About Us Contact Us Meetings Membership Bead Bazaar Grants Mystery Bead News Links Home
Mystery Bead Contest

The Mystery for this bead has been Revealed! Read its story below.
Mystery Bead for Spring 2017
The Mystery Beads pictured on the Bead Society website for the last several months are Tibetan turquoise.

Lois Dubin states that the purpose of jewelry from southeast Asia is to endow the owner with the bead's or jewelry's spiritual and protective properties. Tibetans believe turquoise is a symbol for the sky. Dating from earlier than the Roman Empire, the Silk Routes became the most famous of the Asian trading channels. These ease-west routes often took a year or more to complete the over nine thousand mile journey one way. Some of the most in demand trade commodities carried on these long treks were materials for making beads including lapis lazuli from northern Afghanistan, amber from the Baltic, coral from the Mediterranean and turquoise.

Tibetan and Chinese turquoises are instantly recognizable because of the heavy dark veins of iron rich matrix that run through them. Heart of Stone Studio states that Chinese Turquoise is considered more valuable because it has a more consistent blue-green color. Tibetan turquoise has a greater variety of color. Both are treasured and beautiful.

Bead collectors love Tibetan turquoise for its worn look, with large worn perforations from having been used and sewn on garments for many years. Years of daily use give these stones a beautiful patina and character. Not all Tibetan turquoise is old though. Newer beads have a beauty of their own to those of us who are obsessed with turquoise of all kinds.

Joan Eppen

Our Mystery Bead Contest
Guess this Bead!

How the Contest Works:

The Bead Society will post a picture of a "mystery bead" on this page. The beads shown will be well known types such as those Peter Francis called Celebrity Beads. These are beads with a history, beads that have inspired those who own them and wear them.

Identify the bead by name and/or a proper description, then write it on a on a slip of paper with your name at the next meeting of the Bead Society. Your entry will be placed in a hat for a drawing, and you could win a prize. So check on this page on the website often. You could be a winner!

All of our mystery beads are graciously researched and supplied by Joan Eppen