Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Feature: Reviews & Interviews - Review of Rings & Things Gemstone Beads Index

(image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Rings & Things was kind enough to send me a review copy of their printed Gemstone Beads Index. The price is $12 and can be ordered online from Rings & Things. It's a 8 1/2" x 11", Spiral bound book, with a plastic cover (clear in front, heavier black in back) with full color pictures of gemstone beads on pages 3 - 7. The book is 70 pages long.

The Gemstone Beads Index gives "insight into the origins and uses of 275 gemstones." They include, when possible, information about the chemical make-up of the stone, where it's commonly found, what metaphysical properties are purported to it and many other helpful and interesting facts.

Included in the "gems" indexed are Swarovski crystal pearls, man-made (lab grown, glass marketed as 'quartz', etc.) or enhanced stones (irradiated, dyed) and shells, such as Mother of Pearl. The guide is a fascinating read and very helpful resource.

What I appreciate most is the bluntly honest information presented. Rings & Things talks about the garnet they carry, for example, "Our stock of garnet beads is a lower-grade variety, which has a lesser gleam but also a more affordable price tag. These garnets may be dyed to achieve their attractive color..."

How utterly refreshing to see this, especially after buying stone beads at retailers where there is no useful information on the packaging, and the store employees don't have any knowledge of the beading stock at all. When I was very new at this I wasn't as concerned about the details but as I've gotten experience and as I attempt to sell my work, it's very important to the customer that I can give them accurate information about their purchase and how to care for it - and for that, you have to know what you're using.

A real life example happened to me at the recent Bay Con show. A customer asked about the stones in a necklace I made. They were aventurine and she wanted to know the metaphysical properties of aventurine, so I was able to check the listing and let her know. Made the sale, too!

I've bought stones in retail places because I liked how they looked and then later, when asked what they were, I had no idea because the package had given them a name like "camoflauge stone" which at the time, I couldn't find a reference to anywhere online until recently, and now I know it's Kambaba Jasper (page 34 of the Gemstone Beads Index).

The Gemstone Beads Index is well worth the $12 investment, in my opinion.

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