This page is based on the table information provided by G. Vorpar and used with permission.
Since he's also given instruction on how to make these beads, I don't think it's necessary for me to repeat it. However, I will say that if you want to try and figure out how to carve the bead yourself, buy a primer from the clerical NPC that sells them and study the primer. The clues about the whole process is all in the primer, you just have to figure out the syntax.
ASPECTS, SKILL AND PRIMERS
Neutral aspect beads are the easiest to carve, followed by light aspect beads. Dark aspect beads are the hardest to carve. (The skill needed to study the primers is also determined by the type of aspect you're trying to carve a bead for.) Mechanical lore, and scholarship are the two noted factors in bead carving. It has been said that there are other factors, but currently, there is no known conclusive revelation. (Agility and reflex do not appear to play a role.)
I am only giving rough estimates on how much mech lore (without the aid of a primer) is needed to successfully carve a bead from the easiest wood material. You may need more or less skill to carve. :)
If you are able to fully study primers, your scholarship skill adds bonus ranks to your mech lore which will help you carve better. (E.g. when bead carving was first introduced, I could successfully carve neutral aspect beads with about 40-something mech lore and 80-something scholarship.)
Approximate carving skill
(Without the aid of primers)
Neutral: 60 mech lore
Light: 100 mech lore
Dark: 140 mech lore
Appraising a bead will let you determine the quality of your carved bead. With 100 appraisal, this is the information I get when appraising one of the beads I had carved:
You are completely positive that an ebony cobra bead is of fine quality for its material type, and good quality overall.
The material quality of the finished product reflects the craftmanship of the carver. Unlike the overall quality, this aspect of the bead reveals how skilled the carver was.
From the worst successful carving to the best:
The overall quality of the finished product reflects the craftmanship of the carver as well as the quality of the material itself. Certain materials cap out at certain levels. For example, a pine bead will never have more than poor overall quality, no matter how good a carver you are.
From lowest to highest:
Material Carving Difficulty
From the easiest to hardest material to carve:
Credits: I must thank G. Vorpar for the help he has provided to make this page happen. Not only did he allow me to use some of his material, but he also aided in the construction of this page. Thanks also to Geoffin and Shunasazi for helping me with additional bead carving details.