Saturday, May 20, 2017

Beading News: GemDuo Beads



DiamonDuos have a new competitor called GemDuos. They both look similar when beaded up but there are differences. Whether the differences are good or not seems to depend on the design that you're working with. Where DiamonDuos have a distinct pyramid shape on the top, GemDuos have just a single ridge down the center that is slightly flattened in the middle. Even though the tops of the GemDuos don't stick up as high as the diamond tops of the DiamonDuos do, the side holes of the GemDuos are positioned so that they are very close to the bottom of the beads. The DiamonDuo holes are closer to the center. So, both kinds appear to be raised up in the beadwork to about the same height.

Both kinds of diamond-shaped beads are about the same size and weight but DiamonDuos have most of their weight in the top pyramid part of the bead. GemDuos are bottom-heavy and have a much wider base than DiamonDuos. That feature might be great if you want to stitch lots of GemDuos next to each other but it's not so great when the beads are strung in a circular design. The bottoms sometimes end up a little too close to each other and can sometimes cause warping of the beadwork.

I found the two diagrams below online. The top view of the GemDuo doesn't show the center ridge for some reason but the side view illustrates the difference between the two beads pretty well.


Here are some specs for comparison:

THICKNESS
DiamonDuos = 3.45mm
GemDuos = 3.32mm

WIDTH AT THE WIDEST POINT
DiamonDuos = 4.95mm
GemDuos = 5.33mm

LENGTH
DiamonDuos = 7.79mm
GemDuos = 8.58mm

WEIGHT (per 20 beads)
DiamonDuos = 2.83 grams
GemDuos = 2.80 grams

In the photo below you can see how much larger the bottoms of the GemDuos are compared to the DiamonDuos. The GemDuo samples are the ones where you can see a sort of line down the length of each bead on the bottom. DiamonDuos have very flat, smooth bottoms.


Below are some of my GemDuo experiments. I took photos of some of the samples next to examples of the same patterns made with DiamonDuos.

ROUNDABOUT BRACELET 



 
LEFT SAMPLE:
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • DiamonDuo beads "Chalk Lumi Blue"
  • MiniDuo beads "Opaque Amethyst Luster"

RIGHT SAMPLE:

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • GemDuo beads "Chalk Blue Luster"
  • MiniDuo beads "Opaque Amethyst Luster"



LEFT SAMPLE:

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • GemDuo beads "Bronze Pale Gold"
  • MiniDuo beads "White Senegal Brown Purple"

RIGHT SAMPLE:

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • DiamonDuo beads "Matte Gold"
  • MiniDuo beads "White Senegal Brown Purple"

Although GemDuos will work with this pattern, they do alter the shape of the motif a little and the motifs have a tendency to warp. The corners are more pointy on the GemDuo samples and more rounded on the DiamonDuo samples. Personally, I prefer this pattern with DiamonDuos but that wouldn't stop me from using GemDuos to make this bracelet if they are a color that isn't available in DiamonDuos. You can buy Deb Roberti's "Roundabout Bracelet" pattern HERE.

KANDA EARRINGS


LEFT SAMPLE:

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (461)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (461)
  • DiamonDuo beads "Turquoise Bronze"
  • 4mm Czech bicones "Hematite Luster Aquamarine"

RIGHT SAMPLE:

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • GemDuo beads "Bronze Pale Gold"
  • 4mm Czech bicones "Crystal Golden Flare"

This was my first time trying this free pattern from Elfenatelier. Because the diamond-shaped beads aren't very visible in this motif, it's hard to tell which is which. I do think that the GemDuo sample motif is slightly larger than the DiamonDuo version but that might be an optical illusion due to the light and dark colors that I used. While making these samples, I found that the motif isn't very stable. I needed to add the same netting to the back of the earrings as on the front to keep the motif from sort of folding up.
Download the free earring pattern HERE.

Here is the back view showing the added netting:



TONI EARRINGS


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Dark Mauve" (4213)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Dark Mauve" (4213)
  • GemDuo beads "Bronze Copper"
  • GemDuo beads "Green-Gold Mix" (I used only the green ones)

These earrings look very different when made with GemDuos instead of DiamonDuos. They have a sleeker look. I haven't decided if I like that better or not. The seed bead outline looks a little smoother with GemDuos too but the earrings come out a lot more soft and flexible no matter how much they are reinforced.

