Bead or Pendant

by Libby on August 20, 2012

This weekend, while I was finishing up a few items for the upcoming Bead Bazaar, September 8-9, I started thinking about the difference between a bead and a pendant.  What makes a bead a “bead” and a pendant a “pendant’?  Most of the items I’ve submitted for sale at the Bead Bazaar are one sided, flat backed, but pierced through like a bead.

Merriam Webster defines a bead as ” a small piece of material pierced for threading on a string or wire” and a pendant as “something suspended: as an ornament (as on a necklace) allowed to hang free”.  So, the hole is the important thing that defines a bead.  So I guess a bead could also be a pendant, but a pendant might not also be a bead.


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Ginger Davis Allman August 21, 2012 at 9:32 am

Semantics. I tend to call them focal beads. Though if a pendant must dangle then it’s only a pendant if it has a bail? But sometimes I take a large focal bead and create a “bail” out of other elements thereby making a bead into a pendant. And often I’ll wear a bead as a pendant just because it’s pretty that way. Hmm…it gets confusing. Just call them lovely. That’s the best bet.

Libby August 21, 2012 at 10:44 am

Yes, it’s definitely semantics. These are just the kinds of things I like to wonder about. I think if there’s a bail, the item in question is definitely a pendant. Otherwise I think your term “focal bead” is an excellent choice.