The first time I heard about them was when a friend showed me hers. They were very pretty, in shades of soft green and blue with some silver here and there.
Then I noticed that quite a few of the female staff members at a client’s office were wearing them. Each of theirs was a work in progress.
Finally, another friend showed up for a meeting wearing a brown and topaz-colored creation.
It seems like you can’t step out your front door without running into someone wearing beads.
These aren’t just any beads. These are fine jewelry compared to the plastic tubes and spheres we strung together when we were children. These beads are so fine that you can spend as much as $1,000 putting together a bracelet of them.
The nice thing, though, is that you don’t have to build it all at once. You can create your bracelet one bead at a time, which makes them a great idea for presents.
That’s how my friend got started on her green and blue bracelet. When her adult daughters needed ideas for Mother’s Day and her birthday, she told them each to buy her a bead. Her husband got in on the act, too, and soon enough her bracelet was complete.
The kinds of beads I’m talking about have a large center hole and are made of sterling silver, 14K gold and glass. Some have crystals on them or dangling stones, and others are fashioned like charms in shapes that represent the wearer’s interests.
Most people collect them on a serpentine chain to create a bracelet, but you can also put them on a leather band or a special pendant for a necklace. Popular brands of these beads include Pandora, Chamilia, and Trollbeads, though there are less expensive varieties available as well.
I was in my favorite jewelry store one day to get a ring sized and decided to see if they carried any beads. Larry Moses of Moses Jewelers in Seven Fields showed me an eye-popping array from the Troll Beads line.
I felt like a kid in a candy store. Only this candy store was for grown-ups of the chick variety.
There were red and yellow and blue and purple and green and pink and brown beads. Some had stripes, and swirls; others had dots and facets. The variety was so exciting; I was tempted to start spouting descriptive prose a la Dr. Seuss and compare them to the bright colored tufts of the Truffula trees!
Well, perhaps I got a little over-excited. What can I say? I’m attracted to shiny, colorful objects.
One thing that I think is particularly appealing about these beads is that each creation is unique to its owner. While two people might have one or two of the same beads, it is quite unlikely that they will have chosen all the same beads or that they will have them strung in the same order.
The jewelry becomes an extension of its owner, creating a unique reflection of her taste. Plus, you can switch the beads around and add or remove them to suit your mood on any given day.
I can see where collecting these beads might become addictive. Once you start, you just can’t stop. The need to create a bead masterpiece must be overwhelming. Seeing all those colorful beads in the store felt a bit like peering into a treat bag on Halloween. With so many treats, how can you choose just one?
I haven’t succumbed to the urge yet, but Mother’s Day is just around the corner and I do have an anniversary rapidly approaching.