Seed Bead Cuts / Shapes & Finishes

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The most common shape seed beads are round. Depending on where or who makes them will determine their quality. The most common and low quality seed beads can be found in China, Taiwan, India and Thailand. Czech seed beads are considered to be high quality and is in fact the country where seed beads originated. As well as the round seed beads, you can also get them as bulges which are long, tubular seed beads measuring 1" or more, and you can also get charlotte cut (otherwise known as 2-3cut or hexagonal) beads. Charlotte beads are fasceted on 1, 2 or 3 sides and are most commonly found in sizes 1.5mm-2mm, though other sizes exist and differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Another shape that can be found today is the cylinder seed bead, a Japanese invention by a company called Miyuki Shoji. These cylindrical beads are even more uniform in size and shape than the Czech seed beads and have larger holes than usual as well.


AB - Aurora Borealis/Rainbow effect

BL - Bronze Lined

CL - Colour Lined

CL - Copper Lined

Lustre = Pearl effect

OPQ - Opaque (solid colour preventing light from passing through)

SL - Silver Lined

Translucent - The light is diffused as it passes through

Transparent - Clear/See through

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