Bead Questions answered
Why are smaller gemstone beads more expensive?
A better quality rough gemstone material needs to be used and a more experienced cutter is required to cut smaller stones.
What is Swarovski?
Swarovski is the brand name for a range of cut crystal beads made in Austria.
What is AB?
When a bead is labelled AB they have been coated (usually only on one side) which enhances the colour and sparkle and creates a rainbow effect.
What is an Alloy?
An alloy is a metal made from two or more different metals that have been melted and combined; for example, brass is the name for the alloy of copper and zinc.
What is Annealing?
Annealing is the process when a metal or glass is heated and then cooled slowly to make it stronger or more pliable.
What is Cinnabar?
Cinnabar is the soft stone composed of mercury sulphide and is bright or brick red in colour. It is often heavily carved but most available on the market today is synthetic (due to the Mercury levels).
What is Dichroic Glass?
Dichroic glass is made when different metal vapours are applied to the glass in extremely thin layers; up to 200 layers can be applied, with a total thickness of less than one thousandth of a millimetre. Dichroic glass has a distinctive look as it is very colourful and the colours change when viewed at different angles.
What is Obsidian?
Obsidian is a naturally occurring glass, formed from volcanoes; be aware that some manmade glass beads are called obsidian.
What is Oxidised?
Oxidised is the natural chemical process when oxygen atoms bond with the atoms of metals to produce a different chemical compound. Oxidised Silver is also known as tarnished.
Onyx when it is dug up normally has white streaks in the stone (This is the natural form in which black onyx is found). Black agate is agate that is dyed black. Onyx has a higher density than Agate.Both are fibrous Chalcedony and belong to the quartz family. Both are dyed, so basically they are the same. Only testing by a Gemologist can tell you with certainty whether a stone is black onyx or black agate.
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