Knowledge Centre - Miscellaneous Jewellery Making Queries

We have assembled an assortment of questions we have been asked that do not fit into our other categories.

Dear Sir/Madam

I am with a problem and maybe you can help me! A customer who purchased a Necklace with Fuchsia Jade Beads said when she wore it she ended up with a pink neck and the necklace also stained her [new] white shirt! So I wore the a Necklace with Red Jade Beads one day to see what would happen and experienced the same problem. The bracelet and earrings were fine but the necklace, which sits close to the skin and I suppose gets warm, badly stained my skin and clothing. I washed the necklace and wore it again, making sure I didn’t have any creams or perfumes around my neckline, but the colour still stained my skin and clothing. Do you have any idea how I can find a solution for this kind of problems? Looking forward to hear from you

Kind Regards Catarina

Dear Catarina

Unfortunately, other than your not buying dyed beads, we don't really know how to advise preventing dyed beads transferring their colour to skin; dyed beads are fairly common in the bead/jewellery industry and it is an accepted practice, however it is good practice on behalf of bead-sellers to advise their customers when a bead is dyed - of course, it may be that your seller did not know, but where possible BeadAddict tries to let customers know when our beads are dyed.

Garnets are often dyed, as are some seed beads (rocailles) - in this case this sort of bead is perhaps best used for earrings or embroidery, where they are not going to touch the skin; but the more outlandish the colour, the more likely it is that the beads are dyed - I think the best thing you can do is ask your retailer if any of the beads you are intending to purchase are dyed before handing over any money.

I know the below beads are not from us as we have never sold either fuchsia or red jade, but the above is the best I can advise - the colour will continue to come off presumably until there is no dye left on the beads - perhaps if you approached the retailer in question, they might have other suggestions for you as to how to deal with this - and if the purchase was recent, may be willing to refund your purchase.

Hope the above helps

Kind regards Stephanie

Hi, Mark,

Just 2 quick questions :
Do your Memory Wire Cutters cut flush? SU-185;
What diameter of half hard wire can your Side Cutter Pliers cope with? SU-183.
Kind Regards, Lesley.

Dear Lesley,

The memory wire cutters are not flush, they have an overlap action like a pair of scissors. We could not say the maximum size, but the cutters are suitable for all the wires we stock. All our pliers are intended for jewellery work - the joint is perfectly suitable for this but if used for heavier duty applications they are not likely to be durable.

Regards, Mark


Could you tell me if your product SWA-S Faceted Swarvoski Heart, has a hole through it as a bead? or is it just a stone?

I am looking for Swarovski stones that are not beads, without holes.

Many thanks Sarah

Dear Sarah,

We only sell beads with holes. I regret we have no undrilled stones.

Regards, Mark

Can you tell me please if any of your copper clasps are bright copper as opposed to antiqued copper? I am looking for some nice clasps to go with chaine maille bracelets and the copper I am using is very bright and shiny.

Many thanks Faith

Dear Faith,

Most of the plain clasps are bright, it is only those with a detailed area where there is some antiquing within the relief of the detail, and even then this is minimal on the 'S' clasps, the remainder of the clasp being shiny. Toggle CU-19 has no detail/ antiquing.

Regards, Mark


We are looking to expand our range of products for wedding hire. We have had a look at your website and we are very interested in the Rock Crystal Chips on a string ID: RC-13. The length we require initially is 56 inches. Please can you confirm if you can make one that matches our requirements. If you can then once we have confirmed that you can provide what we need then we will be looking to buy about 15 to drape over silver candelabras. W

e would be grateful for any other suggestions that you might have.

Regards Kate & Richard

Dear Kate & Richard,

Thank you for your email.

We are unable to supply strands of 56 inches. Although long strands could be made to order, we only order these items approx 1-2 times per year and have only recently completed our last order. The 36 inch strands are supplied on nylon line with approx 4 inches spare at each end. You could consider halving a strand then knotting to a complete strand to make 54 inches -there would be enough free line to make the knot and with care the gap would not be noticeable.

We would have sufficient strands in stock to make the equivalent of your total requirement.

Regards, Mark


Dear Sir or Madam,  

Could you please tell me if the Murano glass beads you sell are already drilled in particular the Murano Rose/ Ruby Gold Aventurine Satin Spangle Bead.   If they aren't already drilled could you please tell where I can purchase the tool to drill the holes as I am new to this.  

Many thanks, Louise    

Dear Louise,  

All the beads on our site are drilled. The Murano glass beads are made with holes as part of the bead making process. The only exception to this rule is where we sell pendants with loops.  

Regards,   Mark

Hi, I was looking at the Toho kits and I would be grateful if you could tell me what the metal parts are made from. Is there nickel in them?

