Lost Cities Beads- A Place For the Unique

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Blog Is Back!

Things have been happening around here - a lot of things! So many, in fact, that this little blog has been a bit neglected. Now that the dust has settled, it's time to start blogging again, and I, for one, am thrilled! I hope you are too. So, what's been keeping us so busy, you might ask. Well, let me tell you all about it!

There are some new faces. If you've been in recently, you've met Mayra (our new in house fiber guru) and Jelena (our very own jewelry repair extraordinaire), but if you haven't, come by and say hello; between them, they can greet you in five different languages! Of course, all of your favorites are still here: Jenny on the computer, Karen on the wire, Jill on the pearls, and Robin on the blog.

Also, we have two online stores based on Etsy! So, if you aren't in the area, you can hop online and experience easy and secure ordering. For a glorious selection of our antique and ancient beads, go to Lost Cities Beads. For our collection of contemporary, high quality beads, visit Lost Cities Jewels.

And let's not forget all the wonderful beads in the actual store! There are so many new things to share that I don't know where to start, but I'll give it a shot! These are a few of my favorite new things:

We have buttons! We now offer a nice supply of handmade metal buttons in brass, copper and sterling silver. These are great for fiber toggle closures, connections, or just to add a little extra bling to your jewelry. Here's a closer look:
Row 1: $1.10 each
Row 2 -4: $1.50 each
Row 5: $4.65 each (sterling silver)

Many of you have been asking for interesting wood beads, and we heard you. Check out these awesome African wood beads with metal inlay. These would be great in a macrame bracelet, malas, or as spacers between large beads. They would also look great with some of our antiquities. They come in a variety of sizes ranging from 8x11mm to 8x14mm. $37 per strand.

You've probably guessed that we really love antique style Buddhist pendants, and we have a great selection of them right now! These are some of my favorites, but there are more to choose from in the store.
Bone pendants (cream): $10 each
Large Brass Pendant: $13 each
Small Brass Pendant: $5 each
Teeny Tiny Brass Pendant: $1.50
Green Pendant: $5 each
Red Pendant: $8 each

We have a lot of exciting things that we're working on and new beads are coming in all the time. I promise to keep you in the loop about all of it. And  if that's not enough, come on in, have a cookie, and check it out for yourself!

Also, the gravel parking lot behind the building is still free for our customers. DO NOT put any money in the machine! If you are going to stay for awhile (and we hope you will!) we can give you a code for the machine.

See you soon!
-Robin From the Blog
I used to blog a little, now I blog a lot

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Little Things That Make Us Happy

Sometimes I get really excited about the little things, and today is one of those times! We just received a shipment of a several new items that I can't wait to tell you about. Although it's not a bounty of new items like the last batch, these new bails, chains and crystal balls are pretty spectacular.

These small pinch bails come in Antique Brass, Antique Copper and Gun Metal. I think they're absolutely wonderful! They're strong, they match a variety of pendants, and offer a different look from a wire wrapped bail.

They really do make me happy, not just because they look good and are inexpensive, but they make necklaces so easy! I made these necklaces in just a few minutes by picking out a Swarovski pendant, attaching a bail, and putting it on a chain. Voila! You never have to show up to a birthday empty-handed again!
Antique Brass Pinch Bail  .95 each
Antique Copper Pinch Bail:  .95 each
Gun Metal Pinch Bail:  .95 each

And since we're talking about base metal, let's talk about the new ball chain we just got in! It is available in both copper and silver tone, and... we have the special little ball chain clasps to go with it. So, once again, instant necklace!
Silvertone Ball Chain .40/foot
Silvertone Clasp .05 each
Copper Ball Chain .90/foot
Copper Clasp .10/foot

The sparkly crystal balls have been so popular that we got a few more colors! Now, in addition to Crystal AB, Light Colorado Topaz, and Jet, We carry Emerald, Blue Zircon, Smoked Topaz, and Light Siam. The picture really doesn't do them justice, they sparkle like crazy!
Crystal Sparkle Balls $9.50 each
 We hope you'll be by soon to enjoy a cookie, some conversation, and wonderful beads!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Pearls, Chain and Sparkle Balls!

