For more details, usage tips, and related products, click item images or names below.

Bead Shapes Glossary

Bead Shapes Glossary from Rings & Things.

Learn about over 120 bead shapes in our beads glossary. Find photos, line drawings and definitions in this easy-to-use, fully-illustrated dictionary of bead shapes. Not everyone uses the same words when describing jewelry components, but a "rondelle" by any other name still looks as beautiful when it's strung.

In addition to shape definitions, you'll also find descriptions of surface bead effects (like "puffed" and "corrugated") and specialty bead hole styles (like "half-drilled"). Use this free bead resource on its own and as a helpmate when you shop our online store.

Live outside North America? Then you might also find our British/American Translation Glossary of Jewelry Terms useful.

Shapes of beads are listed alphabetically. Click a letter below to go directly to that section of the dictionary.

A     B     C     D     E     F    

G     H     K     L     M     N     O    

P     R     S     T     W     Y    

Specialty Drillings & Holes

Center Drilled: beads drilled through the middle. Most basic bead shapes are center drilled. Here are just a few
center-drilled beads you can buy.
center-drilled bead
Examples of center-drilled beads

Corner Drilled: beads drilled diagonally. This effect is also known as diagonally drilled.
Corner-drilled beads you can buy.
corner-drilled bead
Examples of corner-drilled beads

Double Drilled: beads with two holes.
Double-drilled beads you can buy.
double-drilled bead
Examples of double-drilled beads

Half Drilled: beads that are drilled only part-way through. Used to mount on pegs or wire hangers.
Half-drilled beads you can buy.
half-drilled bead
Examples of half-drilled beads

Large Hole: We label beads "large hole" when the hole's diameter is 2mm or more. These work well with omega chain.
Large-hole beads you can buy.
large-hole bead
Examples of large-hole beads

Tip Drilled (Top Drilled): these are beads that hang down like a pendant when strung horizontally. In other words, the hole is drilled near the top of the bead.
Tip-drilled beads you can buy.
tip-drilled bead/pendant.
Examples of tip-drilled beads


