Beads: Terminology

bugle: a long tubular bead (2-25 mm)
cathedral: describes a transparent glass
: pearly finish
: a bead with one flat face or facet ground onto its surface. (somewhat rare)
: glass made with lead, which produces a high clarity
cut glass: lacks the sparkle of lead crystal
: a tubular bead, like a short section of pipe. Very uniform, more expensive than seed beads.
hank: a unit of seed beads, 10-14 strands 12"-14" long, weighing about 35 grams
fire polish: a heat treatment to smooth facetted bead surfaces and maximize gloss
iridescent (also called aurora borealis or AB): a rainbow finish, usually transparent
iris: "oil slick" iridescent finish, usually dark, leaning toward one color (blue/green,/brown)
lined: a transparent bead with a color painted inside its hole
luster: a shiny, semi-pearly coating maximizing gloss
mass: a selling unit of one hundred dozen (1,200) used for larger beads.
: a surface that is non-glossy, usually achieved by acid etching (also occurs with abrasion from wear, age or grinding, or from devitrification during a heat process)
: a translucent glass which transmits less light that a transparent glass, but more than a waxy or opaque glass. Varies in degree from "clam broth" to near waxy.
opaque: a glass which transmits no light; a "solid" color glass
pony bead: a large (6·­5·) seed bead.
: a bead that is silver (mirror) lined, especially those with square holes
satin: glass containing many tiny air bubble striations that give a shimmering, tone-on-tone pulled taffy effect
scarabee: similar to an iris finish. May not cover the entire bead; often just one side shows the iridescence.
seed bead: small glass beads usually less than 2mm diameter, donut shaped (wider than they are high) Sized by numbers, 11· being commonly seen (range: 5·-24·). The lower number = larger bead.
silver lined (S/L): a mirror lining characteristic of rocailles, also in some bugle and seed beads.
striated: marbled or streaked color
three cut: a seed bead with facets cut onto it (labor intensive, thus costly)
: clear glass (may be colored, but you can read through it). Also called cathedral.
two cuts: very short bugle beads; really, seed beads that were never heat tumbled to smooth their cut edges.
: a glass with qualities of dense translucency or marginal opacity; some light transmits, giving the glass some depth. uncommon.
white heart
: seed beads made with an inner layer of opaque white glass, and an outer layer of transparent colored glass. Rare and costly.

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