Well Hello There Gorgeous!!

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, choosing the right semi-precious gemstones for your jewelry-making project can be pretty intimidating. There are so many options to choose from, it’s easy to feel and become overwhelmed. I totally understand, I’ve been there! I’ve learned a few tricks along the way that I know you’re going to appreciate and I know I can help you. 

There are a few important questions you should answer before making your choice. Not only will these questions help you narrow down your options, but they will also ensure that you choose beads that are right for your project and your personal style. I don’t want you to worry, I’m going to help you focus on creating something really fantastic.

(Just a heads-up, the gemstone bracelets in this blog have been linked to the simple 8mm bracelet store within the One Zero Eight Mala Jewelry website for your shopping convenience; all you have to do is click on the name)

Here are four questions you should ask yourself before choosing gemstone beads.

1. What is the purpose of the jewelry?

When choosing gemstone beads for a piece of jewelry (let’s use a bracelet as the example), the first question you should ask yourself is, what is the purpose of the bracelet? Different gemstones are believed to possess different properties and energies, and these can impact the wearer in different ways.

For example, if the bracelet is intended to promote calmness and relaxation, then gemstones such as Amethyst or Howlite may be a good choice. On the other hand, if the bracelet is meant to provide energy and motivation, then gemstones like Citrine or Carnelian may be more appropriate.

The purpose of the bracelet can also help guide the design and style of the piece. For instance, you need to determine if you are making a bracelet for everyday wear or if it is for a special occasion. Will the bracelet be a gift for someone else, or are you making it for yourself? The purpose of the bracelet will help you decide what kind of beads to choose.

For example, if you are making a bracelet for everyday wear, you may want to choose beads that are durable, such as Quartz or Agate, because of their durability. If you are making a bracelet for a special occasion, you may choose to add some extra sparkle by adding an electroplated Agate or a synthetic gemstone like Blue Goldstone. You could also add a rhinestone charm that is sure to catch both the attention of an admirer and the candlelight.

Whatever the purpose of the bracelet, taking the time to consider where it will be used and how it will function, will help you to ensure that the gemstone beads selected will be the perfect fit for the wearer’s needs and desires.

2. What is your budget?

When it comes to buying your gemstone beads, it’s vital to consider your budget. Gemstones vary greatly in price depending on factors such as rarity, size, quality, and demand. 

By setting a budget, you’ll be able to narrow down your options and find a gemstone that not only fits your style and preferences but also your financial situation.

If you’re on a tight budget, there are still plenty of affordable gemstones to choose from, such as Amethyst, Howlite and Onyx. These gemstones are not only beautiful but also durable, making them great options for everyday wear.

If you’re lucky enough to have a larger budget, you may want to consider investing in rarer gemstone beads such as Citrine or Kyanite. These gemstones are more valuable and can hold their value over time, making them a good investment.

So, you’ll need to ask yourself how much you’re willing to spend on that gorgeous string of beads. (For a more detailed explanation on sticking to your budget, try reading How to Pick Your Perfect Crystal.

To be honest, when I was starting out, I couldn’t afford some of the real gemstone beads & that’s okay, we all start somewhere.

To this day, I can’t justify using real Turquoise because a) It’s super expensive and b) I’d have to pass that cost onto my customers. I just can’t rationalize the cost. Other jewelers in my profession must feel the same way because unless otherwise stated, most Turquoise that you see in semi-precious gemstone bracelets is dyed Howlite, not authentic Turquoise. It looks like the real thing but it is literally 1/6 of the price. 

One way around that problem is to rethink the design you’ve planned out in your head and maybe only use two different stones instead of the intended three. That way, the average cost of the bracelet “might” be more affordable for you – just a suggestion.

3. What is your personal style?

When choosing gemstone beads, your personal style is another important factor to consider. Do you like bold and bright colours or more muted and understated tones? Do you prefer beads with a smooth and polished finish, or ones with a rougher and more natural look? 

Your personal style will help you decide what kind of gemstone beads to choose.

If you like bold and bright colours, you may want to choose gemstones such as Turquoise or Lapis Lazuli. If you prefer a more muted and understated look, you may want to choose gemstones such as Amazonite or Moonstone. 

