Resources: Bead Library

Bead History
Who Made the First Beads? by Beverly Fernandes
As soon as people started making clothing they had to decorate that clothing. Beads became portable symbols of power, wealth and trophies: The first and most enduring status symbols. ... read this article
Beading Resources
Bead Conversions by Harlequin Beads & Jewelry
This article covers the Number of Beads per Gram, Converting Bead Sizes From Millimeters to Inches, Beads per Inch conversion list and more. ... read this article
Birthstones by Month by Harlequin Beads & Jewelry
A list of birthstones by month. ... read this article
Beading Tools
Pliers and Cutters Part 1 by Beverly Fernandes
A good quality set of pliers will last a lifetime. If they are comfortable they can become unconscious extensions of your hands and a very important investment in your creative endeavors. ... read this article
Pliers and Cutters Part 2 by Beverly Fernandes
In Part 2 of Pliers and Cutters we explore the difference between cutters and pliers as well as the Brown and Sharpe gauge for wire thickness. ... read this article
Bone Beads
History of Bone Beads by Beverly Fernandes
In the "History of Bone Beads" the author explores some the roots of using Bone Beads in jewelry design. ... read this article
Making Bone Beads by Beverly Fernandes
Ever wonder how modern bone beads are created? What animals do they come from? In "Making Bone Beads" The author describes the process of creating bone beads from carcass to necklace. ... read this article
Czech Glass Beads
History of Czech Glass by Beverly Fernandes

Both Bohemia and Venice were a part of the Austrian Empire under Napoleon Bonaparte, but the rivalry never eased. The Venetians developed handmade beads and the Bohemian Czechs specialized in high density pressed glass. The result is a wonderful variety of amazing beads.

... read this article
Making Czech Glass Beads by Beverly Fernandes

Bohemia in the Czech Republic is the perfect environment for making glass beads. It has all the things needed to make beads, including people with the imagination and drive to create machines and molds to make new, innovative shapes and designs in glass beads.

... read this article
Handmade Glass
Faience Beads from Egypt by Beverly Fernandes
Egyptians have been making faience for more than 5,000 years. The process hasn't changed in all that time. It’s a simple process that was perfected early and expanded. ... read this article
Making Glass Beads by Beverly Fernandes
People started making glass beads and bangles as soon as they figured out how to make glass. All it takes is a little sand, and soda and lime. ... read this article
Jewelry Findings
History of Findings by Beverly Fernandes
In "History of Findings" the author explores the origins of Jewelry findings - from the origin of the name "findings" to how jewelers produced these components in the past. ... read this article
Making Findings by Beverly Fernandes
Beading is so much more than beads and string. There is a whole range of items that you will find necessary or at least useful. In this article we explore how findings are produced. ... read this article
Making Wire by Beverly Fernandes
Wire has been used for making ornaments for thousands of years and is an integral part jewelry design. Since wire does not occur naturally, how did early people create it? ... read this article
Gold, Gold fill, and Gold plate by Beverly Fernandes
In this article we explain the differences between “Gold Filled” and “Gold Plated” and describe the process used to create each as well as explore the different colors of gold and how they’re created. ... read this article
Why is it Called Sterling Silver? by Beverly Fernandes
The history and origins of sterling silver are explored in this article. ... read this article
Freshwater Pearls: The Worlds Water Gem by Grace McNabb
This is an informational article on modern pearls. ... read this article
Pearls from Arabia to India and China by Beverly Fernandes
In China the Manchu dynasty preferred freshwater pearls from their ancestral homeland, while in India the men and women of the Mogul Court decked themselves in as many pearls as they could find. ... read this article
Pearls: More Than Meets the Eye by Beverly Fernandes
Only 1 in 10,000 oysters will produce a natural pearl, but Kokichi Mikimoto learned how to entice the oysters into making pearls on demand. ... read this article
The History of Pearls in the Middle East and Europe by Beverly Fernandes
Every culture that has known of pearls valued them. The Greeks and Romans considered them "the tears of water nymphs or angels". In the Middle Ages they were even used in medicines. ... read this article
Seed Beads
How Miyuki Glass Seed Beads Are Made by Caravan Beads and Barry Kahn
In April 2000, the author visited the Miyuki Glass Bead Factory in Japan and shares how Miyuki makes their beautifully consistent seed beads. ... read this article
Miyuki Delica Seed Beads List Sample Card by Beverly Fernandes
This is a sample card for Miyuki size 11 delica seed beads gleaned from several sources and ordered by manufacturer number. ... read this article
Miyuki Round Seed Beads List Sample Card by Beverly Fernandes
This is a sample card for Miyuki size 11 round seed beads gleaned from several sources and ordered by manufacturer number. ... read this article
The Wonderful World of Seed Beads by Harlequin Beads and Jewelry
The term seed bead refers to an entire category of small, usually glass beads that have been used for adornment for over 200 years. This article talks about the history of seed beads. ... read this article
Semiprecious Stone Beads
Alternative Birthstones by Beverly Fernandes
This article explores birthstones and their possible origins with a look at George Kunz's book, The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, which contains much more information than this short article. ... read this article
Amethyst: Royal Purple Quartz of the Ages by Grace McNabb
As the birthstone for February and the gemstone for Pisces, amethyst veils the second month of the year in its purple haze. Read Amethyst: Royal Purple Quartz of the Ages for the full scoop on this beautiful stone. ... read this article
Peridot: The Gem Form of Olivine by Beverly Fernandes
Do you ever wonder where a Peridot Gem-Stone Bead comes from? This article gives you some background on Peridot and its parent, Olivine. ... read this article
Quartz: The Most Common Forms by Beverly Fernandes
Quartz crystals form from one atom of silicon and two atoms of oxygen, it is the most common form of crystal on the earth's surface. In this short article we discuss some common forms of Quartz. ... read this article
Swarovski Crystal Beads
Swarovski History by Beverly Fernandes
Find out about the beginnings of The Swarovski company, makers of the finest lead glass crystal for over 100 years. ... read this article
Swarovski - How Is It Made? by Beverly Fernandes
A secret recipe and the invention of a machine to facet crystal with impeccable accuracy made it possible for Swarovski to make what had been expensive luxury items affordable to nearly everyone. ... read this article
Swarovski Modern Examples by Harlequin Beading Circle
A showcase of some modern Swarovski Crystal Bead Jewelry. ... read this article
Wood Beads
History of Wooden Beads by Beverly Fernandes
Wood beads are found throughout the world, yet there is very little information on their origin. "History of Wooden Beads" provides some background on their history. ... read this article
Making Wooden Beads by Beverly Fernandes
Wooden Beads aren’t difficult to make. You start by gathering twigs and simple tools. In “Making Wooden Beads” we describe how to make your own wood beads from backyard materials. ... read this article

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In Harlequin's bead library you will find information on the history of beads, how beads are made and how beads have been used throughout the world.

Many articles include a bibliography to provide you with additional resources. Many of the beading books referenced are available at your local library.

Contribute to Our Library

If there's a beading topic that you'd like to know more about, or you have ideas for our beading library - we'd love to hear from you. Email us your topic or idea and we'll pass your suggestions along to our writers.

If you've written a beading article yourself that you feel would be a valuable addition to our bead library, we welcome your email, as well.

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Harlequin Beads and Jewelry specializes in Swarovski crystal, pendants and pearls, Czech glass and seed, Japanese seed and gemstone beads, plus a full selection of stringing supplies and jewelry findings.