Bead Shapes & Related Effects

– A –
back to top
Almond: another name used to describe a marquise bead.    
Animal Shaped: sometimes beads shaped like animals are used just for fun, or used as sports and school mascots. Other times, these shapes are called fetishes and are considered to have spiritual importance for the wearer. Animal-shaped beads you can buy.     bird-shaped animal bead A fox animal-shaped ceramic bead
Atlas Bead: another term used to describe a tube bead with pentagon (five-sided) ends.    
Ax (Axe): a shape that resembles the blade or head of an ax. Ax-shaped beads you can buy.     Illustration of an ax-shaped bead An ax-shaped apple coral gemstone bead/pendant.
– B –
back to top
Ball: ball beads are a specific type of round (spherical) bead. The term can also be used to mean a cluster of stones or beads, for example rhinestone balls and pearl balls.    
Balloon: this is another term for oval or egg-shaped beads.    
Bamboo: bamboo-shaped beads are tubes that are narrower in the middle and curve outward at both ends. This shape is also known as a dog bone. Bamboo-shaped (dog-bone) beads you can buy.     bamboo-shaped bead Bamboo-shaped coral gemstone beads.
Barbell: Two round shapes joined together (or an oval with a tight belt!). This shape is also known as a figure 8, infinity, dog bone or bow tie. Barbell beads you can buy.     barbell bead Goldstone gemstone barbell beads.
Baroque: an irregularly-shaped bead characterized by extravagance, complexity or flamboyance. Related shape names include nuggets, cosmic, graphic and polygon. Baroque beads you can buy.     Swarovski crystal cosmic bead, example of a baroque shape. A Swarovski crystal cosmic bead, example of a baroque shape.
Barrel: a short, thick tube bead with slightly rounded edges. This shape is also known as a drum. Barrel beads you can buy.     barrel bead Natural agate gemstone barrel beads.
Bean: a cross between a barrel and an oval. A plump, roundish tube. This shape is also known as a rice shape.     bean-shaped bead Bean-shaped jet gemstone beads.
Bib: a set of long, tip-drilled beads that are graduated in length, with the longest bead in the center. Bibs are also known as a collars or fans. Bead bibs (collars) you can buy.     bib of beads. A bib of graduated tigereye gemstone beads.
Bicone: a shape resembling two cones (smooth or faceted) joined at the base. The center can be rounded or have flat sides. This shape is also known as a hogan, especially if it is corrugated. Some people call this shape a rondelle (roundelle).     faceted bicone bead
Bow Tie: another name for a barbell bead.    
Branch: a narrow, irregular shape that twists and curves like a tree branch or a branch of coral. Cupolini-style is a particular type of short branch shape. Branches are also known as sticks. Branch beads you can buy.     branch bead Peach bamboo coral cupolini-style branch beads.
Brick: another word for a rectangle bead.    
Briolette: a teardrop or pear-shaped pendant with facets. Briolettes are always tip-drilled. This shape is also known as a faceted teardrop or faceted pear.     briolette bead/pendant. A leaded-glass crystal briolette.
Bugle: a narrower version of a tube, usually a glass bead. The surface can be smooth or twisted. Bugle beads you can buy.     bugle bead A smooth glass bugle bead
A twisted glass bugle bead
Button: not to be confused with the sewing notion, this bead shape is similar to a coin when side drilled and a rondelle when center drilled. Button pearls tend to be slightly irregular, which can add to their appeal. They are typically slightly puffed on one side and slightly indented on the other (the way some buttons are designed). Some people call crystal rotunds "buttons." Center-drilled button beads are also known as corn beads. Button beads you can buy.     side-drilled button bead Side-drilled freshwater-pearl button beads.
– C –
back to top
Capsule: a cross between a couch cushion and a flattened oval that resembles the shape of a pill capsule. This shape is also known as a bean. Capsule beads you can buy.     capsule bead A silver leaf jasper gemstone capsule bead
Charlottes: seed beads that have one hand-cut side on each bead. This single cut makes these tiny beads slightly faceted, adding a touch of sparkle. Also known as a charlotte-cut bead.     Closeup illustration of Charlotte-cut seed beads. Strands of Charlotte-cut seed beads.
Chip: an irregularly-shaped bead that is often thinner, smaller or flatter than a nugget bead. This shape is also known as a macadam or knucklebone. Chip beads you can buy.     chip bead Howlite gemstone chip beads.
