Available in a whole range of vibrant colours, shapes and sizes, acrylic beads are an extremely light weight material perfect for any arts and craft designs. Buy our acrylic beads here.
Alphabet Beads These beads vary in size and design. They can come in silver, gold, acrylic, glass and many other materials. They are perfect for putting names or pleasantries on a piece of jewellery. Buy alphabet beads here.
Aurora Borealis Beads
Aurora Borealis is a trade name used to describe a rainbow iridescent finish added to crystals and crystal beads, often abbreviated to AB. Swarovski have adopted this technique on many of their crystals. Click here to buy Swarovski Crystals.
Baroque beads are an irregular shaped bead. It is usually a name given to pearls but can be applied to any bead type whether it is a semi-precious stone or acrylic glass bead.
Barrel beads are shaped like a barrel and can be made using various materials including wood, plastic, metal and glass. Click here
to buy barrel beads.
A beaded bead is an individual bead which is made up of many small beads such as Seed Beads or crystals. They are commonly stitched or glued onto a base bead to form a 3D shape.
Bicone beads are a popular bead shape most commonly used for crystals. A bicone is a three dimensional shape describing two cone shapes joined together, base to base. Buy bicone beads here.
Birthstones are semi-precious and precious stones which are assigned to each month of the year or to each zodiac sign.
Black Lined Beads
Black lined most commonly relates to bugle beads and seed beads. This is when the bead hole has been lined with a black coating to give greater depth to the bead colouring.
Briolettes are tear/pear shaped beads that are designed for hanging as either pendants, drop earrings, or charms. They can be top drilled or drilled from top to bottom. They are popular for wire wrapping and were very fashionable in Victorian jewellery.
Bugle beads are short thin tubes of glass which are usually less than 2mm think. The beads can come in various lengths and colour. They add sparkle and shine to beaded jewellery designs. Click here to buy bugle beads
Cats Eye Beads
Cats eye beads also known are predominantly made from glass, although some semi-precious gemstones such as tiger's eye display the same features. The name derives from the iridescent white streak in the bead which glows and resembles a light-reflecting cats eye. Click here
to buy Tiger's eye gemstone beads.
Cathedral beads are a style of glass bead that are manufactured in the Czech Republic. They get their name from their resemblance to the beautiful metallic edged stained glass windows found in old churches.
Ceramic is a clay coated with a glaze or paint after firing for a decorative finish. There are many decorative ceramic beads available for jewellery makers including ones with interesting surface textures and intricately hand painted beads. Click here to buy ceramic beads.
Ceylon glass beads are translucent or transparent beads that are given a shiny pearly finish. Ceylon is used before a colour is added to give the bead a lustre finish to the exterior or an inside colouring to an opalescent bead. Buy ceylon glass beads here.
Charlotte beads come from the Czech Republic and were traditionally made size 13 Seed beads, with one hand cut side, which made them slightly faceted.
Chatons are faceted crystals with no stringing hole and have a pointed back sometimes foiled and a flat front.
Chevrons are produced by adding multiple layers of different coloured glass which is laid down in a particular fashion to form a variation of colours. The ends are then ground away to reveal the pattern.
Chinese crystal beads
Chinese Crystal Beads
are lead free glass beads which are made to resemble Swarovski crystals. These crystals are a cheaper alternative to the Swarovski crystals they are trying to imitate and for this reason the difference in quality is noticeable.
Cloisonne is an ancient enamelling technique for decorating metalwork objects. Cloisonne beads are highly decorative (often floral) and make an exquisite addition to beaded necklaces and bracelets.
Coil beads are a metal bead manufactured using coiled wire in similar way to a metal spring. Some coil beads can be pinched like a crimp bead.
Cone beads are beads shaped like cones and can display intricate patterns or be plain and smooth. They are often used as bead caps for pendants and earring drops. Click here
to buy cone beads.
Confetti beads are glass beads which are also known as Sugar beads. The beads are rolled in tiny pieces of glass while the beads are still hot producing the sugar like effect on the bead.
Corrugated beads are hollow metal beads made from metal tubing which has been corrugated to form repeating patterns of grooves and ridges.
Crackle Glass Beads
Crackle glass beads are a Venetian glass making discovery made by plunging molten glass into water. This causes the exterior to crack whilst the interior stays hot, which then creates the crackle effect.
Crimp beads are tiny metal round beads used to attach necklace or bracelet wires to clasps, they can also be used to hold beads into position on wire or cord. The are flattened with crimping pliers to securely lock their position. Buy crimp beads here.
