Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Gold Bead Saga...

We're having a rainy/cloudy spell at the moment so I haven't been able to take beadwork photos in a few days which is partly the reason why I haven't been blogging. I was also busy with preparations for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, it looks like it might be a few more days before we see the sun again. In the meantime I'll tell you about my ongoing quest for gold seed beads. I think I've finally settled on the metallic gold seed beads that I will use to make my sister-in-law's "Valentine Bracelet" but it has been quite an ordeal trying to get everything that I need to make the bracelet. You can read my previous posts about the bracelet and the beads HERE, HERE and HERE.

"Valentine Bracelet" Sample

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Dark Gold" (4203)
    11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Dark Gold" (4203)
    8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Dark Gold" (4203)
    Kheops® Par Puca® beads "Jet"
    Pinch beads "24K Gold Plated"
    4.6mm SS19 chaton montees "Clear with a gold setting" (Swarovski #53201)

I didn't have any trouble getting the 24K gold Pinch beads, the black Kheops beads or the montees but I did have to order them from three different sites. You can get the details in my other posts. It was the gold seed beads that gave me such a hard time.

At first I thought that Toho's "Permanent Finish Galvanized Starlight" (557PF) would be the closest to the color of the 24K gold Pinch beads but that was before the Pinch beads came in the mail. The Toho seed beads turned out to be a little too pale and they don't look right at all with the real gold color.

Then I found that I had a small tube of some Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Dark Gold" beads in my stash that had come in a bracelet kit. The color is a little darker than the 24K gold beads but I thought it would look fine in this bracelet because there aren't very many seed beads. In any case, it did look much better than the Toho gold beads. I was also pleased that I could use Miyuki 15/0 beads instead of Toho. I thought that issue was settled except that I didn't have any 8/0 beads in that color.

So, I placed an order with Charlene for a small tube of 8/0 gold beads. I only need them for the ends of bracelet to attach the jump rings for the clasp so a tiny 5 gram sample size tube would be more than enough. To make the shipping cost worth my while, I decided to try a couple of other Miyuki Duracoat colors that I didn't have yet and ordered tiny tubes of those as well. One of the colors that I got was "Duracoat Galvanized Gold" (D4202). Goodness knows why I'd never tried that color before but turns out that it's the closest color of all to the 24K gold bead color.

Since I had ordered small tubes of #D4202 in 15/0, 11/0 and 8/0, I thought I was all set to start working on the bracelet. Wrong! The 15/0 and 11/0 beads were perfect but for some reason the 8/0 dye lot was totally different than the two other sizes and was very pale gold like the Toho beads. What a bummer. I contacted Charlene about the problem and she was gracious enough to send me another small tube of 8/0 beads in the correct dye lot from her own personal bead stash. They came in the mail just before Thanksgiving. 

There was only one more roadblock keeping me from starting on the bracelet and that was discovering that I was nearly out of 6 pound smoke FireLine. I placed a quick order for a large spool with Betsy at Red Panda and it arrived in yesterday's mail. Who would have thought that such a simple little bracelet would turn into such a complicated project? Thankfully, I've got a couple weeks to get the bracelet done and in the mail to my sister-in-law in her Christmas package. I'm pretty much done making all of my Christmas presents except for a few last-minute items that I'd like to make if there's time.

While I'm on the subject of bead colors and dye lot issues, I ran into another problem the other day in this regard. I decided that I'd like to make a "Canterbury Bracelet" for someone in the same pretty blue color that I'd used for my own bracelet. I blogged about my blue bracelet HERE.

Canterbury Bracelet

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Antique Silver-Nickel" (11-464A)
  • 6mm fire polished beads "Stone Blue Luster"
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Transparent Blue Luster"

I had made my bracelet with "Stone Blue Luster" fire polished beads and this "stone" finish has been one of my favorite bead finishes for about as long as I've been beading. I have "Stone Luster" fire polished beads in blue, green, pink and amethyst. Anyway, I wasn't sure if I had enough of the 6mm fire polished beads left to make the bracelet so I ordered some more online last week. I was very disappointed to find that the manufacturer has totally changed the way those beads look. Instead of being a nearly opaque medium shade of blue, they are now translucent and a very pale blue that is nearly white with specks of blue on them. They won't do at all. 

Below is a picture of how those "Stone Blue Luster" beads used to look (and how they looked in the photo on the site that I ordered them from by the way) and then a picture how the beads look now with the new finish. After I saw how different they look compared to my old beads, I did a Google search and found other shops that have them with the new finish in the blue as well as some of the other colors. I wanted to be sure that the batch I got wasn't defective or a fluke and my search confirmed that this wasn't the case. It's a terrible shame that they've changed them because they were such pretty beads.

Old Stone Blue Luster
New Stone Blue Luster

As soon as I'm able to take photos of them, I've got some very pretty earrings to tell you about. They're from a YouTube video tutorial that I tried while taking a break during my Thanksgiving preparations this week. I think you're going to love them. After making a few tweaks to the pattern, I made samples in five different colors which I will show you when I blog about them. I liked two of the color combinations well enough to make some for myself.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving to You :-))

  2. they shouldnt do that it should be named differently ..they are not the same colour at all.T

    1. That's exactly what I thought too, Teejay.

  3. Well and I just got my starlight beads in 11/0 and 15/0 in the mail!!! Have to check my beads now and see if I have #4202 in my stash otherwise I will be placing another order. Can't wait to see your new earrings Hugs Ann

  4. I had the same problem with the stone blue luster. I had one batch that was the deeper color. I reordered from the same shop and the lighter ones came in the order. Thinking it was a fluke, I ordered from a different shop and got the lighter ones again. I agree the color will not do.

  5. The bracelet is beautiful. Miyuki 191 is a close match also....I think. You sure had a huge frustration with this bracelet. I'm sorry but I had a giggle because I have been there also.

    1. I've seen the Miyuki gold plated seed beads but just can't justify the cost. I saw them in a local shop yesterday and compared them with the 4202 gold and they were pretty much identical colors. I probably would never go to so much trouble if I was making this bracelet for myself. Since I've already been paid, I'm trying very hard to get everything just right.

      I almost bought a tube of the 4202 in 8/0 at the bead shop yesterday but even with 30% off they would have been way more than I'd pay online. Plus, they only came in a large tube and I'd never use enough of that size to justify spending that much. They were three times what Charlene charges for a large tube but I know that I can't order them from Charlene because the color won't be right. I think I will try to avoid making anything else with gold beads if I can help it. It's too hard to find other colors that go well with it anyway. I'm very fussy about colors and this has been causing me a lot of frustration.

      I did a test run of the bracelet last night to see how long it would come out. It's a little short so I will have to extend it with longer clasp loops and several jump rings. There's no point in ordering more montees or gold pinch beads because adding extra motifs would make it too long. I don't even know if I could get them in time anyway so I'll just work with what I've got.

  6. Awww God love ya. You did a beautiful job. I'm not fond of gold jewelry either but this bracelet I like very much.