Below you can see the GemDuo sample earring next to two examples made with DiamonDuos. Read my previous posts to get the bead information HERE and HERE. Download my free "Toni Earrings" pattern HERE.


TAMMY BRACELET



TOP LEFT SAMPLE:
  • 15/0 seed beads Toho "Transparent Montana Gold Luster" (204)
  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Transparent Montana Gold Luster" (204)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Transparent Montana Gold Luster" (204)
  • GemDuo beads "Chalk Beige Luster"
  • GemDuo beads "Chalk Vega Purple"

BOTTOM RIGHT SAMPLE:
  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • GemDuo beads "Jet"
  • GemDuo beads "Gold-Bronze Mix" (I used bronze ones only)

I like how the GemDuos look with this pattern very much. Because GemDuos are a little bigger than DiamonDuos, Toho seed beads work quite well and help fill the slight gaps between the seed beads. Miyuki beads work fine though and the gaps aren't very noticeable.

Download my free "Tammy Bracelet" pattern and get the bead info for the silver and purple bracelet HERE. You'll find the bead info for the black and gray bracelet HERE.


BISANETA'S BRACELET


  • 15/0 seed beads Toho "Permanent Finish Galvanized Starlight" (557PF)
  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Permanent Finish Galvanized Starlight" (557PF)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Permanent Finish Galvanized Starlight" (557PF)
  • GemDuo beads "Chalk Red Terracotta"
  • SuperDuo beads "Red Luster"


  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • GemDuo beads "Chalk Senegal Brown"
  • SuperDuo beads "Matte Chalk Bronze"

GemDuos work very well with this bracelet pattern too. There is no pattern for this bracelet but there is a YouTube video tutorial HERE for the "Bardot Bracelet" which is very similar. Read THIS post to get the bead info for the DiamonDuo bracelet in the photo below.


IVY BRACELET


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • GemDuo beads "Chalk Green Luster"
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Light Blue Picasso"
  • O beads "Jade Picasso"

I really like the GemDuos with "Ivy". They have a softer, more organic look than DiamonDuos and that suits the design very well. Download the free "Ivy Bracelet" pattern HERE and get the bead info for the bracelet in the photo below HERE.
 



BLUEBELL BRACELET


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Pewter" (4222)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Pewter" (4222)
  • GemDuo beads "Crystal Grey Rainbow"
  • SuperDuo beads "Polychrome Copper Rose"
  • O-Beads "Matte Metallic Leather"

I love this colorway and will definitely make one of these for myself. Obviously the GemDuos work great with this pattern too. I used a GemDuo color mixture and picked out mostly the ones that were sort of mauve. Download the free "Bluebell Bracelet" pattern and get the bead info for the DiamonDuo bracelet in the photo below from THIS post.


PLACES TO BUY GEMDUO BEADS:

Red Panda

Queen City Bead

Bead Passion Studio

Charlene's Beads

Jill Wiseman Designs

Beads Direct USA

Spoilt Rotten Beads (UK)

Fofinhas Perlenstuebchen (Germany)

I hope to blog again soon but I haven't had much time for beading in over a week. I've been busy driving my husband to his doctor appointments all week. I should have some beading time today but I probably won't get to take any photos until later next week. Please continue to bear with me until things are back to normal.

 

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for this lovely long and very informative post - great that you share all this helpful information with great photographs as well.

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  2. You and your husband are and have been in our prayers. Thank you for this post - we miss you and your beautiful work.

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  3. Wow, great post! Very comprehensive. Just wanted to pop in and mention that you can also get them at BeadsDirectUSA.com. I spent the week packaging the "Backlit" colors for my boss there and they are lovely! :D

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    1. Hi Sam. I do have BeadsDirectUSA on the list above.

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  4. I have to admit, I was confused when I first saw an email promoting GemDUO beads (from a company that started selling them). This post really cleared a lot of things up for me. Very helpful, thanks!

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  5. I hope all goes well with your husband.I'm sure he will bounce back soon with you by his side. Many new beads coming out so it is wonderful to get all the info on them. Thank you very much. I like the gemduo and really like the duets.

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