Friday, February 11, 2011

Bead Giveaway: Mystery Gems

Black and Red Mystery Beads

Sometimes things that we love as kids can carry over into adulthood. Remember goody bags? Sometimes you get them at birthday parties, or buy them in the candy section of a convenience store. And discovering what was inside was very exciting.

Now that I’m all grown up, I still get to experience that excitement once in awhile, with bead grab bags. I try to time my bead shopping so that I can take advantage of the grab bag sales at Auntie's Beads. There’s nothing like a combination of new beads and mystery beads to make getting the mail an uplifting event.

Because I’m so particular about the types of materials I use, it’s only inevitable that some of the goody bag beads will be out of my range. So what can I do with them but pass them on to some worthy beaders? My most recent grab bag was filled to the brim with all kinds of goodies in black and red, and they are so pretty. They deserve to be enjoyed!

Black and Red Acrylic Bead Set

There’s a lovely set of black and red acrylic beads,
and wire wrapped clasp hooks. These pieces were easy to identify,
but the rest are a bit of a mystery.

Stone Focal Mystery Beads

These two drilled stone focals are pretty,
but I can’t tell them from rocks.

Mystery Bead Strands

A strand of black 6mm rounds could be onyx or black jade. I’m 99 per cent sure that the smaller rounds are coral. The third strand has me totally stumped. I couldn’t find any other stones like it. They could be a composite, or even polymer clay!

Win These Beads

Leave a comment with your best guess at the true identity of any of these mystery beads. I'm especially curious about the black and red strand, but take your best shot at any of these beads for a chance to win them all!

If you don’t have a Blogger profile with email enabled, be sure to leave a contact link in your comment - like a shop or website.

For an extra entry, leave another comment with a link to a blog post or Tweet you've made about this giveaway.

One lucky winner will be drawn at random on Friday February 18th.

Good luck!

Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading
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  1. That is an intriguing bead! I think that red and black one looks like a magnesite that has been dyed and formed in a mosaic fashion. Thanks for sharing!
    Enjoy the day!

  2. One of my first thoughts about the black & red was composite stone due to the mosaic appearance, perhaps dyed composite magnesite.

    It's hard to tell just from a pic so just to be contrary, I'll say "mountain jade" or perhaps some other red "jade", dyed as well. There was something about it that made think stone rather than organic material. Moutain jade popped in to my head instantly. But that's just from looking at the pic only -- I would perhaps say something else if I had them in my hand.

    The black one looks a bit more shiny than my blackstone beads. From what I understand "black jade" is often a stone that's dyed black just as blackstone, but given a shiny coating. I don't know why, but for some reason I lean more towards black jade than onyx.

    Of cause, I'm no expert on stones -- I love ceramic and glass beads the best -- but those would be my guesses.

  3. I agree with the first two commenters on the red/black mosaic beads. They look the dyed magnesite that is typically blue/purple, but could be dyed any color. Also, the red strand does remind me of dyed jade. The larger drilled pendant stone could be picture jasper or llanite even. Pretty selection!

  4. Maybe the black/red beads are a dyed jasper? Dyed jade is always a good guess, too!

  5. I think the red/black strand is some sort of mosaic bead as well. The coral colored beads look more like mountain jade, and I think the round black ones are dyed black agate.

    For the 2 focals, I think the smaller one is NON-dyed black agate, although it's hard to tell from that angle, and the other is... I think it looks like crazy lace Agate.

    I'd never heard of Aunties Beads - thanks!

  6. The drilled beads would make fabulous "cabs" for bead embroidery! The black one looks like a ceramic bead and the other might be an agate or jasper--hard to tell in the photo!

  7. The brown "guitar pick" shaped bead looks like it could be petrified wood. The one next to it looks like it could be agate.

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  9. My guess on the black and red strand is they might be a dyed fossil jasper/agate...just to add something else to the mix, I don't disagree with the other guesses ;-) The red really looks like a typical jasper red so I think a composite "mosaic" type bead is also a very good suggestion.

    The black beads *might* be onyx but true onyx is more expensive so I'm guessing maybe a type of obsidian or black agate since it was a grab bag. You can usually see light through jade so I'd hold it up to light and see if it's transluscent or not, that would rule jade out.

    The small red beads are probably either a dyed jade or coral.

    I think that both the focals are agates, natural crazy lace and black agate, tho the one of the left *might* be ocean jasper.

  10. I'm thinking that the first drilled cab is maybe labrodorite...But like the others no expert.

    The second looks like an agate...Ditto what i said about being no expert!

  11. I don't know alot about gemstone beads yet but my first thought was a type of jasper. They are pretty and have a really great look to them.

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  13. I'm agreeing w/ those who think the red may be a jade. I have some beads that look a lot like them and that's what they are. The black? Not sure. Onyx, obsidian? I can't tell. I also not an expert by any means. And that mixed one? I think it must be polymer clay (usually what gives that away, I think, is that it's so lightweight). Oh, & I just looked at my reds and I have red coral that color too. Who knows???

  14. I've just started learning about gemstones but I'm not too great at it yet. The left drilled stone I really can't tell, but the other one looks like sardonyx agate. I can see why some people think the other is lab but really hard to tell from the picture.

    The ones you're wondering about do look like polymer clay. The red I'll say coral. The black ones, obsidian!


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  16. It is so hard to tell from photos as others have said. The red and black beads have a manmade look to them - hard to say wether they are a mosaic of other stones or even polymer clay. The red beads could be coral and maybe the black beads are hematite? Thanks again for the wonderful blog - have been following you for a while now!

  17. the smaller red strand looks like it could be coral and the bigger one... maybe red jasper?

  18. Hard to tell what black beads are without having them in your hands... so many black stones out there. Onyx, maybe? Obsidian? The red ones look too perfect, they might be glass or resin depending on the weight. Or maybe dyed quartz, if there's some detail I can't see in that picture.

    The big red stone beads are probably jasper or agate of some sort.

    The gray-ish big drilled stone looks like jasper, I can't think of the type off the top of my head, but I know I have something similar around here somewhere.. and the blacker one... maybe marble?

  19. I have something similar to the black and red strand which is called mosaic stone. I can find no reference to what that really is. However, it could also be ceramic glazed beads. I love black and red!

  20. I know I already commented and voted, but I FOUND those beads on someone's Etsy site - DYED MAGNESITE. The top ones, I mean

  21. We have a winner - congratulations to Alison B!

    Thank you so much to everyone who commented. This was so much fun! I don't know if these mystery beads will ever have a name, but I'm glad they have a new home!


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