Materials


African Amber:African "amber" is not the true European ( Baltic ) or South American fossilised pine tree resin Amber. Most were made from complicated mixtures of synthetic resin barrel beads, which were imported from Europe from the late 1800's onwards and fashioned into their many diverse designs by African craftsmen. There are also many regional variations, which are locally known as 'amber' to be found all over Africa, made from a variety of materials. African "amber" can be very old, difficult to find, increasingly valuable, and highly collectable.
Agate:Agate is a microcrystalline variety of quartz, chiefly chalcedony, characterised by its fineness of grain and brightness of color. Although agates may be found in various kinds of rock, they are classically associated with volcanic rocks but can be common in certain metamorphic rocks. Colorful agates and other chalcedonies were obtained over 3,000 years ago from the Achates River, now called Dirillo, in Sicily. The stone was given its name by Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher and naturalist, who discovered the stone along the shore line of the river Achates sometime between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. The agate has been recovered at a number of ancient sites, indicating its widespread use in the ancient world; for example, archaeological recovery at the Knossos site on Crete illustrates its role in Bronze Age Minoan culture.
Aja:"Aja" beads were made in Venice (and sometimes altered in Africa) in the early 1900s. These were made from drawn tubes of glass which were then cooled and cut into small slices. Once cut, the slices of drawn cane were then exposed to heat until the glass softened (slumped), the beads flattened somewhat, and their hard cut edges also softened and rounded. There seems to be no Venetian sample cards showing these slumped slices as ever being sold from Venice although the cane they were made of certainly was. Based on this, some experts speculate the slumping process was done in Africa while others think this process was done in Venice when the beads were made. (Few of the original Venetian Bead Makers sample cards still exist today) These beads have a range of sizes, colors and canes. Some of the most spectacular "Aja" beads were made from rosetta (chevron) cane. The 4-layer "yellow jacket" slices are beautiful! I have also seen some unbelievable pink and white striped ones. "Aja" is an African word which means something like dog or fish. These beads are sometimes called "Eja". Beautiful and somewhat unusual, a person could build a whole collection just of these wonderful beads.
Amazonite:Amazonite is a gem variety of microcline feldspar. It displays a schiller of light which is caused by inclusions. Schiller is a lustrous reflection from planes in a mineral grain and is similar to what is more commonly known as iridescence. The schiller is caused by a feature of the stone's crystal structure. Orthoclase feldspar and albite are present in close association, arranged in layers. This causes an interference effect of light. Amazonite is found in the United States, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Russia, Australia, Namibia. Amazonite is usually light green to blue-green, mottled, and sometimes contains light striations. This semi-opaque stone was used extensively by the Egyptians, and it is called the stone of courage and is said to be named after the Amazon women warriors. Some archaeological evidence suggests that the Amazonians were a matriarchal society during the Bronze Age. Another legend says the name Amazonite comes from the belief that it was found in the Amazon river.
Amber:Hardened resin produced by trees to protect against disease and insect infestation when the bark was damaged. After oozing out, it hardens in wet sediments, such as clay and sand that's formed at the bottom of lagoons or river deltas. It was preserved for millennia in the earth's crust.
Ammonite:Officially recognized as a gemstone in 1981, the organic gemstone Ammolite is the fossilized remains of a long extinct sea creature called an Ammonite. This pendant offers a fascinating and unique look into the long distant past. Ammonites were a cephalopod, and the ancestor of the squid, cuttlefish, and nautilus, that became extinct during the cretaceous period over 70,000,000 years ago.)
Asik:Asik pendants are a classic form of Turkmen tribal jewelry. They are given to women as engagement and wedding gifts by well-wishers, while also adding to the bride's personal wealth. Turkmen Asyks come in a variety of sizes and surface designs, but always with the same unique shape and well-intended purpose.
Aventurina :Aventurina (Murano glass) is sparkling copper crystals seen in many of our beads, providing a richly toned look to most anything to which it is added.
Aventurine:A translucent mineral containing small reflective particles, typically quartz containing mica or iron compounds, or feldspar containing hematite.
