Friday, December 15, 2017

A Little History of the Czech or Bohemian Glass Beads


Beads of all types have been made for centuries mostly in what is now Western and Eastern Europe.  Specifically, the focus of this article is on Czech beads or by their other name Bohemian Glass Beads.  They got their name from Bohemia, a region in central Europe that occupied two-thirds of the lands that was a kingdom in the Holy Empire, and later the Austrian Empire.

The manufacturing of beads in Bohemia began after 400 A.D. and by 900 A.D. locally made beads were placed in tombs.  Three hundred years later glass factories were turning out a variety of glass products, mostly household wares.


By the 19th century there was a change in the political face of Europe when Bohemia and Venice added the Austrian Empire.  All three regions competed with each other prior to coming together as one and continued to compete afterwards thanks to Czech “sample men”.  They were what we call today craftsmen and salesmen. They traveled world wide asking people what beads they wanted made then would sketch the beads and write descriptions underneath those sketches before returning to Bohemia to make them a reality.  At the same time there was an industrial innovation that produced new machines that pressed molten glass into heated molds and resulted in mass production of identical beads.

Moving into modern history, Czech glass bead production is closely allied to the impact of both World Wars and later the Cold War.  The center of bead production was North Bohemia.  It has been the center of bead production since the 13th century.  The area was a rich resource of potash and Quartz needed for glass making.  The three cities that produced all the glass beads in the area were Jablonec, Stanovsko and Bedricho (the last city is now called Reichenberg) known for making rosaries.  In the second half the 16th century it became fashionable to produce costume jewelry.

A good website for more detailed information is big-bead-little-bead.blogspot.  If you click on Czech beads, you can see the individual homes where beads were made to supply large companies.


After WWI North Bohemia became part of Czechoslovakia and initially bead production was doing well, and in fact, the region became the largest bead exporter.  When the Depression and then WWII occurred bead production was greatly affected, and subsequently it was dealt an even heavier blow when the communist government decided glass making was not an approved industry.  The Czech government did not change its mind about bead production in Czechoslovakia until the 1950s.  Prior to this time many North Bohemians left the area for Germany where they resettled and restarted their businesses.

Decades later in 1989, communist control ended and Czechoslovakia split into two countries: Czech Republic and Slovakia.  (The Czech Republic is now where North Bohemia now lies.)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Gemstone: Topaz

Multi Gemstone Earrings, Bracelet and Ring
The earrings feature mystic topaz

Topaz is the chameleon of gemstones.  It is naturally colorless but when iron and chromium impurities get into it, the resulting topaz come in an array of colors. These colors include yellow, orange, red-brown, light blue, pink to red, violet, and light green. This can lead to a miss identification of topaz as another gemstone.  There are characteristics of topaz that combined differentiate it from other gemstones.  For instance topaz has an orthorhombic structure which as defined by the Oxford dictionary as – “of or denoting a crystal system or three-dimensional geometric arrangement having three unequal axis at right angles.  Topaz also has a weak fluorescence and has perfect cleavage just like a diamond.  It also exhibits pleochroism (shows  several colors in a single stone) depending on the angle the gemstone gets seen from.  Lastly topaz is transparent with few inclusions giving it a brilliant appearance and a glassy luster. 

Despite topaz's ability to show many different colors it is not uncommon for this gemstone to go through enhancement to produce even bolder color.  The most popular topaz sold in the US is dark to deep blue.  In nature blue topaz is usually light blue. To create darker shades of blue, topaz goes through a radiation process called irradiation.  What happens is radiation passes through something else to reach the topaz for indirect contact with the radiation.  After that topaz gets a heat treatment to produce striking shades of blue. To produce a purple-pink topaz pieces of orange-brown topaz are heat-treated. Both types of treatments are widely accepted since they result in a permanent color change.  There is natural pink topaz in existence but it is rare, pale in color, and only found in Pakistan.

Another way topaz can have its color changed is to coat it with titanium dioxide. There are three types: Azotic topaz: formed by coating undesirable pieces of topaz to produce a rainbow of color; topaz can also be coated to appear pink; and to turn topaz, green, clear topaz goes through diffusion treatment to turn it green.  These treatments are not permanent and will fade to show the true color of the topaz piece. 

