How to Make a Beaded Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Bracelet
Sleeping Beauty turquoise is named after the Sleeping Beauty turquoise mine in Arizona, U.S.. and is similar to Kingman turquoise--but to be honest, I like the sky-blue color of Sleeping Beauty turquoise much better. Although expensive, the high-quality natural turquoise has such a vivid color and hardness, with a very small amount of matrix, that it doesn't need to be stabilized or color-enhanced like so much of the cheaper turquoise on the market. For this bracelet, I used faceted Arizona turquoise rectangle beads and sterling silver beads handcrafted in Bali, Indonesia. The sterling silver and vivid blue of the Sleeping Beauty turquoise
create a gorgeous contrast, making this a startlingly simple
bracelet design with lots of eye appeal. It's great for casual wear, but works for business environments and formal occasions, too.
Supplies You Will Need
Gather your supplies. You will need:
- Half a 16" strand of Sleeping Beauty turquoise beads 8-10mm in length in oval or rectangle shape, faceted or smooth
- Handcrafted Thai Hill Tribe silver or Bali sterling silver beads 4-5mm
- 1 10-15mm ornate Bali sterling silver tube or rectangle shaped focal bead
- A 3" 20 or 22 gauge sterling silver headpin
- 2 2mm or 3mm Sterling silver tube crimp beads
- 49-strand beading jewelry wire (like Accu-Flex or Soft-Flex), .024 size
- round nose pliers
- flat nose pliers
- sterling silver lobster claw clasp and jump ring
Handcrafting Your Arizona Turquoise Bracelet
Cut the Accu-Flex wire about 10" long for a 7 1/2" bracelet. Thread the clasp and crimp on one end and close the crimp with the flat nose pliers or a chain nose pliers.
Begin stringing beads, starting with the silver spacer beads and alternating with the turquoise and ending with the silver. String and crimp the jump ring when the bracelet is long enough for your wrist. Firm up the beads so they're tight together, but not too tight to bend easily. Tighten the crimp. The bracelet strand is now done; all that's needed is to add the dangle.
On the headpin, place first a turquoise bead, then the focal sterling silver bead, then another turquoise bead. Make a loop with the round nose pliers but don't close it up.
Fix the loop into the jump ring. Close and wrap the loop to secure the beads on the headpin.
Your gorgeous and elegant Sleeping Beauty turquoise bracelet is done, and it probably cost you no more than a third of what you'd have to pay if you bought it retail. Wear it with pride!
© 2009 Chris Telden