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New Arrivals 2012

Notes on 2012 New Bead Arrivals

            John’s annual January and February buying trip to bead, rock and jewelry shows in Quartzite and Tucson, Arizona is typically the time of our biggest annual new additions.  (There are also side trips to the largest used book sale in the country at Phoenix, pottery purchases at Gallup and Albuquerque and more bead and jewelry purchases in California.)  Although the economy has affected the shows at Tucson, there were still 48 different shows over three weeks comprising the largest rock, gem, mineral, fossil and bead extravaganza in the world.   Many of the major exhibitors start calling John in advance of the actual shows and began shipping things to us as early as December of 2011.  In early March 2012 we were awaiting the last four pallets of merchandise that came from these shows.  The volume of beads purchased is so large that we are still checking in and putting out new items throughout March, April and May. 

            Despite what John considered the weakest show in the last 18 years, he still managed to find things that we did not already have – from more costly andalusite to very affordable metallized plastic. If you are in the store, look for the “NEW” tags that are placed on all of the new additions to help keep them from getting lost amidst the largest retail stone bead selection in the United States.  (Wholesale discounts are also available to our many designer and small store customers.)  Besides the “NEW” tags when in the store, you may also refer to this list which tries to touch on all of the major new bead additions.  We will continue to update this list as more new merchandise reaches our shelves.

Beads (Plus Selected Stones and Stone Jewelry)

Abalone – There are new strands of chunks both the regular and the red colored abalone in the pearl/coral, shell room.

Agate – We added a lot of new faceted 8mm rounds that are predominately brown.  There are also new flat and rounded drop shapes in gray or lined gray beads.

Agate, Banded – the new 8mm rounds have some black and white bands in the predominately translucent gray beads, but some of the lines look more like splotches.  The appearance is odd but striking.

Agate, Black – Remember that black agate and black onyx are identical.  We still have things filed in both categories.  This year we purchased new small drop shapes.

Agate, Black Line – We are always attracted to this stone.  There are few shapes that we don’t already have, but this year we did find some very large faceted rounds that were worth adding to our selection.

Agate, Crazy Lace – We have always loved the patterns in this stone.  If you liked the traditional Mexican crazy lace agate that has been around for a long time, take a look at the new striking Australian variety.  Some of the beads have a more yellow cast than the typical grays from Mexico.  We added several different sized ovals plus some small coin shapes that are quite beautiful.

Agate, Crazy Moss – This is the first year for us to stock this stone.  It is mainly grayish with a greenish cast and some agate like patterns.  The patterning is less defined than the sharp lines in crazy lace agate. There are also a few tan to brown beads.  We have started with some basic 4mm rounds.

Agate, Gray Lined – We added slabs that are drilled across the top of this agate geode material.  Some have quartz crystal centers, but most are banded gray agate.  Another hank is more like Botswana agate with a much greater amount of clear quartz.

Agate, Laguna Lace – People have been dyeing this stone for striking colorful turquoise, green and purple beads, but what we love best is the wonderful irregular banded patterns in the natural stone.  Grays predominate, but there are ivories, tans and striking reds too.  The strands of large freeform slabs are one of few ones that we think you must simply come see.  Each bead is a little work of art.  We’ll probably break up a strand or two for those of you only wanting to buy one as a necklace center piece.

Amethyst – We can never pass by attractive deep purple amethyst beads.  This year among the new finds were some gorgeous tiny 2-3mm faceted rounds.  While small transparent colored beads are usually pale because they are thin, these are a surprisingly deep purple for their size.  We also added some deep purple small nuggets.

Amethyst, Green – When amethyst is heated, it usually turns to golden citrine, but occasionally a green stone is produced.  Thus the stone is sometimes called “Greened” Amethyst.  Prasiolite is the best name for this stone, since amethyst is purple, not green, but the bead and jewelry trade sticks with the term green amethyst.  Regardless of the proper name, we have been adding more and more of this beautiful transparent stone in the last three years.  We continue to expand our faceted briolettes but this year added more things like faceted oval beads and faceted rondelles.  For the first time ever we bought large smooth polished nuggets.

Andalusite – While we usually see very little andalusite, this year we added more than ever before  If you have a thing for browns or sometimes browns with a hint of green or red, ask at the front counter to see the new large faceted rondelles or the many gorgeous tiny new briolettes.  There are also small faceted ovals.

Apatite – New additions this year include more 4 and 6mm rounds in a gorgeous blue.  Note that apatite beads can be yellow and green as well.

Aquamarine - With over 1000 strands of aquamarine one would think that we couldn’t find anything new.