Crow beads are glass beads in a slightly oval shape. Crow beads are close in likeness to Pony beads but smaller in size.
Delica Seed Beads
Delica beads are small cylinder or hexagonal shaped seed beads trademarked to the Japanese Miyuki Corporation. These glass beads are cut precisely giving them an even size and shape. Click here
to buy delica beads.
Diamanté's are glass stones that have been cut and have finishes applied to make them glisten and sparkle like a diamond. They are available in sew on and glue on varieties.
Disc beads are a very short cylindrical sliced bead with parallel faces and a central hole, in effect a flattened round bead. Buy disc shaped beads here.
Donut beads are flattened disc like beads which contain a large central hole like a donut. The bead is usually made from glass, wood or stone. Click here
to buy donut beads.
Drawn beads are cut from a long tube of glass which is drawn from a ball of molten glass. Once the bead has hardened, it is usually tumbled or reheated to soften the edges and give the bead a more smooth and rounded finish.
Drop beads are visually wider at one end than the other and are similar to a tear drop. The bead can either be drilled from top to bottom or across the top which is the preferred style for wire wrapping. Druk Beads
Druk beads are a spherical glass bead made in Czechoslovakia. The pressed bead has no visible seam line and is usually accurately and perfectly round.
Dyed beads involve adding a surface colourant to prepared bead. Seed beads are notably dyed. The fading process which may occur in dyed beads can be reduced by using a suitable spray or varnish.
Eye beads are typically a bead with a circle, dot or both which creates the resemblance of an eye. Eye beads originate from Anatolia and were traditionally worn to ward off the gaze of the Evil Eye.
Faceted beads are produced with multiple cuts which gives the appearance of many flat sides or faces which reflect light and create a glistening sparkle with different depths of colour. Click here
to buy faceted beads.
The French word faux means false or fake. Within jewellery this refers to beads or stones that are a copy or imitation. An example would be 'Faux diamonds or pearls' which describes imitation diamonds and pearls.
Faux Pearl Beads
Faux pearls are likely to be glass or plastic beads with a coating that creates an imitation 'pearl' appearance. Faux pearls are cheap to produce but the coatings can rub away, fade or crack over time.
Fire Polished Beads
Fire polishing involves placing the glass bead in a polishing furnace which heats the bead's surface and softens the facets. The result is a smoother and more refined surface than glass beads which are machine cut precisely.
Flatbacks are crystal beads which have been set flat on one side and can either be glued or ironed on.
Focal beads are often used as a centrepiece and are usually larger and more decorative than the rest. They can be used alone or with smaller, more subtle beads.
Foil Backed Crystals
Foil backed stones are a transparent glue on stone which is coated on the back with foil in either gold or silver to enhance and illuminate more colour from the stone by reflecting back more light.
Foil beads are a glass bead produced around a tiny piece of gold or silver foil.
Frosted beads, made of glass or crystal have a transparent frosted layer etched to enhance the surface appearance. Click here
to buy frosted beads.
Horn beads, like bone beads are organic since they are made from natural materials. Horn beads were among the first beads made for decorative purposes, by our ancestors. Click here
to buy horn beads.
Lampwork beads can be highly decorative and are formed using a flame torch to melt glass rods. Click here
to buy lampwork beads.
Metal beads come in a wide range of shapes and sizes and are commonly made from materials such as aluminium, brass, copper and various other alloys. They are a cheaper alternative to real gold and silver. Buy metal beads her
Opalite is a man made imitation of the opal gemstone. It is commonly made from glass or resin. It has an iridescent finish with a milky, pearlescent appearance. It's a much more affordable alternative to opal, and even moonstone to which it also resembles. Click here to buy
Rocailles are round seed beads which come in a range of sizes, the smallest being size 15 and the largest, size 3. Miyuki of Japan manufacture the highest quality Rocailles which are uniform in shape and size. Click here
to buy round seed beads.
Seed beads are tiny beads ranging from size 1 (the largest) to size 24 (the smallest) and are most famously produced by the Japanese manufacturer Miyuki. They come in a variety shapes, the most common being rocaille (round) seed beads. Other shapes include square, triangle, drop, bugle, and hexagon. Click here
to buy seed beads.
Shamballa beads have become a popular trend in jewellery making and are usually made with crystals. Most commonly used with Shamballa cord in macrame braiding.
Swarovski Crystal Beads
Swarovski crystals are the highest quality Crystal beads available. Swarovski own a patented cutting technology which gives their crystals unrivalled sparkle. Buy Swarovski crystals here.
Natural wood beads come in a great range of shapes and sizes and can be plain or highly decorative. Buy wood beads here.