I always pick up these chunky opaque glass beads when I find them, which is not very often but I’ve been on a run recently.
Lots of people call them African trade beads because way back in the day (like the 1500s), European merchants would use these Italian beads as currency in Africa.
They still make these beads today, and I doubt that any found in a thrift store are older than 30 years. But they ate colourful and beautiful.
Most of the beads pictured here are from broken bracelets and necklaces. I finally collected enough beads to make a double stranded necklace. I would like even more so I could layer on a million necklaces and bracelets so I could channel my inner Iris Apfel.