Speaking of personal style, now might be a good time to think about what sized bead(s) you want to work with. I work with 6mm, 8mm, & 10mm. It’s a personal choice I had to make because my hands shake too much with anything under 6mm. (probably because I’m too excited oh, and…my eyesight isn’t what it used to be. In other words…small beads = teeny tiny threading holes.)

4. What is the symbolism or meaning of the gemstone?

Finally, it’s important to consider the symbolism or meaning of the gemstone when choosing gemstone beads. Different gemstones have different meanings and properties, so you may want to choose a gemstone that has a special significance to you or the person you are making the jewelry for. For example, Amazonite is said to nurture truth, honesty, honor & self-confidence while Botswana Agate is said to alleviate stress and helps you cope with depression. If you are making a piece of jewelry as a gift, choosing a gemstone with special meaning can make the gift even more meaningful.

Be prepared to do a lot of gemstone research before you go shopping. I know I say that in nearly every single blog, but it is so important! 

There are tons of different gemstone books, some of them even come in pocket size, so maybe that’s something you might be interested in, too. How ever you choose to do your research is of course, up to you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Semi-Precious Gemstones

Q: What are semi-precious gemstones?

A: Semi-precious gemstones are minerals that are not as highly sought-after, rare or valuable as precious stones like diamonds, sapphires, and rubies. However, they are still prized for their unique colours, patterns, and textures and are often used to make jewelry and other decorative items.

Q: What are some popular semi-precious gemstone beads?

A: Luckily for you, I’ve recently written a blog listing The 11 most popular semi-precious gemstones. This list includes Amethyst, Citrine, Onyx and Lapis Lazuli.

Q: How do I know if a semi-precious gemstone is genuine?

A: There are a few ways to tell if a semi-precious gemstone is genuine. One is to look at its colour and clarity – a real stone will have natural variations and imperfections, while a fake one may look too perfect or have an unnatural colour. 

You can also determine a stones authenticity by it’s price. (The prime exception is Citrine. Citrine is one of the most often counterfeited semi-precious gemstones because of it’s rarity.) Most Citrine available today is actually super-high heated Amethyst.

Q: How can I care for my semi-precious gemstone beads?

A: Gemstone bracelets should be handled like any other treasured piece of jewelry. Basically, to ensure your gemstone jewelry lasts for years, keep it clean, store it properly, avoid exposure to harmful chemicals, protect it from extreme temperatures and keep it charged with positivity. For a deeper look into making your gemstone feel loved, read The 5 Best Ways to Take Care of Your Gemstone Bracelets & The Essential Guide to Cleansing Your Gemstone Bracelets.

Q: What is the best way to string semi-precious gemstone beads?

A: Most people use their hands. (Bahahaha) The best way to string semi-precious gemstone beads depends on the type of beads you are using and the design of your jewelry or craft project. Some common methods include using beading wire, nylon thread, or elastic cord.

Q: Can semi-precious gemstone beads be used in other crafts besides jewelry-making?

Yes, semi-precious gemstone beads can be used in a variety of other crafts, such as home decor, scrapbooking, and mixed media art. They can be used in a wide range of DIY projects and creative endeavors.

In conclusion, the journey to selecting the perfect gemstone beads for your next jewelry masterpiece is a nuanced process that demands thoughtful consideration. Plunging head-first into the intricacies of your jewelry-making project involves a delicate balance between the purpose of the piece, your budget constraints, an alignment with your unique style, and an exploration of the profound symbolism embedded in each gemstone.

By methodically addressing these four crucial aspects, you unlock the secrets to choosing gemstone beads that seamlessly align with your creative vision and ensure that your creations resonate with profound significance and enduring beauty over time.

Embracing this insightful approach gives you a comprehensive understanding of your preferences and project requirements. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll approach the selection of any string of semi-precious gemstone beads with newfound confidence, ready to create a piece that not only complements your style but also holds deep personal meaning.

By following these guiding principles, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the vast array of gemstone options and you’ll be able to make informed decisions that resonate with your artistic aspirations. For further inspiration and guidance, explore my blogs: Finding Inspiration for Designing Stretch Gemstone Bracelets and 6 Great Ideas for Designing Your Own Gemstone Bracelets.

Maybe you could take the next step in your jewelry-making journey by perusing my extraordinary variety of 8mm and 10mm bracelets (for inspiration) available in my shop. Happy designing!

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