Kind Regards, Jennifer      

Dear Jennifer,  

The Kits do not state the material content. Since these kits are made in Japan, it is unlikely that Nickel would be used, you can read more at their website  

Regards,   Mark

Hi there  

I am really interested in buying some semi-precious gem stones from your internet shop - I am a crystal healer and very much believe that the crystals have their own heritage and carry their own personal energy and history. For this reason, could you tell me whether your crystals are ethically sourced?   Thanks for your assistance   Sarah

Dear Sirs   You have a fantastic selection of gorgeous beads on your website, including a number of unusual ones that I've not seen stocked anywhere else.   I would like to know how ethical your suppliers are, as this is something more and more people are becoming concerned about.  Obviously with them coming from different suppliers there will be some variation between the working conditions, but can you confirm if any of your beads come from more ethical suppliers?   I look forward to hearing from you soon.   Regards   Ellissa  

Dear Ellissa,  

Please refer to our section on Ethical beading:, which should answer all your questions.  

regards,   Mark  

Hi there  

I was wondering if you know the diameter of the hole in the Swarovski pearls (6mm) I wanted to thread them onto organza ribbon and I think I'll need at least a 1mm hole to do this.  

Thanks in anticipation   Lesley    

Dear Lesley,   The holes are approx 0.8mm diameter.  

Regards,   Mark

Hi   Firstly I just wanted to say how much I like the beads and findings I have bought from you over the years.  They've provided me with plenty of inspiration.   I wondered if you could please help me with a little problem..  I am trying to find a supplier who will customise sterling silver necklet tags with my own brand name.  I know that you stock the standard ones that identify items as silver and I thought that with your buying experience you might be able to point me in the right direction of a possible supplier. I have tried internet searches for suppliers but haven't had much joy.   I hope you don't think I'm trying to go round you in the supply chain as that is far from the case.  I am only asking the question as I need something bespoke.   Thanks in advance for your kind assistance and good luck with all your ventures.

Best wishes Elaine  

Dear Elaine,  

The tags you are after are available from The stamp is expensive, however. See Stephanie's jewellery using these stamps at  

Regards,   Mark  

Please would you let me know if the size 4mm round semi precious beads will take a size 22g wire and the size 10mm take a size 20g wire many thanks.

                  P A C  

Dear PA C  

You have not stated which item numbers so we cannot give a definitive answer, but in general the 4mm beads are drilled 0.6mm, 6mm and above are drilled 0.8 to 1.0mm so yes the wires you mention will pass. Please also refer to the website Hints and Tips section - 'Bead Hole Sizes'.  

Regards,   Mark  

Hi, I was looking at the gorgeous photos in your gallery and wondered if you took them with an ordinary digital camera and if you can give me any tips?  I've tried so many times to get light, professional looking photos and mine always come out too dark!  Would be really grateful if you can tell me which settings you used to get this effect.  

Many thanks Nancy  

Dear Nancy,  

Yes an ordinary autofocus camera is used, You can get the result from any (cheap) camera - it's the lighting that is important, it makes all the difference. You need a daylight/ colour balanced lighting system and light box. Look for these on Ebay. You then just need to adjust the exposure (EV level) to make sure that the picture is not too dark.  

Regards,   Mark  

hi there,    

  I've been a customer of bead addict probably for about 4 years now and I was wondering if you could give me some advice.  Basically, I work full time as a carer but am gradually trying to build my jewellery business. Its really difficult because Im determind to make it work but things like morgage and general finances get in the way!
Like yourself Im addicted to semi precious, murano and STS. currently do a craft fayre 1st sat of every month in a little but popular country market, the odd commisions and jewellery party. When I have enough money I add another bit of kit i.e a display bust, bead container etc. Its all very slow and of course have no website or brochure yet which customers keep asking if Ive got.  
Anyway, im waffling on a bit into too much detail. Just wondered if you had any key pointers for business start up really. ive gone to a business link free business start up course and that was all very motivational and inspring but I think id like to hear some real tips from someone whos done it. Also Im having trouble with a few little annoying things such as people buying the matching earrings of necklaces ive made and then the next person coming along and going ' do you have earrings to match this necklace?'. Im trying to figure out whether to just sell them as a set (but then you have people who dont wear earings)or telling them that i can make earrings made to order. Its little things like that isnt it?   Anyway, bet your really busy so ill leave it at that, dont worry if you cant reply.

  thanks, jenny    

Dear Jenny  

I think one of the ways to work on this type of business is to realise it will build slowly - over time you will have a 'core' group of customers who will feed into your core group by introducing others - although I have a website, I do not actively publicise it because of course BeadAddict has been our core business and SLC Designs just feeds into it as and when - so far I have not felt the need for advertising, though I think in the right places it is a good idea.   You could try approaching local mixed-media galleries or places such as beauticians who seem to have captive audiences with people wanting to spend money - in this case of course you will find that at least 50% of your price will go to the shop, so you need to bear that in mind when pricing your work.  

