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India-cut Stones

Posted by Kevin on February 19 at 02:43 pm

For the next 2 weeks, we’ll be adding awesome India-cut stones to our shop. Some of you will know exactly what to expect when I say India-cut, because there are specific stones that are typically cut in India and they are cut in a distinctive way. For those of you that aren’t familiar with these stones, I wanted to write a bit about them, because we love stones cut in India!

The Gemstones

multi-color moonstone

multi-color moonstone

India factories cut many gemstones, but the ones you see most often are the “premium stones” — stones like: labradorite, peridot, ruby, garnet, emerald, moonstone, fluorite, opal, iolite, and tanzanite. These factories cut these stones to give them an awesome, unique look that you just can’t get anywhere else.

labradorite faceted rondelle

labradorite faceted rondelle

The Cuts

Many of the premium stones above are now being cut in China as well, but you can always tell when a strand has come from India. The factories there have a distinctive cutting style. Many of the stones are hand-cut rather than machine cut. This results in varying shapes and sizes rather than a perfectly uniform strand of beads. If you ask us, it adds a little character to the beads :)

Dead Giveaways

Here are some telltale signs that a strand was cut in India:

Inconsistent strand lengths – This is a constant headache for us bead suppliers. You’ll notice that the strand lengths on our new India-cut stones are not like most of the beads on our site. Normally, strands are 16″ or 8″ and that’s it. These new strands come in lengths of 15″, 14″, 10″, and even 14.5″. When we get strands from India, there’s no telling what length they’ll be!

Varying bead sizes – Another thing you’ll notice about these strands is that many of the names include a size range. This is because, as discussed above, the sizes of the beads on each strand will vary slightly.

tassles1Tassle-thingies - We’re not sure why, but factories in India love to end strands with these decorative stringy tassles. They do look cool, but they also cause all of the strands in our warehouse to stick together in a tangled mess, so we’re not sure how we feel about tassle-thingies.

It’s true, all of these dead giveaways do cause us a little extra work, especially with reordering, but it’s worth it! Not only are these premium stones (the most beautiful stones) but their cut gives them a very natural, unique look. They have tons of character, not to mention sparkle!

Check out all of the new India-cut stones on the New Beads Page! Let us know what you think in the comments below. If you have photos of any finished pieces with India-cut stones, please upload them!

Thanks everyone!


Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. No Photo
    Luv2bead - Little Chick says:

    Good job Lima Beads!!!! The beads are beautiful! I’ve already used several of them in my fresh picks.

  2. kcdesigns AKA sporty
    kcdesigns AKA sporty says:

    Kevin and LB- these are so beautiful- I especially like the blue Opal, Russian Amazonite and the Zircon( my fav). I cant wait to use them in fresh picks and buy them to make jewelry with. On my wish list they go.Nice Job!!!

  3. CAS
    CAS says:

    I’m drooling, salivating, lusting over the new beads. They are utterly gorgeous! Every one went straight onto my “Wish List”, and many went straight into “Fresh Picks”. Some will be coming home to me I’m sure.

    Viva Indian-cut beads, Viva Lima Beads!!!!!!!!

  4. No Photo
    DragonflyDi says:

    Love the new beads especially moonstone!! Why are some so much more expensive then others? Not that I am complaining :)

  5. Abbies Grammie
    Abbies Grammie says:

    I am new to Lima Beads and so impressed with the quality of beads I see. I am learning your lingo and loving your beads.

  6. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Dragonfly Di- No problem! It really depends on the stone and the quality. You’ll notice when you look at the close-up photos that some stones are clearer than others, which will of course make them more expensive. Also, some stones are just more expensive than others. Labradorite for example is always much more expensive than the average bead regardless of quality or cut.

    I hope this helps :)


  7. Steph
    Steph says:

    I’m with CAS drooling and they will be in my box of beads soon also. I can understand the expense of some of the beads because of the cuts. They are all beautiful and they will make a piece unique, isn’t that what we all want to be? I’m so in trouble when I get these e-mails, I want them all, I’m so happy I’ve discovered beading. As for the tassles maybe a quick scotch tape-up will help. I think they feel it makes the beads look nicer. I’ve seen it at bead shows before.

  8. Anita QoG Funny Chick
    Anita QoG Funny Chick says:

    Love these stones!!! Way-to-go, I’m sure most of these will find their way home to me!!!!!!!! EVENTUALLY, alas, what can I say??? I want to win the contest ( the beader who has the most beads when they pass, WINS)& I’m doing my best!!!!

  9. Alice P
    Alice P says:

    I’m so excited to see these–they’re just Yummy! I especially like the Moonstone and Carnelian. Alice

  10. Cuban Queen Crazy Chick
    Cuban Queen Crazy Chick says:

    I agree, I prefer hand-cut stones over machine-cut ones because they definitely have more character. Most of my pieces have an “ethnic”/”earthy” flair to them so they fit perfectly. The faceted Carnelian and the Zircon are just gorgeous! I hear you, CAS, I’m drooling, too!!! lol :)

  11. J Yee smart chick
    J Yee smart chick says:

    Well, you guys have done it again – added some great new beads AND given us lots of info on how beads from India look to you as buyers for the business! All of your picks are great, I like the “character” of handcut beads, despite the variations… esp the new green fluorite and amazonite… don’t know how you guys got some beads that are so reasonably priced too… AND gorgeous!
    Thanks for such a fun and informative blog, keep up the good work!

  12. J Yee smart chick
    J Yee smart chick says:

    oops… make that the Peruvian blue opal and rutilated quartz… love the aquas, greens and light golden tones of the rutilated quartz,… hhmmh… more “Fresh Picks”… :)

  13. Truckin Grandma Karen
    Truckin Grandma Karen says:

    are you going to add in description if cut in india?

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