Seed Bead

Finishes & Abbreviations


Alabaster (AL): opalescent glass.


Aurora Borealis (AB): Also referred to as "iris", "irid", "iridescent" or "rainbow". This permanent rainbow finish is applied to the beads while they are hot. They blend subtly with other colors and come forward visually.


Duracoat (DC) : Duracoat finish is durable and very strong. It has been tested to withstand months of continuous use. Unlike regular seed beads, the Duracoat finish works well for wearable beadwork.


Ceylon (C): A pearl looking finish on a translucent bead.


Chrome – a platinum color finish.


Copper-Lined – a transparent bead with a metallic copper core.


Dyed (D):beads are dyed after they are made. Always test these before use. Not recommended for jewelry unless extra care is taken.


Dyed Rainbow ( DR) : This finish is made by applying surface colorants and/or stains to the finished beads with heat or solvents. Care should be taken to avoid overexposure to sunlight or contact with oils and acids from the skin.


Frosted (F) : Also referred to as a "matte" finish. Chemical etching or tumbling produces a frosted look to translucent beads. They are not shiny and when used with a shiny bead will recede visually.


Galvanized ( GA) : The shiny finish on these beads gives them the appearance of metal and referred to as metallic beads. They are not in the metallic bead family. Until a few years ago (see PF beads) they were highly unstable and were avoided by some users. New technology has created a much more stable bead.


Galvanized Duracoat (GDC) - The Duracoat finish is durable and very strong. It has been tested to withstand months of continuous use. Unlike regular galvanized seed beads, the Duracoat finish works well for wearable beadwork.


Giltlined: Semi-translucent glass/golden metal color lining.


Gold-Lined (G/L): These transparent beads have a 14 Carat gold plating on the inside of the bead.


Gold-Lustered : A transparent bead that has had a gold luster applied to the surface.


Inside-Color or Color-Lined (C/L): Transparent or Transparent AB beads that have had an opaque color added to the inside of the bead. There are many beautiful and exciting combination of colors available. Also available with a matte/frosted finish.


Iris (I) : a permanent rainbow/oil slick finish, sometimes called rainbow or AB (Aurora Borealis). The iridescent coating provides multiple hues.


Labrador (LAB:  a special silver coating that allows the bead color to still be seen. It may be on half the bead or fully coat the bead.


Luster (LUST): A semi-transparent high gloss coating is applied with a resulting pearl or whitish appearance. The luster may be gold, colored or white.


Marble: The marbling on these beads is done by hand by highly skilled artisans. The marbling may be done with gold or an opaque color.


Marea – metallic tones of yellow gold though occasionally silver, greens, blues and or pink/red can be seen.


Matte (MAT): The matte finish is done with chemical etching or tumbling. When used on transparent or translucent beads the finish looks frosted. On the metallic beads the finish looks similar to raku fired beads.


Matte Iridescent MAT/IRID:beads that are iridescent and matte. For a real contrast use a matte iridescent bead with a shiny iridescent bead. Matte iridescent beads look similar to Raku pottery.


Matte Metallic ( MET MAT): beads that are metallic with a matted or satin gloss finish.  They may not be permanent. Use a matte metallic bead with a shiny metallic in the same color for a subtle background texture.


Metal-Plated (MP) :The finish is permanent but people with high PH level (acidic) skin may find that they eventually damaged the plated finish.


Metallic and Higher Metallic ( MET) : These beads have a shiny finish that gives them a metal-like appearance. There finish is one of the most time consuming because of the many different elements used – titanium and gold being two of them. The higher-metallic beads contain more gold in their finish.


Metallic Rainbow (MR) - Multiple color metallic


Nickel: A metal alloy, containing mostly nickel is applied to the bead producing a stainless steel look.


Opal: beads transmit light but are milky or translucent. Good opal glass glows like an opal gemstone.


Opaque (OP/OPQ) : Opaque is a solid bead and transmits no light.


Opaque Rainbow (OPR):  Opaque with an AB finish


Painted: or Dyed beads have bright or unusual colours achieved by applying dye or paint to the finished beads with heat and solvents. These dyes can wear off.


Pearl :An opaque seed bead given a pearlised surface coating


Permanent Finish or (PF): Toho developed a technology that has dramatically improved the stability of their galvanized and silverlined Ceylon beads.Extensive testing has shown that their durability has been greatly increased however they are not able to withstand perfumes or harsh chemicals.


Picasso – A flecked luster coating. The earthy colors generally range from light yellow to dark brown creating a gemstone or marbled look depending on the base color of the bead.


Satin: finish gives a silvery effect and a slightly muted sparkle.


Semi Frost (SF)

Semi-Matte (S-MA )


Silver-Lined (S/L): A sterling silver lining has been applied to the inside of a transparent or translucent bead creating a mirror like surface that transmits light from the center of the bead. These beads also come with a “frosted” finish.


Sliperit – metallic finish that reflects hues of gold, purple and/or fuchsia.


SolGel (or SG): Seed beads have a specialized coated treatment that provides the beads with lasting color. The treatment protects the beads from exposure to sunlight, washing, cosmetic exposure, and perspiration. The colors are fade-resistant and washable in temperatures below 100°F degrees.


Sparkling (Spark): The beads are a color lined bead. The beads have a metallic paint lining so they sparkle and shine in the lights.


Stripe:Seed beads made with two or more glass colours


Translucent (TLT)


Transparent (TRANS ) : No finish has been applied to these beads and they are completely see through. The bead transmits light which makes them sparkly.


Transparent Luster (TL): Transparent/shiny lustre on the surface.


Transparent AB (TAB) : Transparent /Aurora Borealis rainbow finish on the surface.


Travertine – a color and surface finish that imitates the mineral travertine.


Valentinit– a dark silver metallic finish.


Vega – transparent metallic highlights of purples or blues. It adds an iridescence to the surface of the bead.


Vitrail – an opaque iridescent finish. The colors that it produces are affected by the bead color and light. The color range is primarily pink and/or green but silver, gold, or purples are sometimes visible depending on the light source.


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