Why Do Glass Beads Sparkle?

One of the main reasons why glass beads are so popular with amateur jewelry makers is because they have a truly magnificent sparkle. These beads are used to make clothes, jewelry, shoes, decorations and other accessories look “bling”, without breaking the bank. As long as people continue to enjoy a bit of twinkle, it is likely that these items will continue to increase in popularity. As a low cost alternative to semi-precious and precious gemstones, these beads are purchased by hundreds of thousands of people around the world every year. In fact, due to modern glass cutting and coloring techniques, many glass items now look identical to precious gemstones to the untrained eye, meaning that these items can add some serious glamour to an outfit.

The reason why these beads sparkle so much can be explained using some simple science. When light hits the surface of the bead, it is reflected and refracted in a different way than it would be if light hit the surface of a plastic or matt object. The way in which the light is reflected and refracted by the glass will often depend on the color of the glass and the style of the glass bead.

There are two main types of glass bead: smooth glass beads and faceted beads. Whilst smooth beads produce a more subtle twinkle, beads which are faceted will sparkle wonderfully when they catch the light. Smooth beads are great for everyday wear, whilst their faceted counterparts look spectacular on jewelry whilst is designed to be worn on an evening out. Faceted beads seem to sparkle more than smooth beads do, because they have a lot of different polished, flat surfaces, which help to reflect and refract light at many different angles, which give the beads a wonderful sparkle.

Sparkling items can be made in any color if they are faceted. Because of the way that they are cut and made, it is even possible to buy black beads and other dark colored beads which appear to sparkle in the light. These beads are a really popular addition to classy and elegant formal wear outfits, which need an added sparkle to help to make them look extra special. These beads can be added to dresses, shoes and handbags, as well as being used in jewelry items, such as necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

If you want to ensure that your glass beads continue to sparkle like they did on the day that they were first bought, it is important that you work to keep them free from oil, grease or other impurities, which may affect the way that light reflects off of them. Carefully polish your beads with a dry, soft cloth. Do not use cleaning products on your glass beads, as some products can cause a chemical reaction which will “scratch” the glass and can dull the sparkle of the bead. Good quality glass beads will be strong enough to resist being scratched by most physical items that they regularly come into contact with.

Albert D. Sant