I like shooting beads on a white background. It provides a uniformed look with other photos, background colors don’t interfere and it allows me to easily isolate the the bead in Photoshop for compositions like ads or banners. But one problem I come across from time to time is losing the details in the edge of the bead. This usually happens because the bead itself is pale and it looks like the white is swallowing the bead.
After some experimenting I came across a simple solution. I place a large piece of black cardboard behind it out or frame. By doing this it ads enough dark reflection to define the edges on the light background.
As you can see in these examples the edges are more defined. Which makes it easier to adjust the contrast with out losing detail.