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Bead Knowledge Center - Seed Bead Finishes

Beads come in many finishes. And not everyone uses the same terms for these finishes. This page helps define the more common terms. Note: some of these can be combined and the photos that follow will show some of the combinations. This is not an exhaustive list.

Want to know more about Seed Beads? Check out the All About Seed Beads page and the Seed Bead Storage page.

When using seed beads, in addition to contasting one color off another, finishes can be played off each other to get a more dramatic effect. For example, if you want to add a little pizzaz, add a silver-lined bead. For those who use a lot of seed beads in their techniques (ex: for off-loom bead weaving or bead embroidery), you will find that you need beads of the same color in all these finishes. You can let your stash grow as needed, but one day you will find that you "just have to have" this other bead because the finish and color is just too wonderful. That is part of the fun of being a Bead Freak.

  • AB FINISH: Iridescent coating with creates a multi-color effect. AB stands for Aurora Borealis and named for the northern lights.
  • CEYLON:  Pearl-like finish, primarily pastel colors. Sometimes the color of this bead fades when exposed to strong sunlight.
  • COLOR-LINED:  A transparent bead with an opaque color-lining around the hole. The outside can be crystal (clear) or another color.
  • DYED COLORS:  After bead is made it is dyed, finish may fade or rub off over time. To protect it, try these techniques.
  • GALVANIZED: Galvanized beads have a coated finished applied to the glass through a galvanization process. This finish does come off. To protect it, try these techniques.
  • GALVANIZED - Duracoats or Permanent: Miyuki now has a set of Duracoats - galvanized coating that is made permanent; these are in the 4201 to 4222 number range. Other companies are also producing these permanent Galvanized finished beads like Toho P-numbered beads.
  • IRIS-FINISH:  Permanent rainbow effect applied when beads are still hot, so finish will not fade
  • LUSTER:  Semi-transparent high-gloss finish
  • MATTE FINISH:  Frosted non-shiny finish
  • METALLIC:  Metal-like shiny finish
  • OPAQUE:  Solid color, light does not show through
  • SILKY:  Textured to change appearance depending on the viewing angle
  • SILVER-LINED:  Reflective silver lining in hole
  • TRANSPARENT:  Transparent glass, allows light to show through
AB Matte
AB (Matte)
AB Silver Lined
AB (Silver-Lined)
Silver LIned Matte AB
AB (Silver-Lined Matte)
Transparent AB
AB (Transparent)
Colored LIned
Colored Lined
Oil Matte
Matte (Oil)
Transparent Matte
Matte (Transparent)
Colored LIned Matte
Matte (Colored-Lined)
Silver LIned Matte
Matte (Silver-Line)
Silver LIned


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