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Unique Beads

Q: I just saw these in the local bead shop: semi-precious beads that are cut to the shapes of diamonds, clubs, hearts, and spades. The shop was only selling them as strings, but I'm sorely tempted to buy some before they disappear.

A: I've seen those beads sold too. I think they were sold under the name "poker beads." I think there are only 2 places I know that sell them. One place was wholesale only (not to the public) so I never got anything from them. The other place I can't remember the name (possibly, Fire Mountain, or Gem-o-Rama). I don't know the address or phone number since I don't have their catalogs. I just borrow my friend's catalogs since she seems to have them all. I believe I've purchased some of the beads you described. They are, I think, made of lace agate (Brownish black with orange, yellow and white ribboning thru). I bought some for about $1.25 each from BEad Originals, 3200 N Davidson St. Charlotte, NC . Phone 704-334-2323. Proprietor: Sabrina. Tell her Jennifer, who moved to DC, sent you. I made some great earrings with them. Long french hooks, one stone hanging from each with some carnelian on top to set them off. I used mismatched shapes. I finally decided to just buy the whole string from the local shop. They're aventurine (light green). I just finished a necklace that had four pendants hanging from it (made it like a collar). It has one of each suite and I set it off with dark green agate and hemitite. I also made hair pins, each with a bead at the head, and then another one hanging. So one has a heart and a hanging diamond and the other has a club and an hanging spade. I used small green agate beads at the tops of the large beads. I am sorry, I missed the first part of this thread but it sounds like you are talking about Botswana agate rather than a lace agate. It has similar ribboning but is in the brown/grey range with some orange. Looks great with carnelian and goes with everything. I have purchased it at Beadazzled in Baltimore so they might have it in their catalog, Beadzip (in the FAQ).