Category Archives: Bead Types

Spiral Beads

One of my favourite bead designs is the spiral bead. These beads are always wound and tend to be either normal, circular beads, triangular beads or (technically) hexagonal. They have anywhere between two and four spirals that radiate out until … Continue reading

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Swag Beads

Swag beads are probably my favourite type of design, largely because of the name. It really is a technical term, and I am all for bringing it back into popular usage in bead studies. Swag on a bead simply refers … Continue reading

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Zone Beads

Zone beads are another pretty large category of polychrome bead, though they only seem to be called zone beads in Asia. Zone beads are any bead with one or more lines around the centre, running perpendicular to the perforation, such … Continue reading

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Eye Beads

If we’re going to go through common polychrome designs, you have to talk about eye beads. Eye beads have been around for thousands of years in various forms, and they appear all over Europe, Africa, and Asia.

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Polychrome Beads

Last week, I posted the final article on various colors of beads and also posted about documenting polychrome beads. This week, we’re going to start getting into the insanity that is polychrome beads and the various designs these beads have.

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Clear and White Beads

I’ve lumped these two together because they’re both lacking color. One is translucent/transparent and the other is opaque, but their color status is the same. These beads can be glass, rock crystal, pearl, shell, bone, ivory, and a number of … Continue reading

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Black Beads

Black beads can be incredibly common or incredibly uncommon, depending on the region you are in. South Asian contexts tend to have more black beads than most places, and Victorian England had a lot of black beads. But they’re virtually … Continue reading

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Purple Beads

Purple beads are fairly rare in a large number of places, and they have been fairly rare for a long time. Even when looking at beads in a modern bead store, purple is not nearly as common as most other … Continue reading

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Blue Beads

Blue beads are probably the most difficult color category of beads, because there are so many variations of blue and many of those variations occur in beads. Go into any bead store and you will find a larger selection of … Continue reading

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Green Beads

Green is one of those colors that throws you for a loop when it comes to beads. Or at least, it does me. That’s partly because most beads that seem greenish are really primarily yellow or blue, and partly because … Continue reading

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