Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Winner, A Lesson Learned and My Family....

by MaryAnn Carroll

Not exactly in that order........

Let's start with my lesson that I learned.   Like many, my beading began with buying LOTS of commercial beads.... some at a small local bead shop (which I still support by purchasing many supplies, etc.), online shopping, and some local chain stores.  Well.... I decided that I LOVED Izzy's idea about taking that jewelry that I won't be selling and donating it to Vera House which is a local domestic violence organization in my area.  They are going to use them for part of a "graduation" gift when women make it through certain programs by attending regularly,  contributing, etc.  Since some of that jewely goes back to 2007, I decided to give them a good bath.  I made up my water, vinegar and baking soda solution which cleaned up all, but one, beautifully.  At the time, I used to use all sterling silver and it definitely needed some shining up.

 It was no surprise another necklace surfaced once I had these all packed and ready to go.  I mixed up the same solution and put it in.  This one had coral, or so I thought, on it.  As a matter of fact, it was mainly "coral."  I know that because I had labeled it when I bought it and put a price per bead on the section of the container. What else could it be?  This necklace also contained "faux" coral which I KNOW was "faux" because it was also labeled in the same manner.  The coral was not cheap!!!
Since I know very little about actual gemstones, etc., like many others, I bought them for their beauty.

Hmmm.....  what might be another reason to buy handmade?  You know who made it.  You know what it was made with and you more than likely know that it is genuine.

Here's the results following the red "coral" cleaning....


 I should have taken the slogan, "buyer beware" a little more seriously.  Who, however, has the time to research all of this kind of stuff?  I took some more from my stash (the same beads from the original batch  that I still have) to do a little experiment.  The ones on the left are from the section labeled "coral" and the one on the right is also from a section labeled "coral".  I didn't take pictures of the one on the right when it was in the "experimental" solution, but by looking at the picture, the color didn't change.  Maybe it was just processed better.  I don't know.  The ones on the left were labeled for 20 cents each and the large one 1 dollar each.  Based on size, it made sense, right?


I did find a website that I "think" is the real deal.....  If you want to know a little more about coral, this might be some helpful reading.  As a matter of fact, you might want to read up on many commercial gemstones and such that you purchase prior to the purchase.  I remember learning why there was such a wide variety of prices when it came to turquoise too!  Click HERE for a link that might help you make some more informed dicisions before making a purchase.

And..... what makes me HAPPY?  My family makes me VERY happy.  I love them so much.  We've had our trials and tribulations and still do, but when I think of them, that makes me happy.  Check out our
Art Spark challenge

 for August and share with us what makes you HAPPY!!!  There is a link to how to go about that on the left side bar.


Finally, Mr. Tibbs and his dog Gadget would like to announce the winner of the wood-fired beads giveaway.....


Erin S...... 

You are the winner!! 

Please email me at artisanbeadsplus@gmail.com with your address and

I will get them right out to you :o)

Congrats!



Are there any lessons that you have learned that you would like to share?

Thanks for
~creating handmade with handmade~

MaryAnn

For those of you who are confused about my POST regarding dates.....  This should confirm that I'm still confused!

14 comments:

Alice said...

I've always been confused about beads like Coral, Turquoise, Amber and a few others. Rings & Things has a great site with loads of information too. Thanks for the link--I'll be checking it out when I have more time.

Congrats Erin on being the winner!

Izzy said...

Fortunately, being a rock hound, I'm pretty familiar with my gemstones. But, I too had many learning lessons in the beginning. Greedy people will try to sell you anything and then there are many who will sell anything and not really care about the authenticity. Right now my biggest pet peeve on this subject matter is those trying to sell dyed Howlite as real Turquoise. Etsy is flooded with these folks and it burns me up! If you want to buy Turquoise, just know that it is not cheap right now so if you see a strand of it selling for a couple of bucks, walk away. Also, Turquoise has amazing color variations, dyed Howlite is one color of blue with brown veining. Sure give away. The Crystal Bible is a great little reference book for stone identification (and healing properties). If unsure, do your homework before buying.

Essentia Designs said...

