Learn all about pearls! Read on to find out more.
We all love pearls; In fact, most of us started making pearl jewelry given to us when we were kids. Jewelry made from this small pebble is the most uncomplicated jewelry but at the same time the most beautiful and colorful. They are easy to use, available almost anywhere, and won’t weigh down your pocket.
Glass beads are among the largest categories of beads available, encompassing everything from small beads a few millimeters in size to mouth-blown beads up to one to two inches in length. They can be transparent or opaque.
The first glass beads appeared in Egypt 3,500 years ago. At that time, it was possible to make transparent and colored glass beads, but not transparent. Nowadays, the variety of glass beads is much greater. The most popular are pearls from Japan (TOHO or Miyuki), lampwork beads from Italy (Venice and the Murano Islands), crystal beads from Swarovski, glass beads (imitation of natural pearls) from China.
Wooden beads are widely used in modern bead making. Different types of wood are used to make wooden beads. Wooden beads, like plastic beads, are very light in weight and usually have simple shapes such as round, oval, tubular, or washer. The wood is either sold in its natural state or painted in bright colors so that a variety of effects can be achieved with the same material.
Plastic beads are often easy to find and sell in craft stores and supermarkets. This is one of the more affordable options, and they usually come in the bulk of 100 or 500. Plastic beads are light, colorful, and perfect for kids.
Metal beads are generally hollow and are made of thin sheets of metal that are stamped into shapes. They are smooth, polished, or patterned, often ribbed, grooved, or patterned. Enamel beads have a metal core. The materials include base metals, precious metals, and coated metals, which come in various finishes, such as silver, gold, and antiques. Sizes range from 2mm to 16mm (approx), and prices vary depending on material and size.
Crystal beads (Swarovski)
Crystals are gleaming lead glass crystal beads. They are usually cut for extra shine. The best-known crystals are Swarovski Elements, but there are also good quality Czech crystals at a lower price. Crystal beads, commonly used in wedding dresses and tiaras, are most often used in specialty jewelry. Clear crystals are often referred to as rhinestones and can be purchased in frames (chitons).
Glass beads are tubular and cut to different lengths. Glass beads belong to the pearls group because they are minimal in size and can be used to make delicate pearl jewelry. A variety of signal horns are available in different colors, designs, and swirls. Their length is determined by the numbers 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3, and 5, 0.5 being the shortest. The diameter of 2 and 3 sizes corresponds to the diameter of 11 beads.
Stone beads are available in irregular crumbs, nuggets, faceted washers, and smooth round beads, as well as many other faceted shapes. Compared to other materials, they are dense and heavy and acquire a pleasant warmth when worn close to the skin. The threaded holes can be tiny, so it is imperative to check if possible before purchasing. As a rule of thumb, the sizes of standard round and oval shapes are usually 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, and 8mm. Real stone beads, especially semi-precious stones, can be expensive, so this is a factor to consider. More personalized disposable models can be extensive, sometimes 3-4cm in diameter.
These beads are concise pieces of cut glass rods heated to a shape smooth, generally round (rockery, see above). The most commonly available languages are Chinese, Czech, or Japanese. Japanese beads are of the highest quality and very stable; medium-grade Czech beads and Chinese beads are cheap unique beads. The bead family also includes Delica beads, square beads, triangular beads, bugle beads, and hexagonal beads.
Hex Cut beads are Japanese glass beads carved from a Hex Cut reed. Available in sizes 8, 11, and 12
Lampwork beads are made one by one by hand by melting thin rods of glass with a torch. The hot glass is neatly wrapped around a coated wire, which, when removed, forms a hole in the bead. These beads can be made of different colors and layers of glass and also fantastically decorated.
Shell beads are small slices or short tubes cut from a natural shell material.
The charlottes are Czech beads with two small gold flat edges attached to the surface.
Cloisonne beads are made of baked enamel on a background, usually metallic, to create a mosaic or stained glass effect. These beads are very decorative and come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
Crow beads are large beads. Sometimes mistakenly called pony beads, they are usually made of glass, plastic, or wood and are more extensive than pony beads.
Liquid pearls (silver/gold) are skinny silver tubes that appear “liquid” when pulled. Available in lengths similar to horn beads; ideal for covering strands.
Pony beads are shaped like beads, but larger and are usually made of wood or plastic, but can also be glass. The pressed glass beads are made into a unique shape by manually passing thick glass rods through an automatic pressing machine.
Three of them are Czech beads with uneven edges all over the surface.