Bead Types - Common Beads Used In Making Jewellery

A guide to the most common types of beads used in jewellery making and beading

Type Of Beads

Gemstone Beads ( Semi Precious Beads ) include natural and dyed or enhanced gemstones. Most commonly sold in round shapes and in sizes 6mm, 8mm, & 10mm and less commonly in many different shapes including ovals, rectangles, nuggets and chips.

Glass beads have been made in the Czech Republic for many many years and the thing we love about them is each bead is slightly different from the next.  Czech bead manufacturers provide a wide range of bead shapes, styles & colours to choose from.

 Acrylic or plastic beads are lightweight and perfect for chunky jewellery designs. Use them for bright bold jewellery.  This type of bead comes in a wide range of shapes, sizes and designs. Acrylic beads are also perfect for children's jewellery.

Seed Beads are tiny beads which come in different sizes. Seed beads are perfect for bead weaving, stringing and bead embroidery. The most common types available are Japanese such as Miyuki,  Czech such as preciosa or unbranded Chinese.  

Ceramic, porcelain or clay beads can be made by hand or machine made. Available in all shapes and sizes, larger ceramic beads are perfect for chunky jewellery or focal peices. This type of bead is often brightly coloured.

These are beads that are machine cut to produce lots of flat faces to create a sparkly effect. Faceted beads are often made of glass, such as fire polished beads, rondelles and bicone shaped.

Not sure how many beads you need for your project? Take a look at our handy chart