Glossary of Terms

The beading world comes with many unique terms, so here is a helpful list of commonly used terms for you to refer to as you shop!

Aurora Borealis – Often reduced down to AB, this is s micro thin layer of metal giving a rainbow iridescent finish to a crystal of glass bead. This is a durable finish as the metal is permanently bonded with the glass.

Bail - A finding used to connect pendants to necklaces or bracelets. 

Bead Boards – Useful for planning out jewellery designs ahead of stringing. They have grooves into which you place your beads and components to try out layouts. Some have multiple grooves so you can plan multi stranded designs. Around the outside of the grooves are measurements to help determine the length of the finished piece. Some even have a lid to protect your design if you need to finish it later, or to allow you to travel with your board and design!

Bead Caps – A pair of bead caps can be used to “top and tail” a bead. They are generally domed in shape to neatly fit round a bead. Bead Caps can be purely decorative, but can also be used to help cover a large bead hole.

Bead Cone – A metal cone shape used to secure and cover the ends of several strands of beading.

Bead Mat – Makes life easier by stopping beads from rolling away! A special micro fibre with enough pile to prevent speedy rolling and protect your work surface.

Bead Stopper – A simple fastener that is clipped to the end of stringing material to stop beads falling off the end as you thread them on.

Bicone Beads – A very popular bead shape. Bicones resemble two cones stuck together flat end to flat end, and they can be faceted or rounded.

Bugle Beads – Short, thin tubes of glass usually less than 2mm thick. Made by drawing out a long tube of glass and then cutting it into shorter lengths. They are good for shine and swing, and were used on flappers’ dresses in the 1920s.

Chain Nose Pliers – The perfect all-purpose tool that should be on the list of essential jewellery making tools you need! Used to bend, hold, and manipulate wire and findings (eg jump rings), and to squash crimps. Their pointed tip makes them ideal for working on small items and in small spaces.

Crimps – One of the great connectors in the world of beading! Tiny beads made of soft metal. Used to attach clasps to stringing materials, holding beads in place on stringing materials, and holding together multiple strands. Squeeze the crimp with chain nosed pliers to lock its position on the stringing material.

Eye Pin – A short length of wire ending in a turned loop. Add beads to produce an earring dangle, pendant, or charm. Use the loop to join to other findings or components.

Findings - Component made from metal, stone, wood or plastic used for jewellery making, usually to attach one part to another. They include crimp beads, jump rings, clasps, headpins and bead caps.

French Wire – Also known as Gimp or Bullion. A length of thin wire tightly coiled like a spring. Use a short length of this to feed your thread (especially silk) through at the clasp end, and so add some protection to the thread as it would otherwise rub directly on the loop of the clasp. Gives a professional looking finish.

Gemstones - Natural minerals also commonly referred to as crystals or rocks. Colours all vary. in Beadazzle 99% are undyed (any dyed gemstone will always be identified as such).

Jump Rings – Circles of metal with a split in their diameter used to join together jewellery elements. They can be opened with pliers, attached to another component, and then closed shut (but never squeezed!) to create a relatively secure closure.

Magatama – An oval shaped glass bead with an off-centre hole. When threaded, this ensures the bead stands out somewhat from your line of threaded beads.

Silver Lined – Transparent glass beads lined with a silver colour. Coloured glass silver lined beads have a special brilliance and sparkle to them.

Snub Nosed Cutters (or End Cutters) – Used to cut wires, they have a flat (snub) nose which helpfully pushes all that you don’t want t cut out of the way so you have no unexpected accidents!