Cog: technically, a tooth or nodule on a mechanical gear, but often people use the word to mean the entire gear or sprocket. Beads shaped like mechanical gears and sprockets are typically circular and flat with teeth along their edges. Cog beads you can buy.     cog bead Base-metal silver-plated cog beads.
Coiled: a bead that is formed by a material being wound into spirals; often made of wire. Coiled beads you can buy.     coiled ring bead A star-shaped, wire coiled bead
Coin: a flat or puffed circle, drilled lengthwise. This shape is also known as a side-drilled disk (disc) or a lentil bead. Coin-shaped beads you can buy.     coin bead A sterling silver puffed coin bead
Collar: a small, raised surface around the entrance to a bead hole. Also, another name for a bib.    
Column: usually this bead name refers to a tube bead with architectural decoration. Swarovski makes double-drilled crystal "column" beads that do not fit this description.     column bead An antiqued pewter column bead
Concave: curving inward, like the inside surface of a bowl or sphere. The opposite of convex. concave surface.    
Cone: a bead with a wide base that tapers to a pointed end. Also, a finding that is used as an end piece for multistrand designs. Cone ends you can buy.     cone bead
Convex: bulging or curving outward, like the outside surface of a bowl or sphere. The opposite of concave. convex surface.    
Corn: A corn-shaped pearl is similar to a rondelle. Corn pearls tend to be slightly irregular, which can add to their appeal. Their organic shape is perhaps why some people say they resemble kernels of corn. They are typically slightly puffed on one side and slightly indented on the other, making them similar to center-drilled button beads. Corn pearls you can buy.     corn bead Freshwater pearl corn beads.
Cornerless Cube: a cube with faceted (cut-off) corners, making it a cross between a round (sphere) and a cube. This shape is also referred to as a corner-cut cube and is more angular than a square ball. Cornerless cube beads you can buy.     cornerless cube bead Lampwork glass cornerless cube beads.
Corrugated: a bead with a ridged or grooved surface. When the groove is lengthwise, this is also known as a fluted surface. Corrugated beads you can buy.     corrugated bicone bead, also called a hogan. A sterling silver corrugated rondelle bead
Cosmic: one of several types of baroque shape. Cosmic beads you can buy.    
Couch Cushion: a slightly rounded rectangle, shaped similarly to a cushion on a sofa (couch). This shape is also known as a puffed rectangle. Couch cushion beads you can buy.     couch cushion bead An amazonite gemstone couch cushion bead
Crescent: a circle with either a triangular piece removed (think Pac-Man) or a smaller circular piece removed or obscured (like a crescent moon). This shape is also known as a moon, half moon or angel wing. Crescent beads & pendants you can buy.     crescent bead A Czech glass angel-wing (crescent) bead
Cross: two intersecting lines lying perpendicular at or near their midpoints. The shape used by the Romans for crucifixion (symbol of Christianity) has a short horizontal line that intersects three-fourths of the way up a longer, vertical line. Cross beads & pendants you can buy.     cross bead/pendant. A green aventurine gemstone cross pendant with bail.
Crow: a circular, large-hole bead. Basically, a rounded short tube. much like a drum. This shape is also known as a wheel, pony bead, roller bead or "E" bead. Crow beads you can buy.     crow bead A luster glass crow bead
Cube: a three-dimensional (3-D) shape with six equal square sides. This shape is also known as a die (singular) or as dice (plural).     cube bead A dichroic glass cube bead
Cubist: one of several types of baroque shape. Cubist beads you can buy.    
Cupolini: a short style of branch bead.    
– D –
back to top
Dagger: a blade-shaped bead. A dagger always has a point at one end. The sides can be straight or curved. Dagger beads you can buy.     dagger bead A Czech glass dagger drop bead
Diamond: a square or rhomboid rotated 90°. A bead shaped like two triangles joined at the base. This shape is also known as a corner-drilled square. Diamond-shaped beads you can buy.     flat diamond-shaped bead A cloisonné puffed diamond bead
Die (Dice): another name for a cube bead.    
Disk (Disc): a flat or puffed circular bead that is similar to a coin, but is center drilled. Often has a rounded outer edge. This shape is also known as a heishi, wheel, donut, wafer or spacer bead. Disk beads you can buy.     flat disk bead A Czech glass puffed disk bead
