Sunday, September 30, 2012

Silver Seed Beads

Over the years I've grown quite fond of Miyuki's bright silver seed beads, and I use them often in my beadwork. They're a great accent to many designs, and they'll work well in just about any color palette. The silver and black combo is one of my go-to palettes, and in these mini Disco Ball beaded beads, the silver is prominent without dominating the beaded beads.
I think it packs much more of a punch with the larger drop seed beads in this Silvery Amethyst Dewdrop Bracelet:
But much of the time, I try to use silver seed beads in a more subtle way, such as in these Squareflake earrings:
So when I was designing the kits for the Dewdrop beaded beads, I incorporated some 15° silver seed beads into the Black Rose Tips version of this design. However, I ended up taking them out for the final version. My first attempt is on the right, and the final version is on the left:
In this particular design and color scheme, there is already a lot going on in terms of texture and complexity, given the combination of the square tilas with the rounded drops and three sizes of seed beads. Plus the permanent-finish galvanized 8° seed beads already give this beaded bead some shine. This is the first time where I felt that the silver seed beads just added too much to an already busy design, so I exchanged them for some dark purple seed beads which readily blend into the finished beaded bead.

Have you ever had a tried-and-true design element surprise you like this?


  1. How's the coating on the Miyukis? Does it wear off? I love silver seedbeads, but hesitate to add them to a jewelry design, because I'm afraid the coating might not be permanent. So I only used them for some Christmas ornaments so far.

  2. I haven't had many problems with the coatings on the silver Miyuki seed beads. They will tarnish after a while like any silver, but a quick polish with a polishing cloth helps to keep them shiny. I haven't had the coating rub off through either beadweaving or polishing (though I don't rub them too hard when I polish them). Proper storage helps too; I keep beadwork pieces with these silver seed beads in an airtight container when I'm not wearing them.


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