Nonetheless, John found some interesting faceted rondelles of moss aquamarine in a couple different sizes.  And then there are two strands of large faceted graduated blue rondelles that are prestrung as necklaces.  These are hung at the front with the precious beads because we assume most people will want to crate their own design when spending over $150 for a strand of beads.  (One strand is near 400 carats and the other is over 500 carats.)  If you are interested in other finished pieces of aquamarine jewelry, check out the new pendants, bracelets and necklaces in our jewelry section.

Aventurine, Green – There are huge differences in the appearance of green aventurine.  It can be light or dark.  The glittering mica or other inclusions can be striking or barely discernable.  This year to our collection of several thousand strands we added a twisted rectangular shape in both a dark and a light green.

Aventurine, Red – This stone is also called peach or apricot aventurine which describes the color better than “red”.  With a huge selection already, it took an unusual shape to catch our eye.  We added strands of a rectangular donut shape plus a diamond with twist.

Aventurine, Multi-color Indian – We only added one new shapeto our existing stock - a larger size coin.  The inner sparkles within the green and golden to reddish brown beads are especially strong.

Beryl – The beryl family includes emerald, aquamarine, morganite, heliodor and goshenite.  All of these are chemically the same material but colored by different impurities – chromium for green emerald, iron for blue-green aquamarine, iron again for yellow heliodor and manganese for pink morganite.  Occasionally Indian supplier offer multi-colored strands of beryl including several of the varieties.  This year we added a hank of hand-cut faceted rondelles including aquamarine, heliodor and a little light morganite and some stones so pale we’d call them clear goshenite.  The strands are priced $18 and are hung at the front by most of our other emerald, aquamarine and morganite. 

Bloodstone, African – We can always use more 4mm rounds of almost any stone.  That is all we added this year in the African Bloodstone.  Remember that it is more dark gray to almost black with dark red spots.  The Indian Bloodstone is much greener with red spots.  (For other bloodstones, also see Jasper, Dragonblood.)

Bone - We added in small quantities many different designs of carved bone beads this year.  Also we purchased a large number of strands of simple rounds that are about 8mm in size.

Bronzite – Imagine metallic silvery glints or sheen but in brown, not silver or gold and you can come close to the look of what you see in good bronzite.  In nature, the material starts out as hypersthene (which exhibits a fantastic dark silvery sheen) but over time in the earth, hypersthene weathers and turns into bronzite.   We added more small ovals this year.

Butterflies – No, there is not a new stone at Von’s called Butterfly Jasper, but we did add carved butterfly shape beads in new “jade”, yellow quartz and synthetic “turquoise”.  We think they make a nice addition to our leaf and flower shapes.

Carnelian – New this year are some unusually even, bright and deep colored faceted rondelles.  They are hung at the front by the precious stones.  While the rondelles are spectacularly orange, there are new tongue shaped drops that are lighter and could equally well have been just called agate

Chrysoprase – This beautiful green chalcedony variety of quartz usually comes from the nickel belt in Australia.  To the three hundred or so strands we already have, we added only a couple strands of faceted tear drops that are specially priced and up near the front counter rather than with the budget ones hanging alphabetically on the wall.

Cloisonné – While we are always looking for new stones and new shapes, there is still a place for classic beads such as cloisonné tubes and rounds.  This year we added more 5 or 6mm rounds in several colors - predominately red, black, white, royal blue or turquoise blue.  We also added tubes in the same five colors.   All have decorative flower-like designs.

Cuprite - We have never before had any beads or jewelry that were cuprite.  Naturally when John saw something we didn’t have, we had to add it to our collection.  The only cuprite with which we were familiar was the red veins in some chrysocolla.  The beads are a deep red to red brown and brown. All we found were a couple strands of 8mm rounds.

Dice – This is a shape, not a stone.  Cubes drilled diagonally through opposite corner points are dice beads.  This year we made the largest purchase ever of  this shape in a variety of sizes.  Although some shapes are hung separately on the wall (crosses, flowers, peace signs, skulls,…) the dice shape beads will be filed alphabetically with the specific stone from which the beads are made.  New additions include agate, crazy lace agate, moss agate, aventurine, black stone, carnelian, fluorite, goldstone, purple goldstone,  new “jade”, olive “jade”, yellow “jade”, mookaite jasper, picture jasper, Chinese picture jasper, poppy jasper, red jasper, silver leaf jasper, surreal jasper, mahogany obsidian, snowflake obsidian, blueberry “quartz”, rose quartz, sodalite, and unakite.

Feldspar Graphic – We have also seen this stone called Dragon Scale.  It is an ivory to tan with dark gray patterning.  This year we added several sizes of drop shapes.