Pricing your work is a tricky one - you need to be able to identify what exactly you have used in your pieces and to be able to price each piece - then you need to be able to accurately gauge the time you have put into a piece and give a value to this time - the way I did this was to buy an egg-timer and time exactly how long it took me to make a piece - not necessarily the first piece you make of that design, because of course you are casting around for beads and stones and that takes longer, but certainly once you have established how that design looks, then you need to know how long exactly a piece will take you to make; so you have a raw cost - but you have still not made any profit on your time or your materials, so you need to add a profit margin - whatever seems right to you, but certainly not under 50%....and then, if you plan to sell wholesale, you need to add a margin (usually 50%) to be able to give that to the shop and ensure YOU still make money.  

Photography on any website you have is the absolute paramount important item - you can have great items with poor photography and they can go for nothing, and vice versa - also, when you do sell something, keep the person's contact details by taking their name and e-mail address - this will allow you to periodically give them a 'deal' - like a voucher for instance, and when things are slow, this is a good way to go - remember - you are therefore taking perhaps 20% off your wholesale margin so you are still up on your profit, and you could go up to a 50% discount without hurting your bottom line too much - but be very very careful about doing this, even now I KNOW I still have not got the sums right, and I know I am not valuing my time correctly so although you can get extra sales,  if you are not absolutely 100% on calculating your margins, then this can hurt your business.  

Besides keeping your customers on board, you can do things that take a little extra time but make things special for the customer - you can gift-wrap your jewellery with your own hand-made paper, include a few sprigs of fresh lavender and a ribbon and this looks and smells wonderful - put a small card inside the envelope thanking them for their custom - you will be surprised how much a little attention to detail goes a long way.   As for your specific enquiry regarding sets - these can be a real horror - my advice is if at all, don't offer sets - and whilst yes, I do, there is another approach to it - you could try selling a bracelet for instance and offer a 'free' pair of earrings - this way the customer goes away happy that they got a deal - if you do want to sell a bracelet with a matching pair of earrings separately, make two pairs of earrings and then you usually will find someone else who will buy the extra pair - I find set sales slow even though I know if I were to charge for the bracelet and earrings separately, it would be less than the price I have stated if I would ask if I were to sell the items individually, but sometimes, things just belong together.    

As for further information, I can recommend a book by Vicki Lareau - 'Marketing and Selling your Handmade Jewelry' that we have on the website under our books section, and also recently I found a helpful website which might be of some use.   This is a huge area bogged down with all sorts of pitfalls - I really don't expect to become rich from handmade jewellery, but the whole point is that when I make it, I do what my soul needs me to do, and that is worthwhile.  

Hope the above helps

Kind regards Stephanie

Hi there,  

I was wondering if you have a certificate or some kind of proof that your Murano is authentic, only I have one of my customers asking me for this, do you have something you could photo copy me?  

Many thanks!   Malin  

Dear Malin,   I

regret we do not have certificates for loose beads. The certificates you may have seen apply to finished pieces made on the Island. They do not supply 'loose' certificates since there is no guarantee on how these components will be used.  

Regards,   Mark  

Hi!  I'm trying to figure out prices in us money.  I just don't get it.  If something is 62.25 in GBP sterling money how much for us?  Shipping too 5.00 GBP is what in us money. thanks for your  help.


Dear Tiana,  

A currency converter is provided on the site - there is a link at the bottom of the left hand menu bar.   The exact exchange rate will depend upon that used by your credit card company, but is currently approx £1GBP = $2USD, so If you double the £ costs this will approximate to dollars.  

Regards,   Mark  


I would like to buy just a few beads to make a light pull for the bathroom. I was thinking of large irregular glass beads around the size of a walnut and smaller. Possibly even a long cylindrical shape amongst them. Do you have anything like this and do you supply to individuals?  

Kind regards, Vanessa  

Dear Vanessa,  

We do have a very few large beads - you will see them listed in the murano section of the site.   We supply to anyone who wishes to buy from us!  

Regards,   Mark  

Could you possibly let me know approximately how many beads are there on a strand of 4mm Rosequartz?

thank you Margaret  

Dear Margaret,  

Please refer to the guide online by clicking here.  



Please can you tell me what you use as a base when hammering wire to harden it, I have searched unsuccessfully for a hard metal block, can you suggest something please ?

thanks and best wishes Jacki  

Dear Jacki  

I personally use a bit of metal from out of the garage that my Dad gave me....this of course does not help you!!  What you are looking for is a miniature anvil, and we took the decision not to stock those because of their weight in terms of postage but I think if you search the internet then you should find a small anvil supplier...and a wealth of weapons (hammers) to use --- I use a small jewellery hammer, but you may of course be able to find these things easily from somewhere like B&Q.  

