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Donut beads are usually circular, flat beads with a large center hole - they look very much like the kind of donut that you eat. Most donuts used for jewelry are made of semi-precious gemstone, although you also can find Czech-made glass donuts, fiber optic donuts (a synthetic material), and donuts made from materials such as bone or wood. Round donuts are sometimes also called 'pi' donuts. Round gemstone donuts are excellent in jewelry making.
Donuts are a popular jewelry making item - especially when used as a pendant at the center of a necklace - or using two small matching ones for earring pendants.
Donuts are made with a "side drilled" hole - a hole drilled across the flat dimension of the bead. The are called Side-Drilled Gemstone Donuts. This extra hole makes it easier to attach donuts as a pendant.
Recently, donuts have become available in other shapes than round. There are Half Donuts & Triangle Donuts, axe- donuts, "A Go Go" donuts, oval donuts, and some fancier shapes such as figure-8 and heart.