FAQ and Resources

Tips on how to navigate the site:

If you want to see everything in a Collection, for example Gemstones, click on the Gemstone Image on the Home Page and you will see all gems in alphabetical order. with all shapes of a particular stone together. To view them in a different order, for example by price, click the down arrow next to "Alphabetical" at the top right of the page and select the option you want.

If you want to look at certain types of beads, for example faceted, or smooth round beads, click on "Gemstones" in the Left Side Menu and the sub-sections will appear: Faceted, Smooth Round, Other Smooth Shapes, Organic Gems, and Gem Pendants. Each of them will also be organized alphabetically, but you can sort differently with drop-down menu at the top right of the page.

African, Asian and the other collections also have appropriate drop down menus for their sub-categories.

Increasing Quantities - This can only be done in the Shopping Cart at checkout. Use the up/down arrows, but do it right before you check out, because if you go back to shopping, the quantity will revert to 1. Sorry I can't change this function.   

If you are searching for something specific, use the box at the top left of the page, or scroll to the bottom of the Left Side Menu to "Search". Enter a stone name, color, shape, size, etc. to help you find what you are looking for, but because the search draws from the entire description you might get some less than targeted results. Again, I can't change this.

How do we measure beads? 

We follow the convention of using millimeters to measure beads, and inches to measure strands and some larger pendants. We've also included a US penny in each photo to provide a sense of scale for those who may not be familiar with millimeter sizing.

When two dimensions are mentioned, the length of the perforation is always listed first. For example, an oval bead listed as 10x4mm, would be 10mm long (along the perforation), but only 4mm wide at its widest point.  For a round bead, or any other shape of bead that has the same length as width, we only use one measurement. Since the more important, and consistent, measurement for rondelles is the diameter, we often use only that measurement for rondelles as well.

We recommend a simple Millimeter Gauge or similar tools to get used to measuring your beads. We'll be stocking them for your convenience.

How do we name, and organize, gemstone beads?

We follow the convention of naming the stone first and following with words that define it. For example, we list Aventurine under "A" and follow it with Green, or Red as in Aventurine, Green.

Two-part gem names generally identify stones that are not what the second name would imply. For example, New Jade, Olive Jade, Korean Jade etc are not related to either of the two real Jades, Nephrite and Jadeite.

We list Nephrite under Jade as "Jade (Nephrite)" but list the others under their two-part trade names New Jade, under "N", Olive Jade under "O", etc. to distinguish them from the stones they may be impersonating.

There is one exception to this rule. I changed Amber to Baltic Amber simply because in May when Gemstones launched Amber beads were showing up at the top of every category within Gemstones and at the top of Organic Beads too. It was too much and I felt it could give a new visitor the impression we only sell Amber. Baltic Amber is real Amber, some of the finest.

We also hope this help you be aware when you encounter other two-name stones. Some, like the African Turquoise, are real stones, but not related to Turquoise. Others, like Swiss Lapis are fakes made of glass or other materials.

References for the Gemstone Collection

Gemology Training with an understanding of Beads!

Sindi Schloss is unusual in the gemology field in that she knows and likes beads! Check out her courses taught in Scottsdale, AZ. She was a friend of Peter Francis and she also has helped teach his Bead History Course. She travels to give talks, so contact her if you have an interested group.                                                       https://www.internationalgemservices.com/gemological-training/

Gemology Books

Gemstones of the World by Walter Schumann

Guide to Gems, by Cally Oldershaw

Gem Stones, the visual guide to more than 130 gemstone varieties, by Cally Hall

Wikipedia is also a generally reliable source

Historically Grounded Gemstone Lore and Traditions

The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, by George Frederick Kunz

The Power of Gemstones, by Raymond J. L. Walters

The Healing Power of Gemstones in Tantra, Ayurveda & Astrology, by Harish Johari

The history, and traditions mentioned in these books are based on extensive historical, theoretical, cosmological, and/or folk-medical research, teachings and experience, that also underpin (to a greater or lesser degree) the better contemporary, "new age" metaphysical works, such as:

