Designer beads describe those beads that are handmade by specialist craftsmen for premium prices. Any bead can be a designer bead, but it particularly refers to ones that are considered exclusive or unique by the seller.

They can also be called designer beads as a marketing exercise to make them sell at a higher price. Normally designer beads ask a fair price for an exclusive, handmade bead that would really be a great addition to your jewelry projects.

Look out for sellers that are just using the "designer beads" label to justify a higher price. If it doesn't look that special, chances are it isn't. You should always choose a bead on how it looks - the fact that it is a designer bead should not be a factor until you consider how much you want to pay.

Generally designer beads have the following characteristics:

Production techniques

Whether handcrafted, glass blown or fired in a special kiln, exotic production techniques that produce unusual beads are called designer beads. These designer beads are different from regular beads, because the way they are created uses some special method that sets them apart from the rest.

Some production techniques make designer beads that are not that strong or durable. Before you buy your designer beads, check around the holes for signs of cracking. Look at other beads in that range for evidence of poor wear. If no problems are visible, then you are free to assume they are okay.


Some designer beads use stunning optical effects that make them stand out from other beads. Used in your jewelry arrangements, they will lend a professional touch and a creative flair to your work.


The rare and unusual material used to make some beads, be it crystal, precious metals or semi-precious stones can lead to them being classified as a designer bead. Some of these materials are quite expensive, and so these designer beads are marked up a bit more to compensate.


Often designer beads will be hand carved, or offer some other means of specialized workmanship. Lampwork, blown glass and other detailed surface designs increase the value. This detail makes it considered a designer bead, and work well as feature beads in any arrangement.


Materials that are hard to find or production techniques that are scarce create a sense of exclusivity to a designer bead, and increases the price point. Anything that is hard to get becomes more valuable, and the designer bead label makes this price more tangible.


Almost all designer beads will be more expensive than those who do not trade under that label. This is because the term "designer bead" implies a certain level of quality, labor and expertise that a higher price tag would demand.

login to post comments