This listing is for 15 well matched beads...due to the handmade nature and age of the beads they are not perfect but I make sure the beads are well matched for ease of use. Happy beading or collecting!
I so wish the beads could talk and tell me of all their adventures and the hands they have passed through over the years...the stories they could tell.
Antique Trade Beads:
Beads have been used as a buying commodity for centuries throughout the world. Beads were first brought to Alaska by Russian traders during the early 1800's. Beads found their way to the upper Yukon River region in the later part of the 1800's through the Hudson Company and American fur traders as well as gold miners, during the 40 Mile and Klondike gold rushes. The local Han and Gwich'in natives, along the upper Yukon, highly prized trade beads and acquired them from traders and miners as payment for meat, furs and guiding. Treasure a piece of history!
A little more information about whitehearts:
Whiteheart beads were made using a method known as "winding." With this method, beads were made individually by drawing a molten glob of glass out of the furnace and winding it around an iron rod. Glass of another color could then be added, or the bead could be decorated with a design. Coloring agents were added to the molten glass: cobalt made blue; copper produced green; tin made a milky white; and gold resulted in red (which resulted in the red whitehearts being an expensive bead, the more gold the darker the red). Wound beads from a master glassmaker were so perfect that it was hard to find a seam where the different molten glasses merged. These pieces were cut into beads of various sizes. The cut beads were placed in a large metal drum containing lime, carbonate, sand, carbon, and water. While the metal drum turned, heat was applied to the outside causing the rough-cut edges to be smoothed. After the beads were smooth, they were cleaned and then placed in a sack of fermented bran and vigorously shaken to polish them.