General Common Questions
Where are you located? We are located in Midland, Ontario, Canada.

What is your mailing address and phone number? Our mailing address is The Northern Bead Company, PO Box 12, Station Main, Midland, Ontario, Canada, L4R 4K6 and our phone number is 416-223-3716.

What currency is your pricing? Our pricing is in Canadian Dollars.

What forms of payment do you accept? We accept both VISA and MasterCard, as well as PayPal. Please note that some Visa or MasterCard Gift Cards are accepted (mostly Canadian), but not all. If you are trying to complete your payment using a Visa or MasterCard Gift Card, the checkout process will notify you if your transaction cannot be completed. We do not accept either cash or cheque.

Do you have a store or showroom? No, we operate solely online. We ship from Midland, Ontario, Canada. Unfortunately, we do not allow customers to pick up an order.

What are your Customer Service hours? 

September to May
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm EST

June to August
Monday to Thursday 9am - 5pm EST

Holiday Closures are always listed on our homepage

How do I join your FBC discount program? Simply click here. A link to our FBC program can also be found at the top of the homepage.

I am an existing customer. How do I join your FBC discount program? Simply enroll here. You will be issued a FBC account number and you can start accumulating points right away.
How do I become a customer?
Simple! Just click on the "My Account" link at the top right on each page. If you have already created an account, you can login to your existing account. If you are a new customer, you can create an account. We recommend any new customer create their account prior to adding items into their cart for the first time. Please note that for shipping insurance and security purposes, we require full first and last name, a valid email address and a full valid telephone number. Then simply login to your account on your next visit!
Incomplete registrations or registrations with fraudulent information will be automatically removed.

I qualify for Ontario First Nations Point of Sale Exemption. How do I claim the exemption? 
We are not allowed to provide the exemption for qualifying property or services when purchases are made when purchased via the Internet or through other distribution channels for which the presentation of a Certificate of Indian Status card to verify eligibility is not possible. In order to claim the refund, the holder of the exemption must file for reimbursement for the HST from the Ontario Ministry of Finance.

I don't like giving out my email address, or phone number
We would only use your email address and phone number if we had to contact you directly. We do not share any of our information with any marketing or third-party company. Both For more information regarding our Privacy Policy, click here .

How do I unsubscribe from your mailing list? Customers can subscribe or unsubscribe from our mailing list at anytime by simply clicking on the "Unsubscribe" link that is on every promotional email we send out.
Then either check or uncheck "Keep informed on new products and promotions". We abide by the Canadian Can Spam Act by doing one or all of the following: 1) all emails we send out have instructions on how to unsubscribe; 2) we have a "existing business or non-business relationship"; and 3) consent was obtained when the customer signed up for our promotional emails.
Ontario Privacy Laws prohibit us from registering a customer for either our mailing list or FBC program.
My email address has changed so I cannot login to my account anymore. How do I update my information? Easy! You can either email us at or call us at 416-223-3716. We would be happy to update your information for you. Please have your previous invoice with you so we may confirm your account details. Please do not create a new account! Our shipping program will only recognize one account per customer and will not update to a new address automatically.

What are your Customer Service Hours? Our Customer Service is available September to May, 9:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday to Friday. Our summer hours (June to August) are Monday to Thursday, 9:00AM to 5:00PM. If you need to contact us outside of our regular hours, please email us at , or if you are contacting us regarding a specific order, please contact us through the Help Desk (located on the Order Details page.)
Do you have a print catalogue? No. Due to our frequently changing stock it would be impossible to have an accurate print catalogue.
Where do you ship to? Anywhere in the world! Please note that shipping outside of Canada and the USA will require additional postage.
How much is International Shipping? For approximate rates please click here.
How do I pay for my special order? You will be contacted directly by our customer service department with all the information.

What safety precautions should I take when working with your items? Please note that beads and other products sold here are not a toys and small components could represent a choking hazard. Caregivers should be made aware of the risks resulting from children wearing or handling handmade or adult metal jewelry, even if items are manufactured or purchased in the United States or Canada, because infants have natural mouthing behaviors; these items can also pose a choking hazard for small children.
Please use appropriate safety precautions when using wire or metal stamping material, or glues, epoxy products, and adhesives.  For more information on eye protection please visit the Canadian Centre for Occupational Heal and Safety.

