6 Types of Beads for Jewelry Making

Beads for jewelry making can vary significantly in relation to the materials, sizes and types. They are popular for making a wide range of simple to complex necklaces and bracelets. The preferred materials often include metal, ceramics, plastic, shell and wood. Let’s take a look at six of the most popular types of beads:

Seed

Seed beads are made of glass and have a round shape. Because of the glass material, they come in many different colors, as well as those that are silver lined, iridescent and clear. They make a reliable choice for simple stringing. Also, the diameter can range from less than a millimeter to five millimeters or more.

Cylinder

Cylinder beads (also call delica or toho) are typically long in length with a tubular shape and a large hole through the center. They are versatile in use and can be used as a spacer between other beads or used for basic stringing. Additionally, this type of bead is great for most textile, embroidery, crochet and knitting projects.

Crystal

Crystal beads are a combination of cut glass and lead. The lead content is about 30%, which helps to give a very refractive quality. One of the finest options is the Swarovski crystal beads. They have a very high quality and contain many colors. The most striking designs can have up to 50 colors and plenty of effects. This bead is likely to feature as a decoration sewn into fabric.

Bali

Bali beads are miniature works of art that are handcrafted by the local people in Bali, Indonesia. They are made in.925 sterling silver and look very striking on a piece of jewelry. Typically, they are used as a spacer.

Lampwork

Lampwork beads are created by hand using glass. The beads are made by simply melting the colored glass with a torch. The ability to create by hand gives complete freedom in the design process. While the process used to make the beads can be a little laborious, the pattern and design options can be exquisitely beautiful.

Pony

Pony beads are made of plastic and a very low-cost option for making a piece of jewelry. A typical use is in the children’s craft projects. They can vary in size, but the most typical size is in the region of 4 millimeters.

All in all, with such a varied choice of beads it shouldn’t be too difficult to find the preferred type to match your jewelry making ambitions.

Discover more about the beads and jewelry supplies with choices in all materials, sizes, and types.

Jewelry-Making DIY Basics – What is a Spring Ring?

New jewelry designers will accelerate their progress by learning the terminology of different jewelry-making components. Whether shopping for jewelry closures with a jewelry findings vendor or reviewing jewelry design options with a potential customer, knowing the names of jewelry components will enhance your credibility in the jewelry marketplace.

What is a spring ring?

Spring rings make up a third category of basic jewelry closures after lobster claw clasps and toggles, described in separate articles. Circular in shape, these rings have a “tab” or “trigger” that connects to the inner “shaft”. The C-shaped outer tube holds the inner shaft and the spring that keeps tension on the shaft. When the “trigger” is in its normal, released position, the shaft is closed, resting in the opposite side of the outer tube. To open the spring ring, one pulls in the trigger, which pulls the shaft back into the outer tube. Spring rings may also have either open or closed rings to attach them to jewelry.

When is a spring ring used?

Jewelry designers have traditionally used spring rings from 4mm to 8mm diameter on fine chain necklaces, bracelets and anklets with a chain tag or a small closed ring attached to the opposite side of the jewelry piece. This type of clasp closes into the open hole at the end of the chain tag.

Spring rings measuring up to 20mm diameter now accommodate bolder jewelry designs.

Spring Ring Materials

As with other jewelry closures, spring rings come in a variety of materials, the most common of which are:

Gold: 18 karat, 14 karat, 12 karat in yellow gold, white gold, green gold, rose gold
Gold-Filled: base metal with karat gold mechanically and thermally bonded to visible and wear surfaces
Silver: sterling silver (.925 silver), including blackened silver
Brass, usually plated with gold, silver, bright copper, antique copper, antique brass, gunmetal or imitation rhodium

Spring rings are affordable jewelry closures for fine, lightweight jewelry pieces in sterling, plated metals, gold-filled or karat gold. For designers who like the way spring rings work, bolder, fancier spring rings can be used for larger pieces and for visual centerpieces.