Flowers – Our beads shaped as flowers are alphabetically hung under “Flowers”, between Feldspar and Garnet, rather than under the individual stones.  Most are made of dyed quartz or serpentine, but natural stone ones are there as well.  This year we added only a few pretty green ones made from quartz.

Garnet, Green – Green garnet or grossular garnet varies from deep to pale, from brown thru brownish green, green and  yellow-green.  Notably, this year we added some Indian hand faceted irregular nuggets.

Garnet, Hessonite – The golden yellow through golden brown hessonite garnet is almost always in strands of varying color beads.  This year we added some tiny dime shapes that are hand faceted.

Glass – Throughout the year we add new strands of glass, especially Czech glass.  February, March and April see our largest new additions of stone beads, and with them often comes a miscellany of new glass strands that we have found along the way.  Notable new purchases made along with our early buying spree for 2012 include the glass items listed immediately below plus lots of different odds and ends we got from a supplier of opalite glass.  These miscellaneous round, flat oval, rice,heart, faceted and other shaped glass beads will be hung on our walls by color.  Look for the NEW tags.

Glass, Bali or Java – We always look for new designs coming from Java, but this year we only added simple royal blue rounds in a couple handmade sizes.  India glass is a much cheaper substitute, but there is something unique about the Bali beads.

Glass chips – Stone chips have long been an inexpensive addition to the beader’s pallet.  Sometimes there are colors that are needed for your designs that are not available in natural stone.  In those cases, glass chips can help fill the gap.  Back in our sale area we have over 40 types of predominately stone chips in long 32 inch strands that are priced 5 for $10.  To fill out the color palette we found some bright glass chips in red, yellow, blue, green and “apatite” blue-green. 

Glass, Millefiore – Millefiore or “thousand flowers” glass originated in Venice but has since been copied at a fraction of the price in China.  Purists will still pay for Venetian glass and we do stock some, but more and more of our beads in this style are coming from China.  In the best grades, the patterns are perfectly centered in the drilled beads.  This year we added some extremely colorful strands of variously drilled beads that don’t seem to care how the pattern is arranged, but the resultant appearance is spectacularly bright and gay.  4mm strands are priced at only $4, and of course those of you with bead discount cards get them at even less.  6mm strands are priced $6. We have less than 100 strands and do not ever expect to be able to replace these.

Glass, Opalite - See Opalite below as this glass is traditionally grouped among stone beads.


Glass “pearls” – Glass beads with a pearlized coating have long been an inexpensive substitute for actual round pearls.  We are always reordering these in a wide variety of colors and sizes.  They are not always in stock, so we always look for more.  This year we added some new colors and sizes clear up to 18mm.  There were more bright red ones available than we usually see.  A number of the glass pearls, even the big sizes have been showing up on our 3 for $10 sale table.

Heliodor - Heliodor is the name for yellow beryl which owes its coloration to traces of iron.  (Emerald is green beryl colored by chromium.  Aquamarine is blue to blue green beryl also colored by iron.  Morganite is pink due to manganese and goshenite is clear.)  Some people will call the stone yellow emerald or yellow aquamarine, but while descriptive, only the terms yellow beryl or heliodor are accurate.  We added a whole hank of India faceted rondelles.  They are hung near the front counter with other precious stones. 

Hematite – We have thousands of strands of what is often called hematine, hemalike or other similar substitute name for what has displaced nearly all natural hematite.  This year we did pick up some attractive faceted rondelles in a couple sizes.  If you look at these natural hematite strands versus the other “hematite” you can see a noticeable difference.  If you are one of those people who like to be educated about such differences, stop by and compare to see the visual difference.

Iolite – Among the new strands added this year are very blue tiny faceted rondelles.  There are other new squarish faceted ovals.   (As an interesting side note, iolite is also known mineralogically as cordierite, but not in the bead trade.  When looking one direction through a single crystal of this peculiar material it appears to be grayish blue, but when looking through the crystal from another side it looks yellow brown.)

Jade - There are two true jade minerals, jadeite and nephrite.  For many years these were indistinguishable and both are considered true jades.  As a stone, they are both very tough and relatively rare compared to lots of other green stones.  The most common jade substitute is serpentine and in its various colorations is known as New “Jade”, Russian “Jade”, Olive “Jade”,…  Von’s uses the quote marks around names that are commonly used but not necessarily 100% accurate.  Thus for us, Russian “Jade” is not true jade since it is made of the more common and softer mineral serpentine and we use quotes around the word “jade” to help distinguish from the other true jades.  BC Jade is a true nephrite jade found in British Columbia and we did add over 100 strands of nice rounds from 4mm to 8mm. 

