Beads

It is said that beads with the very first ornaments that humans possessed. There is no doubt that the love our ancestors had for beads was great as it is one of the most common objects found when graves are unearthed.

Throughout history, beads have been loved by women, men and children. In certain tribal cultures, beads were sometimes worn throughout life -- from birth to death. Then the individual would be buried with their beads.

When determining the beauty of an unearthed bead, you should keep in mind that abrasion due to daily wear and tear, along with the effects of being buried for countless years, greatly impact the shape and appearance of a bead. Beauty classification is given to a bead based on both its use and the effects of time. It is important to remember that the bed was previously owned by someone and it traveled through time to reach you.

People love beads because they are portable, durable, come in a wide variety and they are easy to collect. Beads are also pleasing to touch and admire. They come in a wide range of colors, materials and shapes. Beads beg to be handled and sorted.

Inside each bead is a story.

  • What is its history?
  • What kind of technology was needed to make the bead?
  • What culture was it in?
  • Did it play an economic role?
  • What kind of ornamental use did it serve its owner?
  • How many different owners has it had?

Beads are some of the most varied items of jewelry in history. They are stunningly attractive and loved by most anyone. Throughout history they have been used in countless ways – from decorations, as status symbols, as religious artifacts and as a means of barter. What story does your bead tell?

Joseph Paige 2006

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