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Gemstone Beads
Gemstone beads have been a popular item in ancient cultures right up until the present day. Four thousand year old beads of etched carnelian have been found in what is today modern Iraq, and there was a thriving commerce in Indus beads in other regions of West Asia as well. Very few, if any, improvements have been made to the stone bead-making techniques of the Lothal bead makers of India over that multi-millennial period. The beads from this region of India were a popular trade item and have been found in other sites in the middle east as well. Even today, carnelian, jasper and other forms of agate beads are produced in the Gujarat area following the same methods that were used centuries ago.

Many beads that are easily purchasable today are cut and polished out of agate rock, a micro-crystalline form of silica (silica dioxide) that is also known as chalcedony and quartz. The many fantastic patterns and colors of beautiful agate stone collected today occur naturally in pockets of volcanic rock and was mainly formed in very old lava deposits. Siliceous molecules collected over time in these deposits and  successive layering of the variously colored silica solutions created lovely banded patterns. These beautiful bands of varying color can be seen in many of the gemstone beads available today. Thanks to diamond sintered cutting and grinding tools, many lovely agate beads are produced, mainly in China, that can be fashioned into attractive jewelry items. As a bonus, one can create fabulous jewelry by mixing agates with other gemstone beads, or by combining interesting colors and shapes of stone with metal, glass, or ceramic beads. Mexican agate, moss agate, carnelian, Botswana agate, blue lace, and fire agate, are just a few of the many interesting forms of patterned agate stone which is collected throughout the world and fashioned into gorgeous beads.

In an ideal situation, quartz silica will form a six-sided prismatic crystal structure with a six sided pyramid capping each crystal end point. Quartz beads that have mixtures of other minerals, allowing for a wide range of attractive colors, include: citrine, rose quartz, amethyst, jasper, aventurine, tiger's eye, smoky quartz and carnelian. Jasper alone comes in such a large variety of colors and patterns that it is classified under such names as apple jasper, green spot, leopard skin, Picasso, rainbow, sesame, zebra, poppy, ocean and picture jasper; just to name a few.

Opals are another form of silica and are considered a “mineraloid” mainly because it is natural for it to have a water content between 6 to 10% of the total weight of the stone. Most of the world's opal is mined in Australia but African Opal now has a spot in the marketplace as well.

While precious coral is not an item easily found in the marketplace, due to it's rarity and due to international laws banning the harvest of it, natural fossil corals are available and exhibit a beautiful patterning that is spectacular in bead jewelry. Today, amazing fossil coral comes to us from Indonesia and is processed in China to the delight of bead enthusiasts everywhere.

A great range of styles, translucencies and sizes of wholesale gemstone beads are available here at House of Gems, and they run the gamut from clear quartz stones through the entire color rainbow, all the way to beautiful onyx black. While quartz makes up the bulk of the wonderful cross-section of gemstone beads produced today, other precious beads of unique chemical composition are as popular today as they were centuries ago. In this group, beads of spinel, tanzanite, tourmaline, sapphire, emerald, chrysoberyl and topaz are highly prized. These gemstones have unique chemical properties and have been prized for centuries by jewelers and wearers alike, make sure you see our full range of precious stones here at House of Gems. We have a fantastic selection of gemstone beads for wholesale prices!

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