Matching seed beads is very difficult when you don't know the exact bead you are looking for. Often magazines and suppliers will hide or disguise the color numbers, so it is impossible to tell where the bead is from. They may add a letter to the color number or they may change it completely. They may also change the name of the color, so it is even more difficult to identify.
Miyuki does not give their beads English names. When they release a new set of colors, we sit down and name them all here at Caravan Beads. Some other companies copy our color names, and other companies make up their own names for the colors (both ways are fine with us).
Miyuki beads have a prefix for the size of the bead, and a suffix or color number for the shade and finish of the glass. For example 11-1 is "11" for size 11/0 seed bead and "-1" for the color Silverlined Crystal.
Delica beads have the same color number for all 4 sizes of Delica, but DBLs have a dash before the color number. For example; silverlined crystal is “41” and DBS0041, DB0041, DBM0041 and DBL-0041 are all the same color. Searching for "41" will include any number such as 410, but you will have better luck typing "0041" into the search box.
Round seed beads often share the same color number, but 6/0s will sometimes have their own color number especially in the silverlined colors. This is because when Miyuki first started production, they thought it would save confusion to have unique color numbers - not realizing that people would want to match between sizes of beads. An example of this is silverlined crystal which is appears 15-1, 11-1, 8-1 and 6-131S.
The color numbers of other shapes of seed beads usually match the round seed beads, and do not match the Delica beads. LMA-1 and SB-1 are the same is 11-1.
The steps for finding the match to a bead you already have are as follows:
- Try searching for the bead using the suffix you already have. If you have 11-1 and you want to find the same bead in a 6/0, enter 6-1 into the search box..
- If that doesn't work, search for the exact description. Copy the descriptive part of the color name, leaving out any size information. Then paste S/L Crystal into the search box. This will often give you a list of all the beads with S/L Crystal in their names.
- Sometimes this still doesn't work. Add the size information and try 6/0 S/L Crystal instead.
- You can also search using the attributes of base, coating, finish and color. Open the 6/0 seed beads category and look at the left hand sidebar. Select Silverlined and Clear to find the 6-131S.
- You can also look at the Miyuki Delica to Round Conversion Chart or the Round to Delica Conversion Chart
Sometimes a bead has no match available in any other color. You can always ask us to take a look and see if there is a similar color, or the top three closest matches. You are welcome to send us color samples from other bead companies to match as well.