And last but not least, I want to share with you our new pearls, chains and sparkle balls. The jewelry possibilities are truly endless!

Check out these new white rice-shaped pearls! These would be great as little spacers or use several strands for a multi-strand bracelet or necklace. Sprinkle in a few Sworovski crystals and you've got yourself something spectacular!
3mm x 5mm Pearls $6

We also have three new chains. They are very delicate and great as an accent to any piece. The two on top are tiny curb chain (sterling silver and gold-fill) with a little 1.5mm beads about every 1/2 inch. The bottom chain is 4mm sterling silver linked disks.
Sterling Silver Beaded Curb Chain $16.05/foot
Gold-Fill Beaded Curb Chain $24.95/foot
Sterling Silver Linked Disks $26.50/foot

So let's wrap this shipment up with something that's just a lot of fun! Resin sparkle balls will add fun shine to your project at a great price. Some of the colors are available are pastel yellow, red, fuchsia, gun metal, navy, silver and gold. The sizes available are 10mm, 17mm, and 20mm, and strands are 10 inches long. Put a few (or five!) on a pair of big hoops, and Voila! Giant, sparkly earrings!
All Sizes $10.00

With all these new wonderful beads, I'm sure you will find many, many projects to keep you busy. But if not, come in anyway and have a cookie! We'll help you find the beads that are prefect for you!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

And the Beat Goes On - Banded Agate, Flourite, and Coral!

There are still more wonderful beads coming in from our most recent shipment, ready to become a part of your next beading project!

So let's talk for a bit about this wonderful Banded Agate we just got in! It's faceted. It's graduated. No two pieces are alike, and the quality is absolutely amazing! Each strand has a great mixture of of colors, from earth tones to black and white. I think these would be great knotted or with some little silver spacers.

This picture gives you a better idea of the graduation. The smallest beads are 7mm and the largest are 15mm. They are sold by the strand and the strands are 16".
Faceted Graduated Banded Agate $28/strand


Check out these peanut shaped Fluorite! Each strand has a variety of minty green, lavender, pink, and clear. Some beads even have a mixture of colors in them. Use a matching pair for earrings or string them up in a necklace - we'd love to see what ideas you can come up with for this unique shape!

We also received some 8mm x 11mm triangle shapes in Fluorite. The color of these is magnificent and includes some great deep purple beads. These are drilled through the center of the triangle, so when they are strung, you see the edge of the triangle, rather than the triangle shape itself. All Fluorite strands are 16".
13mm x 20mm Fluorite Peanuts $10
8mm x 11mm Fluorite Triangles $22

And, last but not least (last for today, anyway) is this new dyed coral! I'm really crazy about the color of these beads. It's not the super bright, orange-red of most dye coral, but a deeper, richer red. The smooth nugget shape is sophisticated and organic. Perfect for day-to-night jewelry, as it would look great with jeans and dressed up!
10mm x 14mm Dyed Coral $14

Well, that's all for today, but there's still a little more to talk about. Next up - new Sterling Silver chain!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Larimar, Variscite, and Telsums - Oh My!

Another shipment of goodies has arrived, and it's pretty exciting. Fasten your seat belt and get ready to hear about some FABULOUS new beads!

We've had many requests for more Larimar, and now we have some! I love the beautiful sky blue tones in this stone. Larimar is only found in the Dominican Republic and gets its name from a combination of LARIssa (the daughter of the man who discovered it) and MAR, the Spanish word for ocean. Being a single-source stone, it is fairly rare, so we are very lucky to have some! There are two sizes of the oval shape and they are sold in 16" strands
8x10mm Larimar ovals $81
10x14 mm Larimar ovals $82

And for something totally new, Variscite! Variscite is a phosphate first discovered in Germany, but now mined in Utah, Nevada, Queensland, and Brazil. Colors can vary, but it is most often found in this gorgeous bright green color.