Bauxite:Bauxite is a kind of aluminium ore and is a beautiful dark rusty chestnut color. These wonderful old beads are cut, carved, polished and drilled by hand in Africa. Most of the production of bauxite beads today is in Ghana, African, in a small village called Akyem Abompe. It is a unique center of bead production where practically each family is maintaining themselves through manufacture of beads. The patina of bauxite beads is warm and earthy and the most beautiful are said to be the ones which have been worn for a while and have absorbed natural human oil and sweat.
Berber Niello:Antique Berber silver amulet from the Ida Ou Nadif people of the Anti-Atlas area of Morocco, etched with stylized, symbolic designs and filled with niello (a black paste)--many "eye" designs to ward off the "evil eye" believed to be the cause of all misfortune, illness and negativity of all kinds.
Bohemian Wedding Beads:Bohemian Wedding Beads were made in the Czech Republic specifically for the African trade in the 1950s and started being exported from Africa to the US and Europe in the 1980s. These beads come in several different shapes, colors and patterns. One of the most popular shape is the round tear drop. Another attractive shape is the flat tear drop. "Wedding beads" also were made as flat tabular shapes, stylized claw shapes and other varieties. Some of these beads have traveled at least three continents, and have graced numerous owners. Small chips, corrosion, and pitting are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.
Brown-Lip:The Brown-Lip snail is a species of air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusc. It is one of the most common species of land snail in Europe and has been introduced to North America.
Buddhist Prayer Beads/Malas:Buddhist prayer beads are a traditional tool used to count the number of times a mantra is recited whilst meditating. They are similar to other forms of prayer beads used in various world religions; thus some call this tool the Buddhist rosary. A Mala is a set of beads commonly used by Hindus and Buddhists. Malas are used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra or the name or names of a deity. This practice is known in Sanskrit as japa. Malas are typically made with 18, 27, 54 or 108 beads.
Cane Glass:These beads are handmade by gathering glass on a pipe in a furnace over 2000 degrees. The glass has a core color to which many layers of color from glass or precious metal can be added. A blowpipe is used to blow a bubble into the center of the glass. The glass is pulled, creating a long hollow tube referred to as a cane. The pulled cane is then cooled to room temperature. The cane is hand cut with a diamond saw, then tumbled to smooth out the rough edges. The beads are then fire- polished with a torch or in a kiln for a shiny finish.
Carnelian:Carnelian is from the heart of the agate. Carnelian has long held a presence in world history and the beliefs and customs of civilizations. From Europe, to Asia, to the Middle East, archeologists have found uses for carnelian. Some of the oldest examples of jewelry contained carnelian. It symbolized authority and great wealth in ancient Egyptian times. In the 16th century, Nigerian kings wore carnelian and presented the stone to esteemed vistors.
Chrysocolla:Chrysocolla, hydrated copper silicate, is a mineral. It is of secondary origin and forms in the oxidation zones of copper ore bodies. Associated minerals are quartz, limonite, azurite, malachite, cuprite, and other secondary copper minerals. Chrysocolla has an attractive blue-green color. It is also used as an ornamental stone. Because of its light color, it is sometimes confused with turquoise. Commonly it occurs only as pourous crusts unsuitable for gem use, but high quality, gem grade chrysocolla can be translucent and is highly prized.The name comes from the Greek chrysos, "gold", and kolla, "glue", in allusion to the name of the material used to solder gold, and was first used by Theophrastus in 315 BC.
Copal:Beads made from the natural resin of trees sometimes referred to as pom. Although it is not amber, the word copal is derived from the Nahuatl language word copalli, meaning incense. Copal can be very old, difficult to find, increasingly valuable, and highly collectable.
Copper:Copper is a shiny, orange colored metal that is medium in weight, strong, and easy to shape. The discovery of copper dates to prehistoric times. There are reports of copper beads dating back to 9000 BC found in Iraq.
Cowrie:Cowrie is the common name for a group of small to large sea snails. These shells were used for centuries as a currency in many countries such as Africa, China, and India. They are viewed as symbols of womanhood, fertility, birth and wealth.
