I don't know how I strung necklaces before I had a supply of O beads on hand to use for spacers. This particular color is subtle. In normal room lighting, they appear to be shiny, opaque, and nearly black. Hold a strand of them up to a window so the light shines through them and they are revealed to be a transparent deep ruby red. One or two in a pack don't have the centers punched out but they are still an excellent value and very useful.