These would make great spacers or look lovely wire wrapped on their own. Or straight-string them with one of the new Buddha pendants for a quick and adorable necklace!
4mm Variscite rounds $17

And... we have a new batch of Telsums to add to our antiquities collection. These amulets are from Ethiopia, 1800's - 1900's. They were typically worn as protection. The triangles protect from the evil eye and the half circles protect from the crescent moon. Even if you don't need protection from the evil eye, these shapes will look great with any rustic jewelry design!
Telsum Amulets $4 each

These are definitely some great finds, and there is still more to come! In my next blog I'll tell you all about our new Banded Agate, Fluorite, and Coral. But if you can't wait that long, feel free to come in for a visit and see our wonderful collection of beads in person. We are always here with a smile, a cookie, and answers to all your questions... well, all your BEADING questions!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Skulls and Buddhas

We have so much new stock, that I can barely keep up! Today I'm going to tell you all about the new skulls and Buddhas. I'm sure there's a connection between the two... somehow...

Now, dyed Magnasite skulls are available in even more colors! New colors include chartreuse, navy blue, fuchsia and purple. Of course we still have the standard black, white, orange and blue, as well as more strands of multi-colored skulls. They are fabulous for earrings, stretchy bracelets, and even unique rosaries. These skulls are all sold in 16" strands.
12mm Skulls $4/strand
14mm Skulls $5/strand
16mm Skulls $6/strand

My last post was all about Pyrite, but I saved this little treasure until today. That's right - Pyrite skulls! In three sizes! We've never had them before, and I think they are "SuperCool"! They're a little shiny and a little spooky. Strands are 8".
7x9 Pyrite Skulls $19
8x10 Pyrite Skulls $19
11x14 Pyrite Skulls $19

All the variety in the new Buddha pendants is very exciting! Some are small, some are big, some are brass, and some are stone! They are reproductions of old style Buddha pendants - a whole lot of fun, and a little easier on the pocketbook than an original.
Buddha pendants $13 each

As excited as I was to share the skulls and Buddhas with you (they are some of my personal favorites!) I am even more excited for the next post - new Larimar, Variscite and Telsums. It's gonna be good, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fool's Gold? Not to us!

Although Pyrite has often been referred to as "Fool's Gold", I think it would be foolish NOT to pick up a strand or two of this new pyrite! We have chunks, spacers and shapes, and they are all wonderful. But let's start with the chunks!

We've had some of the large and medium chunks (the outer strands) in the past, and they have gone fast! They add an earthy sparkle to a necklace or bracelet, and I love mixing them with Lapis.  We also have new tiny chunks for fun spacers, and large, sparkly chunks that combine quartz and pyrite.
Large Quartz/Pyrite Chunks (about 16mm) $34/strand
Large Pyrite Chunks (about 14mm) $20/strand
Medium Pyrite Chunks (about 12mm) $10/strand
Tiny Pyrite Chunks (about 3mm) $8/strand

And now we have faceted round spacers in 2mm and 3mm. These have decent size holes, so they are easy to string and can be used to add warm sparkle to a wide variety of projects.
2mm Faceted Rounds $29/strand
3mm Faceted Rounds $27/strand

But if smooth rounds are what you need, we have them as well! These beauties come in 2mm and 4mm. They also make great spacers, without quite as much sparkle, for a more subtle metallic look.
2mm Smooth Rounds $16/strand
4mm Smooth Rounds $11/strand

And last but not least, the shapes! These shapes are so much fun, and can be used for a variety of applications. Use the large faceted coins as a focal piece; use the small coins as spacers; use the squares in a wrap bracelet... The options are endless! 
16mm Faceted Coins $25/strand
7mm Smooth Coins $13/strand
6mm Smooth Cubes $11/strand
4x6mm Smooth Tubes $13/strand
4x6mm Smooth Rice-Shaped $13/strand

So stop on by and check out the new Pyrite - certainly not a foolish choice!
There's still more new arrivals to talk about... next up: Skulls and Buddhas!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Coptic Crosses and Hindu Amulets

We just received a huge shipment and I am so excited to share all the wonderful new pieces with you! Over the next few posts I will talk about all the exciting new things from antiquities to sparkles that we have waiting for you (along with a delicious cookie, of course!)