“Jade”, China – This green stone with some white splotches or veins is another serpentine.  We added some long pointy ovals.  See Jade above for a brief discussion of true jades and all of the other things called “jade”.

“Jade”, Dyed – The bright colorful “jades” are usually dyed quartz or serpentine.  We added a new lavender 6mm round to the rainbow of colors already on the wall.

“Jade”, Fire New – Fire new jade is multicolored from the typical pale green New “Jade” to the browns of burnt “jade” through some reddish beads that are probably dyed.  Note that the stone is actually serpentine.  Nothing specially new this year except for some more nice 8mm rounds.

“Jade”, Flower – We believe this “jade” to also be serpentine.  There is lovely color variation from ivory, tan and browns to the typical light greens of New “Jade”.  All we added this year were 6mm rounds.

“Jade”, Olive – Olive “jade” is not a true jade but a serpentine mineral.  The color varies considerably and we have over a thousand strands in stock.  This year we added a couple strands of a shell shaped stone carved with lines.  We also added a twisted drop shape.

“Jade”, Russian – This stone is another serpentine, not a true jade, with green background amidst a fine veining of black lines.  While attractive in all of its forms, if you are trying to match something specific, you should look at the individual strands you want because the darkness of the green varies widely.  This year we added a number of shapes of a darker green than most of our previous stock.  Look for new ovals, diamonds, small squares, small “potato chips”, rectangles with a raised diamond on each side (not flat), and little drops.

“Jade”, Soo Chow – This stone is another serpentine, not a true jade, and it is usually dyed as well to give it a deep reddish coloring.  We added more carved rounds.

“Jade”, White – Remember that when we use quotes around a stone’s name we are pointing out that the stone may in this case be called or named “jade” but is actually another mineral.  Most pseudo-jades are either serpentine (Russian “Jade” or New “Jade”) or quartz (Most White and color dyed “jades”).  The white “jade” beads we added this year are not either of the true jades:  nephrite or jadeite.  Nonetheless they are attractive white stone coin and rectangle shapes at affordable prices.

Jasper, “Amazonite” – “Amazonite” Jasper is a dyed stone that is more turquoise blue than an amazonite color. The 6mm rounds are the first beads we have stocked in this material. Previously we had only found big center piece drops that we stocked with other pendant material.

Jasper, Blood Poppy – This stone is new to us.  It is somewhat spotted like leopardskin jasper but this stone has a predominately reddish brown background.  We added some rectangular beads.

Jasper, Brecciated, Brown – The common brecciated jasper from the past is reddish and also called poppy jasper.  This year we found an attractive brown variety that does include some reddish brown.  We have started out with 4mm rounds and hope to find it in other sizes and shapes later.

Jasper, Brecciated, Green – Like the common reddish brecciated jasper from the past, this recently found stone has been broken apart and then cemented back together by nature.  In this case, the predominant green parts are connected together with lines of ivory or tan.  We have learned that the rough material comes from Africa.  Look for nice new small ovals among new shapes added this year.

Jasper, Cappuchino – This is primarily a brick red jasper with a blending of some ivory and occasional areas of translucent quartz.  We added an attractive small coin shape.

Jasper, Dragonblood, African – This bloodstone is more olive in color that the dark green of traditional Indian bloodstone.  The deep red spots in the dark olive green make for a particularly rich appearance.  We added a lot of shapes last year but could find no basic 4mm beads.  We were happy to be able to fill in that gap this year.

Jasper, Dragonblood, Australian – This bloodstone is much lighter in color than the dark green of traditional Indian bloodstone.  The color is closer to Kelly green and is gorgeous.  We have amassed a large selection of many shapes, mainly adding more basics this year such as 6mm rounds.

Jasper, Fancy – Fancy jasper is really an agate not a jasper.  (Occasionally it is sold as Indian Agate rather than Fancy Jasper.)  The colorful greens, grays, reds, browns and occasional mauve have made this a favorite beading material for many years.  We have literally thousands of strands, but someone thought up a striking new cut – the beads are large six sided twists with five long facets across each face.  While the cut is very striking, the quality and color of the stone is what really sets these strands apart from the ordinary.

Jasper, Flower, (Black) – The reason for the word “black” in parenthesis is to distinguish from other flower jaspers.  How many Flower Jaspers can there be – and don’t count Poppy Jasper?  The first Flower Jasper shich we came across was a material long available that was mainly tan but had pale other coloration as well, notably a light reddish cast but also sometimes gray.  There are also Flower Bamboo Jasper and Poppy Jasper , but the new beads we added this year are from the black stone with either red or green (or both red and green) spots of color (flowerlike?)  The new shape added is a twist in a couple different sizes. 

