Finishes and Coatings
Aurora Borealis (AB) - 1/2 coat metallic finish that adds a prismatic effect
to the surface of the bead. The beads are placed in an oven where
a chemical reaction between metals produces fumes that adhere to the exposed surfaces
of the bead. Usually this coating is only applied to one side of the bead;
however there are some shapes, such as the Nouveau Brocade Discs, that can
easily be coated on both sides for a more dramatic effect.
Marea - Same process as AB but results in a primarily orange/yellow reflection.
Vitrail - Same process as AB but results in a primarily pink/green reflection.
Matte - Tumbled to create a subdued look. The surface texture
of a bead depends on the length of time it is tumbled. Instead of being tumble
polished to a bright shine, the matte finish creates a soft appearance or glow to
the bead. Throughout the tumbling process the surface alternates from being
matted to polished and it is up to the manufacturing experts to calculate the perfect
tumbling time. The matted effect can also be created by dipping the beads
into an acid solution. This is the preferred method when creating matte AB
finishes or working with delicate beads such as lampwork.
Matte AB - A combination of the above coatings. The beads
are first coated with an AB finish and then dipped into an acid solution to take
away the shine. This combination brings out the prismatic color refraction
of the AB finish and the rough texture of the matted bead creates a mesmerizing
glow and an unbelievable depth to the bead.
Luster - Durable, transparent, glossy color coating on glass beads
that is heat treated like a glaze. These coatings are usually applied
to a crystal or jet based bead; however there are limitless combinations that are
becoming increasingly popular. On light beads a luster coating may add only
a subtle hint of color, whereas dark beads may have the complete opposite effect.
Some examples include:
Vega (E9008) - Siam Ruby based bead with a luster transparent amethyst coating
Hematite (14400) - Jet based bead with a clear luster coating
Luster Opaque Rose/Gold Topaz (P65491) - This bead looks like an opaque pink
bead with a gold luster but it is actually an opaque white based bead with Luster
Picasso - A luster coating that appears more speckled and spotty; giving the
bead a natural, earthy appearance. The color can vary from light yellow
to dark brown with underlying color variations. Some base bead colors, such
as opaque beige, blue or white allow the picasso finish to take on a raku pottery
Coated Beads - Also known as dyed beads, these coatings are generally used
to create unique shades and dual-tone color combinations that are usually unachievable
or expensive to produce within the glass. Although historically they are not
as durable as lusters or other finishes, they are gaining in popularity around the
world. With proper care and when used in the ideal conditions, these beads
will stay shiny and brilliant for years to come. Beads we carry that are coated
include the following:
Glass pearls - Alabaster white beads
coated with a nitro-cellulose lacquer with pearl pigments.
Our pearl coated bead line has many shapes and colors that are an inexpensive and
fashionable alternative to real pearls. Some of the variations include:
Glazed - Jet based beads with a thick and creamy coating.
Opalescent - Crystal based beads
with a thick and creamy coating.
Metallic - Jet based pearls
Pearl Lights - Transparent, crystal based beads with the same nitro-cellulose
lacquer finish as regular pearls. These beads look similar to regular pearls
in low light, but have a saturated glow in bright light; producing a youthful, sophisticated
style that is gaining in popularity.
Mirror Beads - Crystal beads with a 1/2 silver finish and coated with a brilliant
color. Beads with this finish are also called "Las Vegas Beads" or even "Mardi
All of our coated beads are clearly marked for your convenience.