Alabaster: beads that have a unique finish much like the old milk glass of the past, a dense translucent white or tinted finish.
Assorted: contains various shapes, colors and sizes.
Aurora Borealis (AB): beads that are also known as Rainbow or Iris or Fancy. The bead has a finish that appears to either have several shades of the same color highlighted or various highlights in more than one color on the bead's surface. For example; a pink bead that twinkles with pink, gold and blue highlights, or there may be beads in more than one color, having 3 or more bead colors grouped together. For example; a black diamond bead may have black, blue, bronze and brown as the bead colors or there may not even be a black bead as one of the colors. These beads are also called rainbow.
Black-lined: the bead hole is lined with black and gives depth to the bead color.
Bugles: are longer, tube-shaped seed beads that come in many sizes. Bugle beads have different lengths but all bugle beads will be longer than they are thick, creating a tubular shape.
Ceylon: beads are sometimes identified as pearlized because of the pearly appearance of the finish. Ceylon beads can have a color line in the bead hole which will change or enhance the bead appearance. This bead is a favorite for making beadwork that appears to be composed of pearls.
Charlottes: are a seed bead variation, also called True-Cuts, or One-Cuts. A Charlotte is a Czech bead that has a 'cut' or 'slice' on 1, 2 or 3 sides of the bead. This 'cut" is similar to a facet in that it catches light giving it a shimmer.
Color-Lined: the bead hole is lined with color.
Color-Lined Transparent: clear glass beads with color added inside the bead hole after the bead is made. Colored transparent beads are also lined sometimes, for example, a green transparent bead with a brown color-lined in the bead hole or a lavender transparent bead with a rose-lined center. If you put color-lined beads up to the light, you will see the transparent bead rim and the color within the bead hole. Most color-lined beads will keep their color unless they are laundered, such as bead work on clothing or if you wear jewelry that includes color-lined beads out in the bright sunlight for several hours at a time.
Copper-lined: the bead hole is lined with copper and radiates a copper tone throughout the bead.
Crow Bead: is a glass pressed bead 6-9 mm in diameter with a 2mm or larger hole.
Cut: refers to the process used by manufacturers, using precision cutting machines, to literally cut facets onto the the surface of the glass bead, much like the process of cutting gems.
2-Cut: Tall seed bead. Like a tiny bugle bead; sides are cut or faceted in 2 places, creating a more reflctive surface. They are also known as a Hex Cut.
3-Cut: small flat cuts on slightly barrel-shaped beads, the sides and ends are cut or faceted, creating the most reflective surface.
"E" Bead: is also a seed bead, but it is a larger size4, 5 or 6 seed bead. It is also know as a pony bead.
Frost: A velvety, "frosted" surface, rather than a shiny or reflective surface. Often interchangeable with "matte".
Half-coat: the coating is applied to only one side of the bead.
Hank: a hank is made up of multiple strands of
beads. Many bead shops display strands of beads in hanks and the buyer
can purchase as many strands as they need. The number of beads per
strand and strands per hank depends of the type and size of the bead. A
hank of size 13 contains 12-20 inch strands, approx. 400 beads per
strand and 4800 beads per hank. A 16 inch strand of 6mm round beads
contains 680 beads. The average 6mm bead hank contains 10-12 inch
Iris: an iridescent bead finish, usually on darker bead colors or opaque beads, which gives it a rainbow or metallic appearance.
Luminescent: glows in the dark.
Mass: a quantity of 1,200 beads. For example, 30 mass = approx. 36,000 beads.
Matgami Beads: bead that resembles an apple seed or a droplet. The hole is centered at the top, in the slightly flattened area of the bead.
Matte: beads have been submerged in an etch compound or tumbled, removing part or all of the top layer of the bead's surface, leaving the bead smooth. Matte beads have a unique feel to them, when you hold a bunch of these together, you will hear a soothing crinkly sound as you rub them together. Beads can appear very matted or semi-matted, depending on how long they were left in the etching compound. Most matte beads do not have a shiny appearance; however, if the bead is color-lined with brass, silver or copper, the surface will be matted with a shiny surface showing through from the color-lining, making the bead look frosty. Frosted beads are usually shiny color-lined beads with a matte finish.
Matte Rainbow: these beads have a matte finish over the rainbow colored beads.
Metallic: a shiny metal-like surface coating.
Metallic Rainbow: beads that appear to be made of metallic colors. Purple, Blue, Brown and Green; these beads have permanent colors. Each color includes more than the basic color, such as purple metallic rainbow which will have primarily purple but with dashes of bronze, green and blue. Not all beads known as metallic rainbow are permanent.
Mixes: contain multiple shades and variances of the same color and size.
Multi: contains multiple colors in the same size.
Natural: Natural colored glass. The color is achieved through a natural process of temperature and time. Nothing has been added to the glass to give it its color.
Oily: glass seed bead with a shallow translucence that gives it a greasy look.
Opal: semi-translucent, slightly milky, often with an inner iridescence, similar to an opal semi-precious gemstone.
Opaque: these beads have no transparency;you cannot see through the bead. The finish is flat and there is minimal shine to the surface. Opaque beads can have a rainbow finish. Opaque beads are good contrast next to shiny, matte and beads with other finishes.
Opaque Rainbow: the beads have no transparency but the surface has a rainbow appearance. If you had a black opaque bead and it had a rainbow finish, the rainbow could includes blue, green or sometimes even purple highlights.
Pearl: Opaque beads with a luster finish.
Pony Beads: are larger than seed beads and smaller than crow beads, also available in a large range of colors and finishes. They're sometimes referred to as size 8/0 or 6/0 seed beads or "E" beads.
Rainbow: these beads are also known as Aurora Borealis (AB), Isis and Fancy. These beads have finishes that appear either as several shades of the same color highlighted or various highlights in more than one color. Examples: brown with a rainbow of plum, burgundy, brown and blue; pink beads may have pink,gold and blue highlights, or it may have various shades of pink plus deeper plus deeper shades that are more than one color, both dark and light.
Rocaille: the term "rocaille" (pronounced "roh-kai") originally described a round, silver-lined seed bead with a square hole, but today the terms covers all round seed beads with either a round or square hole. Frequntly rocaille seed beads are not perfectly uniform, which adds to their interest and appeal.
Silver-Lined Beads: these beads have a shiny silver colored-lining inside a transparent bead.
Solgel (or Sol Gel): is a name given for a specialized coated treatment that provides seed beads with longer lasting color. It protects seed beads from exposure to sunlight, washing, cosmetic exposure, perspiration and lengthy storage. The colors are fade-resistant, ideal for garment designers, and washable in temperatures below 40 degrees Celsius; even when using fabric softeners.
Terra: is a treatment that provides seed beads with longer lasting color. Basic characteristics of terra colors are that they are fast to light, resistant to normal cosmetic products and perspiration. It is also recommended that when you launder any materials containing any terra colored beads, that you machine or hand wash at temperatures below 40 Celsius in mild detergent for fine and color laundry.
Transparent: the name describes this bead; that you can see right through. Transparent beads can be light, dark, medium or even deep in color saturation.
White Heart: A dark transparent or opaque bead with a white lining in the core of the bead.