Wild by Design

by Sam Niemeyer, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Animal Products

It's difficult to deny the appeal of feathers, leather, bone, horn and other animal products in jewelry designs. Diverse in trends, but never ordinary, animal products are posh and affluent, exotic and enviable and often wild and primal. Finding inspiration is definitely not the challenge when working with these items, but choosing ethically and humanely acquired products is.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads has always made a conscious effort to offer our customers bone, horn, teeth, leather and feather products that were produced in the most ethical way possible. As our products come from all over the world, it is through close relationships between our buyers and vendors that we can ensure the quality of our animal products.

Where Do Our Animal Products Come From?

Some popular jewelry-making and fashion components which come from animals simply cannot be produced in a manner that does not waste other parts of the animal, such as grizzly saddle feathers and rabbit fur. These items are not carried by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

Design Idea C14T Boutonniere Most feathers offered at Fire Mountain, including chicken feathers, are by-products of the food industry. Being a by-product means that the animal was originally raised for food and that other materials from the body are collected for additional uses. Other feathers, including those from peacocks, are collected after being naturally dropped from molting.

The origin of bone, horn, teeth and leather depends on the animal and country of origin. Our deerskin cord is a by-product of the food industry in the United States--they were legally hunted for food. Bone, horn, teeth and leather from the United States, China or Indonesia are by-products of the food industry as well. Most of the bone offered at Fire Mountain is from cows that were raised for beef. The stringray leather beads and focals from the Philippines were also by-products of the food industry.

It is illegal to kill cows in India, so all the bone, horn, leather and teeth jewelry-making components were acquired after the animal passed away from natural causes. Afterwards, the materials were collected, sanitized and processed into beads and components. Most of Fire Mountain Gems bone and horn products are from India.

Because the birds, cattle and other animals are not being specifically raised in a controlled environment for their parts, it's difficult to control the availability of these jewelry-making supplies. This occasionally leads to backorders and a longer delivery time.

Get the Look:

Indulge in the rich look and exotic feel of jewelry designs with animal materials knowing that your supplies were acquired from reliable sources where the animals were well-treated and little was wasted.


Leather cord and supply leather can be molded, stamped, cut and formed for an infinite number of designs from rugged and out-doorsy to elegant and flashy. Feathers:

Feather designs are light and delicate. Use feathers to create elegant designs with a Jazz-era feel, luscious island designs with peacock and much more.
Design Idea B41H Bracelet
Teeth, Bone and Horn:

Design Idea 01HU Necklace Whether the design features a shark tooth focal or a beautifully carved bone cabochon, these natural elements bring adventure and a hint of memento-mori to any design. Teeth, bone and horn components and beads are ideal for both men and women's jewelry.

Design with ...

Recommended Just for You