Jasper, Green Line – This stone shows green lines in a tan base.  We only added a single shape – a small rectangular nugget.

Jasper, Imperial - One of the more mildly expensive jaspers is Imperial Jasper which is mined near Sonora, Mexico and shipped to China to be formed into beads.  The stone often has bands which one usually associates with agates.  (Jewelry cabochons are sometimes cut so that the bands become eyes on the face of the cabs.)  The reddish brown varieties sometimes look like wood grain.  The color is quite varied with many reddish browns that include very light to darkly colored varieties.  There are also light greens that are slightly grayish. We have added a number of new shapes including additional attractive ovals, tiny nuggets, and some rondelles that are totally new to us.  There are new tiny coin shapes and small squares too.

Jasper, Mookaite – This stone is found on the Mooka Sheep Station in Western Australia.  It has long been a favorite with its variation from ivory through gold, mauve and red.  There was continued indication this year that the material may be running out.  Our cost continues to be 20-30% higher than it was 2010.  Because we are worried about supply of good quality material, we keep stocking up.  This year we added more medium and large ovals with lots of the mauve coloration.  There are magnificent large faceted rectangles.  There are strands of free form graduated size flat beads that are predominately oval in nature.

Jasper, Ocean – From all appearances, good ocean jasper may be coming to an end.  We found some people who had nice beads made from stone purchased several years ago.  We added some nice rectangles, some squares, and some great little faceted ovals.

Jasper, Outback – This Australian stone has not been available to us as beads before.  We had purchased jewelry and cabochons and mineral specimens before.  In the past it seemed that the bead factories did not want to spend the money on relatively expensive rough stone when the result would be “just another brown bead”.  We liked the color and patterns enough to add a number of new beads including rondelles and  6mm round basics that show less of the mainly brown and gray patterns to wonderful larger beads that show why people have been cutting large cabochons for pendants.  Our new large rectangles and ovals are striking to look at with dark brown, almost dendritic patterns against a lighter base.  Sometimes the patterns make you see scenes as in a Rorschach inkblot test.  There are also small dime shapes.  You really must look at these beads to appreciate that they are a heck of lot more than just another brown bead.

Jasper, Paintbrush – This stone is also known as Artist’s Stone or Artistic Jasper.  The wonderful patterns often look like a painting or just interesting spots and splashes of black or maroon to reddish brown within a gray or tan background.  There are enough variations this stone is hard to describe adequately.  If you want to see very large spectacular pieces mounted for display rather than used in beads, check the ones in our rock and crystal room.  These ovals, mounted in wood are well worth seeing if you really want to appreciate the beauty of this stone.  The only new shapes we added this year are a tiny dime shape and an oval that has a textured surface – not flat like most ovals.

Jasper, Porcelain – This stone was found a couple years ago near Sonora, Mexico.  It does have a porcelain “look” with subtle pastels showing ivory and gray with an interesting lavender tinted pink plus maroon and light and dark matrix lines.  New this year are several coin shapes including one that shows a pattern with more extremely fine dark dots than we usually see.  

Jasper, Purple Creek – First came red creek jasper (see below).  This year one of our favorite Hong Kong factories offered a new stone with some of the same kinds of dark brown lined patterns, but the stone was more subtle.  No reds and the golds more muted.  The predominant background colors were tan, goldish brown and many browns with a hint of mauve or purple.  The patterns are again striking but the more brown overall coloration is more subtle.  We added the stone in a coin shape, plus ovals of several sizes and large rectangles that really display the patterning.

Jasper, Red Creek – In 2010 we first brought back lots of shapes of a colorful jasper reportedly only found recently in China.  It is tough describing it.  There are reds like other red jaspers.  There are also ivories, tans, grays, greenish grays and goldish and other browns.  For us, the best part of the stone is that there are lined patterns in it too.  This description cannot do justice to the stone.  Some people call it Rainbow Jasper, but that name has been used for years for another predominately red jasper.  The samples of what we will call Red Creek Jasper vary in depth of color and quality of polish.  This year we mainly added some very rich and deeply colored ovals in a couple different sizes plus a giant coin shape that is bigger than a half dollar coin.  There are more new 6mm, 8mm and 10mm rounds.  There are a few giant rectangles and ovals that really show the patterning well.

Jasper, Red Snowflake – This Mexican stone looks like a relative of leopardskin jasper but is much less yellow and has finer patterns.  It also seems to take a better polish.  Since it is also about 30% more expensive than leopardskin, we bought only some 8mm rounds so our bead conneseurs could tell us whether they wanted more.

