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Seed Bead Sizes

The unit of measurement for seed beads is known as 'Aught' which is either displayed as a symbol ' ' or a forward stroke followed by a 0. The number that precedes this refers to the beads size. The larger the number is, the smaller the bead. The most commonly used seed bead size is 11/0 ("eleven-aught"), but sizes can range anywhere from from 24/0 to 1/0. The term "aught" refers to how many beads can fit into a standard unit, although this size can vary between manufacturers.

Aught size

Diameter in mm

Beads per Inch

Beads Per Gram

1/0

6.5

3

3

2/0

6

5

5

3/0

5.5

6

8

6/0

4

10

12

8/0

3.1

13

40

9/0

2.7

14

60

10/0

2.3

15

80

11/0

2.1

17

100

12/0

1.9

18

130

13/0

1.7

20

160

14/0

1.4

21

220

15/0

1.3

23

250

delica/treasure

1.8

20

100

* Please Note
This chart is a guide only, sizes will vary between manufacturers and depending on the finishes applied. For example a transparent size 11 bead will be smaller than a permanent galvanised size 11. This is due to the extra coatings applied throughout the manufacturing process to achieve a variety of finishes.

Colors and Finishes

Seed beads not only come in a range of colours but they also have a wide variety of finishes as well. Some beads may have more than one finish applied to create even more variations. The colour of a seed bead refers to the original colour of the glass used to create the bead, and the finish is applied to the surface or the core of the bead.

 

  • Transparent - The bead is see-through allowing light to pass directly through the glass
  • Translucent or Milky - A diffused light can be seen through the bead 
  • Opaque - The solid color prevents light from passing through the bead
  • Matte - A frosted finish on the bead which causes light relecting off them to be diffused
  • Silver-Lined - Transparent bead that has a silver coating within the core of the bead
  • Copper-Lined - Transparent bead that has a copper coating within the core of the bead
  • Bronze-Lined - Transparent bead that has a bronze lining within the core of the bead
  • Gold Lined - Transparent bead that has a gold lining within the core of the bead
  • luster  - a shiny coating applied to the beads surface giving the bead a shiny finish like the nacre of a pearl
  • Gold Lustered - The luster is created using gold dust which gives the bead a rich golden metallic hue
  • AB or aurora borealis -  a rainbow effect applied to the surface of a seed bead. The effect is similar to the iridescence that can be seen on soap bubbles
  • Color Lined beads are transparent beads that have had an opaque color applied to the inside of the bead
  • Metallic beads have been heated and then sprayed with oxidized tin. The thicker the coating, the darker the finish.
  • Higher Metallic beads are surface coated with gold and then sprayed with oxidized titanium. The gold provides a brighter finish to these beads.
  • Iris - This finish gives an 'oil slick' appearance, giving the beads purple/teal/blue/fuschia tones. This finish is generally used on dark rich tones such as purple, brown blue and green.
  • Ceylon - A pearl Lustered finish. These beads generally come in pale pastel colours and have a pearlized finish
  • Galvanized The beads are plated with zinc which gives them a metallic finish. However this is not a stable finish and can rub away with friction
  • Dyed - These beads are transparent beads that have been painted and baked. Strong UV light may cause fading over time.


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