There are gold-filled beads in many catalogs; I’m looking at Rio’s
right now. But I have never come across a particularly thick-sided 4mm
gold bead. They are all very thin and dent-able, as you observe.
Some of the gold-filled styles are not smooth-sided but corrugated
and twisted. It may not be the look you’re after, but they are less
likely to show dents.
I have used sterling silver beads; they are all much thicker-sided.
Got them from Metalliferous, and I’m sure some of the the other
suppliers carry them. Would it be too much like cheating to
electroplate a sterling bead, if it had the structural integrity you
Yet a third possibility, way off in left field, would be the broad
variety of electroplated seed beads. The Miyuki Delicas are available
in a bunch of finishes, 22k and 24k plated. They are smaller,
obviously, but much more robust.
I will be really interested to see if others are aware of a “heavy
duty” 4mm gold bead.
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