Beads Bali Stones & Materials.

A number of you have wondered exactly what materials are used in our products and we’d like to take a few minutes to give you a few details that you mind find useful.

The basics — all of the items in our Silver ranges (Pendants, Rings, Bracelets and so on) are .925 sterling silver, handcrafted here in Bali. No exceptions.

Red Coral

One of more popular lines, a number of clients have worried that perhaps we’re using coral mined from the reef — not so; all of the coral we use is farmed or ‘cultured’ coral from shell farms in Madura (a coastal area on the island of Java).

Unprocessed coral, by the way, has a mat (or non-shiny) finish. The coral is finished and polished with wax  after it’s cut to shape for its setting.

Fresh Water Pearl

Our pearls are also cultured from pearl farms in Lombok an island nearby to Bali.

Pricing on pearl tends to depend on the quality, size, shape and color — a large, symetrical, natural color pearl is usually the most expensive.

We try for a good balance — cost-effective pearls for export quality pieces.

Mother of Pearl

Most of our Mother of Pearl pieces are predominantly white with touches of woody brown, dark brown (chocolate) and black.

As with the coral, the Mother of Pearl is a cultured item — grown in the same area (Madura).

Sometimes, we craft the silver to suit the natural shape of the Mother of Pearl — alternatively, we cut and shape it to fit the setting.

You’ll also find Mother of Pearl in our fashion accessories — necklaces.

Shell

Our other shell settings are also cultured or farmed in Maduras.

Shell pieces tend to be very popular — they have their own similar but unique patterns and strengths — excellent for settings across sets or ranges of sliver items (the ring on your right matches with a pendant and earrings — the pattern is natural, distinctive (known as Tiger Shell) but close enough to match with others

Abalone or Pawe Shell

This is the only type of shell we need to import — Pawe is cultured in New Zealand and imported to Bali.

Abalone shells always have holes — which we seal with colored wax — and have great texture — they’re never flat and never the same. Meaning, when you order a Pawe shell piece, we can almost guarantee the shell will not look exactly like the photo… better of course.

Turquoise

We typically use two different kinds of turquoise: stone and turquoise powder. They are fairly easy to tell apart.

The piece on the left is naturally shaped stone (rounded, 3-dimensional). It can be cut, polished and shaped but still retains the rounded character of a natural stone piece.

The turquoise powder (picture on the right), is flat and can be pressed into fitting any shape of pendant or setting.

Gemstones

We use many different of gemstone like Druze, Peridot, Black Onyx, Ametyst, Green Quartz, Zircon, Garnet, Blue Topaz etc.

The art of working with gemstones is simply to fit or marry them to the silver… each piece tends to reflect the value of the stone which like silver or gold, has an international market value.

That’s all for tonight but if you have any questions about any materials, shells or stones or any of our processes or methods, feel free to ask — we’re happy to answer your questions.

Athina

Who are you really?

We’re Beads Bali (well, you already know that).

The company, at this time, is made up of myself (Sean), my wife Athina and a group of local silver smiths and bead makers. There is also my wife’s puppy, Jolie, and my black lab, Mojo.

We live here in Bali, fairly close to the beach (I can see it from my window as I type this).

I’m fairly new to the beading business but I’ve been working professionally in Bali for the last ten years (or more) exporting handicrafts and furniture around the world with Indonesia Export.

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Bali Beads – An Introduction (and a small rant)

Up until about five minutes ago, I thought I understood the meaning of “Bali Bead”…

… I was wrong (sigh).

I had thought, silly me… SOOOO naive… that a Bali bead was a bead made in Bali. Apparently not.

According to one article:

“Bali beads originated in India. The Indians taught the Balinese how to make the beads. The majority of Bali beads today are still made in India. Some people differentiate between Bali and Bali Style beads.

Bali style beads are made the same way as Bali beads, but do not come from Bali – instead they come from India.”

It’s the overall tone of the article that bugs me – The Indians taught the Balinese how to make the beads… you’d figure “the Indians” might have called them Indian beads, wouldn’t ya?

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