Let's start of with these wonderful Ethiopian Coptic Crosses. They come in many styles that reflect their town or province of origin, with the simplest ones being the oldest. They are made from coin silver and many are cut directly from the Maria Theresa (Marie Antoinette's mother) coin.


On the left is a close up of one of these crosses and on the right is the actual Maria Theresa coin. Although the image has been worn down over time on the cross, it is still easily identified as being cut from the coin. What a super cool piece of history to own!

All our Coptic Crosses are $69 each.

We also have many, many more Hindu amulets! These are at least 75 years old, but many are much older. They depict a variety of Hindu deities including Hanuman, the semi-divine monkey god from the epic Ramayana, Devi, the core female deity, and Bumiya Raj, the village protector. Just be careful, collecting them is addictive - everyone here has a huge stash at home!

Hindu Amulets start at $12 each.

That's all for today! Stay tuned, next I'll talk about the new skulls and Buddhas. They're pretty awesome, you won't want to miss it!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Great Balls of Fire!

Goodness gracious! You've been asking for them and now we have them - beautiful 12mm Rounds encrusted with crystals in black, gold, or crystal AB. The holes are big enough to fit on 1mm leather or cord, and even some of the chains!

The options are endless with these sparkling beauties - make a pair of earrings, a sparkling necklace, or a simple bracelet.

The quality on these is spectacular and you definitely get your money's worth at $9.50 each. Come on by and check them out. We would love to help you brainstorm for your perfect project!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Moss Agate and Amazonite

The last part of the recent shipment that I want to share with you is all the new Moss Agate and Amazonite. It's really gorgeous, but I'm at a  loss for a matching song, and thus my running theme is over. But that does not diminish the beauty of these beads!

I know I say this a lot, but I do adore Moss Agate. The color is perfectly Swampy and mixes great with other earth tone beads as well as copper. And each bead has its own unique pattern making it a piece of art all its own. We have a nice variety of sizes in 16" strands of smooth rounds.
4mm rounds: $7.00
6mm rounds: $8.00
8mm rounds: $12.00
10mm rounds: $16.00
12mm rounds: $19.00

And last, but certainly not least... Amazonite! The smooth opaque glow of these Amazonite is amazing. It's perfect to mix it with silver and moonstone to really bring out its cool, wintery color. For a more classic look, mix it with white pearls.
4mm rounds: $10.00
6mm rounds: $11.00
8mm rounds: $16.00

So that's what's new right now! I hope we'll see you soon for cookies, entertainment and creativity! Remember, we are here EVERY day for all your beading needs and we would love to help you make your project into a masterpiece!

Happy Beading!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Everything's Coming Up Roses!

You guessed it! We received some lovely Rose Quartz in our most recent shipment. And, as you may have guessed by the music theme, I am still guest blogging for Jenny. Don't worry, she'll be back as soon as she's done saving the world. In the meantime, let's talk Rose Quartz!
These have the feel of Spring to me, with soft glowing pastels and subtle tones. They can be mixed with other pastels or strong jewel tones for great effects. And the price is right! 16" strands run:
4mm rounds: $8.00
6mm rounds: $9.00
8mm rounds: $18.00
10mm rounds: $11.00

I always love a bit of sparkle and these faceted rounds fit the bill perfectly! These would make great spacers and also mix well with pearls or amethyst. The options are endless!
4mm rounds: $16.00
6mm rounds: $15.00
8mm rounds: $18.00

Have I mentioned my fondness of rondelles? They are so versatile, and one of my favorite things to do is wire wrap them between lengths of chain. These slightly opaque Rose Quartz rondelles would be a natural with silver chain, and maybe even gunmetal!

So really, everything's coming up Rose Quartz! Come by any time to check it out in person, we're here every day with delicious cookies and friendly help with all your beading emergencies! And stay tuned, there's still more new beads to talk about.

