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Copper beads can be created of solid copper or from pewter (or another base metal) and then plated. Solid copper beads wear better than plated beads, because they do not have a coating that will wear away. Eventually, no matter how good it is, the plating will wear off, especially if beads rub against each other in the jewelry design. The wear of rubbing against the wearer's skin will also cause the coating to wear away in time. Of course, solid copper beads cost more. Good dealers will offer both types of copper beads for your use.