Common Questions About Our Products

I'm looking for something not on your website, can you get it? While we have a large selection on our website, this is only a small fraction of beads and beading accessories that we have access to. E-mail our Special Request team and we'll try to find it for you. You must be registered on our website as a customer before we can process a special request order. No phone orders for Special Orders - please email us with your request. Special Order products are not returnable.
Are there other pictures of the beads you have online? Yes. If you need to see another angle of a bead write us and we will e-mail you the picture. 

I am not sure about the colour of bead on your website. Can I contact you to verify the colour? Yes! We try to take our images under the best lighting conditions but we know that colour can vary due to monitor settings so please feel free to contact us before ordering. We encourage our customers to reach out to us prior to placing an order as to avoid costly rerturn fees.

Can you tell me where a bead or product is manufactured? Yes! We are happy to provide information on country of origin for any of our products.

I need to know if you have enough stock of a particular bead. Can you let me know? Yes! If your project requires a specific bead and you wish to ensure you receive enough for your project, please feel free to contact us prior to placing your order. This especially applies to Swarovski, clearance, and bargain beads, which usually have limited stock available.

I am not sure about the size of the bead I need. What is the best way to measure?
We suggest using a vernier gauge or calipers to measure the diameter of a bead. It is the most accurate and precise way to obtain a measurement.

What are the different meanings/powers associated with semi-precious stones? Click here to see our page of definitions.

Can you tell me how thick a gauge of wire is in inches or millimeters? Yes. Click here to see our conversion table.
How many 6/0 seed beads are in a gram? Approximately 18.
What is a gross and mass of beads? Gross=144 pieces, mass=1200 pieces.
What is the difference between transparent, translucent, and opaque? Transparent means that you should be able to see light and text through the bead. Translucent (sometimes also referred to as milky or opal) means that light can pass through the bead but you would not be able to read text. Opaque refers to a solid color; light cannot pass through the bead.

What are the birthstones for each month?
January: Garnet or Rose Quartz February: Amethyst or Onyx March: Aquamarine or Bloodstone April: Diamond or Rock Crystal (Quartz) May: Emerald or Chrysoprase June: Alexadrite or Moonstone or Pearl July: Ruby or Carnelion August: Peridot or Sardonyx September: Sapphire or Lapis October: Opal or Tourmaline November: Topaz or Citrine December: Zircon or Turquoise


What does the abbreviation AB mean? AB is short form for Aurora Borealis, or more commonly called The Northern Lights. In beading terms, it refers to an rainbow coating applied to usually half or one side of a bead.
What is Dichroic? Originally created for the Aerospace industry, Dichroic chips are incorporated in many of the Unicorne Beads that is offered to the buying public.
The brilliant dichroic optical properties of dichroic glass are the result of multiple micro-layers of metal oxides. These thin layers of oxides have a total thickness of three to five millionths of an inch.
Do you offer wholesale pricing? Yes, to qualified buyers on bulk purchases only. Please note that wholesale orders are subject to quantity minimums. As an example, wholesale pricing for Czech round Druk beads start at 1 Mass (1200 pieces) and Czech 11/0 and 10/0 seed beads on 500g bags. We require a minimum purchase of $300.00 on the first order and $150.00 on each subsequent order. Please contact us at for more information (we cannot provide wholesale pricing by phone). Please remember to include the description and SKU of any products you are interested in. We are sorry, but wholesale orders do not qualify for our free shipping program and will be subject to a minimal shipping charge based upon weight and destination. Retail and wholesale orders cannot be combined for shipping. If you cannot meet our wholesale terms please consider joining our Frequent Beaders Club.
Wholesale pricing is available to registered customers only so if you are interested in wholesale pricing, please register before contacting us.

Common Questions About Our Shopping Cart

I have never bought from you before. How do I create an account? Simply click here and you can go through the process of setting up an account. Once you have set up your account, you can begin shopping immediately. Please note that we require a full first and last name for registration; initials only are not accepted. We require a valid email address and telephone number for all customer accounts.  We would only use your email address and phone number if we had to contact you directly. We do not share any of our information with any marketing or third-party company.
How long will items stay in my shopping cart? Items will stay in your indefinitely if you login to your account prior to using the shopping cart. If you do not login to your account and you have an extended browsing session, your cart may empty if left idle for too long. If you are just browsing and plan on returning to the cart at a later time, click "Save Cart" (you will be prompted to name your cart for your return visit.) When you leave our website and then return at a later date you will be prompted if you have items still in your cart from your last visit and you will be given the option of restocking your cart or emptying it. If you are having problems with your cart emptying please see our Security page for details on how to enable cookies.

