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.


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.


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.



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.


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