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Unveiling the Beauty of Seed Bead Finishes: A Guide to Various Options


Miyuki Delica in a variety of colors in white bowlsSeed beads and Miyuki beads offer a dazzling array of finishes and coatings that can enhance your jewelry creations. However, understanding the various types and their implications can be overwhelming. Fear not! In this blog post, we will break down the different finishes and coatings available, making it easier for you to choose the perfect beads for your projects.

  1. Finishes:

Opaque: These beads are solid in color and do not allow light to pass through. They offer a vibrant and bold look.

Transparent: Transparent beads are clear and tinted, allowing you to see through them. Light passes through these beads, creating a delicate and translucent effect. They come in variations such as matte transparent or matte transparent AB (Aurora Borealis).

Silver-Lined: These beads have a shiny silver lining inside a transparent bead, giving them a metallic appearance. The mirrored effect from the center of the bead adds a touch of glamour.

Color Lined: Transparent beads with a colored lining provide a stunning contrast. The color options are diverse, including metallic-lined, gold-lined, or copper-lined beads.

Matte (or Frosted): Matte beads have an etched or frosted appearance, which adds a soft and subtle texture to your designs. They can be opaque or have an Iris or AB effect. The soothing crinkly sound they make when rubbed together adds a unique tactile experience. Transparent matte finish beads appear milky and are not fully see-through.

Semi-Matte: These beads feature a combination of glossy and matte finishes, providing a slightly brighter appearance compared to regular matte finish beads.

Metallic Finish: Beads with a metallic finish resemble metal rather than glass. They come in various colors, including bronze, gold, silver, and copper tones, and add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your designs.

AB (Aurora Borealis) / Rainbow:  or rainbow finishes create an iridescent effect, reflecting all the colors of the rainbow. They can be combined with transparent, matte, metallic, or opaque beads.

  1. Unique Finishes:

Iris: Iris finish beads have an iridescent quality, shimmering with colors that are adjacent to the main bead color on a color wheel. This finish creates a mesmerizing effect reminiscent of oil spilled in water.

Silk: These beads exhibit a silky whiteness with a satin finish, lending a delicate and refined look to your designs.

Alabaster: Alabaster beads have a unique finish resembling old milk glass, with a dense translucent white or tinted appearance.

Oily: Oily beads have a shallow translucence that gives them a greasy appearance, adding an interesting texture to your creations.

  1. Coatings:

Galvanized: Galvanized beads undergo a coating process that applies a silver-plating finish to the glass. This finish can be protected with a clear fixative, like Krylon spray, to prevent it from wearing off.

Duracoat Galvanized: These beads have a durable coating applied to galvanized beads, ensuring that the coating doesn't rub off easily, enhancing their longevity.

Ceylon: Ceylon beads have a pearlized finish, sometimes achieved through dyeing. They offer a pearly appearance and can feature a color line in the bead hole, adding depth and elegance to your designs.

Luster Coating: Lustered beads feature a high-gloss, semi-transparent finish that creates an iridescent shine, adding a touch of sophistication and opulence to your creations.

Inside-Color: Beads with inside color coatings have a dyed color inside the bead hole, adding a pop of unexpected vibrancy and depth to your designs.

Special Plating: Special plated beads, such as 24-karat gold, or nickel.

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