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Seed Bead Finishes and Treatment Durability


How long do finishes last on Miyuki seed beads? Miyuki shared their durability information using this chart. See below for descriptions of each finish.
Miyuki Treatment Durability - Courtesy of Miyuki


Type Affect
Opaque A solid color that no light passes through.
Transparent A colored bead that light shines through clearly.
Matte (Frosted) An etched surface that results in a velvety, frosted appearance.

Finish Basic Explanation Colors may change or fade due to bright sun (UV light) or deteriorate with time Colors may rub off from friction or contact with skin acid Colors will alter or fade from dry cleaning or exposure to strong solvents
Ceylon Luster coating or inside coloring of opalescent beads No problem with regular use No problem with regular use No problem with regular use
Dyed Color Dyed color on the surface of the beads Some issues with durability by individual use Not highly durable, care is required for use Not highly durable, care is required for use
Galvanized Metal plating on the surface of beads--often silver Some issues with durability by individual use Not highly durable, care is required for use Not highly durable, care is required for use
Gold Luster or Glazed Luster Special luster glazed or gold luster glazed finishes Not highly durable, care is required for use Some issues with durability by individual use Some issues with durability by individual use
Inside Color (Color-Lined) Dyed color inside the hole of beads Some issues with durability by individual use No problem with regular use Not highly durable, care is required for use
Luster Standard clear luster coating No problem with regular use No problem with regular use No problem with regular use
Metal Lined Metal lining inside the hole of beads--often silver, gold or copper Some issues with durability by individual use Some issues with durability by individual use Some issues with durability by individual use
Metallic Gunmetal, iris or bronze finish No problem with regular use No problem with regular use No problem with regular use
Rainbow (AB Coating) Rainbow or AB (aurora borealis) coating on the outside of beads No problem with regular use No problem with regular use No problem with regular use
Silk Silk white color with satin finish No problem with regular use No problem with regular use No problem with regular use
Metal Plated Special metal platings on the outside of the bead such as silver, gold, nickel, and copper No problem with regular use Some issues with durability by individual use No problem with regular use

Seed Bead Finishes


AB (Aurora Borealis) - Named for the northern lights, aurora borealis is a term for crystal stones that have a highly iridescent surface.


Ceylon - A pearl luster finish. Sometimes the color of this bead fades when exposed to strong sunlight.


Inside Color - The surface layer is clear while the color adhered to the inside shows through the clear layer.


Iris - An iridescent coating with multiple hues, usually on dark, opaque beads


  Luster - Transparent, opal or opaque beads with a transparent, uniform, slightly shiny finish that is usually permanent. Finishes may be white, colored or even gold.


Matte - A finish that has a dulled or less shiny, perhaps frosty appearance. Light does not reflect off the surface as it does witha highly polished surface. Matte beads have a velvety or frosted surface. You can matte finish your own beads with Dip N'Etch. Matte iridescent beads are both iridescent and matte. These cannot be etched to make simply matte.


Metallic or Galvanized - A shiny, very reflective coating that gives the bead a look of metal. Metallic or galvanized beads are glass with a shiny metal like surface coating that is usually a baked-on product. Test the beads overnight in bleach, aceton or alcohol to check for permanence. Try not to use on bracelets or backs of necklaces where they will receive abrasions or anywhere they may receive a lot of sunlight. Three or four coats of a spray fixative can prevent the surface from wearing off quickly. Bronze, hematite and copper are more permanent because they actually have a metallic luster finish.



Opaque - Light cannot pass through an opaque bead because opaque beads transmit no light. You can't see the thread in an opaque bead.


Rainbow - An iridescent coating on the outside of either opaque or transparent beads.


Silver Lined - A transparent colored or clear outer layer which allows the silver lining on the inside to glisten through, giving added reflection. Silver-lined beads are made with a transparent or opal glass and have a mirror-like reflective lining in their holes. Usually, but not always, the hole is square to enhance the bead's reflectiveness.


Translucent - Somewhat clear (not as clear as transparent) - light can pass through.


Transparent - Light passes through a transparent bead much like it would through a stained glass window. (You can see through it.) Transparent beads transmit light and you can see into or through them, even when they're colored. More lively or ''sparkly'' than opaque beads.

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