Units of Measure
Most Common Question:
Q. What is a gross?
A. For any item, one gross (often abbreviated "GR") is 12 dozen.
1 gross = 12 dozen = 144 pieces (72 pairs).
1 half-gross = 6 dozen = 72 pieces (or 36 pairs).
Why a "gross"? We believe this is because in the 1800s and early 1900s, many jewelry findings, such as filigree findings and other common jewelry-making components were made in Germany, and sold by the dozen or the "big" measurement, the gross. (Gross, in German, means big.)
Most findings are packaged by weight. Although we use very accurate counting scales and trays, small variations in each item mean the actual count might vary slightly over or under the marked quantity. We strive to put the exact amount in each bag, although +/- 5% is the standard in the jewelry supply industry.
At 5%, a 1-gross bag could vary over or under by seven pieces. Smaller quantities will be exact; you can expect a bag marked "1 dozen" to contain exactly 1 dozen pieces.
Units of Measure used in our Online Store:
25 | 50 | 100 | 200
bag | ball | box | card | doz | dwt | each | foot | gram | gross
hank | kilo | | lb | meter | mass | oz | ozt | pair | pkg | set
skein | spool | spot | strand | ten | tube | vial | yd
ten (10), 25, 50, 100 or 200
Items with these units of measure are sold by the package of 10, package of 25, etc. Quantity price breaks are normally available. For example, SmartBeads are available in packs of ten, with a price break at 10 packs of ten (100 pieces), or 100 packs of ten (1,000 pieces).
Items sold by the unit of measure "bag" generally vary in size. In the description of the item, we include the size of the bag, and/or an approximate quantity per bag. If we did not list an approximate quantity for an item sold by the "bag", please contact us and let us know the item number, and we'll get it fixed!
The description of items sold by the "ball" will include an approximate number of feet, meters, or yards of cording per ball.
The description of items sold by the "box" will include the quantity that is included in a box.
Items sold by the "card" are generally very small beads, in a 2-gram blister pack on a card that can be hung on a retail display. If you click into the details of an item sold by the "card", the item description or "Additional Specs" field will include the quantity per card.
1 dozen is 12 pieces, or 6 pairs. Items sold by the dozen, often have a price break at 6 dozen and 12 dozen.
Often with jewelry findings, 12 dozen (144 pieces) is written as "1 gross", and 6 dozen (72 pieces) is written as "0.5 gross" or "half-gross" or abbreviated as "1/2 GR".
A dwt (pennyweight) is commonly used for weighing karat gold, and is equal to 24 grains, or 1/20th of a troy ounce, approx 1.5 grams.
One ea (each) is one piece. If an item is sold by "eaches" and you order 1 each, you will receive 1 piece. If you order 12 "eaches" you will receive 12 pieces.
One foot is 12", which is 30.5cm, or 0.305 meters.
Items in our catalog that are sold by the gram will generally include an approximate amount per bag in their description.
Gram conversions for common price breaks:
a 50-gram bag x 10 = 500-gram bag = 1/2 kilo
a 50-gram bag x 20 = 1000-gram bag = 1 kilogram of beads
a 10-gram bag x 10 = 100-gram bag
a 5-gram bag x 4 = 20-gram bag
One gross of any item is 144 pieces (12 dozen).
144 pieces is 72 pairs.
A half-gross or 0.5 gross is 72 pieces (36 pairs).
10 gross is 120 dozen, or 1,440 pieces.
A hank of Czech seed beads is generally 12 temporarily-strung 20" strands, but may be anywhere from 8 to 20 12-20" strands. Number of beads per hank varies according to bead size, strand length, and number of strands. This packaging method verifies that all beads you receive, do actually have a hole in them. And when seed beads were first mass-produced, there was no such thing as poly bags or plastic tubes.
One pound (lb) is 16 ounces, or 454 grams, or .45kg.
One meter is 3.28 feet, which is slightly over 1 yard. A 10-meter spool of chain, is 32.8 feet of chain.
A mass = 1,200 beads of a single shape, color and size. A mass is the standard unit of measure for many bead manufacturers, especially in the Czech Republic. Since little or no repackaging is needed, most bead wholesalers offer a substantial discount for whole masses of a single shape, color and size of a bead.
One ounce is 28.3 grams.
One troy ounce is equal to 31.1 grams, or 480 grains. It is the customary unit of weight for precious metals, black powder and gemstones.
Items sold by the "pkg" are generally pre-packaged by the manufacturer for consumer use. If we did not list a quantity for an item sold by the "pkg", please e-mail us with the stock number, and we will send you a reply and update the online store quickly.
Items sold by the "set" fall into 2 general categories. A clasp sold by the "set" simply means you receive both halves of the clasp, so you don't have to wonder if "each" means "each half" or "each set". Earring magnets are sold in a set of 4 pieces, so that you can make a complete pair of earrings. Another type of set would be "one of each color of this item", such as the Toho seed bead set. Many assortment sets display as "out of stock" in the online store, because we don't assemble the set until it is ordered.
Chinese knotting cord and some other fibers (such as yarn) are packaged in a skein. Length will vary depending on type of cord.
Many types of cord, cable and chain are packaged by the spool. Length will vary depending item. If we did not list a length in feet or meters for an item sold by the spool, please e-mail us with the stock number, and we will send you a reply and update the online store quickly.
A spot is a space for a single person in a class or workshop.
Most gemstone beads, and many handmade glass beads are sold by the strand. The most common strand length is 16", but other common strand lengths are 8", 10", 32" and 36". Strand lengths may vary +/- one inch. The number of beads per strand varies according to bead size and strand length, and will vary from batch to batch. If we did not list an approximate number of beads per strand, please e-mail us with the stock number, and we will send you a reply and update the online store quickly
Some styles of seed beads are sold by the tube. Click on the item's [details...] for more information about the size of the tube, and the approximate number of beads contained in the tube.
Some styles of seed beads are sold by the vial (very similar to a tube). Click on the item's [details...] for more information about the size of the tube, and the approximate number of beads contained in the tube.
A yard is 3 feet, or is 0.91 meters. There are 36" in a yard.
Common metric / U.S. length conversions
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