I keep buying this bead because the detail is so amazing. It looks like it was painted with one hair on a paint brush. I get compliments all of the time I wear my necklace with this bead.
The had painting is incredible on this bead. I looked at it under a magnifying glass to see all of the details. It looks like the artist painted it with a brush with only one hair. It is a collectors item.
If Jen could see this beautiful bead in multiples, she would recognize that it is not a decal at all. As a beader/painter and an Artbeads employee that has handled dozens of these, I can assure you that they are, indeed, handpainted.
When an item causes me to gasp at it's beauty, I must defend it.
Being a dragonfly nut, I was excited to see a hand-painted bead and ordered it immediately. I couldn't wait to see the detail and decide which beads, ribbon, or 'whatever' was going to be worthy to use to string this beauty. Imagine my disappointment when I received it and realized it is not hand-painted at all. If anything, m-a-y-b-e the dots along the border and the legs on the dragonfly are handpainted. The dragonfly image is clearly a decal lacquered to a bead.
I looked back at the description online to see if I had missed something. Nope. It says there are "multiple layers of paint and lacquer applied to black onyx." Take that at face value.
This bead IS pretty. I love it and I will make a beautiful necklace from it. It's just not hand-painted in the way I was lead to believe. I'll get over my disappointment eventually. But, I will also use a little more caution the next time I plunk down my hard-earned bucks.