We stock a variety of crystal beads from Czech fire polished beads and Swarovski crystal to vintage cut glass beads and crystal.
As largest stockists of Czech fire polished in Australia buy from our extraordinary range of sizes from 3mm -22mm. You can select from over 70 colours for example in 4mm and 6mm our most popular sizes!
Shop online or at the retail craft shows: Stitches and Craft in Feb and Quilt and Craft in June, ICC, Darling Harbour, Sydney.
CZECH FIRE POLISHED BEADS
Czech fire polished beads are shaped in a mould, cut into a round facet, and polished until smooth and shiny using an intense heat. (Hence their name “fire polished”.)
We offer you the most comprehensive range of cut glass shapes, sizes, colours and finishes.
We stock from sizes 3mm – 22mm in Czech fire polished beads. Our most popular sizes are 4mm, 6mm and 8mm.
With over 70 colours to choose from in our 4mm Czech crystal range you are sure to find the colour you are looking for. Use 4mm in such projects as yoga bracelets, bead embroidery and embellishment.
You are spoilt for choice with over 60 colours available in our range of 6mm fire polished beads which are used in jewellery making and for hand sewing projects such as beaded embellishment.
With over 45 colours on offer in our 8mm Czech fire polished beads use in your jewellery making projects.
A range of drops 5x7mm, 10x7mm and 13x10mm are available in our fire polished bead range.
We also stock oval Czech crystal beads from 8x6mm to 13x10mm.
CZECH CATHEDRAL GLASS BEADS
Cathedral Glass Beads are named after the stained glass windows of churches and were first manufactured in the 1950’s. They are pressed and cut, in a way which gives them high light refraction and colour saturation. They are often beautifully finished with a metallic cap at the top and bottom of the bead.
We stock sizes 6mm – 10mm in Czech cathedral glass beads.
CZECH MACHINE CUT CRYSTAL BEADS
Glass like Precious Stones can be Cut, Ground & Polished. Cutting was developed at the end of the 18th Century. Makers successfully imitated stones such as diamond, ruby, topaz, sapphire and amethyst. Manual Cutting has since been replaced by machines. Machine cut crystals offer quality crystal with extraordinary optical and aesthetic characteristics from the heart of Bohemia. These Crystals have a much sharper (square facet) cut than the fire polished crystal which gives them their irresistible sparkle. The chaton (stones) are further enhanced by means of a reflective layer of genuine silver whose durability is ensured by highly resistant varnish providing protection during general use in jewellery assembly. Many finishes developed in the 1950s are being produced again as well as some new fashion colours. Vacuum Coating is the application of layers of metals, their oxides &/or salts create special surface treatments i.e. Metallic Finishes. The Finish is more expensive due to the technical processes used to produce such precious colours.
Please note: use an epoxy resin glue to adhere to other materials
SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL BEADS
These beads have a much sharper, square cut than cut glass, which creates their irresistible sparkle. Round beads are available in up to 50 facets. The more facets the bead has, the rounder it is, and the greater the brilliance.
History of Swarovski Crystal Co:
Daniel Swarovski (Born in 1862 in northern Bohemia now the Czech Republic ) has become the world’s best- known producer of machine cut stones beads and figurines. Although his father was a glass cutter, he defied tradition by choosing to learn the metal craft. In the late 1880’s he established a business in the manufacture of brooches and hatpins, marketing them directly to Paris. He filed a patent for his first stone cutting machine in 1892 and three years later moved his operations to Austria and became known as K.S and Co after his financiers.
Later D.S. & Co was his trademarked business name & logo before becoming the current swan logo in 1988.
The Daniel Swarovski brand today produces jewellery, accessories & interior objects. If you come across crystals in the original D.S. & Co packaging (like above) you know it is authentic vintage.
The History of Rhinestones
Originally, rhinestones were rock crystals gathered from the river Rhine in Germany. The availability was greatly increased when around 1775 the Alsatian jeweller Georg Friedrich Strass had the idea to imitate diamonds by coating the lower side of glass with metal powder. Hence, rhinestones are called Strass in many European languages. Rhinestones may be used as imitations of diamonds, and some manufacturers even capture the glistening effect that real diamonds have in the sun. Paste jewellery in a wide variety of colours was worn in the 18th c , usually mounted in silver or gilt metal and foiled to enhance the colour and sparkle. Paste jewellery became commercially known as rhinestone jewellery applying to all imitation gems after the 1930s. In 1955, the “Aurora Borealis” or “Aqua aura“, a thin, vacuum-sputtered metallic coating applied to crystal stones to produce an iridescent effect, was introduced. Aurora Borealis tends to reflect whatever color is worn near it, and it is named after the Aurora Borealis atmospheric phenomenon, also known as the Northern Lights. Typically, crystal rhinestones have been primarily used on costumes, apparel and jewelry. Crystal rhinestones are produced mainly in Austria by Swarovski and in Czech Republic by Preciosa. In USA, these are sometimes called Austrian Crystal. The rhinestone-studded Nudie suit was invented by Nudie Cohn in the 1940s, an Americanization of the matador‘s “suit of lights”. Liberal use of rhinestones used to be associated with country music singers, as well as with Elvis Presley and Liberace. Glen Campbell had a top 1975 hit with the song “Rhinestone Cowboy“, and became known as the Rhinestone Cowboy.
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