Crazy Lace Agate:Crazy Lace Agate is called the Laughter Stone, or "Happy Lace." It is not a stone of protection, but of support and encouragement, elevating thoughts and promoting optimism. Its graceful design, in random lacy patterns, creates a circular flow of energy, stimulating for the mind and attitude. Crazy Lace Agate is a variety of banded Chalcedony, a mineral of the Quartz family. It is predominantly white, with layers of creamy browns, blacks and grays. Some may include layers of yellow ochre, gold, scarlet and red. Agate is sometimes called the earth rainbow because, in its various forms, the concentric bands in nature form nearly every color the earth can produce, including a colorless form. Historically, Agate has been discovered with the artifacts of Neolithic people, and was used as healing amulets and ornamentation dating back to Babylon. Its medicinal uses continued through the ancient Greek and Egyptian civilizations, and spread throughout Africa and the Middle East into Russia. Agate sparked a world renowned stone cutting and polishing industry in Germany that flourished from the 15th to the 19th century, and exists today.
Dogon:The Dogon people are an ethnic group located mainly in the districts of Bandiagara and Douentza in Mali, West Africa. Dogons are old glass beads handcrafted by the Dogon People.
Dzi:Dzi is the Tibetan word for unique bead. Prized by collectors, these rare ancient beads have a rich history in lore and mysticism. Among the many myths and legends that follow the Dzi, the main belief is that the gods created them. They were said to bring luck, ward off evil, and protect the wearer from physical harm.
Fossil Coral:Fossil coral is a natural type of gemstone formed by ancient corals. The proper name for fossil coral is 'agatized coral' or 'agatized fossil coral', because during formation, the coral remains are gradually replaced with agate, a variety of naturally occurring chalcedony, or microcrystalline quartz.
Fulani Seed Beads:These beads are wound glass made in Europe and found in Africa. Their approximate age is from the late 1800's to early 1900's. Wonderful multi-strand necklaces and waist belts were worn by the Fulani women of Africa. Traditionally these "belts" were worn around the waist and under skirts and not typically displayed in public. They come in various colors of old seed beads, strand counts, and lengths. The Fulani people of West Africa are the largest nomadic group in the world. As a group they contain a vast array of diverse people who were conquered and became a part of the Fulani through the spread of Islam.
German Silver:German silver is an alloy of 45% - 70% copper, 5% - 30% nickel, and 8% - 45% zinc. Sometimes small amounts of tin or lead are added. It has a color resembling silver. Some German silver is gold-plated. The discovery of German silver dates back to the early 19th century and is attributed to the German chemist, E. A. Geitner.
Givre:These are beads that are either clear or transparent, and that have a cloud of opaque colored glass in the center or in part of the bead.
Hebron:These beads were made in Hebron before 1880, and could possibly be older than 500 years, as this type of bead first came into production just after the 12th century. They are wound glass and were made by using Dead Sea salt as their alkali. Hebron glass beads were used for trade and export primarily to Africa from the early to mid-19th century. Spread throughout West Africa, in Kano, Nigeria.
Hilltribe/Thai SilverSilver:This silver is handmade by the Karen Tribe. Thai silver beads and pendants are hand crafted by the Karen Hill Tribe silversmiths in northern Thailand using traditional tribal methods passed down from generation to generation. Each piece is made by hand using primitive tools, so each one is a unique work. The mix used has a higher silver content at 95% - 99% than sterling silver, which is 92.5% More silver in the mix makes for a softer metal that is easier to bend and shape. Purchasing these Hill Tribe silver beads and components helps sustain a traditional craft and provides the Karen people with a reliable source of income. These items are beautiful pieces of art, as well as excellent conversational pieces and your money will go toward helping the Hill Tribe.
Inclamo:Incalmo is the grafting or joining together, while still hot, of two separately blown glass [bubbles] to produce a single [bubble].
Ipil Seed :Ipil seed comes from the Intsia bijuga tree that grows in mangroves in Southeast Asia and islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is a member of the tropical Caesalpiniaceae family. It grows to around160 feet and is the official tree of the United States territory of Guam. The tree has a variety of common names including ipil, merbau and kwila. Due to extensive logging of the tree, it is endangered in many places in Southeast Asia, and almost extinct in some.
