How Bead Sizes Work

You have just crafted what you feel is your most perfect bracelet to date. You can’t get past how beautifully the peacock blue pearls stand out against your skin with their sophisticated shine. And you can’t wait to wear it for your next social event. But although these pearls’ alluring blue and pink hues are what captivate the eye, they are not the only reason why your bracelet will stand out for all the right reasons.


Without a doubt, the appearance and shape of every bead you choose for your jewelry making are two of the factors you pay the most attention to. However, if you’ve been into jewelry making for any length of time, you realize that these are not the only factors that count in the end. The size of each bead you use also has an impact on your jewelry-making process.

Fortunately, we’ve compiled a bead sizing guide to show you how bead sizing works and which bead sizes would work best for your jewelry making needs.

bernstein chain jewellery sea

Understanding Bead Sizes

Bead sizes can understandably be complicated to grasp for beginning jewelry makers. After all, even veteran jewelry makers sometimes struggle to visualize what beads of certain sizes look like, as well as how these beads will end up fitting into their newest creations.

In this bead sizing guide, we’ll take a look at how many beads of various sizes you can fit into jewelry pieces that are a certain number of inches. For example, let’s say that you have decided to include 4mm agate beads in your jewelry design. You can expect to fit about six of these beads in one inch or 43 of these beads in seven inches. Also, if you’d like to use 8mm faceted crystals, you can expect to fit three of them in an inch, or 22 of them in seven inches.

A Glimpse at Bracelet and Necklace Lengths

If you are working on creating bracelets, note that women’s bracelets are usually around eight inches long. Meanwhile, men’s bracelets are typically longer between seven and a half to nine inches long.

Now if you’re specifically interested in creating necklaces with your chosen beads, here’s a look at how long various types of necklaces usually run. For starters, chokers are usually between 14 and 16 inches long and fall to the hollow part of your neck. Meanwhile, a princess necklace might be 18 inches long. A matinee necklace, on the other hand, may span from 20-24 inches long, whereas an opera necklace is 28-32 inches long. Finally, a rope necklace is any piece 33 inches or longer.

Bead Sizes for Seed Beads

Note that seed beads use a very different size system, which we’ll go over briefly here in this bead sizing guide. The Aughts, rather than millimeters, are used for sizing seed beads. As a general rule of thumb, a size of 6/0 for a seed bead essentially means that you can fit about six beads in one inch. The use of this unit of measurement dates back as far as the 1800s—a time when bead sizing was standardized very loosely.

To give you an idea of what you’ll get when you order 6/0 beads, you can expect to receive beads that are about 3.7mm in diameter. Although the “6” indicates that six beads can fit in one inch, you can really squeeze about seven of these size beads in an inch. Likewise, beads with an aught size of 11/0 are about 2.2mm in diameter, and you can fit about 12 of these beads in an inch.

lava rocks beads jewelry making

Take Advantage of Various Bead Sizes Today!

Selecting the right bead size is a critical part of making eye-catching jewelry that will add class to any outfit and thus elevate the most mundane-looking ensembles. At BeadsVenture, we offer beads in a large range of sizes so that you can easily turn your jewelry design visions into realities.

For example, you can use 10mm silver glass beads to add a little shine to any look, or you can try out our 3mm red sandalwood beads for a truly sophisticated-looking piece that people won’t be able to keep their eyes off. Cherry seed beads that are 11/0 in size are also candy to the eye and thus a treat to any woman who decides to sport them on her next night out on the town.

Get in touch with us at BeadsVenture to check out all of our bead sizes and add your favorite bead options to your jewelry supply collection today!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.