As anybody who has been in a bead store can tell you, there are millions of different styles of beads in the world. Considering variety is the spice of life, we are always excited to discover new & unusual types of beads!
A customer recently donated a copy of The History of Beads by Lois Sherr Dubin to the shop, and we have had a great time perusing its glossy pages. It was interesting to find out more about the different types of beads typically found in specific countries or regions:
- The first beads in the world (made from animal teeth and bones) were discovered in France and date back to 38,000 B.C.
- Afghanistan, Iran, and other Middle Eastern countries are known for their lapis lazuli, carnelian, and agate beads.
- Over 6,000,000 lbs of glass beads were made in Venice in 1880 (more specifically, a mosaic glass style of bead known as millefiore.)
- China, Japan, and other countries in the Far East have specialized in elaborately carved jade & coral beads, as well as detailed enamel beads, for centuries.
- Native tribes from North America and Mexico have long created beads from such materials as turquoise and amber, but also horn, antler, bone, and other natural materials
Finding out more about ancient beads got us curious: what types of unusual beads exist today? Although some of the following bead styles have been a round for a long, long. time, some are distinctly more modern, and some even made us say, “They made beads out of WHAT?” Enjoy!