Field Report

The Creation and Business of Beads

Dealers holding beads
National Facets specializes in manufacturing gemstone beads of different varieties and styles. Photo by Andrew Lucas/GIA.
Creation and Business of Beads
Let a GIA field team take you into one of the largest bead manufacturers in the world to see the creation of all styles of beads from all types of gemstones. Enter the world of beads and hear about one manufacturer’s firsthand experience in the global bead industry.

Popular all over the world in a wide range of jewelry market sectors, beads are one of the most versatile jewelry items. Beads can be made out of transparent to translucent material like ruby, sapphire, quartz, and tourmaline, or phenomenal and translucent to opaque material like opal, moonstone, turquoise, and lapis lazuli. Almost every gemstone material can be fashioned into beads.

Multi-strand yellow sapphire necklace
This multi-strand necklace of yellow sapphire beads will be impressive when worn. Bead strands can be very eye-catching high-end jewelry. Photo by Andrew Lucas/GIA.
Translucent to opaque rough
Creating Beads Gallery

Beads are great for adding color by just putting on a strand. They can be used with pendants and enhancers to create a variety of looks. Multiple strands of beads can provide a rich look and a multitude of colors. From casual to formal, simple to complex, and inexpensive to high-end, bead jewelry has a long history of fitting all styles of adornment.

Multicolored bead strands
Tourmaline provides all the colors of the rainbow for a multi-strand necklace. Photo by Andrew Lucas/GIA.

National Facets manufactures beads and cabochons fashioned from all types of gemstones and sells them throughout the jewelry industry. They create multicolored multi-strand suites of sapphire, beryl, and tourmaline, encompassing all the colors of the rainbow. Jaipur is a major bead manufacturing center along with China. National Facets is one of the most versatile bead manufacturers, producing beads of all styles and types of gemstones. For over three decades Rajesh Dhamani has been the guiding force behind the company and its position in the bead industry. In the spirit of Jaipur family businesses, he is now assisted by his son Yash Dhamani, a GIA Alumni member and part of the new generation of Jaipur entrepreneurs. During the GIA team’s visit, we were able to film and document the entire production process, as well as interview one of the partners and gain in-depth insight into this specialized and fascinating segment of the jewelry industry.

Cutters fashioning beads
Fashioning beads and cabochons is a hand-manufacturing process. The cutters use their experience, eyes, and sense of touch to create the final product. Photo by Andrew Lucas/GIA.

Andrew Lucas is manager of field gemology for education at GIA Carlsbad, Nirupa Bhatt is managing director for GIA India and Middle East, Manoj Singhania is director of Education at GIA India, Kashish Sachdeva is a gemology instructor at GIA India, Dr. Tao Hsu is technical editor of Gems & Gemology, and Pedro Padua is video producer at GIA Carlsbad.


GIA staff often visit mines, manufacturers, retailers and others in the gem and jewelry industry for research purposes and to gain insight into the marketplace. GIA appreciates the access and information provided during these visits. These visits and any resulting articles or publications should not be taken or used as an endorsement.

The authors gratefully thank National Facets for the inside view of the bead industry.