White Hearts, Antique Eye Beads, 12mm Diameter on Long 31-inch Strand


Regular price $450.00

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  • Lovely long strand of White Heart Eye (Skunk) beads 14mm diameter
  • Deep, rich pomegranate color (see second photo)
  • One 31-inch high graded strand with 73 beads, almost all in excellent condition
  • Named for their white core covered by a thin layer of translucent red glass, these beads were traded from Europe to every inhabited continent. Also known variously as Cornaline d'Aleppo for their resemblance to carnelian beads coming east from India through Syria and Turkey, or Hudson Bay Beads because early settlers and Mountain Men in that area traded them to Native Americans for pelts.
  • Developed in the 1600s, and produced mostly in Italy, but later also in Bohemia (now Czech Republic) and France, they had a lovely soft red pomegranate or light burgundy color until selenium replaced gold in the mix in 1890s. Selenium gave them a much brighter, harsher red. Selenium was abandoned in the 1930s because it was more expensive than gold at that time, but by then the global bead trade was winding down and the gold price keeps rising, so it's safe to say that essentially all the softer red beads are pre-1900.