Welcome to the Artbeads.com collection of Fun Facts! From the history of beads and jewelry to the science and composition of gemstones, these interesting tidbits provide an interesting and entertaining look at the world of beads! Check back regularly as we will be adding more facts as we find them!
| || Rhinestones |
The original rhinestones were quartz pebbles taken from the Rhine river, in Germany. The stones had gorgeous shades of pink and blue.
| || Beryl Stone |
Emerald and Aquamarine are different colors of the same stone: beryl.
| || Movie Jewelry |
In the early days of cinema, many movie stars wore their own jewels in their movies. Some of the stars sporting their very own rocks "onstage" were Merle Oberon, Marlene Dietrich, and Gloria Swanson.
| || Moulin Rouge Necklace |
The most expensive piece of jewelry ever designed specifically for a movie was the necklace worn by Nicole Kidman in the musical Moulin Rouge. The $1 million creation was designed by Stefano Canturi of platinum and 1,308 diamonds with a combined total of 134 carats.
| || Ancient Greece & Pearls |
Pearls were believed by the ancient Greeks to promote marital bliss and have been used by brides ever since.
| || Value of Pearls |
The value of pearls is determined by a combination of luster, color, size, lack of surface flaw and symmetry. Among those attributes, luster is the most important factor in determining pearl quality.
| || Keshi |
The word keshi means "poppy seed" in Japanese, and these pearls are often also referred to as "poppy seed pearls."
| || The Eber Papyrus |
The Eber Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical journal, states that inflammation should be treated with copper. Many Egyptian paintings depict their rulers and wealthy citizens wearing bracelets made of copper.
| || Tomb Jewelry |
Much of the current knowledge of ancient jewelry comes from the preservation of personal objects in tombs and portraits in surviving paintings and sculptures.
| || Breastplate |
Moses ordered that the breastplate of the High Priest be made with twelve gems, representing the twelve tribes of Israel.
| || Earliest Beadwork |
The earliest known beadwork in Europe comes from a 13th century tomb near Burgos, Spain, complete with blue glass beads, seed pearls and coral beads.
| || King Tut |
King Tut had elaborate beadwork in his tomb, including a pair of slippers and a hassock showing captive nations.
| || Necklaces |
The word necklace comes from the Latin word laqueus, which means 'noose'.
| || Bracelets |
The word bracelet comes from the Latin brachiale, meaning 'belonging to the arm'.
| || Cleopatra |
According to legend, Cleopatra once crushed a pearl, dissolved it in wine and drank it over a bet with Marc Antony. The pearl was reported to be worth about five million sesterces (approximately $12,500).
| || Peridot |
Peridot is the only gemstone found in meteorites.
| || Silver Mirror |
You can make your own mirror with silver, since this metal can reflect about ninety five percent of visible light.
| || Gold Nugget |
Gold nuggets are very hard to find, but the biggest one that has ever been found weighed over two hundred pounds in Australia. The largest gold nugget found in the US was just under 200 pounds in California.
| || Queen Elizabeth II |
Queen Elizabeth II keeps her jewelry collection below Buckingham Palace in a special room roughly the size of an ice rink.
| || 60 Miles of Gold |
You can make a 60-mile wire out of a single ounce of gold.
| || Electricity + Silver |
Silver is a great conductor of heat and electricity.
| || Seed Beads |
Seed beads reached the plains Indians in the mid-1840s.
| || Anglo-Saxon Meaning |
The word bead comes from the Anglo-Saxon words bidden (to pray) and bede (prayer).
| || Translucent Gold |
Gold can be hammered so thin that the sun can shine through it.
| || Narváez and De Soto |
The Spanish explorers Narváez and De Soto carried glass beads for trade with the native inhabitants of Florida in the early 1500s.
| || Food Preservation |
To prevent food from spoiling, the Phoenicians used silver bottles to preserve their foods.
| || Eggs |
Eggs can tarnish silver very quickly.
| || Diamond Value |
The value of a diamond depends upon carat weight, color, clarity and cut. Cutting, polishing, limited natural supply, and mining operations makes a diamond so costly.
| || Artbeads.com Products |
Artbeads.com now carries over 22,000 individual products (SKUs) with 13,500,000 individual saleable pieces in stock!
| || Egyptian Glass Beads |
Egyptians were making glass beads as early as 1365 B.C.
| || Bead Orders |
Artbeads received its first order in January 2000 and has since processed over one million orders and growing.
| || Battle Jewelry |
Men were the first to wear jewelry as a status symbol and as good luck amulets to aid them in battle.
| || Trade Beads |
Although they are typically associated with West Africa, trade beads were originally created in Venice, Bohemia and Holland.
| || Ancient Civilizations |
Jewelry of gold, copper and silver dates back to the ancient civilizations of the Aztecs, Egyptians and Romans.
| || Engagement Rings |
About 75% of American brides receive a diamond engagement ring.
| || See-through Stone |
Iolite has the same polarizing capability as a pair of sunglasses. In fact, the Vikings would look through Iolite to find the sun on a cloudy day.
| || Color |
The most important quality of a ruby, sapphire or emerald is its clarity of color.
| || Greatest Gold Collector |
The legendary Croesus was the first King to mint gold coins. He was the greatest collector of gold in history.
| || Largest Diamond |
The largest diamond ever found was the The Cullinan. It weighed 3,106 carats, or about one and a third pounds!
| || Diamond Hardness |
Although it is the hardest substance known, diamonds can be chipped. They have a grain line and may be broken by a sharp blow along this line.
| || Largest Pearl |
The Pearl of Lao Tzu is the largest pearl ever found, weighing 14.1 lbs and 10 inches in diameter.
| || First Beads |
It is believed that the first beads were worn as protection against uncontrollable events and the forces of nature, as well as to show one's status in the community.
| || The First Twelve Birthstones |
Aaron, first high priest of the Hebrews, wore 12 gemstones (representing the 12 tribes of Israel) in his silver breastplate. This is when birthstones originated.
| || Amethyst For The Drunkards |
Amethyst is said to protect against drunkenness if worn as an amulet.
| || Early Uses For Agate |
Agate was used in Egyptian rings and cameos over 3,000 years ago.
| || The Incans And Gold |
The Incan people considered gold to be "the sweat of the sun".
| || Gold in Volume |
All of the gold in the world could be compressed into an 18-yard cube, which is about 1/10 the mass of the Washington Monument.
| || Diamond Wearing |
Agnes Sorel, the mistress of King Charles VII of France was the first woman to wear diamonds.
| || Earliest Examples Of Jewelry |
A pair of beads made from Nassarius snail shells - approximately 100,000 years old - are thought to be the earliest known examples of jewelry.
| || Red Sapphires |
Sapphires come in almost every color except red, because a red sapphire is actually a ruby.
| || Amber Comes From... |
Amber is actually fossilized tree sap that is at least 30 million years old. It is called copal when it is under 30 million years old.