I love making jewelry and I have a wide variety of beads and tools at my disposal. My specialty is designing earrings, which I have been fortunate to sell in four different stores.
My local Joann fabric and crafts store sells a wide variety of Beaders Paradise beads, and I've even seen these at Walmart and Fred Meyer stores from time to time.
The beads I am reviewing are the Beaders Paradise Amethyst Semi-Precious Chips, which come in a small narrow tube (think test tube), that weighs 24 grams. The tube is clear so you can easily see what the chips of beads look like, which are a lovely lavender color.
When making a necklace, bracelet or earrings that I want to loo uniform, I don't use these beads. As noted, they are chips, and they actually look like large pieces of crushed ice or small rocks. You can tell they are actual pieces of amethyst, and the holes are large enough that you can use jewelry wire or head pins when threading these chips.
Sometimes I like to make a piece of jewelry that combines a lot of different textures and shapes, and that is where these chips really shine! When threaded onto a jewelry wire it's nice to clump several of them, then place other spacer beads between those sections of amethyst chips. The chips are very irregular in shape and you can really play around with them when designing jewelry. I really like to pair the amethyst chips with silver colored beads, the combination is striking!
I've threaded these chips onto an elastic beading thread to make a bracelet, but I feel some of the chips are too sharp and aren't comfortable on the wrist.
Dangle earrings are easy to make by simply placing five or six of the chips onto a head pin, then connect that to an earring wire. The look is kind of funky and many women like this style of jewelry. This is an easy way to use these beads and they make an inexpensive pair of earrings, while still boasting they are made with genuine semi-precious stones. Since the stones are irregular in shape you have to play around with the placement of the chips so that both of your earrings are the same length.
These tubes can be purchased for around $3, which is a good price, and you can mix them with other semi-precious stones.
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