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Bead Supply Sources
The ones I personally use...
I have to admit to being a bit of an online ordering junkie. I can pick out what I want from home, I don't have to find parking, and I get stuff delivered right to my house. I love having beads delivered to my house. It's like getting gifts in the mail.
Best of all, I usually get beads and findings cheaper than I would at a physical retail store too. I truly believe that the internet is the great leveller. Competition is all around so companies know they have to deliver on price and service or be stomped. Which is win-win for all of us consumers right?
So here is my short list of favorite bead supply sources. Did I mention these are my personal suppliers?
Beads and Findings
Arton Beads, 523 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada My favourite bead supply sources for when I have to pick up a few things last minute for an order or if I want some inexpensive beads for kid projects.
It's kind of like a candy store. There is so muchstuff there- especially inexpensive glass and base metal beads, chain, and findings. I just zip down to Queen St. here in downtown Toronto to grab something in a pinch, or take my little girl Zoe for a shopping treat to find some sparkly girl type beads to do a project together. If I have more time, or a larger that $150 quantity I'll use one of the other suppliers below because the high quality precious metals and semi-precious stone I'm usually short on is so much cheaper wholesale. (Canada)
Artbeads.com- A great selection of beads and findings with free shipping in the U.S. and $1 shipping to Canada. I found Artbeads to have the best prices for sterling silver letter beads in retail quantities. They usually have a pretty good clearance section too. (U.S.A.)
Bamiyan Silver - I love shopping here! They have online shopping, but if you live in the Toronto area, you can get some pretty good deals from their warehouse. This company offers a wide selection of precious metal findings, sterling silver and vermeil beads, and lots and lots of semiprecious and precious gemstone beads. They are strictly wholesale, have $150 CDN minimum order, and you must have a sales tax number in order to buy from them. (Canada)
Crystal Bead Shop- Another Canadian supplier, they have a nice selection of swarovski crystal, precious metal beads, chain, and they have some tools too. I haven't tried it yet, but I hear really good things about their specialty looping plier. Free shipping for orders over $50 to the U.S.A. and within Canada. (Canada)
Other Bead and Finding Supply Sources
Of course the above suppliers aren't the only place to shop! You can find a large variety of resin jewelry making supplies in the How to Make Jewelry Supply shop with more to come in the future.
Metal Sheet and Wire
I've bought sterling silver sheet and wire from Imperial Smelting (Canadian Smelter) and have been very happy with their service. Annealing costs extra though ($5 per separate size) You have to buy in quantity in order to save any money.
If you just need a little, sterling silver wire and sheet will cost more per ounce. Copper wire is a much less expensive alternative and you can even get silver colored, gold colored, and a rainbow of other colored wires.
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