Hope this helps Kind regards Stephanie  

My order arrived promptly last week.  Thank you.  I am very happy with themoonstone and goldstone beads.  The aquamarine beads seem to be peridot coloured, with yellow lights, which surprises me.  The picture on your website and my (admittedly limited) previous experience of aquamarine led me to believe that they would be a bluer green.  Could you confirm that I have actually been sent the correct stones, please?  


Dear Jo  

Many thanks for your e-mail, it was nice to hear from you.   I can confirm that this stone is Aquamarine - it was purchased from a trusted source and I have experience with this stone (it being my birthstone as well!) and in fact, Aquamarine does come in a range of blues and greens, and it also occurs in other colours - this family is known as 'Beryl' and occurs in a range from clear to yellow to pink to blue to green.....   The better quality stones (gemstones) are often heat-treated to render them an intense blue (this is an accepted practice in the gemstone industry)....the name aquamarine refers to the stone being blue-green and if you look at the site, you can see there is a large range of stones within these colours...the difference between gemstone quality stones and the type that are made into beads is basically the clarity - the clearer the stone, the more expensive it is going to be.   Another practice that occurs with beads especially is that they can be dyed to obtain their colouring - I know that these beads are natural and not dyed.   Peridot is a much more intense definite green, almost a lime-grass green and a very different colour to Aquamarine.   I hope the above helps - please let me know if I can help further.  

Kind regards Stephanie  

Good Evening  

I am a maker of Elvis suits, and am looking for a supplier of flat backed beads, can you help?  


Dear Veronica  

Flat backs are not an area that we are involved with as we tend to focus on beads - I know that Swarovski do a huge range and you probably want the type that have 'Hotfix' glue on the back of them so you can fix them on using heat rather than having to stitch them on, though you can also get stitchable items from Swarovski.   Sorry I cannot help much on this one but I hope you are able to find what you are looking for.   Amazing job!!  And not the first time we have been asked!  

Kind regards Stephanie  

Dear Stephanie,

I have just ordered some stuff from you and await it with  excitement - among my order are some freshwater pearls - I know that in  the  UK the freshwater pearl mussels are an endangered species - do you know  the  origins of the pearls you stock - and how they are aquired - are they from  farmed mussels?

 Many thanks Helen  

Dear Helen  

Thank you for your e-mail.   The pearls do come from farmed mussels and are Chinese (generally) in origin - a whole industry has grown around producing these pearls, and I do believe there is no issue with endangerment in the Chinese/Far Eastern pearl industry.   I've done some reading up on this issue, and other than my vegetarian considerations, this industry is based on farming rather than culling from the wild.  

I hope this helps

Kind regards Stephanie  

Hello there  

I am looking at making my own jewellery and your website is a mine of information which is great!  I would like to ask though, how I can make necklaces using your sterling silver wire - do I need to solder the ends to jump rings or is there an easier way?  I can see how the leather and suede 'thongs' can be used with the end clasps but can't find much on how to use the silver wire.  If you are able to help that would be great.  Any information at this stage is invaluable!  

Many thanks   Fiona  

Dear Fiona  

Thanks for your e-mail. Mostly, no, you wouldn't need to get into soldering wire - if you look at the hints and tips sections on the website there is a section on how to make a 'hangman's loop' - if you use this technique with a split ring, (which you wind onto the wire or put on before closing the loop on the hangman's loop) then you have a ring with which to attach your clasp - the silver wire tends to be a component of items rather than an entire necklace in itself - take a look at my jewellery website for some ideas - I use a lot of sterling wire in my own jewellery and looking there may give you some ideas.  

Hope this helps.

Kind regards Stephanie  


I have just started making jewellery and have been buying some beads from you (just about to place another order) and wonder if you could advise me on something which is frustrating me!   I always seem to end up with plier marks on the silver wire I use and wonder if you have anything which I could use to ‘smooth’ and polish the wire to its original state. Or perhaps there are pliers which don’t mark so much. Mine are inexpensive hobby pliers with metal ends.   Can you help?  

Regards Amanda  

Dear Amanda....   try wrapping masking tape a couple of times round the ends of your pliers....and experiment with different pressures on your wire - I know exactly what you mean about this, but you could consider making deliberate marks up and down the wire too to give the impression that this is what you intended all the time - if you get hold of a dremel machine and etch a design into a small headed hammer then hammer your wire gently, this will mark it fairly uniformly and you've hidden your working marks...alternatively there are nylon jawed pliers on the market....we used to sell them but found that they were not that effective because they kept slipping off people's work so we discontinued them....but hopefully the above will have given you a few ideas and I hope at least one of them will work for you.  

Kind regards Stephanie