Jade:Jade is a generic term for two different gems, nephrite and jadeite. Jadeite and nephrite are both regarded in China as 'zhen yu', 'genuine jade'. It was not until the beginning of the 19th century that mineralogists and gemmologists started to differentiate between them, since they bear a considerable resemblance to each other in terms of their appearance, their hardness and the properties they exhibit when being processed. Both are tough, since they consist of dense, close-grained, matted aggregates, but they differ from one another in their chemical composition and colours. Nephrite ranges mainly from mid to dark green or grey-green, but it can also be white, yellowish or reddish. Rarer, and somewhat tougher, jadeite displays hues which include green, but also white or pink, and reds, blacks, browns and violets. In both minerals, the way the colour is distributed varies a great deal. Only in the very finest jade is the colour evenly distributed. Both nephrite and jadeite often have veins, blemishes and streaks running through them, though these may not always be regarded as flaws. On the contrary, some of these patterns are considered particularly valuable.
Jadeite:One of the rarest, most valuable gemstones in the world is Jadeite. Smooth to the touch with a lovely luster, it’s sturdy and capable of being carved into shapes and objects. Green is the best known color but it also comes in shades of lavender, yellow, white and black. Being a favored gemstone in China for 3000 years, a wealth of superstition and folklore has developed around it. The best jadeite, “Imperial Jade” has long been coveted by Chinese royalty. The fascinating history of Imperial Green Jade is nicely recounted in the non-fiction book, The Stone of Heaven by Adrian Levy & Cathy Scott."
Javanese Glass:These beads were made in Java, Indonesia.
Kiki Nut: Kukui is the state tree of Hawaii, and also known as the Candlenut tree.
King Beads:King beads are wonderful old Venetian wound and marvered bicone beads. Sometime in the past, probably in the heyday of the import of African Trade beads in the early 1970s, these were given the name of King beads. The legend has it that these were worn by African Kings (Chiefs). These beads come in a large variety of colors and sizes, but always in a bicone shape. Old Venetian King beads were made up to the 1920s. Still revered in Africa today, these old beads are on prominent display in Dipo Intiation ceremonies in Ghana, where the yellow forms , in particular, represent maturity and prosperity. This would explain the popularity of the yellow striped King beads. King beads are highly collectable and there are some spectacular private collections of these beads in America, Africa, Japan and Europe.
Krobo:Krobo powder glass beads are generally made in West Africa, specifically Ghana. These African beads are made by the Ashanti and Krobo tribes, and were made in the 1900's. Krobo beads are made from power glass, which comes from finely ground glass most commonly made out of recycled broken bottles and other scrap glasses. These beads are made in vertical molds filled with finely ground glass that is layered to create different colorful designs. The beads are fired in clay kilns until the recycled glass fuses.
Kukui:Kukui nut beads are taken from the Philippine lumbang tree, also called candlenut tree (apparently, the nuts burn well hence the name candlenut). These nut beads are uniquely heart-shaped and have very hard, ridged thick shells. Our kukui nut beads come in a variety of earthy colors —black, brown, natural, and white. The nuts of this tree provided the ancient Hawaiians with light, oil, relishes and medicine.
Labradorite:Labradorite is a sodium rich plagioclase feldspar. It displays a particular type of iridescence on a dark to light smoke gray background. This effect is derived from a mosaic arrangement of platelets of different compositions and minute inclusions of ilmenite, rutile, and magnetite, which cause light diffraction. When light strikes Labradorite from a particular direction, it may display striking rainbow-colored reflections (violet, blue, green, yellow, orange and red) known as "Labradorescence" or "Schiller."
Lampwork Glass:These are handmade glass beads. The artisan creates a bead over an open flame by melting rods of colored glass onto a thin steel rod. Once the bead is created, it can be decorated with different colors of glass, which is melted on to the surface. The bead is then annealed to set the glass.