Jasper, Red Turtle – This year we added a lot of shapes in this colorful magenta to yellowish brown stone.  If we were to guess its origins, we would gamble on its being a dyed form of what is sold as yellow “turquoise”.  The bright magenta coloring certainly livens up any beader’s palette.  Look for rice, tubes, barrels, cylinders, coins, diamonds and ovals.

Jasper, Silver leaf – This attractive jasper comes in several color variations.  We always suggest picking the strand you want because the various colorations may not match what you are seeking.  We added a new small twist shape that has a more greenish tint than we usually see.  Then we added a few strands of some striking large freeforms in graduated sizes.  These strands aren’t cheap at  $32 list before your discount, but each contains about 10 great centerpiece beads.  We literally cannot describe these beads.  You’ll just have to come in and look at them.

Jasper, Spice – This jasper is a tan to golden or light brown stone.  The only new addition this year is a medium-large diamond shaped bead.

Jasper, Sun Rock – This is the first year for us to try this stone.  We have started with 4mm rounds.  The color is mainly reddish brown, like the color in red paintbrush jasper.

Kiwi Stone (a.k.a. Sesame Jasper) – A new small dime shape of this naturally pale blue green with clear quartz spots and dark black inclusions was added to our selection.

Labradorite – We love the stones that have the most flash.  Besides buying lots of spectacular jewelry pendants with an amazing play of light, we also added some nice faceted ovals.

Lapis Lazuli – This wonderful deep blue stone with occasional flecks of golden pyrite has been prized since ancient times.  It still comes predominately from either the Afghanistan area or from Chile.  This year’s additions include dime shapes, small ovals and lots of rounds in the 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10 mm range.  Price varies with the quality.  Much Lapis Lazuli is dyed, but we mainly stock the natural variety.

Lepidolite – This stone is sometimes called “lavender jade” or “purple jade” but it is totally different then the true relatively rare purple jade.  Nonetheless it is an attractive stone and there are not many natural purple or lavender colored stones (amethyst, charoite and tiffany stone).  We added new medium ovals and a triangular drop shape in two sizes.

Magnesite, White (White “Turquoise”) – Notably among the new magnesite beads were giant white skulls with the typical brown veining seen in most magnesite.  We will break these up for those only wanting a bead or two.

Magnestie, Red – Most magnesite is dyed turquoise blue and sold as a turquoise substitute.  This year we added a small red chicklet shape that does not show any black veins as in the turquoise imitation.

Moonstone, Rainbow - When white moonstone shows either a bluish or rainbow reflection from its surface, the stone is called Rainbow Moonstone.  This is an attractive stone that is a staple of the Indian bead cutters.  We have added a few strands of a faceted large rice shape that show more flash than usual.  They are somewhat irregular as they are not machine cut, but we continue to marvel at the amount of work that goes into a strand where every bead has perhaps 20 hand cut facets and a strand can be sold by us at a special price of only $15.

Mother of Pearl – It has only been three years since we added the big collection of 30,000 strands of mother of pearl beads, so there is not much that we can add that is not already represented.  John did find a few multi-colored strands of thin pieces that are almost like heishi.  The colors are deep and rich and the double length strands for $8.  These won’t last long.

Mother of Pearl, Mosaic – In the last couple years an enterprising Chinese bead factory found a way to make colorful composite or mosaic beads by embedding little chunks of mother of pearl in a colored resin. The patterns are interesting and the color possibilities for the background unlimited.  We added a number of strands in a variety of colors.  We believe this same factory is doing mosaic magnesite, but in that case the magnesite is dyed and the base material is clear. 

Onyx, Black – We added a huge number of strands of black onyx this year.  We always try to keep up our stock of basic rounds in this essential glossy black bead which is also often called black agate.  We added unusually large sizes to our selection this year, especially in faceted rondelles.

Onyx, Green – Remember that this is a dyed stone and is the same as Green Agate.  This year we added some strands of a nice large rice shape.

Opal, Nevada – It may be oversimplification to state that opal is quartz with water included in its structure.  But when you apply this definition you can see why there are so many colors of opal just as there are of quartz and its impure forms such as agate and jasper.  Nevada opal is a predominately ivory, tan, brown and reddish brown mix that we have never seen before.  The strands we purchased came from a turquoise mine owner who is now considering dropping most beads except for turquoise.  We fear this is another one of those stones we will see only this one time and then never again.  We purchased some earthy strands of graduated rondelles.

