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Bead Necklaces

Since seemingly our first moments on earth, the human species has been drawn to strands of beads. Our ancestors began creating beads out of the organic materials in their environment and strung them together as a sign of status and also as a signifier of celebration.

Many of these prehistoric peoples were, for instance, buried wearing strands of beads, which served in some cultures as a means of honoring the deceased and, in others, as a method to ward off negative forces in the afterlife. As artisans advanced in skill and new technologies were discovered, new materials were transformed into beads to be worn in single to multiple strands.

By the days of ancient Egypt and Rome, gold beads and beads inset with precious stones and pearls had become commonplace among the most elite members of society. Today, these marvelous beaded pieces can be equally as elegant or can be more cost effective. Regardless of the price tag, however, just putting on a strand of beads can be enough to pull your outfit together and make your day.


Quick Facts

  • The oldest recorded beads date to 82,000 years ago. Discovered in a cave in eastern Morocco, the thirteen recovered beads were made out of pierced shells and bore traces of pigment, suggesting they might have been painted or decorated
  • Beads have also been used in past cultures as a means of currency for trade or bartering. Christopher Columbus took beads with him to the New World in hopes he could use them to acquire any needs along the course of his journey
  • The record for the longest bead necklace or strand was established in 2014 in Birmingham, England. Guinness World Records reports that it measured just less than 6 miles long and took four days to string

Recommended Items at Auction

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14K Gold Etruscan Revival Necklace
May 05, 11:00 AM EDT
14K Gold Etruscan Revival Necklace
by Grogan & Company
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,4005 Bids
AN ANTIQUE JET BEAD NECKLACE
Apr 26, 3:30 PM AEST
AN ANTIQUE JET BEAD NECKLACE
by Lawsons
Est: AUD120- AUD200
AUD455 Bids
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SQUASH BLOSSOM NECKLACE 20th Century Length 14".
Apr 25, 9:30 AM EDT
SQUASH BLOSSOM NECKLACE 20th Century Length 14".
by Eldred's
Est: $150- $250
$1754 Bids
Group of 51 Colorful Trade Beads
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Group of 51 Colorful Trade Beads
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$703 Bids
Knolly Shell Bead Necklace
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Knolly Shell Bead Necklace
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$603 Bids
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GRADUATED BEADED BLUE LARIMAR NECKLACE
Apr 24, 10:00 AM EDT
GRADUATED BEADED BLUE LARIMAR NECKLACE
by Gallery 63
Est: $200- $300
$1503 Bids
ELEVEN TRADE BEAD NECKLACES
Apr 23, 9:00 AM CDT
ELEVEN TRADE BEAD NECKLACES
by Jackson's International
Est: $150- $250
$1103 Bids
AMETHYST CABOCHON BEAD NECKLACE
Apr 26, 10:00 AM EDT
AMETHYST CABOCHON BEAD NECKLACE
by Potomack Company
Est: $100- $200
$602 Bids
Nick Chavez Collection: Turquoise Nugget Necklace
Apr 28, 10:00 AM PDT
Nick Chavez Collection: Turquoise Nugget Necklace
by Hughes Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$1202 Bids
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schönes Granatcollier, älter, Silberschließe erneuert, ca. L-44cm.
May 03, 11:00 AM CEST
schönes Granatcollier, älter, Silberschließe erneuert, ca. L-44cm.
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€102 Bids
A Strand of Glass Beads & a Strand of Bone Beads
Apr 24, 6:00 PM AEST
A Strand of Glass Beads & a Strand of Bone Beads
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD40- AUD80
AUD252 Bids
Mostly Art Deco Bakelite & Glass Jewelry
Apr 28, 10:00 AM CDT
Mostly Art Deco Bakelite & Glass Jewelry
by Rivich Auction
Est: $100- $500
$752 Bids
Large Collection Unsorted Beaded Jewelry
Apr 28, 10:00 AM CDT
Large Collection Unsorted Beaded Jewelry
by Rivich Auction
Est: $100- $500
$502 Bids
Bag Of Misc. Necklaces
Apr 25, 10:00 AM EDT
Bag Of Misc. Necklaces
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$22 Bids
White and Clear Glass Seed Bead Bib Necklace graduating swags Wedding
May 05, 10:30 AM PDT
White and Clear Glass Seed Bead Bib Necklace graduating swags Wedding
by Global Auctions Company
Est: $25- $30
$201 Bid
Amethyst and Crystal Beaded Necklace Tassel Lariat style
May 05, 10:30 AM PDT
Amethyst and Crystal Beaded Necklace Tassel Lariat style
by Global Auctions Company
Est: $40- $50
$301 Bid
ANTIQUE 17TH C VENETIAN GLASS CHEVRON BEADS
Apr 27, 10:00 AM EDT
ANTIQUE 17TH C VENETIAN GLASS CHEVRON BEADS
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$501 Bid
3 Prehistoric Shell Necklaces
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
3 Prehistoric Shell Necklaces
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$201 Bid
14K YELLOW GOLD AND NEPHRITE BEAD NECKLACE
Apr 26, 10:00 AM EDT
14K YELLOW GOLD AND NEPHRITE BEAD NECKLACE
by Potomack Company
Est: $250- $500
$1501 Bid
LADYS 14KT TWO TONE BEADED GOLD NECKLACE
Apr 23, 11:00 AM PDT
LADYS 14KT TWO TONE BEADED GOLD NECKLACE
by Robert Slawinski Auctioneers, Inc.
Est: $350- $450
$3251 Bid
BEADED NECKLACE
Apr 23, 4:00 PM CDT
BEADED NECKLACE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Turquoise Bead Necklaces, 5
May 19, 12:00 PM EDT
Turquoise Bead Necklaces, 5
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $600- $800
$1001 Bid
Nick Chavez Collection: Gaspeite Stone Nugget Necklace
Apr 28, 10:00 AM PDT
Nick Chavez Collection: Gaspeite Stone Nugget Necklace
by Hughes Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
NINE TRADE BEAD NECKLACES
Apr 23, 9:00 AM CDT
NINE TRADE BEAD NECKLACES
by Jackson's International
Est: $100- $200
$801 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Bead Necklaces


Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Omni Auction Corp

Omni Auction Corp

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Lion and Unicorn

Lion and Unicorn