Q: I'm looking for a good source for 'Swarovski' crystals, especially unusual cuts or colors. I've checked out 'Purple Finch' and bought some things from them. We currently pay about 5.5 cents per bead for 4mm, which is better than 'Fire Mountain', 'Shipwreck', or 'Rio Grande'. Can anyone recommend a site where we could get even better pricing?

A: If you can get 'em! So many places are sold out of the best colours because of this power bracelet fad. Spoils it for us day-in-day-out- beaders. Could you give me the above company's URL? I tried www.purplefinch.com, but nothing came up. That sounds like the best price for those beads. I pay about that much for them in a local bead store, but it's always good to have another source. I've found that "good price" and "unusual" in the world of Swarovski can be mutually exclusive terms. If you are looking for the unusual (perhaps vintage?), another source to try is the auctions run by beadinpath on 'eBay', Check their website too: www.beadinpath.com. If you're looking strictly for fairly common bicones and rounds in a variety of colors, I'm sure you know prices vary wildly from supplier to supplier. One that was suggested to me was 'Hong Kong Lapidary' in FL (wholesaler). Their website: www.hklap.com. Their prices were highly competitive, but I haven't compared prices in a year or so. For the ULTIMATE in 'Swarovski's', you've got to check out 'Beyond Beadery'. Betcey's stash is unbelievable! I've known her for years, and she has a true addiction to the very yummiest of all yummy beads... and she even shares! Her site, too, is simply beautiful. Check it out: http://www.beyondbeadery.com After reading these posts, I decided to check out the 'Swarovski' website (www.swarovski.com). What a colossal waste of time THAT was! I could not find a single 'Swarovski' bead for sale at their site. They're not even in their list of products! If someone else visits the site and digs a little deeper than I did and can find their beads, please post back and let me know. I'd be interested to know if anyone had any better luck with that website than I did.