Sizing Beads

So, seed beads, as mentioned in a previous post come in various sizes. They are written in “4/0 or 5/0” and are called “three o’s” (etc) the smaller the first number, THE BIGGER THE BEAD. It used to mean that if you laid down a row of beads, end to end, the first number would tell you how many beads are contained in one inch. Typically, orisha beads will use 6/0 or 5/0 beads – especially in elekes.

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Here are the /o measurements with their millimetre equivalents:

1 /0=   6.5mm (Largest bead size)
2 /0=   6.0mm
3 /0=   5.5mm ( these are large and pony beads, crow, roller beads)
4 /0=   5.0mm
5 /0=   4.5mm (orisha bead)
6 /0=   4.0mm (orisha bead popular “e” bead and come in the largest variety of colours and finishes, approximately 440 beads per ounce)
7 /0=   3.4mm
8 /0= 3.1mm
9 /0=  2.7mm
10 /0= 2.3mm
11 /0= 2.1mm
12 /0= 1.9mm
13 /0= 1.7mm
14 /0= 1.6mm
15 /0= 1.5mm
16 /0= 1.3mm
17 /0= 1.2mm
18 /0=1.1mm
20 /0=1.0mm (smallest bead)

3/0 beads would be 4 per inch,
about 1/4 inch thick each.
6/0 beads would be about 8 per inch,
or 1/8 inch thick each.
15/0 beads would be 18 per inch,

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