Creating quality stone beads demands attention to detail on every level. It begins literally from the ground up- the mining, grading, selecting, designing, cutting, drilling, polishing all require specialized knowledge and skill. Cutting focals demands an additional level of skill and artistry.

A talented and experienced stone artisan considers the type of material and pattern before the cutting begins. Creating a template helps the artisan to maximize the utility and beauty in each piece of rough material.


When planning shapes and cuts, artisans also need to understand how different stone types are composed on a microscopic or even submicroscopic level. The composition of the stone, underlying crystal formations, cleavage, and hardness/softness of the stone dictate how a stone can (or can’t) be shaped.

The stakes are especially high in the finishing process. After the initial cut, it must be perfectly finished, shaped, and polished. Any mistake in these areas can result in an unusable, and therefore worthless, piece. The machine-like precision of lines and curves in many focals may lead buyers to believe that they have been machine-made. In reality, most Dakota Stones focals have been cut by hand. The exceptional quality is a testimony to the artisans’ level of skill and attention.

Dakota Stones Focals collection includes donuts, individual pendants, pendant sets, guru beads, collars, and intricately carved pendants.