Miyuki Seed Bead Finishes
Ever wonder why the exact color of tiny glass beads have numbers or skus that are different in some way? While we and our manufacturers do our best to keep names and identifications the same across sizes, it can be confusing for the bead weaving initiate. Here we will go through all of the different types of finishes of Miyuki seed beads and demystify the bead jargon.
The Aurora Borealis effect covers the base glass with a rainbow of color. How visible the effect is generally depends on how dark the bead is. You will always see "AB" in the description, and occasionally, Miyuki seed beads will have an "R" at the end of the item number.
Baroque: A faceted pearl-like surface finish which is applied above the glass. The baroque finish gives a 3-D wavy texture similar to a freshwater pearl to the surface of the bead. The edges of the holes are adjusted by hand, so there may be more variation in the hole size than usual. These are a limited edition bead made by Miyuki in only a few sizes.
Ceylon: A luster coating which gives a whitish shine to the base glass. Think of a beaded wedding gown or veil embellished with a pearly white luster bead. Usually found on white, off-white, pale yellow and pink, the Ceylon finish is most often added to other medium to light pastels.
Color-lined: Paint or dye is used to color the bead around the hole so that the center is a different color than the exterior. Less durable than most finishes. Color-lined beads may fade if the paint is a bright color, or may rub off if thread is passed through the bead multiple times. Still more durable than a dyed or galvanized finish.
Dyed: Seed beads are only dyed when the color that is required cannot be created using another method. Dyed beads should be avoided when possible, as the finish may fade under light or rub off with wear or during the manufacturing process. All of our Miyuki beads will say "dyed" in their description so they can be identified.
Duracoat: Miyuki has created a more durable extra coating for Dyed and Galvanized finishes. Duracoat beads are superior to regular dyed and galvanized beads, but still may fade or rub off like their traditional counterparts.
Frosted/Matte: Matte seed beads are tumbled or treated with acid to create a frosted sea-glass exterior finish. The description will always contain "Matte", and Miyuki seed beads will usually have an "F" at the end of the item number.
Frosted Rainbow (FR): A combination of the frosted/matte finish and the AB/Rainbow finish, The description will contain "Matte AB" and the seed bead will usually have an "FR" at the end of the item number.
Galvanized: A metal plating that is applied to the surface of the bead, replaced by the more durable Duracoat Galvanized finish. Seed beads are only galvanized when the color that is required cannot be created using another method. Galvanized beads should be avoided when possible, as the finish may rub off with wear or during the manufacturing process. All of our Miyuki beads will say "galv" in their description so they can be identified.
Luminous: A bright neon color-lined finish, these beads are super bright on the inside and transparent on the outside. The luminous finish is a type of color-lined finish. These are a limited edition bead made by Miyuki in only a few sizes.
Luster: An extra shiny golden glow over the surface of the seed bead. Usually a golden luster, the coating is added to a transparent bead to enhance the color with warm golden highlights.
Magic: A scintillating silver sparkle inside a rich colored center that evokes dichroic glass or a similar metal foil effect. The exterior of the bead is clear crystal to magnify the glow of the interior.
Matte Metallic: The dull metal finish in many matte metallic colors may remind you of an oil slick, or a beetle carapace. Needless to say, these rock star colors are extremely popular sellers and very durable. They are often on the more expensive end of the pricing spectrum, but are worth every penny.
Metallic: Shiny metal tones like steel, copper, gold and bronze are some of our most popular finishes as they combine the inexpensive price of glass with the look of silver, gold and other metals. Metallic finish is applied over an opaque glass bead to create the appearance of a metallic surface.
Opaque: Seed beads made with glass that does not allow light to pass through it. Think of a brightly colored child's toy like a red fire truck. Opaque beads are shiny unless they have an additional matte coating added as well. All of our opaque seed beads will have "Op" in the description.
Picasso: A finish that originally was developed for Czech glass beads, it resembles tiny flecks of paint applied to the surface of the bead. The picasso finish is applied over opaque and transparent beads, and may appear slightly differently on different colors.
Plated: Seed beads which are plated with a precious metal such as 24k gold or Palladium. This coating can tarnish or rub off with wear, but it is more durable than a regular galvanized finish.
Semi-Frosted: A frosted (matte) finish that is about half as strong as the usual frosted finish, and still retains some of the brightness of a transparent or opaque bead.
Silk Satin: Like mica, this Delica Bead finish has a glittering faceted surface which is semi-opaque but slightly mirrored and scored on each face. This is a very unusual but interesting finish, and the beads are slightly larger than the other Delica Beads. The silk satin beads are also notable for being extremely lightweight.
Silver-lined: A mirror-like metal center reflects up through the color of the bead. Silver-lined (S/L) beads are one of the most popular traditional finishes. Some of the silver-lined seed bead numbers will end with "S", but most use S/L in the description.
Transparent: Seed beads made with glass that allows light to pass through it, colors range from completely clear to deep jewel tones. All of our transparent seed beads will have "Tr" in the description. Transparent beads are usually inexpensive as they do not have any coatings applied over the base glass.