thebeadchest

African Beads, Recycled Glass Beads, Trade Beads

Santa Monica, California · 43591 Sales

thebeadchest

African Beads, Recycled Glass Beads, Trade Beads

Santa Monica, California 43591 Sales On Etsy since 2009

5 out of 5 stars
(8531)

Announcement   FREE SHIPPING ON USA ORDERS OVER $99 - Use coupon code FREESHIP99

ALL OTHER ORDERS - Pay shipping for first item - receive free shipping on all additional items!!!

CONTACT US BY PHONE @ 1-877-655-2323

Browse a huge selection of African trade beads and recycled glass beads at wholesale prices.

Much has been written about the birth of bead-making in Africa during the prestigious 'trade era', but what many people don't know is that Africa's love affair with beads for self adornment actually began more than 75,000 years ago. The earliest African beads uncovered by archaeologists are a variation of Heishi Beads made from the shells of mud snails, many of which are believed to derive from a single item of adornment. Small, versatile and rustic, natural Heishi Beads made from ostrich and crab shells have since been adopted by numerous African cultures for ritual jewelry pieces, including the magnificent beaded wedding collars worn by both Yoruban and Ghanaian tribes people.

African tribes are well known for their resourcefulness. Even before the discovery of metal ores and glass-making techniques, African artisans were using all natural materials at their disposal to produce beads for creative expression and adornment. Horn, bone and clay were considered particularly versatile materials, since they were easy to shape, carve and manipulate with vegetable dyes. Dyed Batik Bone Beads from Kenya are a great example of these early practices.

As trade routes were established throughout Africa, many tribes began to realize the value of Gemstone Beads – in particular, turquoise and carnelian. Since many of these elements were not native to many parts of Africa, tribes began producing their own clever imitations from natural elements such as jasper and bauxite. Turquoise and Bauxite Beads continue to be mass produced today in the bead-making hubs of Ghana and Ethiopia. Of course, these areas are perhaps better known for their thriving glass bead production, which began in earnest during the 19th Century. Inspired by the exquisitely beautiful trade beads brought over by merchants from Venice, artisans from the Krobo and Ashanti tribes began exploring their own ways of reproducing them from recycled glass scrap. Recycled Glass Beads are now one of the leading exports of Ghana, helping millions to evade poverty and generate a regular income for their families.

Please note, according to Etsy policy, buyers are fully responsible for customs and duty fees in their own country: https://www.etsy.com/help/article/5023
In the case the case that a package is returned because the buyer does not pay customs fees, the buyer shall be responsible for the actual cost of shipping.

Announcement

Last updated on Jan 25, 2017

FREE SHIPPING ON USA ORDERS OVER $99 - Use coupon code FREESHIP99

ALL OTHER ORDERS - Pay shipping for first item - receive free shipping on all additional items!!!

CONTACT US BY PHONE @ 1-877-655-2323

Browse a huge selection of African trade beads and recycled glass beads at wholesale prices.

Much has been written about the birth of bead-making in Africa during the prestigious 'trade era', but what many people don't know is that Africa's love affair with beads for self adornment actually began more than 75,000 years ago. The earliest African beads uncovered by archaeologists are a variation of Heishi Beads made from the shells of mud snails, many of which are believed to derive from a single item of adornment. Small, versatile and rustic, natural Heishi Beads made from ostrich and crab shells have since been adopted by numerous African cultures for ritual jewelry pieces, including the magnificent beaded wedding collars worn by both Yoruban and Ghanaian tribes people.

African tribes are well known for their resourcefulness. Even before the discovery of metal ores and glass-making techniques, African artisans were using all natural materials at their disposal to produce beads for creative expression and adornment. Horn, bone and clay were considered particularly versatile materials, since they were easy to shape, carve and manipulate with vegetable dyes. Dyed Batik Bone Beads from Kenya are a great example of these early practices.

As trade routes were established throughout Africa, many tribes began to realize the value of Gemstone Beads – in particular, turquoise and carnelian. Since many of these elements were not native to many parts of Africa, tribes began producing their own clever imitations from natural elements such as jasper and bauxite. Turquoise and Bauxite Beads continue to be mass produced today in the bead-making hubs of Ghana and Ethiopia. Of course, these areas are perhaps better known for their thriving glass bead production, which began in earnest during the 19th Century. Inspired by the exquisitely beautiful trade beads brought over by merchants from Venice, artisans from the Krobo and Ashanti tribes began exploring their own ways of reproducing them from recycled glass scrap. Recycled Glass Beads are now one of the leading exports of Ghana, helping millions to evade poverty and generate a regular income for their families.

Please note, according to Etsy policy, buyers are fully responsible for customs and duty fees in their own country: https://www.etsy.com/help/article/5023
In the case the case that a package is returned because the buyer does not pay customs fees, the buyer shall be responsible for the actual cost of shipping.

thebeadchest

Contact shop owner

thebeadchest

Reviews

Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
(8531)
View all 8531 reviews

Updates

New shipment from West Africa: plenty of new aqua colors for your beading pleasure!
ALMOST HERE! Natural horn beads from Morocco including new styles and shapes.

Shop policies

More information

Last updated on Feb 11, 2017
Frequently asked questions

What’s your company's story?

We work with developing communities throughout Africa to bring you some of the most beautiful, handmade beading treasures in the world. All items that we source direct are fair trade. Our unique business model enables us to support creative jewelry designers with quality beading supplies, while supporting developing communities at the same time.

Do you combine shipping?

Yes we do! Multiple item orders are combined automatically in the cart. We charge a flat rate shipping fee which means that no matter how much you order, your total shipping cost will not increase! That’s right! It’s a simple flat rate per order:

USA - $4.00 flat rate per order
Canada - $10 flat rate per order
International - $15 flat rate per order

We also offer FREE EXPEDITED 1-3 DAY SHIPPING on USA orders $99 or more. Use coupon code FREESHIP99 during checkout.

Limited exceptions apply to our flat-rate policy for non-USA orders with heavier items. Non-USA customers, please feel free to inquire in advance to verify exact shipping charges particularly for glass beads with a diameter of 18mm or larger.

Do you accept returns?

Absolutely. Your satisfaction is our #1 priority! We accept returns for items in the same condition received up to 14 days from date of delivery. Please contact us first to authorize a return.

If you are not satisfied with your purchase, neither are we. 100% satisfaction guaranteed!

Do you offer bulk and/or wholesale discounts?

Yes, we offer wholesale discounts for orders of $250 or more. Please send us a message with a list of items you are looking to purchase and we will send you an appropriate discount code. You can either copy + paste your cart, or send us a screenshot. We usually get back to you within 1-2 hours on business days. Please note wholesale discounts for NON-USA orders may vary as shipping costs are generally subsidized by us.

We also offer FREE EXPEDITED SHIPPING on USA orders $99 or more. Use coupon code FREESHIP99 during checkout.