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What's Up With 'Magnifica' Beads?

Q: Did you all notice the ad in the new 'Bead & Button' for new(?) 'Mill Hill' seed beads called "Magnifica" beads? They look just like 'Delicas' and from the prices on their webpage, they cost pretty much the same (maybe a little more). Does anyone know if these are just repackaged 'Delicas' or what? Just curious...

A: For craft store beads, 'Mill Hill' has had the highest quality. I have not seen the 'Magnificas', but their seed beads seem to be Japanese. Are they 'Delicas', or 'Tohos'? I have no idea. I guess you should call and ask, but this brings me to a personal pet peeve about some bead vendors. For years, 'The BeadCats' have advertised their "Delicious" beads. I got a new catalog from them yesterday and they are now listing 'Delica' and 'Toho' numbers. Thank goodness, 'Tohos' and 'Delicas' do not always work well together, but why the heck would you call them "Delicious" and confuse the issue? Dont get me wrong, I love buying from them. They are great ladies with access to some wonderful beads... but why muddy the water? 'Mill Hill' also has the highest prices! Word to the wise as well - not ALL of 'MH' beads are Japanese - most of the packages say "made in Japan" on them - the ones missing this phrase are apparently Czech - mostly in the opaque line. I've always wondered this as well: In 'CWW's' beading book, she refers to "size 11 cylinder beads" - I thought that was probably a trademark/licensing issue, but if you are buying the beads for resale, don't you automatically get the right to use the name in your ads and catalogs? This is also true in the size 15 beads. It might be nice to the resellers, but its starting to limit where I can buy, as they don't always work together. Sometimes I only want 'Miyuki', and if I can't tell, then I've got to go someplace where I know they are 'Miyuki' and where I can match them to 'Delica' colors, and I sure don't want Czech and Japanese 15s mixed together! Think about this shopowners; it's time to put better info out in your catalogs and sites on the Japanese beads. If there is a reason that you can't, like legal, we need to know that, too. So Jap and Czeck are different... but I use both, and sometimes together and interchangably. I have had people try to make me make a stand, as to my loyalty to one or the other, and I will never be arrogant enough to do so. The reason? 'Cause I use what'll work, and I know that by size and shape, each is different. In fact, in some of my techniques, the rounder ones are better, each has a definite place and attribute. The size issue, like what is a "true" 15, or whatever, is also relative to one company's product. I swear I have ordered several different types of "Japanese", and all the different companies were different. In fact, when I first began to bead, one local store had fun ripping me off until I learned what I was using ...duh ...! The only reason to really care is, to me, a quality issue. If it is good, I don't care if it was made in Timbuktu, or in someone's basement. 'Mill Hill' is an intrigue, though. I tried to talk to them by phone, and I have their wholesale catalog which I just got. They acted like this was all some "Cloak and Dagger" game. Really strange. So, I collect and use what I like, what works, and what makes my stuff beautiful. Maybe I do lean on the Japanese a bit.