Good w/ old beads/trade beads? I need help identifying...

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on Apr 20, 2013 12:06 PM


If anyone here is good with identifying old beads I'd greatly appreciate your help. I've been looking for these beads off and on for a long while now. I purchased this old Fulani necklace (about 4 yrs ago) online and the beauty of the beads has been mesmerizing me ever since. The thing is, I've developed a crush on these beads - I absolutely LOVE everything about them (the color, size, shape, slight irregularities).  I've noticed that anytime I'd ever seen these beads in the past has been in Fulani necklaces. When I purchased the necklace, the description read "European glass trade beads" which is a pretty broad description - I think they may be Venetian (not sure).  Back then, I should have asked the company or seller if the beads had a more specific name, but I wasn't as desperate to find them back then so it didn't cross my mind. Now I can't find anymore necklaces containing those beads anywhere, so there's no seller to ask.

I would love to find some of these beads to use in my beaded work and I wouldn't dream of taking this necklace apart and using these beads. I've used every search term and combination of words imaginable in google trying to find these: light blue, powder blue, robin's egg blue, venetian, european, glass, beads used in fulani necklaces, cylinder, tube, flat ends, trade beads, etc.

I'm including a photo of my necklace. As you can see, there are a few different shades of blue within the strands and the lightest blue beads appear to have a very thin translucent coating over them which makes them appear shinier than the other blues - hard to see this in the photo though. I like all of the blue beads so if they are two different types of beads, I'd be happy just knowing what one of them is.

If you know where I can find them or have any helpful info for me, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks so much! 



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Beadiecat wrote
on Apr 25, 2013 10:10 AM

It appears that Fulani are African trade beads, here is some info about them.  If I use the search term "Fulani African Trade beads", I come up with some on Ebay, they are expensive. Here is one search that has some, darker blue than yours.

Here are some that don't say Fulani, just African Trade, but they are closer to the color you have.

I also found these pretty ones at Happy Mango Beads, much cheaper too.


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KipperCat wrote
on Apr 28, 2013 10:55 PM

I've seen Czech beads that look just like this (shape wise.)  Preciosa makes several sizes of this tube bead, from 1x1 mm to 5x5 mm.  If you scroll down on this link, it describes the beads.  I've seen them listed a few places, but don't remember where.  You could check eBay for Czech tube beads, or for one of the specific names (one of which is Delica!!)

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on Apr 29, 2013 11:50 AM

Thanks KipperCat, for the link. Great website! I might end up trying them if they have the light blue color and all else fails in trying to find these. I wrote in another post that Africa Direct thinks they have some of the beads I am looking for and are trying to pull something together for me. I'm waiting to hear back. Keeping my fingers crossed. Thank you.

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