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Quality Control: The Struggle is Real
We’ve touched briefly in the past week about how difficult it was to find a reliable source for high-quality Malachite. We had leads on plenty of lower quality rough. But none of that rough material resulted in truly beautiful beads.

Our quality control is exacting. Each shipment we receive is fully inspected, and each year, we reject about a ton of beads. Literally. A ton.

In 90% of those cases, we’ve tried working with outside factories. And those factories don’t deliver. Here’s a sampling of recent rejects.

Amazonite


Oh look, a random bead that doesn’t fit. We ordered Amazonite. Not Black-Gold Amazonite. Not Amazonite with a random accent bead. Out the door they go.
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Rondelles


Don’t be deceived by the size of the beads. The hole size varied so much that we could get 22 gauge wire through some beads, and barely squeeze 26 through others because the drilling was so poor. Out the door with those.

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Rounds


No. Double drilling is NOT acceptable. Nor is off center drilling. Nor are “round” beads with dimples, divots and shape irregularity. Out the door with those.

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Strawberry Quartz


Um? Uh? What?

Both of these strands were sold to us as “natural” Strawberry Quartz. These came from a factory we’d never used before and never will again.

~The Takeaway~

All the beads we reject go back from whence they came. Eventually, they’re sold to other distributors and retailers. These beads are then received by employees at other companies that know inventory, but *not* stone. So, yes, some vendors are blindly selling product that’s not properly identified or quality checked. They’re not trying to be deceptive in most cases. They simply don’t have the team to adequately inspect incoming merchandise. Other times, their business model is to offer low quality strands at super-low prices.

Whether you choose to buy from Dakota Stones or another vendor, we recommend that you always look at your product after you receive it or before you buy. Make sure that the beads are usable for you. If you’re shopping bargain strands, factor in the number of beads on the strand you can actually use- it may make more sense for your bottom line to pay a bit more for a strand with usable beads throughout.

Erin, Dakota Stones
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Jaspr Cragg Date 10/2/2017
A professional practice I am thrilled to read and see here at DS. I have been pleased with the consistent quality of my orders. You’ve hit 4 pet peeves when receiving online orders. Having a reliable resource to purchase sight unseen is invaluable to artists like myself conducting business online. Thank you for offering this information.
Marion Gold Date 10/2/2017
As a jewelry designer, I always shuddered when purchasing beads online. In shops, I spend hours examining each bead on a strand, making sure I will get the most "usable" beads per strand. Online purchasing is much more difficult - especially with the variation in color settings on computer screens! I've learned over the years that I can trust Dakota Stones. Occasionally, yes, I have returned a strand or two, when natural variations in color just wouldn't work for a project. But that is rare - and Dakota stones does the very best job of assuring that when I open that package of stones, I can smile at the quality. THANK YOU!
Dwyn Date 10/2/2017
Bravo! You reject them so that we don't have to!
Victoria Date 10/2/2017
I'm not surprised, in the least, reading this. I had realized this all on my own. I know that Dakota Stone is always going to deliver the best.
Diane M Reed Date 10/2/2017
Thank you! I appreciate DS taking the time to make sure the beads I'll receive will all be usable and top notch. Not much worse than looking forward to an order and then receiving beads you can't actually use or wouldn't want to use in your designs. It's nice to not be disappointed. Thanks again, Diane
Tammy Helart Date 10/2/2017
I have been buying stones from Dakota for years now and have always been happy with quality and value. I trust you guys!
Karen Date 10/2/2017
I for one, am very grateful for your quality control. Thank you
Sharon Redgrave Date 10/2/2017
I have had experiences in receiving beads that exhibit the exact faults you detail here. Granted, in the description of the product they do *sometimes* mention the grade--A,B,C,etc.---but not always. But they almost never mention '...double drilled, random width holes, extreme variation in color...* Right? My last order from Dakota Stones was stellar, and I am loving the videos, the FB page, and all of the recent inclusive conversations and challenges. Not to be 'punny' but you guys ROCK!
Janet Bocciardi Date 10/3/2017
Thank you for sharing! I have always loved the quality of your stones, but now I know why yours look so much better! Great post.
Karen Feder Date 10/3/2017
Erin, you are really amazing...you're like the SYONE GURU!! Thanks so much for your stone input!!
Gary Huguenard Date 10/3/2017
Thanks for the info.......your quality always exceeds other suppliers I've used in the past. Dakota Stones is always my first choice when looking for specific gemstones and also my inventory needs. Thanks.
Shelee Bush Date 10/3/2017
I agree, I purchase from many sources, and your beads are always superior and priced wholesale correctly for the quality. thank you, Shelee
Ruth kelch Date 10/3/2017
Thanks Erin! We have come to trust Dakota Stones, and the quality is obvious! Thanks for having our backs and affording us great success in design! Ruth
Katrina Hunter Date 10/4/2017
Wow! had no idea. All your articles are great and I appreciate them.
 
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