4 Things You Should Know About European Beads

One of the new trends in creating heirloom jewelry is the use of European beads. These types of beads are readily available and can make for some great custom pieces of jewelry. The beads themselves are a little different then the traditional beads we may use. These are constructed from a variety of materials and are three dimensional. They normally feature a large diameter hole that will accommodate a chain. These beads are widely used in the making of what look like charm bracelets. Here are four things you should know about these beads.

Many Styles

European beads are available in many different styles. When using these beads the idea is to create unique, custom jewelry pieces. Some beads will be shiny, others not so much. Some will be larger as to create very chunky types of pieces. With the European style, the beads will be much larger than a traditional bead. In many instances, they look more like a charm than an actual bead. Just remember, if you are making jewelry with these beads, you will have plenty of options to choose from.

Size Matters

With the popularity of European bead bracelets, when making them it is imperative that you choose appropriate sizes. The bracelet should dangle somewhat so, as a rule, measure the widest part of the wrist and then add one inch to determine the size. If you prefer a bracelet that is more snug, then only add ¾ of an inch. The beads that will be added to the bracelet will be larger than traditional ones. That makes it important to create the right size bracelet for the wrist.

What Are They Made Out Of?

You can find European beads made out of just about anything. Some are sterling silver, and some are solid gold. There are also gold-plated, base metal, and glass versions. You may find some featuring cubic zirconia stones, other precious stones, and even Swarovski crystals. As opposed to traditional beads, these ones can often be very pricey, with a solid gold bead going for a $100 or more. Another difference with this type of bead is that the bore, or center hole, is threaded. Most beads have a smooth bore.

Bracelets, Necklaces, And More

You can make several different items using European beads. They do lend themselves to the making of bracelets, but they can be used to make very unique, custom necklaces as well. The larger, more stylish beads can create a very exclusive look. With the larger beads, you can also create pendants that can be worn on a nice gold or sterling silver necklace. These beads will also make some great earrings. You can also make keychains using this style of bead. Remember, though, depending on the style of beads that you choose, your project may be a little more expensive than others that you have completed.