Lapis Lazuli:Lapis lazuli is a rock, not a mineral. The main component of lapis lazuli is lazurite, a feldspathoid silicate mineral composed of sodium, aluminium, silicon, oxygen, sulfur, and chloride. Most lapis lazuli also contains calcite (white), sodalite (blue) and pyrite (metallic yellow). Other possible constituents are augite, diopside, enstatite, mica, hauynite, hornblende and nosean. Some contain trace amounts of the sulfur rich lollingite variety geyerite. Lapis lazuli usually occurs in crystalline marble as a result of contact metamorphism. The finest color is intense blue, lightly dusted with small flecks of golden pyrite. Stones with no white calcite veins and only small pyrite inclusions are more prized. Patches of pyrite are an important help in identifying the stone as genuine and do not detract from its value.
Mala:A Japa mala or mala is a string of prayer beads commonly used by Hindus, Buddhists and some Sikhs for the spiritual practice known in Sanskrit as Japa.
Moonglow:Moonglow Lucite is robably one of the most popular forms of lucite, Moonglow pieces look as if lit from within, and come in a complete range of colors, shapes, and sizes. Developed in the 1930s, the clear acrylic plastic branded as Lucite became a wildly popular material for costume jewelry starting in the 1950s. Less expensive to produce than Bakelite, Galalith, and Catalin and more chemically stable than celluloid, Lucite made these earlier jewelry plastics obsolete. In its pure form, Lucite is translucent, resembling glass or rock crystal, but it can be dyed in a wide range of colors and opacity, making it the perfect material for bold blocks of Mid-century Modern colors. Hard, water-resistant, and lightweight, Lucite can be carved and polished, and it is easy to wear.
Moonstone:Moonstone is a variety of the feldspar-group mineral orthoclase. During formation, orthoclase and albite separate into alternating layers. When light falls between these thin layers it is scattered producing the phenomenon called adularescence. Adularescence is the light that appears to billow across a gem. Moonstone has been used in Roman jewelry for nearly two thousand years, even longer in the Orient.
Mother-of-Peal:Mother-of-Peal is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some molluscs as an inner shell layer; it also makes up the outer coating of pearls. It is strong, resilient, and iridescent.
Mudcloth:Mudcloth beads are made of bone and are created in Africa using a “batik” technique. Wax is painted onto the bead to create a design, then the remaining surface is darkened with a vegetable dye. Once the dye is set, the wax is removed. The resulting graphic is reminiscent of the African “bogolanfini” fabric known as mudcloth.
Murano Glass:Murano glass is glass made on the Venetian island of Murano, which has specialized in fancy glasswares for centuries. Murano’s glassmakers led Europe for centuries, developing or refining many technologies including crystalline glass, enamelled glass (smalto), glass with threads of gold (aventurine), multicoloured glass (millefiori), milk glass (lattimo), and imitation gemstones made of glass. Today, the artisans of Murano are still employing these centuries-old techniques.
Murano Sculpted:Murano sculpted beads are ground to create the ridges and reveal the colors beneath. Sometimes the grinding goes through the glass, this is not a defect, just how they are made, and does not weaken the bead. They are little pieces are art no two alike.
Naga:The Nagas were primitive Himalayan peoples between Tibet, India and Burma, with distinctive bead jewelry. Naga Shell is a conch shell, generally found in this region, carved in to beads. Naga was revered for centuries with the ancient culture and traded with sea bordering countries.
Old Stone Quartz :These old stone quartz beads come in various size and shapes. These are wonderful ancient dig beads which were excavated from the areas surrounding an ancient African city in Mali. Most of the beads found have been carnelian, jasper, quartz, and there have been lesser quantity of glass beads found. The stone beads were imported to Africa from the Indus Valley. The origins of the glass beads is still in dispute, but many of the leading bead experts consider them to be of Early Islamic manufacture.
