Ok , this
requires a bit of lead-in:
While, I call these Vegas beads, they
are in fact about the closest to beads seem in the 13th
century, minus the flat hand-cut sides.
See Period Sample of simliar beads: Sample
1 - Sample
The glitziest, most audacious of the bunch
are a rarer form of seed bead called "3-cuts".
They start off mushc like the beads most folks know
as "Bugles" - only very short.
After being snapped to seed size, they
are HAND GROUND on wheels - by real people in the Czech
republic - to round them and give them random facets,
These flat surfaces give the 3-cuts their
fantastic glitter and allow them to pick up enormous
amounts of light sometimes seemingly from nowhere and
send it back. The clear varities alomost look better
in dim light thant sunlight, picking up any ambient
light and seemingly glow from it.
Due to the hand made process, these are
a time consuming, harder to find in popular colors,and
thusly they are roughly aboou 5x's as expensive as thier
plainer counterparts. Some styles of 3-cuts come around
only once in several years... I try to keep all the
heraldic colors in stock, but once they are gone they
are gone, and it could be several years before they
appear again. I'll let you know if dont have a color
thats needed and I can't get it.
I do charge $10 extra for using these
beads to allot for thier extra cost and required time
consuming tasks while working with them. Because the
way the beads made there is some size variance in widths,
so I have to sit raking through a bowl of beads till
I find a perfetly sized thin or thick one to fit the
spot needed. (see "Las Vegas 2" below to see
a good example of this...)