, as offer ends Friday 14th February 2020.

Minimum order £5 or $6, and can only for used at or

New Beads In China

We sent 30 boxes of 718 kgms of new beads from China. Some will will be available in Harrogate and Kempton as we air-mailed or carried 50 kgms – but most won’t be online for a few months. Especially as Chinese New Year and the virus in China will holdup our container leaving.

MiMi and I spent a full week buying from 11am to 7pm every day. Usual speed of 100 kgms a day – although I haste to add, we do look for quality rather than quantity! It’s hard work, but fun eating out in the evenings.

Just before Chinese New Year, many shops sell expensive beads at a fraction of their usual price. The Chinese way is to de-clutter before the holiday – to make way for fresh stock in the new year. So we took advantage of this buying a lot more large semi-precious beads, and will pass the saving on to our customers. However, it could be a couple of months before these arrive in the UK.

As for the coronavirus – it’s been hyped out of all context by Western media. My Mum and friends are terrified, some avoiding seeing us for 2-weeks!

Reality is, the virus is relatively rare – more people wearing masks, otherwise no problem. When we were in Hong Kong only 8 people had the virus, so that’s less than one-in-a-million – and even if caught, it’s just like flue, only fatal to 2.7%. And 500 deaths in Mainland China is only one in 3.2-million people!

However, the real problem is it’s so contagious. There are already 3 people infected in the UK – so when it gets to 8, maybe UK citizens here will have to cancel their holidays, they could close the borders!


Findings are essential for creating jewellery, but it’s easy to forget about them when you ‘re shopping for beads. Jewellery without findings is dull, like a film with no music. Finding also save you money, making semi-precious beads go a lot further.

Findings enhance and bring beads to life, without drawing too much attention to themselves.

You need wires to string the beads onto, whether they are flexible beading wire or rigid. Items made with flexible wires will need crimp beads to secure the ends, and you’ll want ear wires if you want to make earrings.

You’ll also need a clasp to create necklaces or bracelets, and jump rings to attach those clasps. Toggle clasps are the easiest, but you can also use spring ring or lobster claw clasps if you want an adjustable length necklace. Spacers are useful to both add-design and to economize on the beads used in a project.

Spacer beads vary greatly in size, thickness, and shape so you can dramatically alter the style of your necklace by exchanging the metal beads. They are excellent to add a ‘sliver of metallic flash’ – while larger beads (often called Bali Beads) may be fancy enough to function as the focal beads in your designs.

You could create beaded jewellery without any metal beads, but they will help your jewellery appear more professional. Try using small 925 gothic spacers in between colorful single beads for a classy effect, and and cone or dome-shaped ones called bead caps are great for topping off a drop.

At MrBead we stock over 100 different spacer beads. Most of these are what is known as ‘Tibetan Silver’, a more affordable and flexible material than pure silver. However, we also have many Thai Hill Tribe Silver spacers – these are 97.5 to 99% silver.

To see all our findings & spacers click
Catches & clasps at
Our beading threads & wires at


Over 100 years ago, Chinese hill tribes migrated south into Northern Thailand.

These poor nomadic farmers used elephants to clear the jungle and quickly took to growing opium, rotating their crops every few years. The largest of these, the Karen Hill Tribe, still live in bamboo huts built on stilts.

In the 1960’s, the King of Thailand tried to discourage drugs by helping the Karen develop an alternative income.

Royal silversmiths taught them to design and make jewelry using high-content silver. They learned to create unique designs reflecting their own culture. Today, the skills are passed on to the next generation who specialize making silver engraved with plants, animals, and other geometric designs.

These hand-crafted Thai spacers have a high-silver content and are of a better quality than our other metal beads. Use them to enhance your best designs. Size as quoted – but please note that some are tiny, so we advise handling these with tweezers.

Thai Silver Purity
Thai Hill Tribe Silver is 97.5-99% pure silver. Sterling 925 silver is only 92.5% pure. The high silver content of Thai silver makes it softer than Sterling, but it doesn’t tarnish as easy as Sterling silver which has copper added.

Obviously, this extra purity makes the silver slightly more expensive than 925.

See Our Thai Silver at



Then save to your Desktop so you can easily find it. This planner will help you organize your beading projects and craft fairs in 2020. Print it out and write your schedule and bookings in the date boxes. It lists the gemstone of the month and 2020 bead fairs to help you plan ahead. The planner comes in PDF format which is the most popular for e-books because it can be read using ANY computer or operating system. Over 99% of computers have a PDF reader installed, but if you need one the Abode Reader is free here.


To get the discount off anything in our online stores, Key FINDINGS at checkout now, as offer ends Friday 14th February 2020.

Minimum order £5 or $6, and can only for used at or


Shows booked so far next year, click Bead Fairs 2020

Beads Up North!

Discounted online tickets for Beads Up North! On Sunday 26th April 2020, at Haydock Racecourse, will be on sale soon. A show not to be be missed, combined with Lace & Textiles. Full details at Beads Up North!


Key code FREEPOST anytime on UK orders over £30 for free shipping at

See our beads at or


2005 TO 2020

April 2020 is the 15th full year of the MrBead newsletters, and I thank you all for such enthusiastic comments and appreciation. To see the past newsletters click here.

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