Opalite – This material along with goldstone are two of the first glasses to enter the bead arena with equal footing to most natural stones.  Its lustrous opalescent appearance makes it unique among affordable beads.  Among things added this year are strands of humongous drops that are clasped with a lobster claw if you want them as an instant necklace.  At the other extreme there are dainty little drops.  In between there are a variety of things in small quantities such as cubes plus lots of rice shaped beads as well as a couple sizes of small ovals.  Also there are new strands of the pink opalite and several hundred strands of several colors of blue glasses that were also called opalite although they look more like chalcedony than opal.  The ovals, rounds, rice and other shapes are quite attractive. There are also new green opalite strands.

Pebbles – This is not a stone, but a new shape for Von’s that we added in 20 different basic stones.  Some shapes such as crosses or flowers have special places on the wall, but this new pebble shape is one that will be filed with each stone.  The shape is a needed variant for those beaders who want a small irregular shaped stone bead but are not satisfied with chips.  This new shape for us is more like a small nugget – between 4mm and 6mm in overall size.  The stones we have added are moss agate, Russian amazonite, elephant skin jasper, fancy jasper,  leopardskin jasper, mookaite japer,  poppy jasper, red jasper, labradorite, lepidolite, opalite, peace stone, snowflake obsidian, petrified wood, picture jasper, rhodonite, sodalite, blue tiger eye, tiger iron, and yellow “turquoise”

Peridot – We have added several hundred more strands of small rounds in especially clear and uniform color.

Plastic – Although “plastic” is a bad word for some beaders, there is a place for acrylic, resin and other plastic beads that just can’t be found in nature.  They are especially useful for particularly large pieces that would just be too heavy with most stones.  Although we have carried few plastic strands in the past and they are not one of our specialties, we couldn’t resist some giant faceted clear nuggets nut looked like firsq quality quartz crystal.  We also picked up some that looked like smoky quartz and others that were light blue or golden citrine yellow.  If you like other light weight beads, also see Metalized Plastic below.

Primavera – We are hoping to get a list of all of the dozen plus constituents of this unique predominately blue-green, green and yellow green stone.  We only know of one mine owner in Nevada who had this stone made into beads.  He is talking about getting out of beads and we may never see the stone again.  We purchased a lot of flat, irregular heisi-like chips plus some actual heishi that’s kind of pricey.  Nonetheless, if you are interested in new stones this is a striking one work seeing.

Pyrite – Sometimes pyrite can be a rather dirty gold, but new strands added this year are spectacularly bright.  There are some amazing faceted nuggets now in the front counter.  When the pyrite gold is mixed with black, the stone has been called both Aztec Gold and Apache Gold.  New giant coin shapes show off the pattern in the beads of this variety which we added this year.

Quartz – Nothing is more basic than clear quartz crystal.  Even with several thousand strands already in stock, we always look for something new.  John picked some that he didn’t particularly like because they look a lot like the inexpensive irregular clear India glass.  However he knew that Raine would be excited over the unusually large hole size so he picked up 60 strands. 

Quartz, Dyed – The new strands of colorful rondelles make us think of Easter.  They are multicolored and include aqua blue, pink, green, yellow and lavender.

Quartz, Eagle Eye – The quality of this attractive gray stone varies widely.  This year we added some striking drop shapes that show the reflective tiger eye-like lines better than most stones we have seen in the past.

Quartz, Grey Cloud – The transparent to partially opaque gray cloud quartz adds another neutral color option for the beader.  This year we added small nugget strands that retail for $8 each.

Quartz, Rose – The number of strands of rose quartz in the store is in the thousands, but we did find a drop shape to add to our selection.  The hole is drilled through the long axis.  We also bought another small drop drilled across the narrow top.

Quartz, Rutilated  Adding to our already large collection are some attractive ovals, rectangles, coin shapes and nuggets with distinct golden needles of rutile passing through the clear quartz.

Quartz, Seaweed – We added only a single new shape in this greenish striped quartz material.  It is a long oval with a squared end and is big enough to show the “seaweed” pattern very well.

Quartz, Smoky – Always on the look out for good basics, we added some excellent quality smoky quartz in 10mm and 12mm rounds that are very clear and even in their color.  Also new a hank of striking beads with a faceted twist diamond shape.  There is a lot of color variation among these from a few nearly clear quartz beads to mainly the typical smoky brown.

Quartz, Tourmalinated – Black tourmaline needles pass through the clear quartz in this stone.  We purchased strands of  faceted diamonds and pointed ovals.

Quartz, Yellow – We only added a few 5x12mm rice shape strands to our existing stock.

