Sharply faceted 4mm by 8mm tube shaped crystal glass beads, in a mix of clear, red, green, blue, and yellow-gold colors. These are bright and sparkly little beads, that appear to be hand-cut.
I got these beads in a huge, unlabeled lot of mixed crystal glass, so I am having to guess as to which faceted beads may be fire polished, half hand-made, or fully hand-made.* These beads show all the signs of being hand-made: In addition to having very sharp, clearly defined facets, each bead is unique, with slight variations in the exact shape and size of each individual bead.
These beads have been in storage for several years, so the beads may need washing before use.
****************************** Please note- These beads are sold loose, in a mixed lot. Some of the photos show single color strands made out of these beads, but this is shown only as a sample of what they look like stranded. You will not receive any stranded beads with this order. ******************************
Please be aware that photographic computer images of bead colors are tricky things; varying according to lighting, the whims of the camera, and your individual computer monitor display. Photo colors can appear dramatically different when viewed on different computer monitors. (High def monitors intensify most colors, mutate others, and can even turn regular colors neon bright.)
Even in person, beads can be little chameleons, changing colors dramatically when viewed in different lights. When you receive your beads, you should look at the colors in natural sunlight as well as by indoor light. Beads can change from blue to purple, clear to yellow, gray to amethyst, etc.
ABOUT FACETED GLASS:
Crystal glass has nothing to do with quartz crystals. Glass is considered to be crystal if it has a chemical formulation that makes the glass harder than usual; which increases the index of refraction of the light rays; which increases brilliance, color, and clarity. Crystal can come in smooth or in faceted form, and not all faceted glass beads are actually made of crystal glass. Another nice feature of crystal glass is that the color usually extends all the way through the glass, rather than being the result of surface coatings. (Shiny metallic coatings and iridescent AB coatings are exceptions to this rule.)
Faceted crystal glass comes in several varieties, depending on how they were manufactured:
*Fully hand-made: This is the most expensive type of faceted bead, because of all the hand-work required. The beads are shaped by hand, and each facet is ground into the surface of the glass. The results are very beautiful, with sharp edged facets that really catch and scatter the light. (Nowadays, there is an automated, computer controlled variation of the fully hand-cut beads. This technique is used to make Austrian crystal beads that are as beautiful as hand-cut beads, but that have more perfectly shaped facets than any human hand can create.)
*Half hand-made: Half hand made beads are molded into their basic shape, then all of the facets are refined and polished by hand. Half hand made beads, if done well, tend to be very hard to distinguish from fully hand made beads.
*Fire-polished faceted glass: Fire polished beads are molded or roughly hand-cut beads, that are finished by heating each bead until the surface starts to melt slightly. This smooths the surface, and removes chips, mold marks, and surface blemishes. Fire polished beads can be distinguished from hand-polished beads because the edges of the facets are slightly rounded. (Beads with ridescent AB or Aurora Borealis coatings are sometimes called "fire-polished", but that is a completely different process.)
*Mold-made faceted glass: The cheapest type of faceted glass was made in molds, but was not polished or finished in any way. These types of beads are usually rather rough and dull looking in comparison to other types of glass beads, and will usually show a clearly visible mold mark, a line of raised glass that runs all the way around the bead.