Thoughts about buying Cabochons, Focal Beads and Strung Beads for New Jewelry Designers
Random Picked vs. Hand Picked
Not all suppliers are created equal. Granted some suppliers are better at some things than others. I'm sure everyone strives for great customer service but that's not the issue of this article.
What does random pick mean? Basically, you see something on aweb site you want, the picture is phenomenal, and you buy it. When the cabochon or the focal bead arrives you are disappointed sometimes very disappointed. Larger suppliers don't take a picture of every cabochon or focal bead they sell. They have bins full of stones and they just randomly pick one to send you.
Look for "What you see is what you get" better known to some as WYSIWYG.
In most cases if you see "Natural Stone" you are not going to be able to buy two of anything. The exception is when a person cutting the stone is able to cut it in half for a "matched pair" but then it will be listed as such.
In the event that you can buy as many of the "same identical" stone as you want, the stone is probably man-made or synthetic; in addition to "cheap"; and probably looks cheap.
Smaller more personalized on-line stores selling cabochons either choose their own stock piece by piece or perhaps they are creating their own cabochons with lapidary equipment. Either way you will know what you are getting.
There is one more point to consider about choosing stones for jewelry making and that is color. Your monitor may not be set to true color or the seller has enhanced the pictures with computer software to enhance the color. It's not always easy to take a perfect picture and other than perhaps some Ebay products, most on-line store try very hard to provide accurate pictures.
A couple years ago I personally have experienced a "bad deal" on ebay. The cabochon appeared to be absolutely beautiful; I bought it and when cabochon arrived what a let down. Oh, it was the same cabochon that what pictured, but something looked odd. I flipped the stone , or what I thought was a stone, and scratched the surface with a pick. Hmmm, it peeled a substance that appeared to be some sort of plastic.
Well, you get what you pay for and it wasn't worth the expense of postage back to Hong Kong. Yes, I contacted the seller and he profusely denied there could be any such problem.
It is very important to understand what you are buying. Read the description and look for key words that describe the stone; not just fancy names and over the top statements.
Add your own opinion!
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