If you have an interest in metal beads, you are not alone! Many beading enthusiasts use them because they lend a shiny shimmer to your beaded jewelry. This trendy craze works with casual outfits, elegant evening wear and business suits. The versatility of metal beads is part of the appeal, but if you want to add a reflective shimmer to your handmade jewelry, adding metal beads can be a great way to do it!
You’ll find a variety of metal beads to choose from, since they have moved beyond the traditional choices of sterling silver or gold-plated.
Brass, pewter and chrome or cloisonné and vermeil are popular choices. Most popular in hand-wrought metal beads are those that come from Thailand’s Golden Triangle. The centuries-old art of crafting designs in metal has become part of a world-wide passion for those that have joined this trendy craze of making beaded jewelry. While you may find smooth and shiny examples of round, shimmering beads, you are also likely to find antique-finished beads in various shapes, with interesting patterns and designs.
Sterling silver and 14kt gold beads are affordable enough for special occasion jewelry that is chic and elegant, but it isn’t unusual to find gemstones added or unique shapes, multiple holes or ornately-carved designs. You can create necklaces, bracelets and earrings using a variety of metal beads or opt for a simple strand, which will illuminate your neck, ears or wrist, depending on your creation.
Anytime you want to add shimmer, metallic finishes can be found in glass beads, but for the naturalist, pure metals may provide the traditional “earthy” look they are after. College students and teenagers are especially fond of jewelry made from metal beads and many of them are designing their own necklaces, ankle bracelets or earrings, for special gifts or personal wear. If you consider all the types of beads that are in the marketplace, you are likely to find this trendy craze is most popular with these age groups.
The versatility lets you design contemporary and shimmering jewelry or antique replicas of popular designs from centuries ago. Even when used as spacers for gemstone beads or crystal and glass beads, they lend an interesting shimmer quality that breaks the monotony of single color strands or adds flair to multi-colored designs. You can add visual interest, whether you accent large glass beads with barrels and tubes or incorporate shells among Bali-style separators.