All gemstones including topaz can safely be cleaned with warn soapy water with or without using a tooth-brush.  After cleaning the gemstone wipe it with a soft cloth.  Avoid contact of any type of gemstone with household cleaning chemicals and protect them from extreme heat to prevent permanent damage to the gemstone.

Always store gemstone jewelry inside a fabric lined box or wrap it in a soft cloth then store it separately from other gemstones. has only one pair of earrings featuring real topaz that is violet in color with 14K Gold Vermeil hammered tops paired with a rough cut ruby ring and a bracelet with rough cut ruby, citrine, and garnet gemstones.  The hints of pink in the violet mystic topaz and the pink hints in ruby go very well together even though they are different gemstones.

References: ,,  and


Monday, June 12, 2017

Change is Here's new website has gone live. We upgraded the website and are working on a different sales platform.

 One of the changes is one page for entering payment information including allowing customers to order as guests without creating an account. Also if you have a PayPal account you can pay with it instead of entering credit card information.   We will also be able to offer discounts and sales we have not been able to offer before like buy one get one free.   To celebrate this new chapter, is offering free shipping and handling on orders $25 and up until June 21st.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Glitter: Clear & Colorful @ Cliptomania

Crystal-Heart & Round CZ Stud Non-pierced Dangle Clip Earrings

Letter Z for Zig Zag Faceted & Sparkling Crystal Non-pierced Drop Earrings

Layered-Crystals Non-pierced Flower Clip Earrings

Encrusted &Sparkling Ovals Non-pierced Drop Clip Earrings

Crazy Sparkling & Faceted Crystal Teardrop Dangle Clip Earrings

Metallic-Purple 3-D Cluster Non-pierced Clip Earrings

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Gemstone: Ruby

Multi Gemstone Earrings, Bracelet and Ring
Note: Ruby is the lighter red stone in the ring and the one on top of the citrine and garnet

The gemstone ruby is a corundum or aluminum oxide whose name comes from the Latin word ruber which means red.  This gemstone is found in over a dozen countries worldwide including in the United States.  Other varieties of gem quality corundum known as sapphires.  All natural rubies have imperfections in them including color impurities and inclusions of rutile needles called silk. Gemologists use rutile needles to distinguish natural rubies from synthetics, stimulants, or ruby substitutes that lack silk.

Natural ruby colors include all shades of red including pink.  They also have primary hues in addition to its natural color these include a vibrant shade of red called pigeons blood as well as other colors such as  orange, yellow, green, violet, or the most popular hue blue.  And rubies can also have a secondary hue or color. The possible colors include: orange, purple, violet, or pink. Determination of a ruby's grade through analysis of their color, cut clarity and weight.  Color is the most important evaluation specifically from hue, saturation and tone.

The most common cuts for rubies are oval and cushions which hold up best.  However rubies can also be cut circular, triangular, emerald cut, pear, marquise cuts all of which do not always hold up as well. Generally the size of a ruby is under a karat to keep cost reasonable any larger and its price will vary greatly.

Rubies are generally heat-treated to cut down on or eradicate impurities inside of the natural fractures in the gemstone. Or a rough ruby is only given a pre-polish and maybe a cleaning with hydrogen fluoride.   If there are fractures in the specimen lead glass fills them in.  Or if the gemstone’s color is lacking a glass powder with copper and another metal oxide like sodium or calcium are given a try to enhance the natural color of the ruby.  Otherwise rubies are left as natural as possible. carries ruby jewelry including rings, bracelets and earrings from designers such as Michelle Pressler, Michal Golan, ThereseMade , and Emilie Shapiro Contemporary Metals.

All gemstones including ruby can safely be cleaned with warn soapy water with or without using a tooth-brush.  After cleaning the gemstone wipe it with a soft cloth.  Avoid contact of any type of gemstone with household cleaning chemicals and protect them from extreme heat to prevent permanent damage to the gemstone.

Always store gemstone jewelry inside a fabric lined box or wrap it in a soft cloth then store it separately from other gemstones.

References: and

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hello Summer

cliptomania is celebrating Summer with a rainbow of colors!

Art Glass Clip on Drop Earrings

These beauties come in Watermelon Pickel (left) and Mardi Gras (right) and symbolize celebration and fun!

Jewel Glass Dangles Clip on Earrings

These clip on earrings make me think of the flowers that bloom in the spring season

Plumeria Blooms Clip On Earrings

See these and other earrings at in a section called My Favorite Color.