Dog Bone: an alternate name for either bamboo-shaped beads or barbell beads.    
Donut: a large disk with a very large hole. Sometimes, donuts can be found in additional (non-circular) shapes, for example ovals, rectangles or triangles. This shape is also known as a ring. Donuts you can buy.     donut bead/pendant. A turquoise gemstone donut bead/pendant.
Drop: a shortened name for a teardrop. Also, a general term for any shape that dangles freely.    
Druk: (Druck) another term used to describe a round bead.    
Drum: a thick tube bead with flattened ends (like a drum!). Its sides can be straight or curved. This shape is also known as a barrel. Drum beads you can buy.     drum bead A resin drum bead
– E –
back to top
"E" Bead: a large (size 5 or 6) seed bead with slightly flattened ends. This shape is also known as a crow bead, pony bead or roller. A metal-lined E bead with a square-shaped hole is called a rocaille. E beads you can buy.     Illustration of E beads. Silver-lined glass E beads with square holes, also known as rocailles.
Ghost (matte aurora borealis) glass E beads.
Egg: an oval bead with one end that's smaller than the other. Egg-shaped beads you can buy.     Illustration of an egg-shaped bead Sodalite gemstone egg-shaped beads.
– F –
back to top
Faceted: a surface effect of small, polished cuts. Facets tend to increase the shimmer of a bead or pendant. We sell over 2,000 faceted beads! Here's a selection of faceted beads you can buy.     faceted round bead Lapis lazuli gemstone faceted round beads.
Fan: this term is sometimes used to describe a puffed (partially flattened) briolette, and sometimes used to describe a bib of graduated beads.    
Fetish: a bead or other object, often animal shaped, that is deemed to be of spiritual importance. Fetishes are sometimes thought to provide their wearer with aid and protection. Animal fetishes you can buy.     bird-shaped fetish bead A Fluorite gemstone bear-shaped fetish bead
Figure 8: another term used to describe barbell beads.    
Filigree: a hollow bead with an open, intricate design on its surface. Filigree beads you can buy.     round filigree bead An antiqued silver plated filigree tube bead
Flat: any bead that is thin with straight sides. The opposite of a puffed bead.     flat rectangle bead A resin flat diamond bead
Flower (Flower Shaped): beads that resemble flowers. These can be center drilled or side drilled. This shape is also known as floral, daisy, margarita (marguerita) or sometimes star-shaped. A selection of flower beads and pendants you can buy.     center-drilled flower bead A Swarovski crystal side-drilled flower bead
Fluted: a surface effect of lengthwise ridges on a bead. This is also known as a corrugated surface. Fluted beads you can buy.     fluted bicone bead An antiqued copper fluted round bead
Flying Saucer: another term used to describe saucer beads.    
Football: another term used to describe marquise beads.    
Four-Facet Ball: another term used to describe square ball beads.    
– G –
back to top
Gear: an alternate term used to describe a cog bead.    
Graphic: one of many types of baroque beads.    
– H –
back to top
Hair Pendant: a term some people use to describe tanfouk beads/pendants.    
Half Moon: another term used to describe crescent beads/pendants.    
Hassock: a cube bead with a puffed top and bottom, named after the kneeling cushion it resembles. This shape is also known as a puffed cube or lantern bead. Hassock beads you can buy.     hassock bead A cherry quartz gemstone hassock bead
Heart: two hook shapes joined at the tips (see images). Heart-shaped beads and pendants you can buy.     flat, side-drilled heart bead A foil-lined glass heart bead
Heishi: a type of disk bead that is usually flat, but sometimes slightly puffed. Traditionally, this shape was achieved by drilling flat chips, stringing them and then grinding the strand against stone to gradually wear the edges into smooth, flat-edged circles. Pronounced hee-shee, this shape is also known as a wafer, wheel or spacer. Heishi beads you can buy.     heishi bead Luhanus shell heishi beads.
Luhanus-shell heishi beads.
Helix: a bead shape that somewhat resembles a faceted round, but has facets that create a spiral around the bead for a different final effect. Helix beads you can buy. helix-shaped CRYSTALLIZEDâ„¢ - Swarovski bead A glass helix bead
Hexagon: any bead with six sides. This shape is also known as hexagonal. Hexagonal beads you can buy.     hexagon bead A foil-lined glass hexagon tube.
