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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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Edwardian Old Cut Multi Gemstone Diamond Antique Gold Dangle Necklace w/ Provenance
Jun 15, 12:00 PM EDT
Edwardian Old Cut Multi Gemstone Diamond Antique Gold Dangle Necklace w/ Provenance
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $20,000- $25,000
$10,50024 Bids
14k Yellow Gold Bead Necklace
Jun 16, 11:00 AM EDT
14k Yellow Gold Bead Necklace
by Kaminski Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$7008 Bids
AAAAA AMETHYST POLISHED ROUND TWO STRAND NECKLACE
Jun 15, 11:00 AM EDT
AAAAA AMETHYST POLISHED ROUND TWO STRAND NECKLACE
by Turquoise Mountain Auctions
Est: $275- $400
$2207 Bids
Jay King Mine Finds Flat Agate Bead Sterling Necklace
Jun 15, 11:00 AM EDT
Jay King Mine Finds Flat Agate Bead Sterling Necklace
by Retro Roadshow
Est: $100- $200
$807 Bids
(14) Ivory Teeth and Ivory Necklace
Jun 22, 9:30 AM EDT
(14) Ivory Teeth and Ivory Necklace
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$1505 Bids
Red Beaded Necklace with carved shell pendant
Jun 22, 9:30 AM EDT
Red Beaded Necklace with carved shell pendant
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$604 Bids
RARE RED MOUNTAIN TURQUOISE NUGGET NECKLACE
Jun 15, 11:00 AM EDT
RARE RED MOUNTAIN TURQUOISE NUGGET NECKLACE
by Turquoise Mountain Auctions
Est: $950- $1,300
$2204 Bids
African Bore Tusk & Malachite Ivory Necklace
Jun 16, 9:00 AM MST
African Bore Tusk & Malachite Ivory Necklace
by R & R Auction INC
Est: $0- $0
$453 Bids
LIQUID STERLING SILVER 50 STRAND NECKLACE
Jun 15, 11:00 AM EDT
LIQUID STERLING SILVER 50 STRAND NECKLACE
by Turquoise Mountain Auctions
Est: $325- $500
$503 Bids
Peridot Tourmaline Bead Necklace 14K Clasp
Jul 09, 11:00 AM EDT
Peridot Tourmaline Bead Necklace 14K Clasp
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $200- $400
$1252 Bids
SUGILITE CHIP NECKLACE DRAGON FLY CLASP
Jun 15, 11:00 AM EDT
SUGILITE CHIP NECKLACE DRAGON FLY CLASP
by Turquoise Mountain Auctions
Est: $175- $325
$302 Bids
Jay King Mine Finds Lapis Turquoise Necklace
Jun 15, 11:00 AM EDT
Jay King Mine Finds Lapis Turquoise Necklace
by Retro Roadshow
Est: $100- $200
$152 Bids
Millefiori Art Glass Necklace W Sterling Clasp
Jun 13, 10:00 AM EDT
Millefiori Art Glass Necklace W Sterling Clasp
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$62 Bids
Blue Beaded Necklace W Sterling Clasp
Jun 13, 10:00 AM EDT
Blue Beaded Necklace W Sterling Clasp
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$22 Bids
HIPPIE NECKLACE
Jun 28, 11:00 AM EDT
HIPPIE NECKLACE
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
Lapis lazuli-sphere chain
Jun 28, 3:00 PM CEST
Lapis lazuli-sphere chain
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €1,090- €4,360
€1,0001 Bid
Lot of Gemstone Necklaces - Trifari, Kate Spade.
Jun 15, 11:00 AM CDT
Lot of Gemstone Necklaces - Trifari, Kate Spade.
by Direct Auction Galleries, Inc.
Est: $100- $200
$401 Bid
Murano Style Bead Necklaces, 2
Jun 18, 11:00 AM EDT
Murano Style Bead Necklaces, 2
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
AGATE BEAD NECKLACE
Jun 28, 11:00 AM EDT
AGATE BEAD NECKLACE
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
Artisan made necklace
Jun 13, 6:00 PM CDT
Artisan made necklace
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $15- $45
$51 Bid
TURQUOISE COIN SILVER SQUASH BLOSSOM NECKLACE
Jun 25, 9:00 AM EDT
TURQUOISE COIN SILVER SQUASH BLOSSOM NECKLACE
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $400- $600
$1001 Bid
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Italian Chain With Beads 9ct
Jun 15, 10:00 AM AEST
Italian Chain With Beads 9ct
by Roxbury's Auction House
Est: AUD350- AUD450
AUD2501 Bid
Beaded Necklace W Stone Pendant & Sterling Clasp
Jun 13, 10:00 AM EDT
Beaded Necklace W Stone Pendant & Sterling Clasp
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
Green Stone Necklace W Sterling Clasp
Jun 13, 10:00 AM EDT
Green Stone Necklace W Sterling Clasp
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 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

Auctions at Showplace

Auctions at Showplace