Onyx:Onyx is a cryptocrystalline form of quartz. The colors of its bands range from white to almost every color (except some shades of purple and blue). Commonly, specimens of onyx contain bands of colors such as white, tan, and brown. Black Onyx is said to eliminate negative thinking and help people to change their habits. Onyx was very popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans. The name comes from the Greek word 'onyx', which means nail or claw. The story is that one day the frisky Cupid cut the divine fingernails of Venus with an arrowhead while she was sleeping. He left the clippings scattered on the sand and the fates turned them into stone so that no part of the heavenly body would ever perish. Onyx which is reddish brown and white is known as sardonyx. Sardonyx was highly valued in Rome, especially for seals, because it was said never to stick to the wax. The Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio was known for wearing it a good deal. Onyx is found mostly in India and South America.
Padre:Padre beads were used extensively by North American Indians for adornment and trade. Padre beads are wound, opaque glass beads. These beads are believed to have beenn manufactured in the 16 - 18th centuries in China and subsequently traded by the Spanish and Russian traders in the southwest and northwest.
Pelinut:Nut is a general term for the large, dry, oily seeds or fruit of some plants. While a wide variety of dried seeds and fruits are called nuts, only a certain number of them are considered by biologists to be true nuts. Nuts are both the seed and the fruit, and cannot be separated. Canarium ovatum, commonly known as pili or peli (/pi?li?/ pee-lee), is a species of tropical tree belonging to the genus Canarium. It is one of approximately 600 species in the family Burseraceae. Pili are native to maritime Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea, and Northern Australia. They are commercially cultivated in the Philippines for their edible nuts.
Pigeon Eggs:Pigeon eggs are a molded Bohemian trade beads. They were made in Europe and found in Africa. They were made in the early 1900s. Some of these beads have traveled at least three continents. Small chips, corrosion, and pitting are part of their patina and attest to their age and extensive use.
Prosser:Prosser molded trade beads are named after the brothers Richard and Thomas Prosser who invented a machine to mold clay in England in 1840. The machinery applies pressure to clay in a die that can subsequently be removed and fired to create a porcelain-like material.
Pumtek:Pumtek beads are found in eastern Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, and are made of fossilized wood. Original Pumtek beads were created during the Pyu period and purchased by the Chin tribes in surrounding areas. These Pumtek were made from the opalized fossilized wood of the palm Borassus flabellifer. Newer Pumtek were made from fossilized wood, probably from the tree Dipterocarpoxylon burmenses.
Quartz:Quartz is the most abundant mineral in the Earth's continental crust, although feldspar is more common in the world as a whole. It is made up of a lattice of silica tetrahedra. Pure quartz is colorless or white; common colored varieties include rose quartz, amethyst, smoky quartz, milky quartz, and others.
Reconstructed Amber:Reconstruction is the process of combining several pieces of similar material with heat and or pressure to produce larger pieces. This process is used in reconstructed amber.
Russian Blues:Russian blues are old hand-faceted beads. The jeweler held each bead against the grinding wheel several times. These beads were probably made in Bohemia, and carried by the Russian fur trade to the Pacific Northwest in the early 1800s. They were also traded in Africa. The Matabele in what is now Zimbabwe brought them to offer to "witchdoctors" as a tribute to their great God by Russian traders.
Sardonyz:Sardonyx is an onyx with alternating brown and white bands of sard and other minerals.
Seed Beed:"Seed bead" is a generic term for any small bead. Usually rounded in shape, seed beads are most commonly used for loom and off-loom bead weaving. They may be used for simple stringing, or as spacers between other beads in jewelry.
Sherpa Coral:These are glass beads 100 to 400 years old. They were made for the vast majority of Tibetans who could not afford real coral. The Sherpa coral is highly prized for its significance in Tibetan culture, as red is considered a very auspicious color and brings luck. Most of the coral seen in old Tibetan jewelry is Sherpa coral.
Sibucao:These seeds comes from the Caesalpinia sappan (Fabaceae) tree commonly called Sibukaw Tree. The tree is distributed widely in the Philippines. The seeds are used against stomach aches and nervous disorders.
Spindle Bead:Ecuadorian "spindle" beads were used to spin cotton and llama hair. These carved beads can be dated from 1,500 BC to 1,500 AD. Made by two different tribal groups, the designs are either geometric or fanciful fauna.
Sponge Coral:Sponge coral is known scientifically as melithaea ochracea, and despite its name, it is not a sponge at all. Instead, it is a type of coral that has a sponge like appearance.
