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      Beads: A Short History

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A History of Beads

Beads have been used in many cultures for centuries. The word "bead" comes from the Anglo Saxon words "bidden" (to pray) and "bede" (prayer). Beads have been used as money and worn as jewelry to bring wisdom and fortune to the wearer. Found dating back nearly 40,000 years, beads have been made from pebbles, shells, teeth, claws, clay, glass and more.

Glass became an important material in bead making with its discovery around 3,400 years ago. Glass beads and hand-crafted beaded jewelry have long been associated with the Roman Empire as well as early Mediterranean, Egyptian, and Venetian cultures.

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The Use of Beads in Jewelry Making

Today glass and gemstone beads are used in many ways. The most notable is their use in the making of jewelry. Jewelry beads tend to be more intricately and precisely designed than other beads. The visual effect of the beads is significantly improved when used in contrast with gemstones, metal, and interesting knotting or wire wrapping.

Today beads play an intricate role in modern fashion. They are widely used in the form of necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Designers wow us with stunning contrasts of colored gemstones; silver, gold or copper metals; and beads carved into various shapes.

Beading is a favorite pastime for many people who express their creativity through this ancient craft. I hope that you will enjoy your journey into the wonderful world of beading!

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Copyright 2012 This article may not be reprinted or published without permission from Emily Gems.

No claims are made. These alleged powers are gathered from writing, books, folklore and various sources.