Beads are both functional and decorative, and they make an integral part of many different jewelry types. Barbells and Captive Bead Rings are among the most popular jewelry types that use beads, but there are many others.
Beads come in many different designs, shapes, sizes and decorations. Many times, bead is the main decorative element of a jewelry piece, so it makes the whole piece more beautiful and attractive. However, it’s important to understand that beads and balls are not just decorative elements: they serve an important purpose for a jewelry piece.
Beads are pretty, but they are much more than eye candy. They make an integral part of your barbell or a Captive Bead Ring. You will discover this quickly in case you ever lose the bead on your jewelry. Suddenly, this gorgeous barbell or a ring becomes useless.
Why so? In many ways, beads are there to keep the jewelry in place. They are attached to the jewelry in many different ways. While some of them are permanently attached to the jewelry piece and cannot be removed, the others are made precisely for removing. By removing a bead you open the jewelry so you can put it on or take it off. Once the jewelry is in place or once it’s removed, you can put the bead back in place.
In short, beads keep the jewelry together and prevent it from slipping out of your piercing hole. Also, for many jewelry types (such as Captive Bead Rings), the beads are part of the mechanism for opening and closing the jewelry.
Where Are Beads Used?
Main jewelry pieces that use balls and beads:
- Captive Bead Rings (CBR). The bead is used to close the ring and keep it inside your piercing. The beads can be attached in many different ways. Most commonly, the bead has dimples on both sides so it fits nicely into the ring. The beads can be popped in and out of the ring. Sometimes, it’s difficult to open and close a CBR so this is why you should use Ring Opening Pliers and Ring Closing Pliers.
- Barbells. Barbells come in many different types and designs. Straight barbells, curved barbells, circular barbells, spirals – they all use beads as part of their design. Typically, one bead on the barbell is permanently attached while the other is removable. The beads on barbells are typically screwed so they are threaded. There are two threading types: Internally Threaded (means that the ball itself has an externally threaded post) and Externally Threaded (means that the ball has a threaded hole).
Typical bead design is spherical. It means that most of the beads are round. This design is simple yet practical, because it makes the bead sit comfortably against the skin. However, it doesn’t mean that other design types are not possible. There are beads that are cubical, triangular or conical in shape, just to make a few examples.
What makes a bead stand out is often its decoration. The simplest way to decorate a bead is through different coloring. Sometimes, it simply means that the bead is made of a different material, such as 14k gold. Other possibilities are Titanium beads. These beads come in many different colors because Titanium can easily be anodized to produce numerous bright, vibrant colors.
Another way to decorate a bead is to put a gem in it. This is a popular way to make a jewelry piece truly exceptional. Gems in beads look very effective and eye-catching. The gem itself can be a Zircon, a Genuine Precious stone or even a Genuine Diamond.
Finally, a bead can be decorated with a charm or a dangle. Such dangles are attached to the bead and they fall down from the piece. It produces a very striking and unique look. Typically, dangles are made of shiny chains but they often carry their own gems to make the jewelry piece truly outstanding.