I get asked a lot about my photo set up. So here it is. As you can see I use a photo tent 90% of the time. For the most part I like it but sometimes if a piece is too big or the lighting is off I use a white piece of rip stop nylon hung over a frame work of some sort instead of the photo tent. The photo tent frame work can cause shadows and is obviously limited by size.
You can see I use a gradient background. I have a piece of lightly frosted glass (5.00 at a framing shop) raised up on small glass blocks. This minimizes shadows.
These are the bulbs I am currently using. I have used the circular natural light type bulbs but at the moment these are my favorites. They are a 500 watt and WILL burn through your photo tent if they are too close. These burn hot! I turn mine off when I'm fiddling with my beads, their life is short so I am careful to not overheat them.
My camera of choice is a Nikon D70 with a 60MM macro. You'll notice it's on a tripod a MUST for macro photos. I also use a timer, another must in my opinion. I went through 6 other camera's before settling on this one. A good friend recommended it and I love it. I can take photos any time of the day and I'm not chasing light around, they are always clean, clear and crisp a MUST for selling online.
My photos take me very little time and remember folks your time IS worth something. If it takes you a entire day to do photos while you chase light, tweak levels and play with settings you are decreasing your profits. I usually take my photos, crop and upload. It's that easy.