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Glass Jewellery

Updated: Jun 17, 2023



Why are glass beads so popular?


One overwhelming reason is that it is far cheaper than crystal.


Crystal is glass with lead added. Did you know that?


Glass beads can:

- look very similar to crystal beads

- be just as sparkly

- be produced in so many colour options .


This is why they have become increasingly popular nowadays and you will find that many crafters are turning their hands to producing the most beautiful and attractive glass beads.


Glass bead design


Glass beads can come in any colour you want.


Some are produced in multicoloured shades with designs ranging from the abstract to floral designs in Nature themes.


A common use for glass beads


Combine them with other types of gemstones when designing and making jewellery pieces.


A way to sell affordable pieces of jewellery that have a feel of quality to them is to select a few semi precious stones or crystals beads for a necklace.


Thread the remaining part with carefully selected glass beads to give the piece of jewellery a feel of style and expense. An example of mixing beads is in the photo below:




Rather than stringing this piece solely using Agate beads, I have used contrasting glass beads in blue. This allows for more affordable pricing, as natural stone and semi precious stones will increase your product pricing.



What are the popular types of glass beads?



Mostly made from dichroic and lamp worked glass.


These can be cheaply and easily produced


The more intricate designs though, such as those with floral designs incorporated in the glass, are handmade by skilled glass workers.


These are more expensive but if you have pieces of jewellery containing these types of beads, you know that you have a - more often than not - unique, rare piece of jewellery.


Millefiori



Names of different types of glass beads


Millefiori

A glasswork technique which produces distinctive decorative patterns on glassware.


The term millefiori is a combination of the Italian words "mille" (thousand) and "fiori" (flowers).


Apsley Pellatt in his book Curiosities of Glass Making was the first to use the term "millefiori", which appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1849; prior to that, the beads were called mosaic