Bead Finishes

AB (Aurora Borealis) Coating/ Iridescent/ Rainbow

A shiny, multicoloured, transparent, reflective finish which is durable and is on part of the bead. The bead has either a finish that has several shades of the same colour highlighted or various highlights in more than one colour on the bead surface. This adds a prismatic effect on the surface of the bead.

A 2X

An AB coating that is applied to the entire bead. This is a unique finish and has a powerful effect.

Antique Finish

A darker patina is applied to base metal beads, charms, pendants, chains and findings to give them an aged, antique style finish. To buy our antique finish charms and findings click here.


A dense opaque milky white finish. This finish varies for different beads. In Swarovski the Alabaster effect appears to be a dense opaque finish, whereas in seed beads it is a milky opal finish.

Brass Lined

The bead hole is lined with brass and a brass tone is radiated throughout the bead.

Black Lined

The bead hole is lined in black which gives depth to the bead colour.


The beads surface is coated with metallic brown/gold to give an aged bronze appearance.


A pearly lustrous finish on a translucent bead. Buy our ceylon beads here.

Colour Lined

When a transparent beads hole is given a second lining of colour creating depth. Buy our colour lined beads here.


A metallic finish which is a permanent coating and is generally shinier than traditional metallic beads. Buy our galvanized beads here.

Copper Coated

Plastic beads are copper coated and then given a gold or silver plating.

Copper Lined

A transparent bead with a core of metallic copper which radiates a copper tone throughout the entire bead.

Dyed/ Painted

Some seed beads are coated with a dye using heat or solvents. Transparent beads are usually dyed, whereas opaque beads are painted.

Enamel Ceramics

A high quality glaze is applied to ceramic beads using a high temperature.

Frosted Rainbow

A matt AB coated transparent bead.

Gold Lustre/Glazed Lustre

A type of lustre finish that creates a metallic gold pearly effect.

Glass Pearls

Alabaster white glass beads are coated with a nitro-cellulose lacquer with pearl pigments. Click here to buy glass pearls.


An iridescent coating with multiple hues usually applied to the whole of a metallic bead.

Gold Lined

A transparent bead with a core of metallic gold.

Gold Filled

A thin layer of 5% gold is bonded to a metal alloy base or brass core by heat and pressure. Gold filled beads, wires and findings have a much thicker layer of gold than standard gold plated, therefore is often used as a more affordable alternative to carat gold.

Half Copper

A metallic copper finish on half of the bead.

Half Silver

A metallic silver finish that is only applied on half of the bead.


These are transparent, opal or opaque beads that have a shiny sheen that is usually permanent. The finishes may appear to be white, coloured or gold.
Matte/ Frosted A finish that has a dull, velvety, frosted surface that does not reflect light. The beads overall surface is smooth. This effect is achieved by a process called chemical etching. Click here to buy our frosted beads.

Matte Rainbow

Rainbow coloured beads have a matt finish on their surface.

Matte Silver-lined

Outside the silver lining of the bead there is frosted glass.


An opaque, shiny, reflective finish that has the look of metal. These beads are usually glass beads with a metal surface coating that is baked on.

Metallic Matte

This is a matte bead with an dull metallic finish on its surface.

Metallic Rainbow

Beads that appear to be made of several metallic colours.

Metal Plated

A metal plating on the surface of a glass bead, metals include silver, gold, nickel and copper.

Mirror Beads

These are crystal beads with a half silver finish on their surface.


A process when two or more colours of glass are blended in one bead. Has an irregular swirly appearance.


A milky translucent bead that usually refers to Czech beads.

Nickel Plated

The bead is plated with nickel.


A plain bead with a solid colour which no light passes through. Click here to buy opaque beads.

Matte Opaque

A special matt finish on a solid glass bead.

Matte Opaque AB

A special matt aurora borealis finish on a solid glass bead.


A translucent bead with a thick and creamy coating which results in a semi-translucent finish that is often achieved with a dye on the surface.

Pearlized Coating

A glass or plastic bead that has been given a pearl coating, these are not natural pearls.


A spotted finish that has the look of stone which is usually found on window beads.

Round Hole

These beads have a round hole in the centre.

Silver Lined

A transparent bead with a core of metallic silver which shines through the glass and gives the bead a lot of sparkle. Buy silver lined beads here.

Square Hole

These beads have a square hole in the centre and the hole is larger than round hole beads.

Silver Lined AB

A silver lined bead which has an aurora borealis finish on its surface.


A bead is coated with a silk white colour and a satin finish.


A bead is given a soft finish with a muted shine. The colour shade of satin glass changes with the viewing angle.


A bead which allows light to pass through. These beads transmit light allowing to see into or through them, even when their coloured. Click here to buy clear/transparent beads.


A semi-transparent bead which is not as clear as transparent but light can pass through.

Semi Frosted

These beads have a slightly matted finish but still have some shine.


An iridescent coating is applied to half of the bead, this is the same process as AB but results in a primarily pink/ green reflection. This achieves a very vintage looking finish.


When a siam ruby based bead is given a transparent lustre amethyst coating.
See our Bead Types guide for information on the different types of beads available.
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