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Bead Glossary

There may be items on our website that may not make sense. Use this Bead and Jewelry-Making Terminology list to help out.



  • AB or Aurora Borealis is a specific type of liquid finish applied to beads. It is sometimes known as an iridescent or rainbow finish where the finish is applied while the beads are warm.

  • Cat’s eye. These beads have manufactured effect resembling the iris of a cat’s eye.

  • Faceted - These are many many cuts on bead surfaces. With these cuts or facets, the sharp angles capture the light thus creating a brilliance and sparkle.

  • Filigre - These beads have either gold or silver foil particals embedded within them. These foil particals are mixed in with these beads before they are molded.

  • Lampwork glass beads are made on a metal rod or copper wire. The molten glass is wound on a rod and later designs are added to enhance the bead.

  • Opaque beads made acrylic or lucite. Before molding, liquid dyes are pre-mixed with the raw acrylic material..

  • Translucent beads are made from clear lucite where light can partially pass through (but not completely). Think of a cloudy bead. After the beads are molded, a liquid color coating is added while beads are still warm.

  • Transparent beads made from colored or colorless lucite. These beads are "see-through" or transparent.

  • Resin is a natural or synthetic compound which begins in a gummy state and then later hardens with specific treatment. Some resin can be soluble in alcohol but not in water.

  • Tibetan we use this term for our pewter metal spacer beads. These metal beads contain no gold or silver. They are made of metals consisting of pewter (containing lead) OR zinc alloy (lead free metals fused together). The beads metals are then electroplated with tiny amounts of gold or silver to cover the base metal. After this process, it then becomes Tibetan Gold or Tibetan Silver.

  • Memory wire, mainly used for bracelets, is specifically designed to hold its round shape regardless of how often the piece of jewelry is worn. It should adapt (within reasonable limits) to the wearer of the piece of jewelry. Our memory Wire is sold in loops of one continuous piece where it can be cut into the number of loops needed.