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

This post has 4 Replies | 2 Followers
Not Ranked
Posts 3
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! 



Top 50 Contributor
Posts 589
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.


The Cat's Meow Blog

My RebelMouse page and Etsy shop

Top 25 Contributor
Posts 1,837
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!!)

Not Ranked
Posts 3
on Apr 29, 2013 11:43 AM

Hi Cat,

I really appreciate you taking the time to help. I had already seen the ones from Ebay and Happy Mango in searches I've done. The Happy Mango beads are pretty but they are not as light (pale) blue as I'd like and have rounded edges (at the ends) where as the trade beads I like have flat edges. They are still nice though and I may purchase those as an alternative. Thank you. Africa Direct just contacted me a few days ago and told me they have some of the beads I am looking for and that they will pull something together for me. I am still waiting to hear back and see a photo to confirm they are the ones. They asked if I was okay with them being loose and not strung (as that is all they have) - I said OF COURSE!!! But I still didn't get a name for the beads from them. I've contacted Picard Beads as well asking them about the name of the beads and they only told me they did not have anymore but I never received a name for them. There seems to be a sort of mystery surrounding these beads.

Thanks for the info on Fulani African Trade beads also - I did some searching with that search term but still can't find the lighter blue flat end tubes. I am happy that I have a lead from Africa Direct though! We'll see how it turns out.

Thanks again.

Not Ranked
Posts 3
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.

Page 1 of 1 (5 items) | RSS