Trade Bead Bracelets

A Collection of Trade Bead Bracelets

A Collection of Trade Bead Bracelets

Walker Goldsmiths has made some Trade Bead Bracelets. We have an extensive collection of antique beads used during the Fur Trade Era in the Pacific Northwest, from Russian Siberia over to Alaska and down into all the North American Continent, that are beautiful and oozing with history.  These beads are not replicas but the real thing and we’re wanting to share the history and beauty.

Cobalt Blue Russians and Czech bead bracelet

Cobalt Blue Russians and Czech bead bracelet

Today’s offering of Trade Bead Bracelets primarily includes the famous Cobalt Blue Russians, circa 1800’s and earlier, and Cobalt Czech glass beads that I like to use for spacers and protector beads. Blue Russians were originally made in Bohemia by stretching a long tube of cobalt glass then breaking them into smaller pieces and then individually, by hand, beveling and cutting them into shape. And since you can’t bend a glass tube I have to put a round Czech bead in between each Blue Russian so the bracelet or necklace can take it’s shape.  Check out my Cobalt Blue Russian Bead Story here.  The first Trade Bead Bracelet I’m featuring is composed of only Blue Russians and the Czech Cobalt spacers with a Sterling Silver clasp.  These first 3 bracelets are all individually made and for sale for under $90 depending upon the length you need determined by your wrist measurement.

Cobalt Blue Russian and Chevron Trade Beads Bracelet


Cobalt Blue Russian and Chevron Trade Beads Bracelet

The 2nd Trade Bead Bracelet that I have for sale is Cobalt Blue Russians and 6 layer Chevrons.  Chevrons are a bead with a very interesting history and manufacturing technique originating in the same part of the world as the Blue Russians.  They came to be traded in the Americas over a different path than the Blue Russians.  They are very uniquely made by the arrangement of three or more colors in usually six layers of glass. Their history describes a trading path from Murano, Italy, south through Africa and over to the Americas.

Cobalt Blue Russians and Padre Trade Beads

Cobalt Blue Russians and Padre Trade Beads

This 3rd Trade Bead Bracelet is Cobalt Blue Russians and Padre Beads.  Padre Beads are a colorful opaque glass trade bead with a vibrant history too.  “They are round, satiny opaque glass beads, mandrel wound, originally made in Venice possibly in the mid 1400’s.”  Read more about their interesting history here on one of my posts on  Activeartist.net where Owen posted, “Ubiquitous is truly the right word as we have found that these beads were made everywhere … and traded to the furthermost corner of the world!”   There was such a demand in the world that it was a very lucrative business and Dutch Traders were masters at seafaring who started taking them everywhere they traded.  I hope you take the opportunity to read my post on activeartist.net for a deeper story about the paths of this bead.  Owen and I have a print of a painting made by Charles Russell of Sacajewea in 1805 with Lewis and Clark and the Corp of Discovery on the Columbia River.  She is standing in the canoe visibly offering Padre Trade Beads to trade with the Chinook Indians.  We love this print!

Trade Bead Bracelet of Blue Russians and Mastodon Ivory

Trade Bead Bracelet of Blue Russians and Mastodon Ivory

My 4th Trade Bead Bracelet is Cobalt Blue Russians and Fossil Mastodon Ivory Beads. I’ve used Cobalt Czech glass again as spacers. The Fossil Mastodon Ivory beads came from ancient tusks unearthed by erosion in Russian Siberia and could be more than 20,000 years old.  Fossil Mastodon Ivory  is so beautiful and can be found in so many gorgeous colors because of the minerals in which it’s buried and also because it’s so very old. “The density and integrity of the ivory is magnificent. Colorful, dense, fine grained, and reeking with history.”  See our other post about Mastodon Ivory.  It is so complimentary to Cobalt Blue Russians.  This Trade Bead Bracelet is for sale also and Walker Goldsmiths is asking $135 for it depending on length needed to fit your wrist.

Walker Goldsmiths think that anyone who appreciates history and beautiful interesting jewelry associated with history would love these Trade Bead Bracelets!  They all come with Sterling Silver clasps.

About Janet Walker

2 Responses to “Trade Bead Bracelets”

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  1. Dana Parker says:

    Hello, I have a collection of rare Russian Blue Trade Beads that I received from one of my customers. I am looking for any information about them and a buyer if the price is right, I am not sure what kind of value they hold but I do know that they are very old and quite rare. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you. I have pictures of all of the beads acquired that I can send when I hear from you. I have two sizes of the blue beads and also two sizes of the Mille Fiori beads also very old, they were purchased by an antiques dealer in the 1930s and held in her private collection until she passed away this past year.

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