Occurring naturally and available in countless varieties, gemstones have been used by humans for ornament since the dawn of civilization. While some are incorporated into jewelry beads in their raw, original form, most are shaped and refined. Opaque gemstones and jewellery beads like Jasper, Opal, and Turquoise, for example, are often cut and polished to highlight their unique colours and textural properties. They are the perfect jewellery beads for any design.

Stones are usually either rounded into dome shapes called cabochons or cut with small, flat, evenly spaced planes and used as jewellery beads. These windows, or facets as they are usually called, are often employed with translucent gemstones and jewellery beads, and are cut at precise angles to enhance the visibility of the stone’s interior, and create the impression of a sparkle.

After being cut, shaped, and polished to the desired effect, gemstones and jewellery beads are usually put through some kind of heating, radiation, oiling and/or waxing process. Heating and radiation are commonly used to bring out and highlight the gemstone or jewellery beads’ natural colours, while wax and oil are sometimes applied to smooth out any cracks or imperfections in the surface texture. Thus, using natural semi-precious jewellery beads in your design can ensure not only a unique design, but gives the jewellery designer more creative breadth in choosing from a large selection of jewellery beads, unique cuts and sizes.

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