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Want to add some punch to your jewelry designs? Faceted beads are the way to go! Whether you prefer glass, plastic, or natural stones, you are likely to find what you love in a faceted cut. Faceting changes the shape of just about any type of bead and creates a sparkling effect that makes even inexpensive materials shine in the light like high-quality gemstones.
If you usually stick to round or other types of beads, adding some faceted beads can really spruce up your work and allow you to create stunning pieces that sparkle in the light with even the slightest movement.
Before you start incorporating them into your jewelry designs, it’s important to understand exactly what faceted beads are. In short, they are beads that are designed to look more like cut gemstones. The term basically means that the stone has many flattened edges. The flattened edges are generally arranged in a way that maximizes sparkle and shine.
Faceted beads can be made of virtually any material. The most common, however, are glass, stone, and plastic. Faceting can be done in numerous ways, depending on the type of stone and the design the manufacturer has in mind. In some cases, faceted beads are some square beads that the corners have been cut off of. This results in a bead that is still mostly square but which has additional flat edges. Round beads are often faceted to create a more gemstone-like appearance or to turn the stone into a bicone.
There are also numerous processes for creating faceted beads. Glass beads can be molded to have facets, or the facets may be formed by folding and pressing the glass. Faceted plastic beads are generally molded into shape. For natural stone beads and gemstones, the process typically involves cutting and polishing. Some may also be ground and polished to create the facets.
Hammer faceting is another popular option for gemstones. The stones are shaped using the ancient technique of hand chipping. This results in a rougher finish that is perfect when you want to create a piece with a more natural appearance. Hammer faceted beads are tumbled to remove sharp edges, and they are available in a rainbow of colors and a multitude of sizes.
Whether you are designing jewelry to sell or you are making it for gifts or for personal use, incorporating faceted beads is a great way to add a touch of luxury to even the simplest pieces. Because the multiple flat surfaces catch the light, they can make even costume jewelry shine like treasured heirlooms. There is no limit to the potential uses for faceted beads in jewelry, but here are a few of our favorite techniques.
If you are looking for a unique piece for a statement necklace or a bold pair of earrings, using a larger faceted focal bead is a great way to make a big impact. Faceted semi-precious gemstones like amethyst and quartz are beautiful and sparkle in the sunlight at a much more affordable price than precious gems like diamonds and rubies.
When designing necklaces, faceted teardrop beads or hammer faceted beads work well. Glass and stone beads that are faceted to look like gemstones work especially well for earrings.
Catching the light is one of the primary purposes of facets in jewelry. Each flat surface catches and reflects light from the sun or an artificial source to create a sparkling appearance. By using multiple smaller faceted beads together, you can design pieces that glitter and gleam in your display case or even on your table at an outdoor vendor event.
String multiple faceted stones together on an elastic cord to make a bracelet, or arrange a few stones of slightly different sizes on a head pin to create beautiful drop earrings.