Hogan: a bicone bead with a corrugated surface pattern. Frequently made of metal. Hogans you can buy.     hogan bead A silver plated plastic hogan bead
– K –
back to top
Keishi: "Keshi" is the Japanese word for poppy seed, and true keshi are small irregular pearls formed by accident. In recent years, the marketplace has (erroneously) called larger irregular pearls from China "keshi" or "keishi." Our keishi pearls are these larger Chinese variety and have been intentionally cultivated. These larger irregular pearls are also known as cornflake pearls and petal pearls. Keishi pearls you can buy. keishi, or keshi-style, pearl. Gemstone keishi pearl beads.
Knucklebone: an irregularly-shaped bead, similar to nuggets and chips, that resembles the bones in our fingers.     knucklebone bead Turquoise gemstone knucklebone beads.
– L –
back to top
Ladder: another word used to describe trapezoid (trapezoidal) beads and pendants.    
Leaf: beads with shapes that resemble the foliage of a tree or other plant (leaves). Leaf-shaped beads and pendants you can buy.     tip-drilled leaf bead A top-drilled Czech glass leaf bead
Lentil: another term used to describe a coin bead; sometimes thinner than a coin, with edges that come to a point. When the latter, it is usually either tip drilled or diagonally drilled. Lentil beads you can buy.    
– M –
back to top
Macadam: another term used to describe a chip or nugget beads.    
Margarita (Marguerita): a specific type of flower shape. Margarita beads you can buy.    
Marquise: an elliptical shape with pointed ends. Generally flat or puffed. This shape is also known as a horse eye, almond or football. Marquise beads you can buy.     marquise bead A fancy jasper gemstone marquise bead
Melon: another term used to describe an oval bead. Melon ovals you can buy.    
Moon: another term used to describe a crescent bead/pendant.    
Moon Drop: another term used to describe a teardrop bead/pendant.    
– N –
back to top
Nibblet (Nibblette): a small tile bead (rectangle tube). Some people spell this shape niblet. This shape is also known as a chicklet, baby pillow or puffy pillow.     nibblet bead A Czech glass nibblet bead
Noodle: a curved tube bead. Noodle tube beads you can buy.     noodle bead An antiqued copper curved tube (noodle) bead
Nugget: an irregular bead with no definite shape; a lump. Usually larger than a chip, this shape is also known as a knucklebone or macadam. Cornerless cube beads and faceted cubes are also sometimes called nuggets.     nugget bead A sterling silver nugget bead
– O –
back to top
Octagon: any bead with eight sides. This shape is also known as octagonal. Octagonal beads you can buy.     Illustration of an octagon bead Double-drilled, faceted, smoky quartz gemstone octagon beads.
Onion: a round bead with a short tube-like protrusion around each opening of the hole. Onion-shaped beads you can buy.    
A hand-blown glass onion bead
Oval: an elongated round bead. This shape is also known as a rice, egg, bean, teardrop, balloon or melon bead. Oval beads you can buy.     Illustration of an oval bead An olive wood oval bead
Oval Tube: a tube bead that's much wider in the center than at the ends; an elongated oval. Oval tubes beads you can buy.     Illustration of an oval tube bead A resin oval tube bead
– P –
back to top
Pear: another term used to describe teardrop beads/pendants. A sampling of pear-shaped pendants you can buy.    
Pentagon: any five-sided shape. In batches of pentagon tube beads, a few six-sided tubes (with flower-shaped ends) will occasionally sneak in (this happens with nearly all vendors). Pentagon beads you can buy.     pentagon tube bead Cinnabar pentagon beads.
Pinch Bead: another term used to describe a tri-oval bead.    
Polygon: meaning "many sides," this term is used to describe geometric shapes other than basic shapes like triangles, rectangles and squares. Also, one of many types of baroque shape. A sampling of polygon beads you can buy.     cosmic bead, one type of polygon. A Swarovski crystal polygon bead
Pony: a smaller version of a crow bead, or a large "E" bead. This shape is also known as a roller or wheel. Pony beads you can buy.     pony bead Trade bead white heart pony beads.
Post: a bead that is tube shaped, but side-drilled and not hollow. This shape is also known as a stick. Post beads you can buy.     post bead Cherry quartz glass gemstone post beads.
Potato: an irregular oval or round bead, typically with a few bumps. This term is usually used to describe pearls. Potato pearls you can buy.     potato bead Potato pearl beads.
