When I first started making beaded jewelry, I didn't know that beads had different levels of quality. I was working at Michael's part time and spent my breaks looking at all the beads.
Now, I have a full understanding of their quality and would like to share it with those looking to increase their knowledge of beads for their beading projects. I'm going to use a grading system A, B, C and D.
Grade A beads are the high quality brand beads. Those brands are Miyuki, TOHO, Matsuno, Matubo Dyna-Mites, CzechMates and Preciosa. All of these companies produce high quality beads, meaning they are uniform in size and shape. They are sold online, in bead stores and at bead expos.
Grade B beads are made by other companies, but are not as uniform in size and shape. These are usually sold in craft stores and online, as well as bead expos.
Grade C beads usually don't display a brand and are rarely uniform in size and shape. These are usually sold online and in general stores. They're great for crafts or kid's to make things out of, but not for making adult jewelry. They appear in our Seed Beads and Kids' Beads collections. We attempt to indicate on the product page that the beads are Grade C.
Grade D beads are what we call junk beads. They're usually not as colorful and there is no consistency in shape, outer size or hole size. We DO NOT sell junk beads.
The only beads I use when making jewelry are brand beads (Class A). We sell Grades A, B and C.
Eventually, as our store grows and we can upgrade to a more elaborate website, there will be a separate collection for Brand beads, Generic beads and Craft/Kids' beads. But for now, if you use this blog as an indicator, you will be able to more easily determine which beads you wish to purchase.
Remember, every grade will have its exception occasionally. And, if you have any questions, please use our contact form or give us a call at (717) 805-2078, which is my cell phone number.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful time beading!