Beads & Bling provides information about jewelry components such as different kinds of silver, gold, and beads as well as how to care for them. It's also a blog. Stay tuned for more posts and information!
My favorite resource for pewter and plated pewter (beads and clasps) is Tierra Cast, which is located in Santa Rosa. To make their pewter, they use an alloy called Britannia, composed of 92% tin, 7.5 % antimony and .5% copper. Tin is refined from ore that contains other metals, including lead. A chemical process is used to remove the lead, but trace amounts still remain. Although all pewter contains trace amounts of lead, the term "lead free pewter" is used to describe pewter that meets the stringent FDA standard of less than .05% (or 500 parts per million) lead.
The TierraCast website offers a plethora of information about the processes and materials they use for making their beads and other jewelry components. For more information, see www.tierracast.com.