Rhyolite, Birdseye – Two years ago we learned of this stone from seeing the rough, bookends, and some cabochons from the mine owner who had brought it up from deep in Mexico.  We loved the colorful orbicular patterns but were concerned that the rough material might be too brittle to make good beads.  Apparently all of the stone was not nearly as frangible as the material we saw because we now know of two Chinese factories that are making beautiful beads.  The patterns are most visible in the large sizes, but small ovals and even little rounds are attractive too.  Look for reds and yellows to add vibrancy to ivory, tan and gray.

Ruby – Our biggest additions this year are rondelles, rounds and flat disks that are inside our front counter.  Their color has been enhanced as are most such stones that come out of India.  We also added some natural 5mm rounds that are not nearly so red and are hanging on the wall with our other such rounds.

Ruby Fuchsite – Red ruby spots through the greenish fuschsite mica make for a striking appearance.  This year we added coin shapes, ovals and medium rectangles.

Skulls – Stone skull shaped beads are loose on the table and also hung in strands alphabetically amidst individual stones – after sapphire and before tanzanite.  New for this year are more multi-color varieties in four sizes that are made from magnesite.  The natural dark veining adds to the ancient skull look.

Tanzanite – Among this year’s new additions are some very nice quality chips.  Almost all of the tanzanite is hung with the other precious stones near the front counter.  Sorry, but these chips are not like the 50 or so types of budget stone and glass priced at 5 for $10.  These gorgeous strands will set you back $32 for one double length strand.

Tiffany Stone – Until this year we had only seen this relatively rare ivory and purple Utah rock as a material for cabochon pendants, earrings and rings.  It is one of the few things that are naturally purple along with amethyst, charoite and lepidolite.  There are a couple of actual rock pieces in our rock and crystal room if you want to see it in its natural state.  This year we found one hand of  beads and  purchased all of the strands of small rounded or flat chips at $12 per strand. 

Tiger Eye – With several thousand strands of tiger eye in stock, we were not expecting to get much new this year, but John found wonderful rounds, faceted rounds and faceted rondelles in multi-color strands including the typical golden tiger eye but also the red and blue.  Sizes vary all the way up to giant 16mm beads.  These multi-color strands are shockingly gorgeous.  There were also two strands of a large faceted  rectangularly cut oval shape with the axis of the bead aligned with the tiger eye striations.  This was the most striking tiger-eye bead John had ever seen.  We have broken up one strand for those who only need a single bead as a centerpiece.  There are also a couple gorgeous strands of giant ovals.

Turitella – Turitella or turitella agate is a fossil material with distinctly evident fossil remains in the brownish base.  The fossil remains are naturally outlined in white. We have carried tumbled stones and fossil pieces in our rock and crystal room for years and years.  More recently we have seen the material made into pendant cabochons.  This was the first year we ever purchased beads.  A strand of large free form ovals is not cheap at $32, but might be just right for someone looking for the unusual.

Turquoise – This year we did our largest purchase ever of southwest turquoise from Nevada, Arizona and Mexico.  (Chinese turquoise tends to be more blue-green and the typical American stone.)  We purchased chips, nuggets, heishi, rondelles, rice and rounds.  Some are evenly sized and some are graduated.  Some are tiny and others large.  Some are more rounded while others are little sticks.  We focused this year on the traditional light blue coloration but did add a few of the more interesting ones that were more blue green.  Some have little golden glints of pyrite.  There are faceted Sleeping Beauty ovals.  If you are a turquoise fan you should definitely come and look for yourself.  If you are interested in other things that come out of the southwest, also look above at our listing for Primavera and for Nevada Opal.

“Turquoise” Magnesite – This dyed stone is often sold by the unscrupulous as turquoise.  It is harder to tell it from the real thing than “turquoise” howlite which used to be the most common turquoise imitator.  All of our stones that use one name but are not chemically the same use quote marks to draw your attention to the fact that this may be a trade name but in some respect is not what is implied.  Hence Russian “Jade” has quotes around the word “jade” because it is serpentine and not a true jade.  Cherry “Quartz” has quotes around “quartz” because it is a glass and not true crystal quartz.  With over 10,000 strands of Magnesite, one would not expect us to add more, but we do run low on some things.  This year’s new additions include 10mm rounds with lots of nice fine brown veins.

“Turquoise”, Yellow – This stone is thought to be serpentine with quartz and jasper.  It is not turquoise, although that is what it is named.  Since we already have so much we don’t usually add more, but there were a few nice strands of small ovals that we couldn’t pass by.  We have also added a large number of blue dyed yellow “turquoise”, at such a low price that we have placed them on our 3 for $10 sale table leven when they are in large sizes typically marked $12-$18.

Wood – We added only a limited amount of new wood beads, predominately in large sizes.

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