Hi MaryAnn. I own a bead and gem store and I know first hand how frustrating it can be to know that you're buying quality gemstones. I do know that almost all of the "red" coral on the market is dyed. They will usually start with a white coral such as bamboo coral and then color it. The harvesting of red coral has been pretty much banned due to the fact that there isn't much left in the world. If you do come across true natural red coral it would have cost much more than $1.00 for a large nugget. In my store I always label my stones indicating whether there have been any treatments such as dying. Turquoise is a whole other story... Sandy

Spirited Earth said...

interesting about cleaing the coral..got my curiosity peaked..
found this site on fire mountain interesting..i bet there are others with good info on cleaning beads..
http://www.firemountaingems.com/encyclobeadia/beading_resources.asp?docid=CLEANINGGEMSTONES

MaCarroll Beads said...

Thanks Sandy :o)

If anyone else has any information to share, today might be a great day to do that. Although, I create ceramic and use it is most of my designs, I appreciate and LOVE stones and own 1000+ that I have found on various beaches. Someday, I might actually do something with them. When I first started creating jewelry, I was so excited about this newly found entertainment, that I just went a little credit card crazy and made many uninformed purchases. Thanks for the information about coral. Does anyone else have any information to share that will help us purchase "the real deal?"
MaryAnn

Islandgirl said...

I think most red coral that is sold is dyed... I tumbled some lampwork beads that I had added red coral accents too.... they are now a weird pink and have been added to my jewellery stash...

I have the bag the coral came in Nowhere does it say it is dyed... on the other had nowhere does it say that it's warranted to be genuine red coral!

Patty said...

Congratulations, Erin! I don't have any gemstone lessons learned, but I did learn the hard way that you should not cut memory wire with your Swanstrom Flush Cutters. Ouch.

mairedodd said...

dying in general presents confusion... i bought a chalcedony years back that was dyed a beautiful burgundy... i didn't know it was dyed, and so it came out and left me with a grey stone that was not attractive at all... but moreso, i never want to sell anything that a person would be unhappy with... agree with izzy about howlite... that is going on all over... and even when asked, there are sellers who may not know or don't tell... i just have a seller who i trust... and i stick with her - www.luxbeads.etsy.com... oh, and 'mystic' is a coating that is applied to stones to make them iridescent... very few stones possess that quality naturally...

MaCarroll Beads said...

I think it is great to be aware. I, obviously, had no clue. I figured that if some that it was "coral" and it sold for a higher price for a long strant of small nuggets, then it was coral. I don't know how people feel okay calling something coral or turquoise knowing that so many people take what the name says at face value. If it is dyed bamboo, then call it just that..... It's just another one of those things where I think that I would not do something like that so I don't even entertain the idea that someone else would..... I have, however, become a little less trusting over the past few years....which is really unfortunate that it has to be that way!

D'Arsie Manzella said...

I have done a lot of research on all the alloys and pot metals labled "pewter". It is a frequently used word for any white metal that is not silver. I always advise designers to purchase pewter that was made in the USA strictly because our regulations are tightly enforced. This is something that is not always guaranteed from other countries of origin. I was at a gem show a couple weeks ago and just cringed every time I heard a seller tell a buyer the white metal item was pewter when I could tell (not prove right there though)that the metal was plated and not fine pewter at all. I want to mention here since I'm up on the box, that wearing or using "mystery metals" may be very dangerous, especially for children because some may contain lead or high levels of other toxic material. The pewter you want is an alloy of tin, bismouth, copper and silver. Please ask your supplier for more details before adding white metal to your creations! xoxo Mamacita~
OH yeah, And MaryAnn your family necklace is adorable and makes me happy too!!

Kelli said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the necklace!!!!!!! WOW!!! I KNOW you're keeping that one!!! It's wonderful.
And as for the coral, I've been told too, that true "red coral" is almost extinct and can't be purchased. All red coral I've purchased is dyed white coral. There is also bamboo coral... not bamboo, that is dyed red. I'm sure that's what you had, and your cleaning solution simply removed the red dye.

MaCarroll Beads said...

I'm still dumbfounded how "coral" can be labeled "coral" when it is not. I wouldn't want to buy a diet pepsi and find out it was really pepsi! I would have no clue whether or not coral, fresh water pearls, mother-of-pearl etc. was in abundance or not unless I researched it and I don't know about everyone else, but that isn't something I do everytime I go to buy something for jewelry. Thanks for the necklace compliments! I am keeping it.... I had fun making it and now have a request for another ;o)

Natacha B. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natacha B. said...

Hello... I just saw your blog and am glad to follow it ,I really like your artistic style... everything is very impresive.. could you give me a few tips on drilling holes in sea gems? I am not doing a good job at it . my name is Natacha and as well as my blog you can find me on facebook unders Armos Syros . i live in Greece. thanks in advance

face
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...