So, we've already discovered that determining bead color and manufacturer variations make bead shopping a challenge. Let's talk about making sure we are getting the best deal. Buying seed beads is a lot like buying paper towels. Every package of paper towels has a different number of sheets in the roll, different size sheets, different paper thickness, different colors, different everything. There is no way to tell if you are getting the most for your hard earned dollar.
Beads are much the same. This store sells six inch tubes and the other store sells three inch tubes. But wait, the third store also sells three inch tubes but the tubes are smaller in diameter. The only way to seriously comparison shop is by checking the number of ounces of beads.
Buying in Tubes: A bead tube is not a bead tube. There are many size tubes with different diameters and lengths. When comparing prices, always check the tube size and number of grams. Good websites usually list the approximate number of beads in a tube, but these are approximate measurements. The actual number of beads is affected by the diameter and length of a tube, the characteristics of the bead and how it is packed. You may think tubes packed to the brim is a bonus -- until you open the tube and the beads start flying out.
Buying in Hanks: Czech beads are sold in tubes, by the strand, or by the "hank" consisting of 12 strands, each about 20 inches long. Four hanks are equal to ¼ mass. One mass = 16 hanks or 192 strands.
How many beads? This is the information that I have gathered over time from a number of resources. It is the chart I use to prepare and price my kits. I would appreciate it if anyone who has more information would share it with us!
Check out Charlene's Beads great Weights and Measures information.