Google the words “bead jewelry,” and page after page of Web sites pop up, vying for attention.
With the explosion in popularity of beads, more and more former amateur jewelry makers are turning pro. In the fiercely competitive marketplace of bead jewelry, designers have found that adding value to their pieces helps them to stand out from the crowd. Often, that means using more personal elements like artisan-made lampwork beads, and moving away from plain glass or crystall beads to gemstones.
If the gems cost a little bit more, they’re worth it because they sell, say designers.
“I can’t even keep earrings with gemstones in stock. Every time I make them, they’re gone,” says Susan Goracy of Bijouterie in Tavernia, Florida.
Denise Perry of Krista’s Corner uses silver as the base for this ring with multicolored tourmaline beads woven on fine-gauge wire.