Puffed: any shape of bead which is "puffed up" from being flat; a bead with rounded (as opposed to flat) sides and often an inflated/enlarged center. Puffed beads you can buy.     puffed rectangle bead A pierced sterling silver puffed coin bead
Puffy Pillow: another term used to describe a tile bead.    
Pyramid: a 3-dimensional triangle. Webster's says it's a "polyhedron having for its base a polygon and for faces triangles with a common vertex." We say "it's like those big things in Egypt." Pyramid beads you can buy.     pyramid bead A Czech glass pyramid bead
– R –
back to top
Rectangle: a flat or puffed bead with adjacent sides of unequal length, parallel sides of equal length and all right angles. An elongated square. This shape is also known as a brick. Rectangle beads you can buy.     flat rectangle bead A pewter puffed rectangle bead with Celtic knot designs.
Rice: a bead with a rounded rectangular shape. This shape is also known as an oval or bean. Rice beads you can buy.     rice bead Pearl rice beads.
Rice Crispie (Rice Crispy): a rice-shaped bead with a bumpy surface (like the breakfast cereal). This term is usually used to describe pearls. Rice crispie pearls you can buy.     rice crispy bead Pearl rice crispy beads.
Pearl rice crispy beads.
Ring: a large-hole disk with a hole even bigger than that of a donut. Sometimes, rings can be found in additional (non-circular) shapes, for example ovals, rectangles or squares. Small rings work great as large-hole spacer beads and large rings can be used as pendants, or sometimes links. Occasionally, a large ring has additional side-drilled holes for stringing. Ring beads you can buy.     ring bead A mother of pearl oval ring, with side-drilled stringing holes.
Rocaille: a seed bead or E bead that is metal lined and has a square hole. Rocailles you can buy.     Size 6 silver-lined E-bead rocailles.
Roller: a very short tube with slightly rounded ends, resembling a tire. Generally, a large-hole bead, a roller is less rounded than a crow bead or pony bead. This shape is also known as a wheel, "E" bead, rounded tile or slider. Roller beads you can buy.     roller bead A Czech glass roller bead
Rondelle (Roundelle): a "squashed" round bead. Thinner varieties are similar to saucer beads and wider varieties are similar to rotund beads. This shape is also known as a button. Some people call bicone beads rondelles or roundels. Rondelles you can buy.     rondelle bead Snowflake obsidian gemstone rondelle beads.
Rope Edge: an effect in which rope-shaped details are found on a bead's edge(s). This effect is also called a twisted edge. Rope-edge beads you can buy.     rope-edged bead A sterling silver rope-edged wheel bead
Rotund: a bead that has a rounded shape, but is not fully spherical. Something in between a round and a rondelle (roundelle). An almost round bead in which the smaller dimension is 75% or more of the larger dimension. Rotund beads you can buy.     rotund bead Glass rotund beads with 'wedding cake' lampwork embellishments.
Round: a bead that has a nearly perfect spherical shape. This shape is also known as a ball, sphere, druk or onion. We sell thousands of round (spherical) beads! Here are some popular ones:     round bead A faceted firepolish glass round bead
Ru-yi (RuYi): this Chinese phrase means "may everything go the way you wish." The related shape has a curled top and a base that curves to a tip, like the bottom of a radish. The ru-yi became a symbol of abundance and wealth in China because it was carried by powerful imperial Chinese officials. It has become an important Chinese symbol of authority, leadership and power. Ru-yi beads you can buy.     ruyi bead A cinnabar ruyi bead
– S –
back to top
Saucer: a squashed round bead with very narrow edges. Similar to a disk or rondelle. This shape is also known as a flying saucer. Saucer beads you can buy.     saucer bead Salwag nut saucer beads.
Seed: a tiny short rounded bead cut from a narrow cylindrical glass tube. This shape is also known as a tile bead or "E" bead. A metal-lined seed bead with a square-shaped hole is called a rocaille.     Illustration of seed beads. Size 11 Toho® Japanese glass seed beads.
Shell: either a bead that is made from an actual shell (the hard, protective portion of any mollusk), or a bead shaped like a shell.     tip-drilled shell-shaped bead A Czech-glass center-drilled shell-shaped bead
Simplicity: a rotund bead with facets.     simplicity bead Swarovski crystal simplicity beads.