The Book of Stones, by Robert Simmons and Naisha Ahsian

Stone Power, and especially, Stone Power II by Dorothee L. Mella

Here are some traditional stone and color associations

Birthstones - combining traditions from several different cultures

  • January - Garnet, Rhodolite, Rose Quartz, Rubelite
  • February - Amethyst, Onyx, Moonstone, Tourmaline
  • March - Aquamarine, Blue Topaz, Bloodstone
  • April - Diamond, Zircon, Beryl, White Sapphire, Cat's Eye
  • May - Emerald, Tourmaline, Tsavorite, Garnet, Jade
  • June - Pearl, Moonstone, Alexandrite, Opal, Cat's Eye, Chrysoberyl, Agate
  • July - Ruby, Spinel, Rubelite, Green Sapphire
  • August - Peridot, Sardonyx, Tourmaline, Emerald, Jade, Star Sapphire
  • September - Sapphire, Blue Spinel, Iolite, Lapis Lazuli, Blue Tourmaline
  • October - Opal, Garnet, Tourmaline, Sapphire, Kunzite, Moonstone
  • November - Topaz, Citrine, Beryl, Chrysoberyl, Yellow Sapphire, Peridot
  • December - Turquoise, Blue Topaz, Zircon, Aquamarine

Stones Related to Zodiac Signs Eastern and Western Traditions

  • Capricorn - Ruby, Agate, Garnet, Turquoise, Smoky Quartz, Beryl, Sapphire
  • Aquarius - Garnet, Moss Agate, Opal, Amethyst, Tourmaline
  • Pisces - Amethyst, Sapphire, Bloodstone, Jade, Aquamarine, Emerald
  • Aries - Bloodstone, Diamond, Ruby, Zircon, Sapphire
  • Taurus - Sapphire, Turquoise, Amber, Emerald, Coral, Jade, Diamond
  • Gemini - Agate, Pearl, Chrysoprase, Aquamarine, Opal, Agate, Emerald
  • Cancer - Emerald, Agate, Moonstone, Pearl, Ruby, Sapphire
  • Leo - Onyx, Tourmaline, Diamond, Peridot, Moonstone, Sardonyx, Ruby
  • Virgo - Carnelian, Jasper, Jade, Sapphire, Topaz, Jade
  • Libra - Peridot, Opal, Lapis Lazuli, Moonstone, Sapphire, Alexandrite
  • Scorpio - Topaz, Beryl, Coral, Bloodstone, Peridot
  • Sagittarius - Topaz, Amethyst, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, Zircn

Gemstones Associated with Days of the Week

  • Monday - Moonstone, Pearl
  • Tuesday - Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire
  • Wednesday - Amethyst, Lodestone, Ruby
  • Thursday - Carnelian, Cat's Eye, Chrysoberyl, Sapphire
  • Friday - Alexandrite, Cat's Eye, Chrysoberyl, Emerald
  • Saturday - Diamond, Labradorite, Turquoise
  • Sunday - Sunstone, Topaz

Stones Associated with Chakras by Color and Ruling Planet

  • First - Garnet, Smoky Quartz, Jasper, Red Coral
  • Second - Carnelian, Cat's Eye, Emerald, Peridot, Jade, Green Tourmaline
  • Third - Citrine, Topaz, Amber, Ruby, Spinel, Garnet, Sunstone
  • Fourth - Rose or Clear Quartz, Kunzite, Jade, Diamond, White Sapphire
  • Fifth - Aquamarine, Azurite, Yellow Sapphire, Yellow Topaz, Citrine
  • Sixth - Lapis Lazuli, Blue Sapphire, Turquoise, Amethyst,
  • Seventh - Amethyst, White or Clear Quartz, Hessonite Garnet

References for the African Collection

Books, Periodicals, and Online Resources

Africa Adorned, by Angela Fisher

Bead Vocabulary by Stefany Tomalin.  https://www.beadvocabulary.com

Beads: A Reference and Price Guide by Sindi Schloss

Beads, Journal of the Society of Bead Researchers click here

Beads of the World, a collector's guide with price reference by Peter Francis, Jr.

Chevron and Nueva Cadiz Beads, by John and Ruth Picard

Chevron-Star Rosetta Beads by Jamey D. Allen (Series of 4 articles published in Ornament Magazine Volume 7, No.1, 2 (1983) and No. 3 and 4 (1984)

Collectible Beads, by Robert K. Liu

Glass Trade Beads of Europe by Peter Francis, Jr.

The History of Beads, from 30,000 BC to the Present, by Lois Sherr Dubin

The Illustrated Bead Bible, terms, tips and techniques, by Theresa Flores Geary

Millefiori Beads from the West African Trade, by John and Ruth Picard

Researching the World's Beads: An Annotated Bibliography - Africa by Karlis Karklins, Society of Bead Researchers. https://beadresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/Repeating_Material/Africa.pdf

Classes, Workshops, and Picard Bead Museum Exhibits

Bead History Workshop by Sindi Schloss, click for Course Outline and/or check out Sindi's other courses and services https://www.internationalgemservices.com

Picard Bead Museum click here to see online photos and captions for previous exhibits, a way to learn much about beads from the African trade. Or if you are in California, visit the museum in person! Click here for address, directions and map