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Ethics and Integrity


Hi, I just happened across your site while getting ideas for my wire wrap gemstones and sea glass.

The fact that you give away information, don’t insist personal information, has bought my business already.

To add to the joy (yes, I’m prone to hyperbole but I’m absolutely enchanted with your business model), you add stone treatment information rather than burying it somewhere.

It’s very important to me to be able to tell my customers the what’s been done to their stones, the quality, source and composition of the gems they buy.

I believe I’m the only vendor to have the FCC and AGIA disclosure booklets available at any festival I’ve attended.

You have a customer now and, if OK, I will use your page on stone treatments, with proper attribution of course, as a handout at my next festival the end of this month.

Brightest blessings,


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Stone Treatment Codes

(B) block
(C) coated
(D) dyed
(E) enhanced
(H) heated
(I) irradiation
(F) infused
(M) man made - synthetic
(N) natural
(O) oiled
(P) pressed
(S) stabilized

About Gemstones

Everything you ever wanted to know about gemstones.


Information on beads and gems that is often asked for you will find here.

Bead Size Chart
Some people new to gemstones have never come across the metric measuring system often used in jewelry making. Even some of us who have been at it for a long time need help figuring out just how big 11mm is.

Stone Properties
Gemstone bead descriptions, definitions, locations of discovery and healing properties are listed here. Please scroll to the bottom of this page for disclaimers. You can click on the name of the gemstone to be taken to the page where they are listed to see a picture of them if we have them in stock.
Hardness of Gemstones

This information is not meant as a treatise on the hardness of gemstones, but rather is provided to offer a brief introduction to the topic. Although you may not have been sitting by the computer just hoping for an article on this fascinating topic to pop up on your screen, you might find it both interesting and helpful.

Birth Stones
Considerable research was conducted in order to prepare this chart. If you search information on this topic, you will quickly learn than there are variations, not only in the dates of the signs of the zodiac, but also in the stones listed. In order for a stone to appear on this chart, it was found in a minimum of two other research sources. While many other stones are listed in various sources, those listed here were most dominant.
Gemstones Treatments: The Good, Bad and The Ugly

Even though gemstone treatments may provide some benefits, all treatments are not created equal. An educated designer makes a better gemstone consumer and a basic understanding of treatments will definitely enhance our knowledge. Information follows about some of the types of treatment.

About Turquoise
On the topic of turquoise you seem to be quite knowledgeable on this subject. Therefore I was wondering where I can gain some of that knowledge and what sites you might recommend for me to educate myself on knowing the difference between the various types of turquoise.
Turquoise Comparison
... is what I have turquoise? A list of stones often called turquoise in the trade. Some are and many are not. If you have any questions about the gemstone you have and whether or not it is turquoise, take a look at the pictures and see if ou can identify the bead you have.

Turquoise Fire Test

A short video of us here at Magpie Gemstones testing the stabilization in turquoise with a torch. 

Shopping for Amber: Are You Confused?

If you are reading this article as a result of visiting the Magpie Gemstones website, you are likely interesting in knowing what to consider when purchasing amber for making jewelry. First, you should know that a very large amount of fake amber is available. It is easily produced by “heating colored plastic, using copal (not 'mature' amber) or other modern polymers.”

All Pearls are not Created Equal

Pearls can be a bit confusing. There are freshwater pearls, saltwater pearls, cultured pearls, manmade pearls, fake pearls, etc. Pearls come in varied shapes, sizes, colors and prices. There’s much to consider when purchasing these beauties.

Should We Buy Coral?

Whether or not to buy Coral is a very hot topic not only amongst jewelry designers but also environmentalists. Years ago someone told me I should buy coral beads quickly because the reefs that produce these beauties were being depleted and it wouldn’t be long before we couldn’t get them.



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