Types of Beads

Furnace Glass Beads: These hand made beads are made in the United States. They consist of a clear glass shell with a colored core. The shapes are cylindrical, cubic and also triangular and round slices. You get a random selection, but I think that just adds to the fun of working with them.

Semi-Precious Gemstones: These beads come in many sizes and shapes and are generally very consistent in quality. Czech Glass Beads: You can get round beads, crystal beads and many different shapes such as hearts and leaves. Czech beads are always consistent in quality.

India Glass Beads: These beads may not as consistent in quality, but they are very affordable and each is hand made. They may not be the classiest, but I have received many compliments for my India bead necklaces.

Fresh Water Pearls: These are very affordable pearls that will add a great deal of elegance to your necklaces. They may not be perfectly cylindrical cultured pearls, but they do have the same luster. And many more beads, such as wood, bone, shell, cloisonné, gold, silver, pottery beads, etc.

Bead Descriptions

Transparent Transparent glass transmits light so that you can see into or thru the bead.
Opaque Opaque glass transmits no light.
Silver Lined s/l These transparent beads have a mirror-like lining.
Color Lined These transparent beads have a separate, opaque color inside the hole of the bead. Because the color is within the hole, these beads are more durable than surface painted beads. Colors containing any red (including violet and bright pinks) have a tendency to fade.
Opal Opal glass transmits light but is murky, milky, or translucent. Good opal glass has a glow to it, a little like Opal gemstone.
Satin Satin glass has a striated, layered or satin-like appearance. The apparent color shade of satin glass varies with your viewing angle.
White Heart White hearts have an inner core of white glass.

Surface Finishes

AB (Aurora Borealis). Permanent rainbow finish which can be applied to any color or type of glass bead. Applied to one side of the bead only.
Scarabee AB finish applied to entire surface area if bead.
Iris An iridescence that is applied to a glass bead giving it a rainbow/metallic look.
Glow A gossamer finish over a transparent bead producing a golden glow over color.
Luster This is a uniform, shiny finish on the surface of a transparent, translucent or opaque bead. It may be white, colored or even metallic.
Pearl This term is often used to describe opaque lustered beads.
Ceylon This term is often used to describe translucent lustered bead.
Matte These beads have a velvety, “frosted” surface, rather than a shiny or reflective surface.
Ghost A finish of Matte and Aurora Borealis (Rainbow).
Vitrial One-half silver with a Rainbow finish over the silver half.
Marea One-half gold with a Rainbow finish over the gold half.
Raku Matted Vitrial finish.
Agate Made to look like a gemstone Agate finish. It has white swirled in with the color.
Mottle Opaque glass with a gold wash marbling finish.
Metallic Glass beads with a metal-like surface coating. The permanence of non-iridescent metallic finishes is always questionable.
Painted/Dyed Exotic colors like bright purple and fuchsia are achieved with surface colorants which are applied after the bead is made, generally with heat and solvents. Transparent beads are labeled “dyed”; Opaque beads are labeled “painted”. Always test and handle as you would metallic beads and keep the red/violet/pink one out of the sunlight.
Supra Pearl Baked-on Pearl finish/slightly matte.
Supra Metallic Baked-on Metallic finish/slightly matte. Far more durable than sprayed on metallic coating.

Stone Names

Bead Materials Description Qualities
Amber Petrified pine tree sap (Occasionally with inclusions) Absorbs negative energy
Amethyst Light to medium transparent purple Healing, calming, absorbs mental stress
Bloodstone Dark green with red and brown spots Protection in preventing injury and disease, helps circulation
Carnelian Light to dark reddish-brown Stimulates energy and appetite
Chrysocolla Variegated bright aqua blue Stimulates the mind, brings balance
Garnet Reddish-brown to plum Helps clotting of blood, purifies
Hematite Steel gray to black iron Dissolves negative energy, anti-inflammatory
Jade Various colors from white to pink to black to green Peace and stability, helps digestion
Jasper Various colors including red, rose, brown and yellow Stabilizes emotions, protection
Lapis Lazuli Bright blue or blue with inclusions Mental endurance and clarity
Malachite Green with light green bands Purification quality of absorption
Moss Agate Translucent to opaque green Binds the energy of nature
Obsidian Translucent black Protection and emotional security
Onyx Usually black, also found in blue Retains physical body strength
Peridot Clear olive or golden green Healer of the spirit
Pyrite Gold crystallized mineral A shield used as protection
Quartz Crystal Clear Conducts and generates energy
Red Jasper Opaque orange-red Promotes stamina, reduces fears
Rhodonite Pink with specs of black lead Restores energy, raises selfesteem
Rose Quartz Opaque and translucent pink Healing in the areas of the heart
Scarab Carved beetle in various stones Symbol of immortality
Sodalite Opaque dark blue with white lines Clearing and balancing of doubts and fears
Sugilite Opaque dark purple Channeling of higher thoughts and energies of the mind
Tiger Eye Brown with golden highlights Strength and belief in oneself
Turquoise Opaque greenish-blue Attunement and physical balance

Common Names of Beads and Origins

Italian Crumb Bead • Solid color glass base and then rolled in chips of glass while hot.

Italian trail Bead • Molten canes of colored glass are trailed over bead, thus creating pattern.

Italian Wedding cake • A type of trail bead where icing type trails leave a raised design on the glass.

African Feather Bead • Sp iral threads are dragged or combed through glass to create a feather pattern.

Venetian Mosaic bead • Most ornate of glass bead s. Are built up with segments of glass.

Venetian Chevron – rosette • 15th Century. Also called star bead, due to multi layers creating star pattern at end of bead. It is said to be the most popular bead.

dZi or gZi Prehistoric origin is possibly Tibet • Now, made in China and India. It is said to have protective powers when worn.

Asian eye Bead • Stone Age. Glass bead with contrasting dot of glass added. They are worn to ward off evil. Beads were scattered on crops in Asia to bring good harvest.

African Sand cast • Also called p owder bead or sugar bead. Made from glass scrap, such as bottles or old beads. The bead has a granular feel.

Chinese Cloisonne • Wire enclosed cells which are then filled with different colored enamels.

Chinese Porcelain • Different colors of enamel with gilded outline. Some are made in Japan.

Greece Ceramic • Hand rolled solid color ceramic base with contrasting decal placed on bead.

Japanese Porcelin • Patterns of blue on white porcelain base.

Peru • Hand-painted ceramic with scenes from Peruv ian life or landscape.

Fimo – polymer • Vinyl-based that is shaped with several colors. The bead is then dropped in boiling water or baked.

Egypt • Hieroglyphic design.

African Skunk Bead • Originally black over white core. Surface had white dots, thus the name skunk. It is now available in black and white or shades of red and white.

China Cinnabar• Usually red or black with d esigns carved into bead. Bead is formed over black wood base.

African Watermelon • Shap e and appearance of watermelon. It comes in a variety of colors, but most popular is green with thin stripes of red and yellow or white.

Czechoslovakia and Bohemian • Glass bead with intricate raised design, usually with goldstone and rosebud design.

Japan or Venice foil Bead • Metal foil trap ped inside glass or bonded to surface. Beads such as millefiori, feather, skunk, sand cast, chevron and many more. These beads originated in Europe and were sent to Africa as early as 1500 to be used as money.

Beads are produced by many manufacturers. They can be plain colored glass and mass produced, or so intricate a worker will make only 3 per day.

Produces vast amounts of beads in silver, lampwork or wound glass at a fraction of the cost of Venetian or Czechoslovakian

Glossary by Global Beads, Inc.