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Definitions of Glass Bead Finishes


Alabaster (AL) - opalescent glass.

Amber metallic gold finish. Not to be confused with the color amber or topaz.

Argentees a silver coating on half the bead.

Aurora Borealis (AB) - an iridescent coating which produces an oil slick look. It is sometimes called rainbow or iris. The base color of the bead does influence how the final bead color 'reads'. Example: Opaque Black AB has a base color of black with a surface finish of AB. The beads may look blue, green, purple, and/or gold.

California a dual colored metallic finish created in a vacuum. Most often used on transparent colors. This allows for a two tone look as the finish will look different on the surface than when viewing through the transparent glass.

Capri metallic finish. Typically gold or bronze.

Celsian a pearly shine.

Ceylon (C) - a pearlized finish on an opalescent or semi-transparent bead.

Chrome a platinum color finish.

Color-Lined (CL) - a transparent bead with an opaque or transparent core of a different color.

Copper-Lined a transparent bead with a metallic copper core.

Dorado a half gold finish.

Duracoat - Duracoat is strong and durable clear coating used to protect outside dyed or galvanized beads. The Duracoat finish works well for wearable beadwork.

Dyed (D) - beads are dyed after they are made. Always test these before use. Not recommended for jewelry unless extra care is taken.

Galvanized (GA) - metallic plating applied to the surface of the bead. Always test these before use with jewelry. People with high PH level (acidic) skin may find that they damage the plated surface during wear. Not recommended for jewelry unless extra care is taken or a fixative is used.

Galvanized Duracoat (Duracoat Galvanized) - The Duracoat finish is durable and very strong. It has been tested to withstand months of continuous use. Unlike regular galvanized seed beads, the Duracoat finish works well for wearable beadwork.

Gold-Luster (GL) - a semi-transparent glossy golden finish. It may fade in high light situations.

Iris (I) - a permanent rainbow/oil slick finish, sometimes called rainbow or AB (Aurora Borealis). The iridescent coating provides multiple hues.

Labrador a special silver coating that allows the bead color to still be seen. It may be on half the bead or fully coat the bead.

Luster (L) - a semi-transparent glossy sheen.

Marea metallic tones of yellow gold though occasionally silver, greens, blues and or pink/red can be seen.

Matte (MA) - beads are etched for a frosted look. Also see Semi-Matte.

Metal-Plated (MP) - The finish is permanent but people with high PH level (acidic) skin may find that they eventually damage the plated finish.

Metallic (M) - a sturdy metal finish.

Opal - opalescent glass. They are semi-translucent, some light reflects through. Opal is sometimes called milky.

Opaque (OP) - a solid color that does not transmit light. You cannot see through the glass.

Pastel the look of mother of pearl. It creates a shiny, silky, smooth surface.

Pearl - glossy luster coat.

Picasso A flecked luster coating. The earthy colors generally range from light yellow to dark brown creating a gemstone or marbled look depending on the base color of the bead.

Precious Metal (PM) - beads plated with precious metals: gold, silver or platinum over the glass. These hold up well in average use.

Satin (S) - beads with a striated surface for a silky look. This finish has a muted shine.

Semi-Frosted (SF) - beads that have been lightly etched. Some of the shine remains. Also called Semi-Matte (SM).

Semi-Matte (SM) - beads that have been lightly etched. Some of the shine remains. Also called Semi-Frosted (SF).

Silk satin tone finish.

Sliperit metallic finish that reflects hues of gold, purple and/or fuchsia.

Silver Lined (SL) - Transparent glass bead that has a silver core. These beads will be very sparkly. These hold up well in average use, though people with high PH level (acidic) skin may find that they turn the silver-core dark.

SolGel (or Sol Gel) - seed beads have a specialized coated treatment that provides the beads with lasting color. The treatment protects the beads from exposure to sunlight, washing, cosmetic exposure, and perspiration. The colors are fade-resistant and washable in temperatures below 100F degrees.

Sparkling (Spark) the beads are a color lined bead. The beads have a metallic paint lining so they sparkle and shine in the light.

Transparent (TR, T) - beads that transmit light through them.

Travertine a color and surface finish that imitates the mineral travertine.

Valentinit a dark silver metallic finish.

Vega transparent metallic highlights of purples or blues. It adds an iridescence to the surface of the bead.

Vitrail an opaque iridescent finish. The colors that it produces are affected by the bead color and light. The color range is primarily pink and/or green but silver, gold, or purples are sometimes visible depending on the light source.



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All text, graphics, and pictures are copyright or licensed to M. Hershman, Enchanting Beads 2001-2019. All rights reserved.

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