National Origin

Before World War II, there was a thriving bead industry centered in eastern Europe, especially in Bohemia, before 1918 a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and a part of the Republic of Czechoslovakia after, although Germany, Italy and France were also noted producers of glass beads. Most of these beads were made of glass, but some were made of metal, usually aluminum or steel, and often cut in what is known as "three-cut" faceting; these are popularly known as steel cuts. Many of the old factories were converted or destroyed during World War II. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, treasure troves of old beads made their way to Western markets. These "vintage" beads are highly prized, and are now harder to find.Most contemporary high-quality seed beads are made in Japan, India,China or the Czech Republic

Where Seed Beads Used

Seed Beads Products

Colors and Finishes

opaque finish
Opaque refers to beads that transmit no light. Opaque beads also come in matte finishes.

transparent finish
Transparent beads do transmit light. These beads also come in matte finishes and are often referred to as frosted.

opaque rainbow finish
Iridescent, Rainbow or AB is a finish that is applied while the bead is hot. This creates a rainbow effect on the surface of the bead. With some of the matte beads a raku, or fired, look is created.

ceylon finish
Ceylon refers to transparent beads that have been lustered. These beads also look pearled.

luster transparent and luster opaque finishes
Luster is a shiny finish on the surface of an opaque bead. The luster applied will be either a color or white. The beads have a pearled finish look.

gold lustered finish
Gold Lustered beads are transparent beads that have been lustered with a gold finish creating a subtle gold highlight to the bead.

matte finish
Matte beads have a frosted surface with very rich, deep colors. TOHO's matte and metallic beads are by far the most beautiful on the market.

dyed rainbow finish
Dyed beads are transparent beads that have been painted and baked. Strong UV light may cause fading over time.

inside-color finish
Inside-Color beads are transparent beads that have had an opaque color applied to the inside of the bead.

galvanized finish
Galvanized beads are plated with zinc. TOHO has developed a new finish for the galvanized beads which will provide 95% durability.

metallic finish
Metallic beads have been heated and then sprayed with oxidized tin. The thicker the coating, the darker the finish.

higher metallic finish
Higher Metallic beads are surface coated with gold and then sprayed with oxidized titanium. The gold provides a brighter finish to these beads.

silver-lined finish
Silver-Lined beads are transparent beads that have been lined with silver. These beads have a wonderful sparkle to them. Silverlined beads also come in a matte finish that creates a frosted look.

bronze finish
Bronze beads are coated with gold mixed with other materials and then baked on.

nickel plated matte finish
Nickel Platedare..... Nickel-plated