A Look at Some of the Most Sought After Styles and Designs for Beading

Whether you are a professional or a hobbyist, knowing your options is one of the most important requirements for creating jewelry, ornaments, and other decorative pieces with beads. Something as simple as visual exposure to the various beads created in different colors, designs, and shapes, is often enough to both initiate and expand creativity in artists. On that note, let’s take a look at some of the most sought after designs in beadwork.

Seed Beads

Seed beads is a generic term for small, roundish beads (generally) made from glass, which come in almost all shades of nearly every color under the sun. Seed beads also come in a wide variety of true cuts like a gemstone, which makes them sparkle like precious gemstones. As you might imagine, these beads provide bead workers with incredible versatility while weaving. Note that some actual hard seeds are also used as beads (rudraksha), but that’s not what’s being discussed here.

Peacock Pearl Beads

Peacock pearl beads are generally greyish green in color with occasional traces of pink, purple, and/or gold in there. They are called peacock pearls because the main greenish hue and the sparkling hints of other colors are reminiscent of a peacock’s feather. Some of them can look almost identical to the extremely rare Tahitian saltwater pearl. You will find a huge and diverse collection of peacock freshwater pearls from The Bead Traders.

Lava Beads

As the name itself suggests, genuine lava beads are actually made from solidified lava, aka volcanic rock. While they come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, genuine lava beads will always have a heft to them. They sport a matte finish with a rough, dotted texture that’s typical of volcanic rocks and unique to each bead.

Coral Beads

Coral mining is not the most environment-friendly practice, but coral beads are generally made from long-dead fossilized corals. Thus, these brilliantly bright and shiny red beads can be created without harming the marine ecosystem. Some of the rarest coral beads are considered to be semi-precious gemstones for their uniqueness and scarcity, but just like pearls, all coral beads are made from biomatter and not crystals, minerals, or stones.

Metal Beads

Beads are also manufactured from metals and alloys such as sterling silver, gold, copper, aluminum, and iron. Due to the fact that metallic beads are manmade, the design and style option are vast with metal beads. Silver beads are most preferred for making jewelry as they strike the perfect balance between price, quality, and malleability. Copper, iron, and aluminum are the cheapest options, and they are all highly prone to rusting. 

Semi-Precious Beads

Semi-precious beads are manufactured in a wide variety of shapes, cuts, colors, and sizes. How they will look depends entirely on what the beads were made from, as well as how they were made. Common materials used for making semi-precious beads include amber, jasper, garnet, sodalite, malachite, onyx, and obsidian to name just a few.

Avoid artificial crystal beads that have any lead content. They shine and sparkle like true gemstones, but they may have a lead content as high as 30%. True cut glass beads should not have any lead, but you should always confirm that fact with the seller before buying.

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