Happy Beading!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Eye of the Tiger

 We have some new surprises in the works and Jenny has been working hard to get things moving. So in the meantime, I will be guest blogging about our new arrivals, and let me tell you, we have some great new beads! I'll start with my favorite of the batch, these wonderful Tiger Eye beads.They have so much fire and we have a wide range of sizes and shapes - there's sure to be something you can't live without!
The small smooth rounds would make great spacers, and I think the larger ones would be gorgeous knotted on some dark brown silk. Prices for 16" strands are:
4mm rounds: $9.00
6mm rounds: $12.00
8mm rounds: $14.00
10mm rounds: $21.00

And check out these beauties! Faceted Tiger Eye adds some sparkle to the fire. These strands of 6mm faceted rounds are a great deal at $15.00.

I love rondelles! They make wonderful spacers and also look great wire wrapped. And with this batch we got a surprise - a few strands of flatter, wheel-shaped rondelles.
2x4mm smooth rondelles: $15.00
4x6mm smooth rondelles: $15.00
2x6mm wheels: $15.00

So come on by, have a cookie and get your very own "Eye of the Tiger"! We would love to see you, and if I'm feeling particularly sassy, I may hum a few bars of the classic 80's hit! And keep watching the blog, there's a few more things from this shipment that I'm excited to share with you!
Happy Beading!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Treasures in Silver

This past week we sent out our holiday newsletter that highlighted a handful of things we find to be really special and unique in the store. One thing we highlighted that I think deserves a little more explanation is one of my favorites, the antique bracelets and bangles.

The majority of our antique bracelets and cuffs come from the northwestern state of India called Rajasthan. For centuries Rajasthan has been known as home to some of the best silver workers in the world. Since silver was readily available in the region these bracelets have a high silver content (about 90% silver).

It can be tricky to accurately age these bracelets because the traditional decorative designs used were repeated for centuries. That means that even though the bracelet is only 100 years old, the design can be 600+ years old. The pieces we carry were made in the early-mid 19th century, making the newest pieces over 100 years old.

See that hole at the top? It's common for these bracelets to have screws that fit into both sides of the bracelet making it extra secure around the wearers wrist.

The details on some of these bracelets are amazing! Look at the close up on the end of this bangle. Some people see an intricate design, some people see a face staring back at them!

These cuffs are particularly interesting. These beautifully decorated pieces are made from door panels that had adorned Mughal palaces.

Check out that amazing silver work! Can you imagine and entire door panel made with these stylized peacock designs? Surely palace worthy if you ask me.

Unlike India, Yemen did not have a ready supply of raw silver. Instead, they resorted to melting down coins to cast their pieces (shown above). In fact, you can still see the imprint of an unmelted coin on the center piece of one of these bracelets (below).

Because Yemeni metal smiths were using coin silver, the silver content of these bracelets ended up being about 80% silver. These bracelets were made during the early-mid 19th century, making the newest pieces over 100 years old.

We couldn't forget this little weapon of a bracelet. This bracelet is Burmese and was made by the Shan people during the late 18th to early 19th century. It is unique because the Shan people (who were traveling silversmiths) often catered to other tribal groups making village specific designs, not their own. This bracelet, however, is a reflection of the Shans personal style. Measuring at only 2.5 inches at the widest point this bracelet is looking for a very special person to become it's new owner.

This is just a small representation of what we have available. If you find your self in the area, come in and check them out. See for yourself why we love them so much!

Friday, December 16, 2011

New Shipment of Antique African Amber!

Antique African Amber $9.50 per gram

We've got a whole new strand of the antique African amber beads to share with you today! These beautiful beads are destined to be added into the singles basket along with the rest of our antique Amber beads.

Despite the name, this amber wasn't originally sourced from Africa. The amber rough was found in the Baltic and traded into Africa where it was carved into beads. Unlike Tibetans (who also carved Baltic amber into beads), Africans preferred to carve specific shapes like wheel and square-ish shapes. These beads were generally produced during the 19th century but some pieces can be even older. We sell them by the individual bead so you can pick out the beads that speak to you and make a bracelet or necklace that is truly personal.