Sterling Silver:Sterling is the standard of purity for silver. Sterling silver denotes any silver alloy in which pure silver makes up at least 92.5 percent of the content.
Swarovski:Daniel Swarovski registered a patent in 1892 for his machine that cut cystal with greater speed and precision than the manual process. This was the start of one of the most sought after crystal production centers in art history. Swarovski founded his company in the Alps in 1895. In the late 19th century crystals were used to enhance formal wear. Taking advantage of this trend in 1913, Swarovski created his own crystals exclusively for the fashion industry.
Tiger Eye:Tiger eye is a chatoyant gemstone that is usually a metamorphic rock that is yellow- to red-brown, with a silky luster. A member of the quartz group, it is a classic example of pseudomorphous replacement by silica of fibrous crocidolite (blue asbestos). An incompletely silicified blue variant is called Hawk's eye.Tiger's Eye mostly comes from South Africa.
Trade Bead:The term trade bead typically applies to beads made predominantly in Venice and Bohemia and other European countries from the late 1400s to the early 1900s and traded in Africa and the Americas. Many of these beads have been attributed to being made in Germany, France, and the Netherlands as well. One of the most intriguing aspects to these beads is how they have survived a hundred or more years of wear and travel through at least three continents. Another mystery is who wore them before us who will have them next. There are exceptional museum collections of trade beads at the Museum of Mankind in London, the Pitt River Museum in Oxford, the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Belgium, the Murano Museum of Glass in Italy, the Tropical Royal Institute of Amsterdam, the Bead Museum in Arizona, US and the Picard Trade Bead Museum in California, US to name a few.
Turquoise:Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminum. It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gem and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue. Turquoise was among the first gems to be mined, and while many historic sites have been depleted, some are still worked to this day. These are all small-scale, often seasonal operations, owing to the limited scope and remoteness of the deposits. Most are worked by hand with little or no mechanization. However, turquoise is often recovered as a byproduct of large-scale copper mining operations, especially in the United States.
Vaseline Beads:Vaseline beads were made in the late 1800s - early 1900s. They were called Vaseline beads because of their greenish yellow color, caused by uranium salts, which were used as a coloring agent.
Venitian Glass:Venetian glass is a type of glass object made in Venice, Italy, primarily on the island of Murano. It is world-renowned for being colourful, elaborate, and skillfully made. Many of the important characteristics of these objects had been developed by the thirteenth century. Toward the end of that century, the centre of the Venetian glass industry moved to Murano. Byzantine craftsmen played an important role in the development of Venetian glass, an art form for which the city is well-known. When Constantinople was sacked by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, some fleeing artisans came to Venice. This happened again when the Ottomans took Constantinople in 1453, supplying Venice with still more glassworkers. By the sixteenth century, Venetian artisans had gained even greater control over the colour and transparency of their glass, and had mastered a variety of decorative techniques.
Vermeil:Vermeil is gold plated silver produced either by the fire-gilding method or by electrolysis.
Vintage Lucite:Lucite was actually popularized by DuPont in the 1930s as an alternative to the more expensive plastic called Bakelite. It started off being used for costume jewelry and in the 1950s became extremely popular. Lucite is very diverse, appearing in many forms, colors and styles. Lucite is more substantial than other plastic beads, but is surprisingly light. Lucite beads, an acrylic resin, are carved out of tubes of lucite as opposed to pressed in a mold, and therefore, there are no seams in the beads! Although clear in its original state, lucite can be tinted virtually any color, in ranges from transparent to opaque, with a few interesting variations along the way. Because many of the lucite beads being sold today are actually vintage beads that arent currently being manufactured, they can be a bit difficult to find sometimes. Moonglow Lucite is probably one of the most popular forms of Lucite. Moonglow pieces look as if lit from within, and come in a complete range of colors.
Vulcanite:Vulcanite is a hard, moldable rubber that has been formed by “vulcanizing” natural rubber through a curing process that involves high heat and the addition of sulfur. The result is a hard substance sometimes called “ebonite” that was used in the Victorian period to make mourning jewelry, combs, ornaments and buttons. Queen Victoria was known to wear it in tribute to her deceased husband, Albert. Today vulcanite it popularly used in the form of “heishi” in strands of beads.
