Part 2: Seed Beads!

Next time you peruse your beads, think about the specific beads in your collection that truly stand out to you…the ones that make you just a little extra happy when you look at them. What about those beads makes you love them just a little bit more? I’m willing to bet it’s not so much the bead – but the FINISH! The same simple bead can be utterly transformed with various finishes currently available on the market. Today, in part 2 of our new blog mini-series, we’ll review seed beads and just SOME of the amazing finishes that can be found coating them!

Here at Eureka Crystal Beads, we carry a huge selection of seed beads! On our website we offer a variety of Toho and Miyuki Japanese seed beads in various sizes that feature these lovely finishes. Below, in part 2 of our 3-part blog mini-series on finishes, I’ll review the many standard finishes you can expect to find on these teeny tiny bits of glass! Note: Some finishes below can be found combined on the same bead! (e.g. Matte AND Rainbow!)

Opaque An opaque seed bead is one that is solid color throughout and that doesn’t let light pass through.
Transparent A clear bead with or without color that allows all light to pass though.



AB stands for Aurora Borealis, and whether a seed bead finish is “AB,” “Rainbow,” or “Iris,” they all have one aspect in common: an oil-slick rainbow effect that tends to pick up on whatever else it’s near and can become more or less intense depending on the color underneath it.
Luster This finish provides a white shine to the outside of the seedbead
Ceylon Ceylon seed beads are often pastel in nature due to the finish that provides a white luster that has a pearlescent quality as well, unlike a regular luster. Just be warned: sometimes the colors may fade a bit if exposed to lots of sun.
Galvanized Similar to Ceylon above, galvanized finished CAN rub off over time so it’s best to use them on area of your beadwork that will rub less against the skin. Provided proper care is taken, Galvanized seed beads have a beautiful METALLIC look.


Protective coatings developed by Muyuki & Toho to help give a longer lasting life to the Galvanized finish. Galvanized seed beads will be less prone to losing their coating with wear – though it’s not fail-proof.


This finish pertains to the inside hole of the seed bead being brightly lined with metallic silver that shows through the transparent or translucent glass.


One thing Matte and Frosted have in common is a lack of shiny reflective surface. Frosted seed beads are a more subtle version of a matte seed bead – similar to the look of sea glass, while matte is much more flat.

This finish can also be applied on top of a seed bead that already has an AB, Rainbow, Iris finish providing a seed bead with lots of iridescent depth!

Luminous This finish is a bright INTENSE neon color applied to the inside hole of a seed bead that’s otherwise transparent.
Plated Seed beads can be plated with various precious metals such as 24k gold, Sterling Silver, or Palladium. Similar to a Galvanized coating, this CAN rub off with wear, but it is more durable than a regular galvanized finish. These beads are also susceptible to some tarnishing due to the precious metal nature of the plating.
Magic Similar to the Luminous finish, this is also a finish applied to the inner hole of a transparent seed bead. This finish, however, reminiscent of Dichroic glass in how it shimmers with color and hints of metallic.
Silk/Satin These seed beads tend to be slightly faceted and light to deep pastel in nature. Similar to Mica, the finish is slightly reflective and translucent. Just be careful – they tend to have sharper edges than many other seed beads!
Color Lined Similar other lined seed beads with an effect lining the inner hole, these transparent seed beads feature a bright colored lining adding a lovely effect through the glass!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s