Slice: a slightly irregular bead with flat ends and rounded sides. This shape is also known as a tire. Slice beads you can buy.     slice bead Trade bead chevron-cane slice beads.
Sphere: another term for a round bead.    
Square: a flat or puffed bead with four straight sides of equal length and right angles. A flattened cube, or a diamond laying on its side. Square beads you can buy.     square bead A foil-lined glass square bead
Square Ball: a round bead with four flat (faceted) sides. This shape is rounder than a cornerless cube. It is also known as a four-facet ball.     square-ball bead A glass square ball/four-facet ball .
Star (Star-Shaped): a flat or puffed shape with five or more points. Star-shaped beads & pendants you can buy.     side-drilled star bead A center-drilled garnet gemstone star bead
Stick: another term for a branch or post bead.    
– T –
back to top
Tabular: any bead that has two large flat surfaces. Tabular beads you can buy.     tabular bead A glass tabular mosaic trade bead
Tanfouk: a flat or puffed bead/pendant with an arrow-shaped base and a circular top with a large hole in the middle. Traditionally worn in the hair of Tuareg and Moorish women, thus sometimes called a hair pendant. Tanfouks you can buy.     tanfouk bead/pendant. An agate tanfouk pendant from Mali.
Tapered: any shape that decreases in radius/width at one or more ends. For example, a cone is tapered at one end.    
Teardrop: a bead with one wide rounded end and one narrow end, that resembles a falling drop of liquid. Teardrops can be flat, puffed or 3-dimensional. They can also be tip drilled or center drilled and smooth or faceted. Teardrops are also known as pears, drops, moon drops, ovals or briolettes.
    tip-drilled teardrop bead/pendant. A faceted firepolish center-drilled teardrop bead
Tile: a short tube with straight (rectangle) sides. This shape is often small like a seed bead and is also known as a nibblet bead. Larger varieties can also be called rectangle tubes. Tile beads you can buy.     tile bead Trade bead glass tiles.
Tire: another term for a slice, wheel or roller bead.    
Trapezoid: a quadrilateral (four-sided) shape with no right angles. This shape is also known as a ladder. Trapezoid pendants you can buy.     flat tip-drilled trapezoid bead/pendant. A puffed rhyolite gemstone trapezoid.
Triangle: a bead with three sides. (A triangular-shaped donut is called a trillion — see below). Triangle beads you can buy.     flat, side-drilled triangle bead A George O'Grady handmade borosilicate glass triangle bead
Trillion: a triangular-shaped (three-sided) donut with bowed sides and rounded points. In other words, a puffed triangle donut.     trillion donut. A new jade gemstone trillion donut bead/pendant.
Tri-Oval: an oval bead with three equal side facets. This shape is also known as a pinch bead.     tri-oval bead A Czech glass tri-oval bead
Tube: a long, narrow, usually cylindrical (circular-ended) shape. Alternately, the sides can be flat to create rectangular or square ends (rectangle tubes), pentagon-shaped ends (pentagon tubes), etc. Tube beads you can buy.     tube bead A cloisonné tube bead
Twisted: any shape that is partially wound around itself, but not as tightly wound as a spiral or coil. (Think of a shape that's being wrung out.) Twisted bead shapes you can buy.     twisted 3-dimensional oval bead A foil-lined glass flat twisted oval bead
– W –
back to top
Wafer: another term used to describe a disk (disc) bead.    
Watch Band: a short puffed rectangle with smooth tapered ends. Watch-band beads you can buy.     double-drilled watch-band bead Amazonite gemstone watch-band beads.
Wavy: any bead with an undulating shape. A shape that's somewhere between being flat and twisted. Alternately, a bead with "wavy" surface decoration. Beads with wavy shapes or patterns you can buy.     wavy diamond bead A sodalite gemstone wavy diamond bead
Wheel: a thin, circular center-drilled bead, usually with flat sides and flat (not rounded) outer edge. Similar to a disk, this shape is also known as a rondelle (roundelle), tire, spacer or wafer. Wheel beads you can buy.     wheel bead A Swarovski rhinestone wheel bead
Wing: a shape resembling a single wing or pair of wings from an insect, bird, angel or other flying creature. Wing shaped beads you can buy.     wing bead A sterling silver wing bead
– Y –
back to top
Yuanbao: a Chinese money shape. A flat or puffed bead resembling a butterfly. This shape is also known as a sycee or tael.     yuanbao bead A cloisonné yuanbao bead