Wedding : Wedding Beads were made in the Czech Republic specifically for the African trade in the 1950s and started being exported from Africa to the US and Europe in the 1980s. These beads come in several different shapes, colors and patterns. One of the most popular shape is the round tear drop. Another attractive shape is the flat tear drop. Wedding beads also were made as flat tabular shapes, stylized claw shapes and other varieties.
White Buffalo Turquoise:White buffalo turquoise was discovered in the Dry Creek Mine, north of Austin, Nevada, in 1993. The chemical name for turquoise is aluma phosphate which, in its pure chemical state, is white. Turquoise takes on color via an intrusion of either copper or iron. In the case of Dry Creek ore, the slight coloration, when present, is the result of copper. The more intrusion, the darker the color. White Turquoise forms where there are no heavy metals present, turns out to be a very rare occurrence. To date, no other vein of gem quality white turquoise has been discovered anywhere else in the world. When this current vein runs out, that will be the last of it. Because White Turquoise is as rare as a white buffalo, the Indians call it "White Buffalo" Turquoise. The White Turquoise is itself considered sacred and powerful.
White Hearts:White hearts are two layered beads with a translucent outer layer and a white inner layer. These extensively traded North American trade beads were originally made in Europe. Most white hearts are antique.
White Turquoise:White turquoise is actually a rock consisting primarily of quartz, calcite and alunite with only the slightest trace of turquoise.
Wound:Most glass beads produced in Europe from the late 1800s to mid 1900s fall into one of three categories: wound, drawn and molded. Wound beads were manufactured by winding molten glass around a metal rod until it took on the form of the finished bead. Once the glass cooled and hardened, there was no need to perforate it—removing the metal rod left a hole through which the bead could be threaded. Using the wound glass method, beads could be manufactured in small workshops without the need for massive and expensive equipment. But each bead had to be created individually, making cheap, large-scale production impossible. Because of this, another technique was developed and perfected in the famous bead-making workshops of Venice and elsewhere in Europe. In the drawn glass method, molten glass was affixed to metal plates and then drawn out by two workers walking in opposite directions. The malleable glass would stretch until it became a long thin cane which could then be cut into small sections and formed into beads.
Yoruba: Africa has been home to an active metalworking industry for 6,000 years, reaching back to the ancient Nubians and Egyptians who crafted artifacts in gold and copper. Ironworking was introduced by the Phoenicians around 800 BCE, and spread gradually across the continent to the Kingdom of Axum, then west to the Nok civilization and along the Atlantic coast. The metal was used to produce weapons, tools, amulets and other magical objects, and blacksmiths came to occupy a special position in society: respected and feared for their powers of metamorphosis. To this day, many West Africans will not look a blacksmith directly in the eye. Iron was not the only metal manipulated and shaped by the skilled hands of African metalworkers. The Ashanti kingdom in present-day Ghana was famous for its abundant gold reserves, and the Ashanti people crowned their king on a sacred golden stool said to have floated down from the heavens. The nomadic Tuareg traversing the Sahara region specialized in silver jewelry like the Agadez cross pendants which were passed down from father to son with the words, “I give you the four corners of the world, because one cannot know where one will die.” In Ethiopia, triangular or crescent-shaped telsum amulets, mergaf pendants with their dangling conical bells, Coptic crosses, and strands of hollow prayer beads were all crafted in silver. A spectacular range of brass beads and pendants were (and continue to be) produced across the continent, most notably in the form of Yoruba raised dot beads made from gilded brass, the small anvil-shaped pendants known as "Igbo bugs" popular among the Fulani, and the intricately decorated tubular beads worn in the hair of Wodaabe women. Supplemented by copper and aluminum, the tradition of metalworking in Africa is very much alive, as evidenced by beads and jewelry like the item for sale here.
Zanfirico:Zanfirico glass consists of fine filigree canes which have been stretched and twisted to form beautiful lattice patterns.