Surface finishes

Surface Finishes on glass beads

Fire polished bead can have a surface finish to give other effects. One of the most popular and common is the AB (Aurora Borealis) coating. This finish reflects the colours of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. It appears as an iridescent or rainbow coating. The AB coating is often applied to just one side of the bead whiles it is still hot and it is this which creates its rainbow or prism effect on the bead surface. There is also a metallic coating consisting of oxidized tin sprayed onto the fire polished bead. This gives a wonderful shimmer, great for those who like modern jewellery making. Another coating is the vitrail coating is a metallic coating usually applied to one side of the bead. This reflects similar tones to the AB coating but with a metallic refection underneath. The galvanized finish is produced when a glass bead is plated with a zinc coating. Lustre (or luster) coating is a shiny finish applied to the surface of the bead. This coating is applied to transparent beads and results in a coating which is highly reflective. This finish is also incredibly popular due to its highly reflective shine. The gold lustre coating is applied again to a clear bead to give a shiny gold finish.
A matt or matte coating gives a low lustre and may also have a frosted look to its surface. This transforms the beads from a transparent look to appear more translucent.
An opaque finish is one which does not transmit or reflect light. This gives a more solid looking colour.

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Last updated 22-Dec-2005
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