Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bead Color Ideas: Tortoiseshell

Lovely imitation tortoiseshell has long been one of my favorite Czech glass finishes. The combination of transparent topaz glass and dramatic black flecks is gorgeous in any shape or size. And if you believe that animal prints are neutrals – which I do! – then they go with just about anything.

Awhile back I used up my entire stash of tortoiseshell druks, and I’d been missing them dearly when I came across a strand of tortoiseshell coins on sale. Naturally I snapped them up and added them to my growing stash of glass coins and tabs. I’d really like to put them to good use, but first I need a fantastic palette.

Earthy Tortoiseshell Bead Color Idea

My first approach was to go with something earthy, to match the lovely brownish hue of the tortoiseshell. Emerald green and black do the job perfectly, giving the beads a forest-like feel, or perhaps something serpentine. This palette would look lovely in a simple woven necklace or a collar.

Regal Tortoiseshell Bead Color Idea

Next I wanted something a little more regal, so I paired rainbow ruby with medium transparent topaz. The topaz beads are just a little lighter than the tortoiseshell, helping to highlight the black accents, and the red definitely adds an elegant tone. For this palette, I would almost certainly go with an elaborate cuff bracelet.

Aquatic Tortoiseshell Bead Color Idea

Finally, I turned to the remaining primary color and created a palette of lovely aquatic blues. Mysterious dark blue lined aqua and pretty Ceylon light green really bring out the amber hues of the coins. This palette is by far my favorite – possibly because I’m rather fond of the blue lined aqua – and would look gorgeous with something fringe-y.

What’s your favorite Czech glass finish?

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  1. Gorgeous beads! I love the ruby and topaz combination best.

    Claire xo
    Beads Jar UK

  2. The blues are definitelly my favorite combination, too! However the ruby rainbow would go better with my skin complection :-)


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