Grace, If the beads are 'galvanized' you MUST seal them against
contact with skin. My skin is acid enough to keep silver nicely
polished. Galvanized beads don't even survive my touch long enough to
finish making a project before they begin to lose their finish, so I
simply avoid them. If the beads are truly gold plated, any finish you
put on it will extend their life, but may alter their look
negatively. Always test a sealant on extra beads before trying it on
a finished piece.
To seal the beads the best sealant is Krylon Clear spray finish.
Take the piece and the Krylon outside and, following the instructions
on the can, hold the piece far enough away that only the lightest
spray reaches the piece. Constantly move the piece while in the
spray, and stop often to let the spray dry without soaking the piece.
Several light layers are MUCH better than one heavy layer that will
soak into the threads and spoil the piece as well as actually
softening the finish of the beads so that it smears. Spray both sides
of the piece.
Contact me offline if you have further questions...