Types / Finishes
Toho beads are produced from scratch. Silica ash, soda ash and charcoal are mixed and melted. The molten glass is then extruded and made into round canes. The canes are made into either opaque or transparent glass. From these canes the process of creating finishes, shapes and sizes is begun. It takes three to seven weeks to produce the beads depending on the cut or finish.
Toho Treasures / Delicas
Toho translates to Treasure of the East. They are cylinder shapes beads in size 1.8mm and 3.3mm equivalent to the Delicas.
Six sided beads with the edge of the hole being flat and polished, not rough or rounded.
Three sided, triangular shaped beads.
Bugles are tubular shaped beads in #1 (3mm) or #3 (9mm) sizes.
Refers to beads that transmit no light. They can also come in matte finishes.
Transparent beads do transmit light. These beads also come in matte finishes and are often referred to as frosted.
Iridescent Beads or AB
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 look is created.
A shiny finish on the surface of an opaque bead. The luster applied will be either a color or white giving a pearled finish look.
Transparent beads that have been lustered which can also look pearled.
Gold Lustered Beads
Transparent beads that have been lustered with a gold finish creating a subtle gold highlight on the bead.
Surfaced with very rich, deep colors. A titanium coat is added to the matte metallic finish. The transparent beads look frosted.
Heated and then sprayed with oxidized tin. The thicker the coating, the darker the finish created.
Higher Metallic Beads
Surface coated with gold and then sprayed with oxidized titanium.
Coated with gold mixed with other baked on materials.
Transparent beads that have been painted and baked. Strong UV light may cause fading over time.
Transparent beads that have had an opaque color applied to the inside of the bead.
Transparent beads that have been lined with sterling silver. They sparkle. Silverlined beads also come in a matte finish that creates a frosted look.
Plated with zinc, galvanized beads are often coated with an acrylic spray to stabilize the finish and also come in matte finish.