I HATE COATED GLASS BEADS!!!! Czech bead experts, please help!!
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Posted by: Luann Udell Post Reply
02/09/2018, 21:10:22

A past bead mishap is raising its ugly head again.....GRRRR!!
Okay, a small issue in this crazy world, but it's costing me time and money.

Years ago, I made a number of horse necklaces with mixed beads, including a few beautiful, 6mm mottled vintage Czech glass beads in a rusty/brick brown color. But,it turned out that color was a coating on a white bead! With wear, the coating flaked off, revealing the plain white glass underneath. Over the years, a few customers asked to have the necklaces restrung, which I did. But it was time-consuming and frustrating. To make sure I never used those beads again, I gave them away.

Last month, I ordered some faux "sea glass" beads, matte rounds (on Etsy) in a deep sapphire blue. But when the packet arrived, the seller had a note to say they were "over-dyed", and should be washed before using to make sure the dye didn't transfer to clothing. After I washed them gently and dried them, it turned out the "dye" was actually a coating on...yup, plain white glass beads! The coating came off in flacks. They didn't cost much, and the buyer said they'd refund my $. She also said no one else had complained. (Humph. Not YET.) And she said I should ask before buying ANY matte glass beads from ANYONE, because "most manufacturers now coat them instead of etch them." (I use, and buy, mostly matte glass beads in my work, so this is pretty upsetting.)

And this week, when I took off a necklace I made a few months ago, with some copper colored Czech glass seed beads I've had around for awhile, I noticed that both styles--traditional rounds, and some 3-cuts??--were now shedding their copper coating, revealing...Argh!! White beads!! (Okay, sort of translucent, but still....) See image below.

I don't know how old these seed beads are or where I bought them. I'm sure they were from reputable stores and dealers, and I don't think they're that old. Still, they're definitely peeling.

So now I'm freaking out....

I've always relied on small metallic Czech glass beads for attractive but inexpensive accents. And now I'm wondering if I should get rid of all of them?!

How prevalent is this manufacturing process?

I've noticed some new Czech glass beads now seem to have coatings, and that seems to be a trend now. https://www.ebay.com/itm/80pcs-Czech-Glass-Small-Flat-Forget-Me-Not-Flower-Spacer-Bead-Caps-Beads-5mm/112772086488

Does the coating ALWAYS wear off?

Is there a good way to test for coatings? (I've tried scraping with a sharp tool, but it's a pretty tough finish--at first!)

Any suggestions? Thoughts?

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Luann Udell artist & writer Ancient stories retold in modern artifacts LuannUdell.com

Modified by Luann Udell at Fri, Feb 09, 2018, 21:11:24

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