Glass Bead Information

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Glass beads come in a wide range of types and finishes, which can be confusing for a new jewellery maker. They can be as small as a grain of sugar and as big as a conker and come in every shape imaginable. Once you start buying glass beads you will be amazed at the variety, and beauty of these tiny works of art. I hope you will find this short guide to glass beads helpful.


LAMPWORKED BEADS - These are high quality beads made with glass rods manipulated over an open flame.
MILLEFIORI - Layers of colourful glass are fused in a cross section and melted onto the surface of a bead.
CHEVRON - These beads are made by drawing out a layered glass block, sectioning it into beads and polishing the cut ends to reveal the ziz zag pattern.
SEED & BUGLE BEADS - Seed beads(also known as Rocailles) are small round beads available in hundreds of colours. The higher the number, the smaller the size. Bugle beads are tubular shaped and vary in size from 1/8th inch to 2 inches.


Translucent - Lets the light shine through.
Opaque - Transmits no light.
Silver-lined - The beads have a mirror like lining.
Colour-lined - Translucent glass with an opaque colour lining the hole.
Opal - This glass transmits a milky light like the gemstone of the same name.


A/B - (Aurora Borealis)A coating applied to only one side of the bead that reflects the light like a rainbow.
Scarabee - AB finish applied to whole bead.
Frosted - A matt finish, rather than a shiny one, with a velvety feel.
Lustre - A shiny coating on the bead, often with a gold or silver glow.
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