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How Round Gemstone Beads Are Made

The two main reasons why gemstones vary in price are their relative rarity and quality. We pay more if the gemstones are much less common like alexandrite.  Or if their color is particularly desirable - watermelon tourmaline comes to mind. Whether or not there are a lot of impurities or inclusions is another factor.

Then there is their preparation from rough rock to finished gemstone. We begin to appreciate the cost when we see how much work goes into making round gemstone beads.  No faceting. Just plain round beads.

Shown here is a video from Cherry Tree Beads taken during a trip to China earlier this year.

This work was accomplished with power equipment.  Can you imagine how painstaking it must have been centuries ago when everything was done by hand?

H/T Iguana Beads on Facebook

Before You Go:

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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  1. Wow, fascinating. Thanks, Pearl, for posting this.

  2. I watched this video when they sent it around in a promo email earlier this year (I am a semi-frequent customer). It was amazing to me how many specialized machines they have for this process. It also helped me understand why sometimes the holes don't line up all that well.

  3. I love all kinds of gemstones and have always wondered how they did this. It's absolutely fascinating and explains a lot.
    For me it's always a challenge to decide which beads to go for. The round or the square or the semi-imperfect.
    If I worked in this industry I know I'd have a huge pile of my favourite beads stashed away. Wouldn't you?

  4. Really interesting. Never even imagined how they did it. I never could envision one persson sitting there with a drill and working on a bead. Isn't mechanism wonderful.

  5. A very educational video and what an interesting equipment they've got! I wonder since when this process has been engineered?

  6. very interesting! my beadie-brain is wondering how many beads (on average) they get from one of those large stones. *** rubbing my hands together in anticipation*** :)

  7. I'd love to go to a factory to see the process of making beads, but this helps realize how long one little bead we use in our creation has traveled to end up with us. Thanks for posting.


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