All of the items in my cart have disappeared. What do I do? Our cart system is cookie free, which means we do not load any information on your system. This enables customers to shop over multiple platforms ie tablets, phones, etc. To retrieve a cart, login to your account, choose  View Saved Shopping Carts, click on the last cart, and then choose restore. The cart will then reload and you can then adjust, add products prior to checkout.
I am only browsing today but I might want to place an order later. How do I use the Wish List feature? It is easy! Login to your account. Now, just shop the website as normal, but instead of adding things directly into the shopping cart, click on "Add to Wish List" The item will now be added to a central list to which you can refer back later. You can move items to your shopping cart from this list, delete items from the list, or email the list to friends, family and fellow beaders. It is great for beading groups and for not-so-subtle hints for birthdays and holidays!

I registered as a customer but I cannot checkout (the cart will not let me checkout and I receive an error message.) Why?  If you have never placed an order before and you cannot complete the checkout process, please make sure when you set up your account profile, you assigned a password to your account. We require a password for every customer account for security purposes. We suggest a password 7 characters or more with one or more capital letters and one or more numbers. After checking and updating your password, if you still experience difficulties, please let us know at . We would be happy to assist you on updating or completing your order.
How do I check the status of my order? Log into your account (click on "my account" near the top right of the page). From here you will see several options including View Previous Orders - click on this and choose the order you would like more details on. Here you will see what was on your order and the current status. The status of the order will be: pending, processed, or shipped (date shipped, and tracking number if applicable).
What if an item I ordered is out of stock when my order is picked? Although we do our best to keep our catalogue up-to-date there may be occasions when we are out of stock of the item you ordered. All orders are processed in the order they are received, just as if the customer was standing in front of us. If this occurs we will credit your Credit Card for the difference and ship your order, less the out of stock item. Unfortunately, due to the large number of orders we process daily we cannot notify customers of an out of stock item, especially any items from our Clearance and Bargain Bead selections. When your order is shipped an email is sent detailing what is included in your order and whether an item is out of stock. If you wish to be notified of an out of stock item prior to us shipping your order, please let us know in the comments section when completing your checkout. Please note that this may impact and delay the shipment of your order.
I placed and order but now I realize that I need to add an item. What should I do? Unfortunately once an order has been placed we cannot add to that order but if you place another order, email us to let us know at , we can combine the orders for shipping. Any shipping charges on the second order will be refunded.

If I have an out of stock item, how will it be noted on my invoice? Any refunds will appear in the comment box at the bottom of your invoice, just to the left of the original invoice total. A (x) will appear next to any item that received a refund.
Is there a minimum order that has to placed? Yes, there is a nominal minimum order of $10.

I received my order but I would like to return either all or some of it. What do I do? Please visit our Returns, Shipping and Policy page for full instructions on how to return a product. 

Common Questions About Payment Processing

What forms of payment do you accept? We accept both VISA and MasterCard, as well as PayPal. Please note that some Visa or MasterCard Gift Cards are accepted (mostly Canadian), but not all. If you are trying to complete your payment using a Visa or MasterCard Gift Card, the checkout process will notify you if your transaction cannot be completed. We do not accept either cash or cheque.
Is your online credit card processing secure? Yes. Click here for more information.

I would like to pay by credit card but I do not want to use my card online. Can I still complete my order?  Yes! Simply shop as normal on the website and complete the checkout until the last page where you would enter your credit card information but do not enter your card. Now simply call us! It's that easy! We can then take your card information by phone (we will ask a security question to verify your identity) and we can complete the checkout process on your behalf. Please note that all credit card payments are required to provide the 3 digit security code.

Can I pay in something other than Canadian funds? International customers can pay in their home currency by using PayPal as long as their PayPal account is set up with their home currency. PayPal will calculate the current exchange rate. PayPal currently accepts the following currencies: Canadian Dollars, Euros, Pounds Sterling, U.S. Dollars, Yen, Australian Dollars, New Zealand Dollars, Swiss Francs, Hong Kong Dollars, Singapore Dollars, Swedish Kronor, Danish Kroner, Polish Zloty, Norwegian Kroner, Hungarian Forint, Czech Koruna, Israeli Shekels, and Mexican Pesos.

Why to I need to provide the Security Code on the back of my credit card? In order to ensure that the purchase that is being made is being made by the actual cardholder, we require all purchases to include the 3-digit security code located on the back of your credit card. If no code is entered or an incorrect code is entered, the purchase will be cancelled.