Fire-polished beads are those that have been put through high heat to polish them. The heat causes the surface of the bead to molten, and once they are cooled, the beads are shiny with smooth facets.
You’ll find that fire-polished beads don’t always cool evenly or the molten glass may pool, causing them to have an uneven look. Faceted fire-polished beads are generally rounded or flattened by the holes because the machine does not cut facets in the ends.
Fire polishing isn’t always used for smooth out machine-cut facets. The process is also used to bond coating on a glass bead, which is how vitrail and luster beads are created. If synthetic glass is used, the coating will not be permanent.
These beads are not as fine as crystal beads, which have been polished by other means, but they are cheaper. So, if you are using expensive findings, you may want to pay a little more and use crystal beads instead of faceted fire-polished beads. This will give your project a finer look.